Lunatic Fringe, Illusory Riff-Raffs, Frauds, Chancers and Top Drawers
By Field Ruwe EdD
Few Sub-Sahara African countries receive as many kudos for their beauty as Zambia. Whether drawn by the picturesque landscape, rich soil, precious minerals, abundant wildlife, there’s something to fall in love with. Sadly, the “Gift from God” is an anathema to the lives and society of Zambians. The biggest threat to Zambia’s success is its presidents, most who have been clueless with deadly consequences. Every five years, Zambians eager to improve their lives, flock to polling stations to affirm the incumbent or pick a new one. Each five years they are taken on a roller-coaster that ends up crushing their hearts. Going by the abysmally poor quality of this year’s contenders, history is likely to repeat itself. In this series of articles, I examine each and every candidate from the lunatic fringe to top drawers, and show why mediocrity, rather than quality, is at the center of our failure as a people.
GROUP 1: THE LUNATIC FRINGE
In politics the lunatic fringe is a term used to characterize political leaders who have the most eccentric, extreme, or fanatical bizarre views, and foolish manifestos that a farsighted electoral commission would throw out.
- Chilufya Tayali – Economic and Equity Party (EEP)
Politicians are not required to take a mental fitness-for-leadership test to form a party. I don’t need to be a psychoanalyst to tell you that as leader of the Economic and Equity Party (EEP), Chilufya Tayali urgently needs help. He is a witty and sprightly kamikaze rabble-rouser who is irrational and cracked like a rabid fox and temperamentally a danger to himself and others. As a leader, eyeing the presidency in his own frenzied way, he should undergo a capacity evaluation to access his mental fitness to lead his party, even if it comprises himself as a the sole member. Tayali’s state of mind should not be underestimated. He uses dangerous whistleblowing tactics—the act of exposing information or activity of his fellow politicians—as a prime tactical weapon in pursuing his “political” agenda. Perceived by beneficiaries of his tactics as dauntless, courageous, and daring, Tayali has emerged as the biggest and most vexatious litigant testifying while holding a bazooka to his own head and living on the edge of the edge. It is clear he has no manifesto and no followers. His so-called political life is not only a spasm of chaos, but a chaos syndrome. Those dear to him must persuade him to quit for his sake.
- Savior Chishimba – United Progressive Party (UPP)
Short fused Savior Chishimba, leader of the dead “Bemba” political party UPP, thinks he is the incarnation of Simon Kapwepwe. A ranting, hysterical, mercurial character, with a notorious temper, Chishimba violates the essential rules of thinking rationally, and presents a belligerent persona that at times exhibits disinhibited symptoms and feckless disregard. He thinks his crazed vicious tantrum is a sign of strength. Clad in a UPP toga, and at times in an industrial overalls, addressing three people in Bemba and English, he viciously throws words like punches, spewing profanity all the while: “Kalya ka stupid minister ka Charles Banda ka welewele!” Gladly, no one pays attention to him. Perhaps the word “chiwelelwe” should be applied to him for his “useless” misplaced USA-type grandiose vision: “My vision is to tackle issues of disarmament, environment (global warming), human rights…human trafficking, child labour, human conflicts in various parts of the globe, large-scale displacements of civilian populations, cybercrime, contemporary forms of racism, crimes of honour against women, and the nexus of drug trafficking.” Clearly a load of baloney and a misplacement of vision. The vision of a true Zambian leader should be to educate the masses, fight poverty, hunger and disease, and I might add, to protect the treasures of our country. Like Chilufya Tayali, Chishimba too must be watched.
- Peter Sinkamba – Green Party (GP)
Peter Sinkamba’s Green Party is epitome of docile imbecility, and his presidential ambition is a stunt. Sinkamba’s concentration on the legalization of marijuana shows how he is possessed by illusions and delusions, at times noble to the point of utter selfishness and absurdity, and at other times to the point of amorality. His Green Party is not a political agenda, but a cannabis business plan for himself to grow marijuana and benefit financially from it, while the populous is left psychotic. While it is true marijuana has the potential to rake in millions of dollars in taxes, it still leads to criminality in all the jurisdictions where it is legalized as recreational or medicinal. In Zambia, once legalized, many “patients” will not afford to buy through legal channels. Also, the export benefit is a myth. Cannabis is the world’s most popular illicit substance that thrives in different climates around the world. In the U.S. there are enough cannabis farms to go round. Sikamba’s Green Party must be deregistered because it poses a danger to the health of our nation and is a sheer waste of time.
Please Note: Also included in this category are President of Democratic Assembly Maxwell Mwamba. To call him eccentric or weird is to put it mildly.Another is President of the United Poor People’s Party Alex Muliokela. Did I just add his name to the list?
GROUP 2: ILLUSORY RIFF-RAFFS
In politics illusory riff-raffs refer to hopeless presidential candidates that run with the full knowledge of their inability to win elections, and instead use their candidacy to advance non-mainstream political platforms, or take advantage of benefits afforded political candidates such as name recognition.
