When one read that, “[President] Guy Scott…refused to authorize government financing of the Patriotic Front campaigns, prompting 14 (out of 19) cabinet ministers to petition for his removal as acting Republican President,” it made an interesting read, especially for Africa. African politics, for the most, have epitomized the concept of “Tyranny of the Majority” for decades now. Democracy is usually only paid lip-service to, and the elites rule by connections, kick-backs and corruption.
The president is usually the cheerleader, who calls the shots, and using government resources and power, dictates through his sycophants when and how he exits out of power.
In Zambia, events of the last few weeks are showing that, after all, the beautiful ones may just be too far from being born. Political thinkers term this uncouth for habit as Neo-Patrimonialism – or the rule by the greedy and power hungry.
Here is how it works, and has worked almost unrestrained in Africa: It takes just one man, so-called president, to rise to power. Under him or her are loyalists, some may call them stalwarts, cadres or any similarly-situated labels. The president anoints a few among the most cantankerous cadres and whom he or she christens as cabinet ministers (usually, and mostly men, but people who have ascended the pedestal neither due to their acumen nor merit, but through sheer rabblerousing scuffles).
The president then drains the national coffers through his impetuous ministers (or patrons) and who meticulously reward them to themselves and to the system bottommost social hierarchy – the clients. The clients then do damage to the opposition – insulting some, beating up others, causing violence and even murdering the unfortunate.
Those who show allegiance are often compensated with bags of mealie meal, chitenge materials or fertilizer, whatever the case may be.
Now you understand what it means when President Scot says, “No more use of government resources.” Hate him or love him, this is unheard of among African presidents. Is it the Rubicon crossed already? But just before we begin to resuscitate the diabolical assertions that only White men can save Africa, wait a minute, just wait! Surely Guy Scot is a White African president. It was not his race or colour that forced him to take this leap, albeit useful to Zambia. It is the squabbles in the Patriotic Front (Pf), and the threat of forcing him to resign the presidency. Not only that Miles Sampa (Scott’s preferred candidate) will not be the Pf’s presidential candidate in the January 2015 presidential by-election. Edgar Lungu’s nomination, and perhaps even winning the election, may prompt a political tsunami the nation has never known before. President Scott knows that too well. The Lungu camp also knows that if Sampa becames the Pf strongman, the wrath of Judas will fall on their necks. The stakes were high either way.
The Zambian people have waited, and prayed, for the beautiful ones to be born. And God is saying that the beautiful ones need not be born; the ugly ones just need to die. It should come to the same thing. The only difference is that when the ugly ones are dying, the opposition is also getting topsy-turvy.
The Pf party, in its current form and shape, cannot develop Zambia, even if it was given another 10-year mandate. Its brand is tainted with corruption, abuse of national resources, and lack of a coherent national vision.
To bring back Zambia to sanity, the Pf should be defeated in an election. A clean, sane and new government, untainted with sycophantic scoundrels should then take charge and require a thorough probing of the way the Pf have managed national resources, especially during the time President Sata was incapacitated. If the opposition front in Zambia were a force to reckon with, one of these two, either Hakiande Hichilema or Nevers Mumba would be president in Zambia come January 2015. If the opposition fail to take this chance, the Pf will destroy the country, not because it will win the elections, but because if it does, vengeance, and not goodwill, will rule Zambia for the next few months. And the result will be, of course, the same old, dirty, unsanitary, poverty-stricken and hopeless nation!
By Charles Mwewa