By Wilfred Sameta
“Bo Lukanda ni siziba” (the belt and the kilt) is a succinct but profound Silozi saying.
The Siziba is that piece of traditional attire in the form of a kilt that is proudly adorned by the males of Barotseland at various ceremonies such as Kuomboka.
“Bo Lukanda ni siziba” is thus a proverb that uses a very appropriate analogy in that a person who wears a kilt must inevitably use a belt as well.
The belt and the kilt are very closely connected and the saying is often used when referring to friendships or relationships that are close or inseparable.
The siziba is more prominent and it covers nakedness and the Lukanda while less prominent, secures the Siziba.
Therein lies the problem for Bo HH and Bo Kambwili; they both want to be prominently seen and heard; and neither wants to play the less prominent background supporting role.
The aftermath of Roan has exposed this dilemna. There have been subtle undercurrents of a battle between as UPND and NDC developing.
Bo HH and his people want to take the credit for the win and render themselves indispensible to Kambwili; while Kambwili wants to assert himself as a self-made man over HH.
While all this is going on a sub plot to this soap opera has GBM also complaining about being marginalised and alienated. The UPND Vice Chairperson has made it clear that he was invited to join UPND as HH’s vice President and that he cannot be subjected anything less.
However with NDC scooping Roan, Bo HH has shifted his “friendly attention” from Mwamba to Kambwili. The situation is headed for an explosion of humongous proportions. Roan is thus likely to be a short term gain for Kambwili and Hichilema; but a long term loss for the UPND alliance as their egos and temperaments will eventually come to a head. Roan could yet prove to be hollow victory.
In the aftermath of the Roan by-election UPND has been quick to claim the credit. The UPND Copperbelt Youth Chairman has played the role of a lead singer in his gloating; while the NDC have been drowned and relegated to playing back-up vocals for their own victory.
Is the new found friendship between the NDC Consultant and the UPND leader strong and resilient enough to hold as _“Bo Lukanda ni siziba”?_
Or are the belt and the kilt going to disengage and expose the dishonourable moral nakedness of the two?
Coming to think of it; between HH and Kambwili, who is the “Lukanda” and who is the “siziba? It is hard to decipher. The truth is that each one of them thinks of themselves more highly than the other!
There is only room for 2 on the ballot paper, so where would the equally larger than life ego of Mr Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba the UPND Vice President fit in the equation?
What about the “royalties” of the shrewd calculating “Owner of the NDC Franchise”- the unpredictable Mwenye Musenge?
If the belt were to come loose and Hakainde and Kambwili were naked in front of each other (a’la Adam and Eve) would they be comfortable and not afraid of each other? I doubt it!
Bo HH doesn’t trust Kambwili and Kambwili’s sentiment in this regard towards HH is mutual.
During his tenure as Roan MP, Kambwili raised a lot of questions in Parliament and outside the house that exposed Bo HH as being sognificantly responsible and culpable for the misery that the miners and people of Luanshya suffered after the Privitisation process in which Hichilema played the part of valuator/Negotiator.
Then there’s the question of Kambwili insulting the whole tribe of my traditional cousins. His shockingly disrespectful comments that even if the Messiah were to stand in an election against Bo HH, the whole of Southern Province would still blindly vote for Hakainde. Apweee! What an insult!
Bo HH may pretend for the sake of being seen to warm up to the NDC Consultant, but I’m certain most of my cousins across Southern Province still think Kambwili is that chifuba-fuba (foolish person). This may yet prove costly to UPND and Bo HH in his stronghold.
THE INCOMPATIBLE CHOLERIC TWOSOME- HH & KAMBWILI
The idea of temperaments is that we are born with some aspects of our personality.
It is generally understood that there are understood to be four main temperaments; namely Phlegmatic, Choleric, Melancholic and Sanguine. For now we will not discuss the details of all the four temperament but we will only touch on one that seem to straddle across the personalities of HH and Kambwili.
