Why I didn’t vote for Lungu

Why I didn’t vote for Lungu


By Dr. Sam Phiri

” Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we’re free at last…” – Martin Luther King in his 1963 ‘I Have a Dream Speech’.


Zambia is free from those terrible, unruly, bossy, awful, appalling, unpleasant, odious, vile, wild, higgledy-piggledy and all-powerful bunch, called PF CADRES.

They were above the law. They were the law. They were ‘Boma’.

Those goons terrorised us in the markets, bus stations and the roads.

We hated them. When and why were they created?

They never realised that all political power, real or imagined, is borrowed power.

As Alexander Solzhenitsyn wrote: “terror builds upon its own traditions, institutions, cadres and habits of mind.”

We saw all that during the past 10 years. The uniformed hoodlums ruled the day. They called each other ‘Commanders’! Commanding what exactly?

As for you [still President] Lungu: You should have known that when you unleashed those human beasts upon us, we would one day rise, in a typically Zambian peaceful way, to take our share of freedom and boot you out of that seat.

We were not servile. We tacitly understood what Greek shipping magnate, Aristotle Onassis said that “If you know you are going to be raped, and there is no way out of it, you sit back…” No! we didn’t enjoy it.

We hated it and bided our time.

You Dr (honoris causa in ‘good governance’) Edgar Chagwa Lungu, should also have known what Enoch Powell said many years ago. It is that “All political lives, unless they are cut off in midstream at a happy juncture, end in failure, because that is the nature of politics and of human affairs.”

You could have saved yourself from historical shame by not pursuing the ‘legalised’ 3rd term. You knew it was wrong, we knew it was wrong but we did what Onassis said we should do in such circumstances.

For some reason, you thought, like Napoleon did in 1813, that “France has more need for me than I have need for France.” The truth is, as the election results demonstrate, the majority of Zambians, especially the youth, were fed up. They did not want you any longer.

The prospect of another five years with you, and the Cadres at the helm, was scary and revolting.

But how could you have known this when you had crushed free speech and all forms of individuality in Zambia?

You killed The Post, Prime TV, silenced academic inquiry, threatened community radio stations through the IBA, shut down the internet…yet John Stuart Mill said that “whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called.”

You called it democracy, but we didn’t see it that way.

During your seven years in office, you proved what Henry Kissinger said about power. He said: “Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.”

You wanted more and more of it, for as long as possible.

That is what was in your 3rd term attempt; Bill 10; threats to the judiciary not to ape Kenya; telling street market women in Chibombo that even if they voted you out, you would still be “there.”

There, where?

Ah, we see it now…that is why your trumpeters composed that ‘Alawelelapo, Soli ’ requiem.

But the ‘seat’ was not ordained to you. It’s ours and we have taken it back…a clear warning to the in-coming not to repeat your mistakes.

Now you know why I didn’t…No, couldn’t… vote for you. The political environment you created was toxic. Unbearable.

So, as you ride into the political sunset, deeply think on these things. You are not alone. They did it to KK, they did it to RB and we have done it to you.Why

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