By Lee Elias Tembo. Czech Republic
23rd September, 2011 will go down in the history of Zambia´s political landscape as a day when one Michael Chilufya Sata, leader of the opposition Patriotic Front (PF) party was ushered into office as the 5th president of the government of the Republic of Zambia. This was preceded by his victory in the September, 20th tripartite election.
His triumph is without doubt attributed to a massive social justice campaign and endless eloquent anti-Chinese rhetorical appeals he preached while he was an opposition leader for a period of 10 years. Most importantly, his promise to transform Zambia´s political, social and economic sphere within a period of 90 days won him not only votes from the electorates, but also trust and hope for a better Zambia.
Alas! the 90 days period of political, social and economic transformation that Mr.Sata strongly promised to fulfil if elected as president has now elapsed into a year of nothing tangible or meaningful to the Zambian citizens, but rather, political drama of disappointments and espousement of the very things that he campaigned against prior to the elections. I do respect his Excellency and treat his office with high esteem. Besides, I have been an ardent follower and admirer of his political ladder and success, i.e., from a mere (cleaner …minister without portfolio…and now the president of the republic of Zambia).
However, his first year in office has been very disappointing, worrying and short of expectation from the people that gave him the mandate. Mr. Sata strongly made a marathon of promises to fulfil and it´s on that very basis that we hold him accountable for the lies he preached of transforming Zambia´s into a better place within a 3 month period. For those with short memory, a recap of his paramount promises included: creation of million jobs that would hence forth put more money in people´s pockets, a finalized Zambian constitution, restoration of the Barotseland agreement, chase the Chinese investors, whom he often referred to as ‘Infesters”, enact the Freedom of information Bill, stop the appointment of cadres within the civil service and, no appointments based on tribe or nepotism to name but a few. His inconsistence has and will continue to cost him trust, confidence and hope from “level – headed” Zambian citizens.
The current political, social and economic status quo is characterised by massive nepotism, harassment of political opponents, alleged corruption practices within his ruling party elite, mistreatment of Zambian workers by investors, especially, the Chinese, misguided priorities and many more evil elements against the tenets of democracy. The very bad elements that Mr. Sata strongly campaigned against, while in opposition are the same things that he is currently comfortable with and even espousing without being ashamed. The once “infamous” public order Act that he tirelessly criticised while in opposition could today be praised as a good law that would bring about peace and security. How can you trust such a leader who lacks consistence with what he says? Indeed, we live in a world made on promises constructed by liars.
In conclusion, I would like to borrow the words of the great American citizen and former president, Abraham Lincoln, that”… if you want to test a man´s character, give him power”. Indeed, Mr. Sata´s U-turn on the promises he made himself, bears true attestation to the foregoing statement.