BY Dr Robert Mtonga
Turning and turning in the widening gyre, the falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.
(Chinua Achebe, AWS “Things Fall Apart”)
Fellow countrymen and women, time is now upon us to reflect on the happenings in our land today relating to our future President.
I am acutely aware that our tradition frowns upon us if and when we discuss power succession during a period of mourning. It is a time-honoured taboo. But the goings-on in our land especially since June this year call for a necessary departure from the norm. Our President is no more, but under circumstances that make us all ask more questions than find answers to the same.
A moment in time has come when we should all sincerely, soberly and pragmatically face the future with courage for it is in the future, and not in the past, that our hope lies.
It is a poorly kept secret that our President deserved better during his last few months on earth. It cannot be denied that there are forces still in our midst that played with our emotions, the emotions of the President’s family, friends and foes alike. There was a looming shadow over the President’s life that portended ill and not good. This cannot be disputed even by the deepest hell and highest scheme of man. These cunning fellows, like a race of intelligent devils, followed the President’s breath as it ebbed away to its inevitable last. There are enemies within that marked their time and bid this moment. With a kiss of a betrayer, the evil and sly charlatans sucked the life out of the President as did one Judas Iscariot of old.
Surely and ultimately, it is God’s hand of Providence that decreed the death of President Michael Sata, we may atone. I fully agree and grant an unqualified yes, in response. Yet, hold your while; I must remind you that the means to the end took us through a route that, in our case in point, involved a cartel of men and women. These are culpable, blood drenched men and women who, God help us, we may finger out.
The fight for the heart and soul of Zambia was evident within the Patriotic Front Party, long before our President’s eyes failed to see the eyelids of dawn on that fateful day namely 28th October 2014.
There are men and women who may now be shedding copious lakes and oceans of crocodile tears in order to give the impression that they loved the President in life as they do in death.
Comrades, this time around we should not be blinded by such base skirmishes. Repeat, there are enemies within.
This kind of dialogue is neither for the fainthearted nor the fat-witted. A moment in time has arrived when all men and women of spine and valour must, with might and mane, and in an extended file, stand up and be counted.
If readers think I am being harsh, insensitive and making cheap capital out of this tragedy, then I humbly ask them to explain to me why we are seeing the jostling of who acts as President, the firing and re-engaging of office bearers without adequate explanations. The settling of the question of who will be the PF’s sponsored Presidential candidate come January 28th 2015 will, I can foretell, not be a walk in the park. I may be wrong but certainly not naïve. I have eyes and I can see as clearly as a fish eagle.
There are forces hard at work to impose a candidate of their choice on Zambia willy-nilly. We are seeing the resurrection of life from the political tombs in certain places. Men that had fallen from grace to grass are now dusting off their shame and spoiling for a fight of their life.
The Patriotic Front Party today is a house divided against itself. A few base fellows are doing their best to hoodwink the nation that they have Zambia at heart and hence offering counsel when no one has asked them for it! It would take extreme visual impairment to deny that there are two factions in the PF. These apposed bands are powerful and dangerous and armed with deadly political poison, so make no mistakes about it.
Fellow country men and women wake up and smell the coffee. Our country and destiny is at stake. We have been cheated before.
The “Donchi Kubeba” policy was an evil scheme so before you laugh this assertion out of the window into the dustbin of no-brainers, take a moment and reflect.
Well time has forgivingly returned with an opportunity for all of us to redeem ourselves and quit ourselves like men once again. We must stop the rival gangs in their tracts for mother Zambia’s sake. If we let this moment slip by us, posterity will judge us harshly and unforgivably.
Let us not just look at the Halloween garb of these men and women but at the faces behind the masks also. If we do we will come to the unmistakable conclusion that no one devil is better than another. There are narcissistic elements within the PF who are holding everybody else within it and outside of it at ransom. We need a true savior. We need true patriots to reclaim our land, our dignity, yes our destiny. It is time for freedom, for our true jubilee.
We should be looking for sincere, nationalistic and selfless leaders. We have hard enough of these base fellows who have entered public service to line their pockets , bloat their egos and hold us hostage to their selfish whims. They lied their way into the fancy of the nation last time around.
It is no wonder that they are now outpacing each other to take over power. It is frightening the light of day out of me to think of the violence- latent and portent- that the PF cadres will unleash, firstly upon each other, and if we remain silent, on each one of us, if and when their sponsors do not get their way.
To be forewarned is to be forearmed. Let us gird our loins and fight these forces. Let us not be beguiled by their sweet tongues. They do not mean well. They have nothing to give us. They have pocket agendas that will make us a lot more miserable than we are right now. They will take us a whole jubilee backwards, if they have not done so already. It is time to chart a different course for ourselves, our children and future generations. It is our right to fight for our rights.
Yes the forces arrayed against us are formidable and even ostensibly invincible but might is not right and might has fallen to right in history many times. Zambia is calling its sons and daughter with conviction, courage and imbued with the spirit of Zambia in their hearts, to once again arise and make Zambia the land of work and joy in unity and, in glory and praise to God.
Just for the avoidance of ignorance, I am not calling for physical violence or hatred or vengeance. The best Zambians are above that. Our fight must be with moral weapons of mass destruction well capable of decimating all that the evil cartels stand for. I am talking about your vote, my vote, your voice, my voice.
The question however remains. Will you stand up, put on the armour and fight against the enemies of Zambia, the enemies within? I believe you will because I know that, like me, you are also fed-up of the status quo ….