According to experts, Incompatibility of temperament means _”not able to live in harmonious or agreeable combination”_.
When there is conflict in the pattern of behaviour and reaction it is said to be “incompatibility of temperament”. This is due to the different manner of thinking and behaving of a human being.
Interestingly, this is a ground for divorce in most states in America, when a married couple no longer have desire to live together due to incompatibility of temperament. On the local scene, it could well be grounds for Kambwili and Hichilema to “divorce”. So much for the belt and the kilt!
Their mutual revulsion aside, the truth is that Hichilema and Kambwili have similar temperaments; and therein lies the problem; they are both choleric, hence incompatible.
The choleric temperament is identified as the most powerful (yet destructive) of the temperaments.
Expert psychologists assert that It is not unreasonable to state that the world’s greatest feared dictators and diabolical criminals were perhaps of the Choleric temperament.
As Kambwili and Hichilema’s temperaments would illustrate, the Choleric is extremely self-centered and the needs of others do not matter, they are perfectionistic and even their own flaws are flawless. (Have you ever heard HH apologise?)
When they are wrong they will not accept it, theirs is the only way that is correct and matters.(Doesn’t this remind you of Kambwili?).
Cholerics like HH and CK don’t like being subject to authority, even though they want to be authoritarian.
They want to be on top of the food chain and be on top. As mentioned before, they will use any trick in the book. (Like forming “alliances” around themselves and taking credit for the Roan Parliamentary By-Election.)
Cholerics want to have total control over themselves and anyone around them and are of the opinion and belief that they know what is best for those around them.
Two extreme cholerics like Kambwili and HH can never be “Bo Lukanda ni siziba”. They will instead strip each other’s nakedness to the public.
The stealing of NDC’s election thunder in Roan by the UPND Copperbelt Youth Chairman and GBM’s growing agitation with his increasing alienation is just the beginning of the loosening of the UPNDC belt; the siziba will not hold.
WINNING A CONSTITUENCY BY-ELECTION; YET LOSING SWATHES OF PROVINCIAL TERRITORIES
While the UPNDC has been celebrating winning a constituency, the UPND has been suffering an increasing haemorrhage of through an increasing loss of ground in its strongholds.
The recent wins by PF Mitete ward and Chavuma wards in Western and North-western Province respectively as well as the ruling party’s triumphs in Kafue, Chilanga and Mangango demonstrate major incursions by the ruling party into former UPND strongholds.
While Bo HH is jumping for joy celebrating the Roan Result; his once-upon-a-time backyards of North-western and Western Province are steadily being swallowed by PF. Even his “bedroom” Southern Province (including Monze ) does not guarantee him an automatic vote like before.
Voters in former UPND strongholds have become frustrated and exasperated with his prideful arrogance and his opposing anything and everything for the sake of opposing, as development eludes Southerners, just because Bo HH does not allow his Members of Parliament and councillors to engage government officials. Nothing stays ignored forever; consequences eventually come forth (Like Kafue).
At the end of the day Bo HH should open his eyes – he is losing more than he is winning.
On the other hand even though PF significantly lost in Roan, they have comparatively by and large in terms of numbers taken more away from UPND.
After the Roan results were announced, the immediate reaction of the ruling party was to be magnanimous to congratulate NDC and indicate that they were getting back to the people to listen to them and receive feedback.
This is a worrying situation for UPNDC because PF loss in Roan gives them the opportunity to review the feedback well ahead of 2021, giving them an opportunity to do something about it. Afterall like the Easterners say “Munda wakudala si ivuta kulima” (An old familiar patch of land is not difficult to cultivate).
As for Bo HH and Kambwili, they are far from being “Bo Lukanda ni siziba”
The belt has been worn threadbare by their mutual distrust and self aggrandisement; the kilt is falling; they will be caught pants down…
The Writer is a retired Journalist based in Kabwe, Central Province of Zambia.