Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Unholy alliance

Unholy alliance
By The Post
Mon 18 Feb. 2013, 15:30 CAT

It is clear that Rupiah Banda and his minion Hakainde Hichilema have not accepted their defeat by Michael Sata in the 2011 elections. It is true that they never thought that Michael and the Patriotic Front would defeat their alliance - the alliance between Rupiah and Hakainde, MMD and UPND. Hakainde strongly believed that without his support, Michael and the Patriotic Front could not win the election on their own.

He was also convinced that on his own, he could equally not win the elections. And when he withdrew his party's participation in the pact he had initiated with the Patriotic Front, he joined hands with Rupiah and MMD.

Therefore, the alliance we see today between Hakainde and Rupiah and his other minions, is not new. It was something created before the 2011 elections to try and block Michael and the Patriotic Front's electoral victory. But as we all know, Hakainde and his friend Rupiah lost. And today, they have difficulties accepting what they thought would never happen - Michael and the Patriotic Front's electoral victory. They are choking with envy, anger and frustration. And this is why they declared to make the country ungovernable and ensure that Michael and the Patriotic Front are removed from power before the 2016 elections.

The election victory that they failed to secure through the ballot box, they now want to obtain by other means - by making the country ungovernable through all sorts of destabilisation schemes.

They tried all sorts of things aimed at making the country ungovernable but they have failed the same way they failed to win the elections. They do not have the support, trust and respect of the Zambian people.

We all know why one can seek a situation where the country is ungovernable. It is simply to remove Michael and the Patriotic Front from power so that they themselves can govern. Is this possible? The answer is a categorical no. Their schemes to make the country ungovernable have totally failed. And this is why today they are out to seek Commonwealth sanctions against Zambia.

But desperate people do desperate things. If they were not desperate, they would have known that this won't work. Firstly, there will not be Commonwealth sanctions against Zambia because there is nothing that the Zambian government has done to justify such a reaction.

Secondly, Commonwealth sanctions, even if a miracle was to happen and they were imposed on Zambia, would not change the Zambian government and give Hakainde and his friends power. They should learn from the Zimbabwean experience; Commonwealth sanctions failed to secure a regime change in that country. If Hakainde thinks he will be president of Zambia through Commonwealth sanctions, he is in another self-deception scheme. It won't work. What he failed to achieve at the polls will not be given to him by the Commonwealth.

And moreover, we all know that such sanctions have always failed to secure a regime change and have only succeeded in hurting the people, in ruining the lives of ordinary citizens. But Hakainde and his friends don't care about that. All they care about is being in power. What happens to the people matters little to them. This is why Hakainde is today defending the corruption of his godfather - Rupiah.

We all know that Rupiah's corruption has harmed the nation. And Hakainde used to eloquently talk about Rupiah's corruption and its effects on the country and its people. But today that same Hakainde has chosen to defend the interests of Rupiah instead of the interests of the people. What matters to Hakainde and his friends is their own interests, politically, financially and otherwise, and not the interests of the people.

But with the Commonwealth, as Rikki Ililonga would sing, they are "working on the wrong thing". It won't work. They won't get the sanctions they are looking for. And in the end, they will just look stupid. Even if, miraculously, they were to succeed in their scheme and have sanctions imposed by the Commonwealth against Zambia, what would be the effect of that? This country is not governed by the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth is not a voter here. This country is governed by the Zambian people and the choice of government is solely theirs. If Hakainde thinks the Commonwealth will make him president here, he is day-dreaming. It's only the Zambian people who choose governments in Zambia.

This whole episode has exposed who Hakainde, Rupiah, Nevers Mumba and Sakwiba Sikota are. They are certainly not patriots. Patriots don't do such things. Patriots put their country and their people first. Hakainde, Rupiah and their league put themselves first and the people last. But Zambians will know how to deal with them. Zambians know how to treat those who betray them, those who abuse them. And when the time comes, they will respond accordingly.

It is understandable why Zambians trust Michael more than they trust them. Michael, whatever his limitations, is a patriot. And there are many examples of Michael refusing to set his country ablaze, to harm his people to become president. He has refused to be President on the back of national failure. But Hakainde and his friends want Zambia to fail for them to become presidents. It won't happen this way. It can only happen the other way. And we are lucky that Rupiah was removed from power by the Zambian people just after three years in office. We are also lucky that the Zambian people have seen through Hakainde's treachery and have consistently refused to give him power. The Zambian people will not give power to such people.

Sometimes those who need power desperately and the most are inclined the least.

We understand their disappointment following Michael and the Patriotic Front's victory. But leaders must learn to discipline their disappointments. Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals. Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day, while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day. It is the cumulative weight of our disciplines and our judgments that leads us to either success or failure.
An ancient script asks, "Would you let a man rule the city who cannot even rule his own spirit?"

Hakainde and his friends have consistently made incorrect assumptions. And this one is not different. Incorrect assumptions lie at the root of every failure. Reason and judgment are the qualities of a leader. Hakainde's judgment is very faulty. If Hakainde thinks Rupiah, a man who has miserably failed to defend his hold on power after only three years in office, will help him become president of Zambia, he is cheating himself. Anyway, there is nothing much in Hakainde. He is simply an inexperienced fellow who has cheated his way into high-level politics. And as such, he has serious difficulties making correct political judgments.

Effective political leadership is putting first things first. And the first thing in politics is the people and their interests. The interests Hakainde is pursuing with Rupiah are their own and not of the people. But now the Zambian people know fully well who Hakainde is and what his true colours are. It is said that "birds come to roost with those of their own kind" (Sirach 27:9). And soon Hakainde will realise that whatever leads the mouse to jump into the fire must be hotter than the fire itself. He will also learn what they say in Amharic that "he who only seeks his own advantage will lose in the end".

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