By KENNEDY LIMWANYA
AS a responsible leader acting in good faith, President Rupiah Banda wrote to Patriotic Front (PF) leader Michael Sata out of respect for a fellow political player.
Going by Mr Sata’s infamous record of playing politics on the front pages of tabloids, Mr Banda could have easily chosen not to respond to the opposition leader’s letter that raised a number of questions on the happenings at the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ).
Nevertheless, President Banda responded to the letter, but not without warning Mr Sata that it would be the last time he was doing so if he continued availing confidential correspondence to the public.
As if Sata ever learns! Before he had even comprehended the contents of President Banda’s letter, he rushed it to the Press.
That is typical of Mr Sata, a man who never does anything out of conviction.
This is the man who reminds one of the 1980s American television series Dallas, a global hit that eventually aired in 90 countries.
On March 21, 1980, a total 40 million Americans tuned in to watch the cliff-hanger “Who Shot JR?” episode; in Turkey, Parliament shut down early so that legislators would not miss a moment.
Because of Dallas’s political nuance, a Danish politician warned: I wouldn’t be surprised if Dallas was planned by a circle of leftist intellectuals as a socialist slander campaign.”
Seen as a socialist slander campaign, Dallas must have been one of Mr Sata’s favourite television series, the very reason why he appears to specialise in slander campaigns against his political opponents.
In summing up his own life philosophy, Larry Hagman, the man who so meticulously played the starring role of Texas oilman JR Ewing, said: “Once you get rid of integrity, the rest is a piece of cake.”
By now, Mr Sata’s level of integrity is an open secret, and that is the basis upon which Zambian people will judge him as he makes a fourth attempt at the Zambian presidency this year.
This is a man so devoid of integrity that the moment he writes a letter to the President, he leaks to the news media even before the recipient reads it; when he receives a reply, he again excitedly rushes to have it published even before his inner circle sits to study its contents.
Presidential candidate extraordinary, indeed! Since Zambia is a democracy, even comical characters like Mr Sata have every right to present themselves as potential candidates for the serious office of State president.
Mr Sata seemingly got rid of integrity many years ago and sees as a piece of cake – no matter how inedible – anything that helps inflate his political balloon.
Today he can be a capitalist; when it suits him, as the tide ebbs, he conveniently becomes a socialist.
It is simply a case of getting rid of integrity and one eats up anything and everything that comes their way.
This even explains why, in the words of Mr Sata’s former bodyguard and driver Kelvin Phiri, the unelected PF leader can go on rampage, wantonly borrowing money which he promises to repay if he became president.
Mr Phiri’s revelation is harrowing, to say the least. No one expects Mr Sata, the man who fashions himself as a nationalist, to conduct himself in such debasing manner.
Anyhow, Mr Sata has never been a nationalist. He showed his true colours in the pre-independence days when he conveniently sided with the colonial masters as a police constable; working for a system that was against Northern Rhodesia’s push for political independence.
In later years, Mr Sata would claim that he was a freedom fighter and attribute his imprisonment in the early 1960s to the same cause. He thought Zambians had a short memory until one Jackson Ngoma disputed the claim, explaining that Mr Sata was jailed for a criminal offence.
Today, this is the same Mr Sata who has allegedly received trunks and trunks of money from some businessmen, promising to return the favour if he was elected President; is this not the corruption he pretends to abhor and accuses others of practising?
Honestly, is the job of President so lucrative that mr Sata would hope to pay off all his debts using such a respected office? No wonder the man will go to any length to try and win the 2011 Presidential election.
This is absolutely indistinguishable from auctioning one’s own country out of the love for silver and gold. Talk of Judas Iscariot!
Indeed, Mr Sata would do anything to become president.
On September 25, 2006 in an editorial titled Watch Satanic Deeds, The Post gave an apt description of Mr Sata’s insatiable appetite for the State presidency, saying he was “a danger to himself and those who want to believe in him.”
The editorial read in part: “A wicked person has no future – nothing to look forward to. People who promise things they never give, or will never be able to give, are like clouds and wind that bring no rain.
“The behaviour of Michael Sata is everything else but wise. It is the kind of behaviour that people with no goodwill and no serious intention engage in. It is very clear that Sata has no shame. He will go to any length to gain power. If it means becoming stupid to become head of state, he will do it. If he thinks being a fool will earn him power, he becomes a fool.
“This man has no boundaries. His history is there for all to see. Under Dr Kenneth Kaunda, he was chief vigilante and was one of those who contributed to making Dr Kaunda unpopular at the time.”Many of our people who worked in the markets will remember exactly what Sata did.
When Frederick Chiluba came to power, Sata yet again took a centre stage and this time became a chief ‘kaponya.’ Anybody who needed harassment was dealt with by the machinery he controlled as national secretary for MMD. ”Surely, our memories are not that short. Zambians know this man. No one should be fooled. The Sata who today wants to defend Chiluba was one of those who were key in misleading him.
When the whole nation was saying no to dictatorial tendencies and Chiluba’s shameful attempt to impose himself as a life president, Sata – behaving like an evil snake – continued to mislead Chiluba.”