”Politics by their nature can get intense, but politics should by no means become a grudge driven no-holds-barred personal battle where one individual develops personal vendettas against another. Mr. Hichilema permanently appears to be in a rage where he permanently blames others even for his self-inflicted woes…In fact, all of his many political scars and bruising have been as a result of battles with himself that he lost”.
By Sunday Chilufya Chanda
During a recent Independence Celebration for one of our friendly nations, I looked forward to an evening of friendship with the hosts as well as other foreign and local dignitaries.
Among the local guests was Mr Hakainde Hichilema, the leader of the main opposition UPND. Upon noticing his presence as he was being interviewed by the media, Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya who was guest of honour and I went and greeted him after doing so with several other guests. I anticipated a cordial, brotherly conversation in spite of our political divergences.
However, the UPND leader suddenly turned the celebratory air into an acrimonious atmosphere when he alleged that I “insult” him, how he’s “noted” what I write (I guess my file is growing bigger and bigger by the day) and that he is not going to “leave Zambia “ for me.
This not the first time that the UPND leader has uttered personal threats against this author.
Only a few months ago when he featured on a live radio phone in programme, Mr Hichilema was passionately menacing when threatened to make this writers’ life miserable because he would be made “to flee Zambia” in the unlikely event that the UPND leader became president.
During my recent encounter with Hakainde, I could not help but notice how deeply rooted his bitterness has developed and how and personal and petty he has sadly become. The venomous intensity of what spewed forth from his mouth portrayed the picture of blind rage.
Politics by their nature can get intense, but politics should by no means become a grudge driven no-holds-barred personal battle where an individual pursues personal vendettas against another.
My elder brother Hakainde is troubled. He appears to be permanently in rage and permanently blaming others even for his self-inflicted woes. He is the perfect example of how troubles hurt the most when they are self-inflicted.
His anger typically involves the externalising of blame. He considers the source of his anger to be outside of himself, when it is really inside of himself.
In fact, all of his many political scars and bruising have been as a result of a battle with himself that he lost.
The problem with my elder brother is that he is quick to blame others for his lack of political progress, but slow to blame his own dubious strategies of promoting fake news, regionalism and a people-detached UPND “Life Presidency”. The tragedy is that he keeps repeating them over and over again, trying to make them work.
Those 4 minutes were unmemorable.
I wish to repeat what I said to Mr. Hichilema in my previous articles: “When you accost us with insults we will not hear you; but when you present constructive criticism without malice, we will not only hear you, but we will listen to you.
If Hichilema stop telling lies about the Patriotic Front Government of His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu; then we will stop telling the truth about him.” I really look forward to engaging Mr Hichilema for 40 minutes as cordially as brothers would, especially at events commemorating our own national days.
Let us have politics of decency rather than hostile confrontations
The Author is Patriotic Front Media Director At the Patriotic Front Secretariat Lusaka