By Chimwemwe Mwanza
What was meant to be a dispute between two consenting adults is now spiraling out of control. While the accuser is standing by her version of the story, the accused has been steadfast in his denials. As far as he is concerned, he has never met the accuser.
Spare a thought for Bowman Lusambo, he now has to live under an embarrassing cloud of a sexual innuendo – largely due to his accuser and social media zealots. Notwithstanding the allegations of negligence of the children he is purported to have sired with the accuser, the biggest threat facing the politician affectionately known as the bulldozer is a possible charge for rape – should it be proven that he is indeed the father to Mercy Cowham’s first born child.
She alleges that the bulldozer first deflowered her when she was a minor. Most important to this saga is Cowham’s flawless narration of her sordid encounters with the bulldozer. In fact, her story seems credible enough to validate her mental stability. To the contrary, Bowman has been on the backfoot, ducking and diving while pontificating his innocence. Just who is telling the truth between the two is difficult to tell. For now, hold your judgement.
However, a thorough investigation of Cowham’s motive for impugning Lusambo’s character casts some doubt on her tale. Could this be one of those failed attempts at extortion? Regardless of the speculation, why should this story even bother say a, high flying Mr Simoson Ndiwabufi, or a low-class Ms Mary Ndiwapamulomo for that matter? Put differently, is there a sinless mortal still living on this earth?
Never mind that Bowman is a public figure, is it fair that his private life is being splashed all over social media platforms in such a reckless manner? Here is a challenge. There is a high probability that Cowham allegations could well turn out to be a big lie that has only served to besmirch Bowman’s fledging political career.
Violating Bowman’s right to dignity
So, let’s assume for a second that Bowman returns a negative DNA test and Cowham’s story is proved false, what then will be his recourse? Absolutely none for the horse would have already bolted from the stable. Yet his children will continue to live with the stigma of a wayward father. For others and possibly Bowman himself dignity is all they cherish which is why monetary compensation as a recourse to libel sometimes counts for nothing. With due respect, is Cowham even capable of sustaining a financially draining marathon court case?
Hate him or love him, Bowman inflicted quiet some terror on his political opponents when he served in the PF government, but fact is that the republican constitution guarantees his right to privacy and dignity. Thus, it’s important to distinguish between Bowman the politician and Bowman the private citizen. His misdeeds while in government – whether perceived or factual are a different matter altogether which is why due consideration for his family especially his children ought to supersede anything else including his political inclinations.
Family is sacrosanct. This is a simple but golden rule that any self-respecting Journalist or information peddler is required to uphold. Hence watching one social media blogger interviewing Cowham in a series of video postings and making a big meal out of this saga was a cringeworthy experience.
What did this person stand to gain out of parading this vulnerable woman before cameras? This is not some poker game but two vulnerable lives that somebody is playing with – a pregnant mother and its unborn child. It’s troubling that people are this desperate to hog the social media limelight to the extent that they are readily prepared to break families. Whatever the argument, bombarding a pregnant woman who is almost close to labour with mentally draining questions might help a social media blogger to increase traffic to their blog, but this is not investigative Journalism. It’s plain evil.
Pitfalls of cyber bullying
Today it is Bowman from PF and tomorrow it will be Isaac, a UPND member – something’s got to be done so perpetrators can learn a hard lesson. Cyber bullying should not be reduced to a PF, UPND or Socialist Party or FDD subject matter. Its victims often spread across the political divide. So serious is its impact on society that some victims have committed suicide. Yet these narcissistic perpetrators are left free to prowl internet platforms in search of victims.
Even more damning is the silence from the civil society and female lobbyists regarding the injustice being meted to Bowman. Surely, isn’t there a brave woman out there or Alangizi that can call Cowham to order? Could it be that the reluctance to intervene is because this matter involves a high-profile politician with links to the former governing party?
Sadly, for Cowham, a bottle of mineral water is the only incentive she got to rain all manner of vulgarities at the man she claims to be the father of her children. I bet you, this story still has some legs.
About the author: The only thing this author supports is Kabwe Warriors and that team which beat Man United over the weekend. For feedback, contact: [email protected]