As I emerge from the shock of the Kapalala Market fire which destroyed livelihoods of thousands of our people in Ndola where I called on patriotic Zambians and the business community to come together and assist the victims of the inferno, I am taken aback to find that someone who is wishing to lead the country is again demonstrating high levels of unpatriotism.
The decision by leader of the opposition UPND Hakainde Hichilema to hold a news conference in South Africa where he issued some disparaging remarks against Zambia and its duly elected leadership of His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu again shows his levels of desperation to please his masters.
It appears Mr Hichilema will stop at nothing to speak ill of the country of his birth even if it means lying in front of the international media on live television.
I believe that the measure of a good citizen is one who will protect the integrity and sovereignty of his nation even in the face of death. Mr Hichilema has clearly failed this test.
The Americans and the British are some of the citizens that have always demonstrated high levels of patriotism to their respective nations. Even here at home, Mr Hichilema should emulate great sons and daughters of their soul who choose nation before self and protect the interest of this great nation. I therefore recommend serious lessons in great citizenship for Mr Hichilema.
The Democratic Alliance, the party that Mr Hichilema has now gone to bed with is the same party that oppressed South Africans and embraced apartheid. Across Africa, citizens of this great continent have now refused to be ruled by agents of the colonial masters. We now want politics of indigenous people with indigenous solutions to our challenges. We are resolved to doing our own politics and developing our countries and this is where patriotism becomes paramount.
What is however interesting is that when Mr Hichilema was released, he told UPND supporters who gathered to celebrate his release that he will in due course organize a news conference where he would address several issues affecting the nation. What has followed is a series of interviews he has given to news networks that represent the imperialists. Up now, Mr Hichilema has not honoured his promise to date the local media but he jumped at the slightest opportunity to go and address the foreign media in a foreign land.
For me, where Mr Hichilema elects to hold his news conference is off little concern. What I believe should concern every Zambia is Mr Hichilema never ending obsession to embarrass the country of his birth.
It should not be forgotten that this is not the first time that Mr Hichilema is rushing to hold news conference in a foreign country aimed at speaking ill of our mother Zambia. The recent media address is nothing but a desperate attempt by a desperate man to please his pay masters.
What is also unfortunate is the content of his address. Mr Hichilema blatantly lied that military police have been used to remove opposition Members of Parliament from Parliament. From my time in Parliament, I have never seen any police presence inside the chamber. Maybe Mr Hichilema should be forgiven especially that he has never seen the inside of the House since he has never won an election even.
I however take strong exception to Mr Hichilema’s utterances clearly aimed at tarnishing the image of the country abroad. I should remind him that there is no breakdown of the rule of law in Zambia.
All governance institutions are operating within their constitutionally given mandates. How can Mr Hichilema explain the decision by the office of the Director of the Pubic Prosecutions to enter nolle prosequi or simply discontinue some cases at the behest of her office? If that does not demonstrate independence and autonomy of key governance institutions then Mr Hichilema does not understand what the rule of law entails.
What is disappointing in this entire episode is that, the actions of Mr Hichilema since leaving prison shows a man who is clearly inconsistent and conflicted. This is a man who agreed to a dialogue process which significantly helped secure his release but he has now turned around and sounding as desperate as ever.
Listening to Mr Hichilema today, one would be convinced that the man is not in any way committed to a genuine dialogue process. He is practicing the old ways of doing politics. What Mr Hichilema should know is that Zambians have moved on and abandoned those types of politics.
Somebody close to Mr Hichilema should have whispered to him that whilst he away at Mukobeko, Zambians quickly abandoned bitter politics and are now focused on constructive engagements.
This is the same kind of positive engagements that have seen the country’s economy record a remarkable recovery with the foreign exchange market stabilizing, the inflation rate dropping, bank interest rate cuts and overall liquidity improving.
If Mr Hichilema cares to learn, I will freely volunteer to conduct tutorials which will help him become a more useful opposition leader. On his current path, Mr Hichilema will forever remain a desperate, bitter and frustrated politician who will retire in opposition.
Another important lesson for Mr Hichilema is that leadership come from God and God uses people to bring about transformational change in His people’s lives.
Just look at the way God is using His Excellency Edgar Chagwa Lungu to entrench democracy, promote dialogue and attain social and economic development in Zambia. President Lungu’s preoccupation is to develop Zambia and he is doing so by taking development to every corner of this great country even in areas where he is insulted. President Lungu’s recent launch of unprecedented development projects in Dundumwezi in Southern Province is testimony that this great son of the soil is a true leader, a humane leader who cares about his people.
As a friend and brother, I strongly recommend that Mr Hichilema should take some time off to go on a family vacation to help him reflect on his life and his miserable political journey thus far.