Saturday, March 02, 2013

No brains

No brains
Fri 01 Mar. 2013, 09:30 CAT

Hakainde Hichilema says Michael Sata has no brains. But did a man without brains defeat him in three consecutive elections? A man without brains started a political party from the scratch, from nothing and without money and ten years later, that political party was in power. Is it really possible for a man without brains to achieve that feat?

Hakainde has never defeated the man he says has no brains in any political contest. So the question is: who is really without brains between Hakainde and Michael? How can someone without brains start a political party, mobilise the whole country and win an election in less than a decade?

Certainly, one has to be a political genius to achieve that. And Michael, whether one likes him or not, is a political genius. Those who think, those who thought Michael had no brains are today swallowed by envy, frustration and anger at his political achievements.

It is not good for one to be full of oneself, belittle and underrate others. There is a price to be paid for belittling and underrating others. And Hakainde is paying the price for that. But he doesn't seem to learn. If there is anyone without brains between Michael and Hakainde, it will certainly be Hakainde without brains. We say this because Hakainde has nothing to show politically. What has Hakainde achieved since he took over the leadership of a party that was well run, better organised in 2006? All the achievements of UPND Hakainde has brought them down. Hakainde has never taken UPND to the higher heights achieved by its founding leaders. Anderson Mazoka and his colleagues took UPND to higher heights and Hakainde and his minions have brought it down.

All that Hakainde seems to have achieved is increased intolerance and violence in the ranks of UPND. UPND was not such a violent political party as we see it today. Whatever problems or deficiencies UPND might have had under the leadership of Mazoka, no honest person can accuse its leadership of violence. What we see today is a violent, arrogant, pompous, intolerant, tribalistic and regionalistic clique at the helm of UPND. What we see today is a bitter, frustrated, angry and desperate Hakainde jumping around like a headless chicken trying to do all sorts of desperate things. Soon the country will fully know who Hakainde is and what propels him. What seem to propel Hakainde today is a desire to be president, an unbridled tribal and regionalism and frustration with Michael's election victory. Hakainde doesn't even seem to have the patience to wait until 2016 to have another attempt at the presidency. He thinks by joining hands with failed and crooked politicians like Rupiah Banda, William Banda and their league he can manage to cut short Michael's term of office.

In their little minds, and in their ignorance, they deceived themselves that Michael would never win an election on his own and that they were more popular than him. Today Michael, the man Hakainde is saying has no brains, is the President of the Republic of Zambia. Michael won through a clean election campaign. He never boasted about being this or that, having this or that. They boasted about being this and that, having this and that but they lost. The people of Zambia saw through them and did not believe them, could not trust them.

Hakainde is saying Michael has no brains! Is this surely the best language to use against a political competitor who has defeated you in three elections and is now head of state and President of the Republic? If Hakainde can talk about Michael, the President of our country in such terms, what does he himself expect from the Zambian people? What respect does he deserve from others? At that level of political leadership there has to be a certain level of decency and civility. Hakainde has neither decency nor civility in his reference to others. We have not forgotten that Hakainde a few months ago described the editor of this newspaper as "a little creature". What type of a presidential aspirant is this? It is understandable why the Zambian people did not vote for him. And if Hakainde continues on this path, he will never make it to State House.

Hakainde's language is increasingly becoming insurrectional, combative. For what? We will never go back to the bush again and we will never allow bush politics to come back to us. The increasing defiance of UPND member of parliament should teach Hakainde and his colleagues something. It is certainly a sign that something is seriously wrong in UPND and in his leadership. There is a limit to how far intimidation can go in achieving a certain level of compliance. An increasing number of UPND members of parliament can't take his style of leadership and politics. The politics of confrontation, violent militancy, of continually taunting the police to arrest him will not take Hakainde and UPND anywhere. And an increasing number of UPND members are starting to be uncomfortable with his type of militancy, tribal and regional politics.

And in a word, this is what Greyford Monde and Richwell Siamunene are expressing in their reasons for joining hands with those in government to push the country forward. They are refusing to put partisan, tribal, regional considerations above national unity and the interests of all the Zambian people. There is a realisation that this country will not be good for any of us if it is not good for all of us.

Politicians and other citizens of goodwill and with a conscience are starting to be uncomfortable with Hakainde's type of politics.

Of course, Hakainde thinks he is a genius, he knows it all, but in truth, the man knows very little about politics and that's why his political performance is near disaster.

And in spite of all his verbal pugnacity, his boastful phrases and display of self-confidence, Hakainde is politically not that wise. We say this because a wise politician would not be taking the decisions and actions Hakainde is taking, would not be making the alliances Hakainde is making.

If Hakainde was a prudent politician, he wouldn't be making some of the careless and reckless statements he has been making - statements that are not only politically unacceptable but are also in violation of the law. It seems Hakainde thinks he is above the law. Anyway, that is not strange because Hakainde lives in a dream world, in a world which he thinks he dominates, in which he sees himself as the most superior, the most prosperous and the most intelligent.

But we all know that this country knows no single genius, there can only be a collective genius. More and more of his colleagues will continue to defy him. They can expel them. But how many people are they going to expel? They will expel this one and that one, but there will be more coming up to do the same thing for the same reasons. They will expel people from their party until they have no people, until they are left only with their own heads.

Clearly, the solution to Hakainde and UPND's problems lie in accepting reality and in humbling themselves. Thinking they are clever than everybody else and that only they themselves have brains will take them nowhere. This is not only an insult on others, but it is also a fallacy on their part because it is not true that their political opponents have no brains.
It is time Hakainde starts to learn how to respect others if he has to win the respect of others and indeed of the Zambian people. Without this, Hakainde and UPND are going nowhere.

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