By Chimwemwe Mwanza
His theatrics and fulminations in the aftermath of the PF’s loss of power gave rise to a new brand of politics. Pin-point criticism, which he consistently dished to the new government, became a staple for news outlets. Not even the most contrarian punter among his faithful could have bet their house on Bowman Lusambo performing a political summersault.
What happened? For all his bombast and vow to fight the incumbent government to the bitter end, the bulldozer capitulated in the most inexplicable manner. Now, he would like all sundry to believe that he is adopting a civil brand of politics. Really? Forget the pontification of self-righteousness, this Damascus moment has marked another interesting chapter in the checkered life of Bulldozer – one of Zambia’s rising political entrepreneurs.
And they are many such. If in doubt, look no further than Charles Kakoma, Paul Moonga, Captain Cosmas Moono, Kelvin Sampa, Ephraim Belemu, Paul Moonga and Peter Daka – to mention a few. While it remains their right to affiliate with a party of their choice, their reasons for jumping ship are not only cynical but shameless too. Makes you wonder. Had PF bested UPND at the polls, would they have defected to the ruling party?
Back to Bulldozer. Curiously, he sent an apology in the way of the President asking for forgiveness for his rantings and divisive brand of politics. It would be interesting to know your response Mr President? And if Bowman was sincere about his apology, why did he not extend this to victims of his brutality. That he also helped create an intolerant political culture while he served in the former regime is fact.
Is this apology based on genuine contrition? To better appreciate his decision let us contextualise the motive.
Against the temptation to pronounce on his guilt or innocence there-off, it is a fact that the outcome of HH’s determination to uncover graft and other malfeasance allegedly perpetrated by the previous dispensation will determine whether the likes of Bowman and his ilk spend the rest of their lives in jail. And Bowman is alive to this reality. Macabre as this may sound, the Bulldozer is staring right in the face of jail.
Annihilated by a state-sanctioned seizure of a string of his luxury properties – which among other things resulted in the death of a beast held captive at one of his properties, his back is against the wall. His business accounts have been frozen, and a seemingly insurmountable burden has been placed on his persona to prove how he acquired this wealth. For a person that served the last 5 years of his life as a civil servant, this is a tall order.
By any measure, no PF member has borne HH’s wrath in the fight against corruption than Bowman. Whether this is persecution or prosecution is hard to call but those in his inner sanctum speak of a psychologically battered individual that is terrified at the mere sight of a police vehicle. Bailiffs are often not too far from his presence. How the mighty have fallen. Humiliated and facing a mountain of legal bills, reality has finally dawned upon him.
He now knows that he cannot fight a system that is determined to send him to the gallows. Did he therefore cut a deal with the state, or could it be that this apology disguised as an olive branch to the Presidency has earned him a temporal reprieve? Anything is possible but time will tell.
Interestingly, there has been a loud silence from the ACC and other law enforcement agencies since he repented.
Weep not for country but self
Jesus wept is the shortest verse in the bible. And just as Bowman wept when the PF and Edgar Lungu lost the polls, the contrast however is that Jesus wept because he was overwhelmed with the feeling of mankind’s infirmities to God.
Given the unravelling information and extent of plunder perpetrated by the previous dispensation, it is thus fair to suggest that Bowman’s tears were a result of the realisation that the PF’s loss of power effectively robbed him of the patronage networks that catapulted him to the dinner table. In short, he was weeping not for Zambia but for himself.
It remains a fact though that Bulldozer is not and has never been a true green. A die-hard member of the dead MMD party, his loyalty was to Edgar Lungu and not the PF. In fact, it is the former President who plucked him from obscurity and rewarded him with the opportunity to serve in government. Does it, therefore, matter that Bowman has decided to withdraw from the political limelight?
Who in a very real sence cares about his decision? It could well be that some members of his own party baying for his blood are happy to see his back. Good riddance, one can almost hear Chishimba Kambwili exclaiming in reaction to this development. The lesson here? Indeed, arrogance does not pay.
Even those with the most power today must be very careful. Food for thought. Over to you Cornelius Mweetwa.
About the Author: Mwanza enjoys reading Political History and Philosophy. He supports nothing but Liverpool and Magnificent Kabwe Warriors. For feedback, email [email protected]