By Cheise Mayinge.
President Edgar Lungu is determined to hold onto power and signs are that he will do everything possible to prevent anyone entering State House any time soon. His confidence lies in a manipulative machinery that has managed to mute many voices by either use of draconian measures or via financially induced compromise.
Many church leaders who once had a strong voice are now aligned to Lungu’s reign, singing praises everyday. Business associations and industry leaders no longer speak out against the ills of government. Many are aware of corrupt activities that threaten the survival of the Zambian economy now and in future but they will not speak because they are either beneficiaries of corruption or afraid of being run down by tax authorities.
President Lungu now seems focused on one huddle: Hakainde Hichilema of the United Party for National Devrlopment (UPND). The 2016 demon is very much alive and without an actual verdict by the Constitutional Court about what transpired during those elections, President Lungu will seek to up his game by ensuring HH does not feature on the ballot box in 2021. The Bill 10 drive is nuanced to achieve this objective. HH must also be shut off economically, and every company HH is perceived to have an interest will be dealt with much the same way Pharoah killed all male babies with the belief the danger to the throne, Jesus Christ, was hiding there.
While all the attention is focused on HH, President Lungu seems oblivious to the real threat to his presidency. Young people have found their voice and this is coming through social media. Just recently, one of the famous musicians was made to apologise after being reminded they had tasted something together and there was no way he would run away. But that does not mutilate the fact that youths have become increasingly courageous, buoyed by what is happening in the United States even if the circumstances are unrelated. Zambian musicians, now heavily hit by the COVID impact, feel they have nothing to lose but speak out. The youths realise their future is obliterated by what they consider to be a selfish regime, all out to protect Chinese interests. They fear their resources are being ripped apart by a foreign generation that cares little about the future of Zambia.
The youths have no leader among them, no predictable platform that can be shut down the way Prime TV and The Post Newspapers were closed. They are simply an organized and determined lot inspired by one dream: secure their future.
It is expected in coming months ahead of the 2021 elections, the youth voice, calling for regime change, will be stronger and louder than ever before in Zambian history. Even if the registration of voters is manipulated via discriminatory issuance of national registration cards, the youths are determined to beat that huddle. This is the real mountain President Lungu has to dismantle and support from the Dragon may not be strong enough to dismember it.