- Edith Nawakwi – Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD)
Leading the group of shameless illusory riff-raffs is Edith Nawakwi. If arrogance has a face, it is the face of Nawakwi. A talentless crank and misogynist, Nawakwi who has been at the helm of FDD since the demise of Lieutenant General Christon Tembo has over the years reduced herself to a riff-raff. In the 2011 general elections Nawakwi received 0.2% of the vote, and 0.9% in 2015. Her political fallout has been so dramatic that it has helped to destroy her party. FDD members, some who are highly perspicacious like Zambia’s “Johnnie Cochran” Chifumu Banda have chosen to overlook the blindingly obvious fact that the ossified, vain, conceited and selfish Edith Nawakwi is taking them nowhere. Nawakwi’s profane demagoguery resurfaced late last year when, without providing tangible evidence, called her opposition counterpart Hakainde Hichilima (UPND) a criminal for personally benefiting from the Chiluba’s privatization program. Nawakwi, who as Minister of Finance was the custodian of all government revenue had the power to have Hichilima arrested and sent to jail, but waited for 22 years to use the allegation as a desperate attempt to seek public attention. Nawakwi who at the height of her political career, dug a ridge between herself and Zambian women has failed to build a bridge and crossover to them and present herself as their hope in the male-dominated social and political strata. But then, how can she? She hasn’t the strength of character or humility to request help from Zambian women who represent 60 percent of the electorate. Her typical modus operandi suggests she would rather languish in the political abyss. How about replacing her with the likes of Chifumu Banda?
- Wynter Kabimba – Rainbow Party (RP)
Wynter Kabimba, the once darling of the Patriotic Front party is a tragic hero whose political providence plummeted as soon as President Michael Sata was put to rest, and it has since been all downhill. Hubris—the extreme pride and arrogance trait has completely consumed Kabimba and relegated him to riff-raff status where he rightly belongs. It was Sata who created the Frankenstein monstrosity persona of Kabimba to the extent his colossal egotism presupposed his political arrogance. The two met in the 1980s when Sata was Governor of Lusaka and Kabimba worked as Town Clerk. As PF Secretary General, Kabimba’s leadership trait was characterized by snobbatives, egotism, disagreeableness, and an inflated pride. He was not known to apologize on behalf of his party or on his own behalf. People around Kabimba were aware hubris blinded him to team work, and as soon as Sata was interred, they abandoned him and relegated him to a perennial riff-raff with no hope at the end of the rainbow.
- Apostle Reverend Dan Pule – Christian Democratic Party (CDP)
One of the poster children for the creation of Zambia as a “Christian nation,” former Deputy Minister of Finance in the Chiluba government, the “apostle” Reverend Dan Pule, is president of a frivolous party called Christian Democratic Party. Dr. Pule is the worst notable opposition leader in the country who confuses Caesar for God. He mesmerizes the pulpit and pimps the PF party. He can best be described as a shameless perennial presidential candidate who, like a lazy stork bird, sits on the hippo’s back to remove ticks, fleas, and maggots from its hide, and when danger looms, alerts the hippo. He recently declared: “I’m ready to offer my services in the Patriotic Front administration as Minister of National Guidance and Religious Affairs.” For once Edith Nawakwi was right to call Reverend Dan Pule “a man without morals.”
- Tilyenji Kaunda –United National Independence Party (UNIP)
In 1990, Zambians lowered into the grave the black coffin symbolizing UNIP. Tilyenji, son of President Kenneth Kaunda thought he could dig it out, polish it up and turn it into his throne just like Uhuru Kenyatta did in Kenya. But Tilyenji is no Uhuru but a permanent deadwood drifting at sea—incapable of any resolute action. Unlike Uhuru, Tilyenji thinks like Niccolo Machiavelli: “A Prince ought to be better loved, and will naturally be popular with his subjects unless outrageous vices make him odious…For one change always leaves a dovetail into which another will fit.” For three decades Tilyenji, who in his life-time has had less need to toil, has sat on his laurels, and for the three decades he has been on the ballot, voters have preferred a hyena to him. For Tilyenji, his short political career has long dissipated. No one knows who he is, and those who do, pretend they never met him.
Please note: President of the Patriots for Economic Progress (PEP) Sean Tembo is NOT a politician but an activist. For Sean, activism sits at the base of almost every utterance he makes, and every article he writes. As sharp as he is, he has failed to turn his activism into political power because he cannot distinguish between a policy changer (activist), and an agenda peddler (politician). That’s what makes him a riff-raff. Also under this category are newcomers, President of the New Heritage Party Chishala Kateka, and President of the National Alliance Party Steven Nyirenda, both who can be described as “dead on arrival.” Chishala and Steven are flogging a dead horse. I thought Chishala was a fair replacement of Nawakwi. The minute she uttered the name “Heritage Party” her acumen went down the drain.
Who are next? To be continued