By Kapya Kaoma
Dr.Sishuwa Sishuwa’s eureka moment about President HH’s poor governance is laughable except for the role he played in creating the monster Hichilema has become. Upon being sworn in, HH pledged to promote democracy, human rights, erase cadres from Zambian politics and fight corruption. HH smiled when US President Joe Biden insulted Zambia to the world. But when HH became authoritarian, autocratic, a god of lies and a leader of a terrorist network of UPND thugs, blind loyalty made it impossible for Sishuwa to speak truth to power! In his post-Lungu Presidency writings, Sishuwa was mute to Hichilema’s nepotism, and cronyism. As Ballyterrorists attacked innocent citizens and beat civil servants, like the President, he remained mute! Is it Ms. Chanda’s leaked audio about HH’s corruption or her arrest, which has made Sishuwa see the light?
We shouldn’t mix these two issues–the arrest of the journalist, and the contents of the audio. As embarrassing, insulting and inhumane Ms.Chanda’s arrest is, and even if charges are dropped due to growing pressure, the President’s alleged role in the conspiracy to undermine democracy is at the heart of Zambia’s future. Sean Tembo and Civil Society leaders who think an apology from HH will resolve this saga are misled. HH is corrupting democracy. In fact, his behavior is akin to Putin and Trump–the goal is to murder the very system that brought him into power.
Each time we speak about Ms.Chanda, it is a good day for HH. It distracts the attention from HH’s corruption to the journalist, the case over which the President has total control. Should Ms.Chanda be sentenced to prison, HH would pardon her. On the other hand, HH can easily ask his AG to have her charges dropped as soon as today. Either way, HH gains the political capital of protecting Press freedom. So the longer the case goes on the better–it kills the contents of the audio in the memory of Zambians.
The President knows Ms. Chanda committed no crime. After all, she is not the first journalist to publish a leaked audio in Zambia or even under the HH Presidency. Neither is she under Mr. Kajoba’s tenure as Inspector General of Police. In September 2021, a sensitive leaked audio surfaced of the phone discussion between Mr. Kambwili and then Bank of Zambia Governor Mvunga concerning the $30 million Bond. Again, in October 2021, another highly sensitive leaked audio from the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) surfaced. This time, it was about then Acting Director General Rosemary Khuzwayo pushing her investigators to arrest Dr. Chitalu Chilufya on the alleged corruption crimes.
Why didn’t the Inspector General of Police employ the Cyber Act in both cases if he believes it is a crime? Mr. Kajoba is only protecting his Capos from global embarrassment–the Corruption fighter is the real Capos of Zambia’s corruption. Across the globe, authentication is not done by arresting the journalist, but by following the evidence contained in the audio. In addition to voice recognition software, the Police should be interviewing the Registrar of Societies, Mr. Nshindano, Mr. Ngoma and Akafumba, as well as checking their phone records including the existence of the said letter. These facts would authenticate the validity of the audio and its content. It is on the President and his co-conspirators to disapprove the audio’s contents by allowing a transparent investigation. This won’t happen–for HH knows that Ms.Chanda’s audio is the truth! But he is upset that she allowed the world to hear it.
The President thought his honeymoon with the independent media was everlasting. So as cases of HH’s corruption continue to surface, attacks on the media will increase. It is not by coincidence that on January 17, 2022, HH claimed that “the clique [of thieves] is using the media to divert the attention from the recovery of what they stole from the Zambian people.” Are some of his endless and senseless foreign trips meant to bury the evidence knowing too well that Journalists will soon open the cans of worms?
Ms. Chanda’s arrest is one attempt to deflect serious national discourse on President Hichilema’s corruption of apolitical public officials. How do we trust the Police, the Courts, the ECZ, the ACC, ZRA and government institutions under the New Dark Regime ? Trust in civic officials cannot be repaired by an apology–something that may vindicate Nakacinda’s claims about the ConCourt Judges being bribed by the President. In short, rather than focusing on a professional journalist, the audio has more value to the future of the HH Presidency. HH knows it, hence the attempts to distract us with the arrest. As for his attack dogs, they want the source of audio for retribution, which is an act of abuse of power. President HH can only inhumanely dismiss this scandal as “hearsay,” if the suffering of Ms. Chanda brings him joy. Yet she did a great job of alerting the nation to the President’s corruption behind closed doors. This is what great investigative journalists do across the globe.
President Hichilema is the most Powerful person in Zambia, but his humanity is becoming smaller and smaller due to his own deception. Crowds of political cadres will always be there as long as you hold the national purse. One day, he will realize that like his once faithful prophet Sishuwa, Zambians have lost confidence in him. I hope it won’t be like watching another Donald Trump ex–except that Joe Biden and the American Embassy may continue to believe what he says, but blind to what he does.
As for me, I am here to watch.