By Isaac Mwanza
When Seer 1 tells President Bally about learning something from usual departure of Dora Siliya from a former ruling party to a new party, his sentiments must be understood just like that and not be underestimated. Let me put them into context.
Seer 1 is right: Just like the MMD, the PF largely lost the 2021 election because of selfishness and greedy. Many who worked with former President Edgar Lungu and were in position to shape decisions cared more about themselves and their narrow interests than they did with ordinary people in their party structures and ordinary Zambians generally.
Ordinary PF members saw no reason and benefit to wage a relentless fight to retain power when only the Ministers and those that surrounded them were swimming in power. At some point, even the crumbs could not get down to those in the party structures. The leadership became detached from its own members and also the voters generally.
The relationship most of those who were leaders in PF had with the former ruling party was about the benefits they could get. That is what kept these leaders closer to the former ruling party and the humble President.
Immediately, PF lost power, these very leaders who portrayed themselves as darlings of the party and the President chameleonically moved on and are looking for opportunities to transform themselves from Green to Red. When time comes, they will portray themselves as more Reds than the actual people who fought for the Red to come into power.
The list does not exclude Independent MPs. The biggest mistake those that surrounded former President Lungu made was to think that by supporting independent candidates, the strategy would help them gain numbers to remain in government. Independent candidates who were supported by those that surrounded President Lungu had more resources, party materials and vehicles than their own candidates on the party list.
But among these independent MPs who won and thrived on the support they received, how many have remained grateful and loyal to those who supported them? Only Munir Zulu, the man who was not even supported is standing with them.
The many independents who received support are now behaving as if nothing ever happened. They are busy working out opportunities to dine from the King’s table with both hands. They can and will probably do anything to even support the persecution of those who supported them to become independents all in the quest to be seen as the good ones. This is a test of loyalty.
What lessons are in this which Seer 1 would like President Bally to learn:
- The ivory you see from people’s smiles can be fake and temporal. Instead of giving you the best advice, they will come to you with huge smiles asking you to toast to the victory in Kabushi and Kwacha but they won’t tell you the truth about the political outlook on the Copperbelt, Lusaka, among others;
- Defectors will always come to you, nicely dressed in your regalia and standing next to the very riches they amassed while they worked against you, their intention is not because they believe in you but they believe in the power you possess that has capacity to continue changing their lives.
- At most, be loyal to those who were loyal to you. A man’s and woman’s true loyalty is defined when one is struggling or in trouble. There are politicians who don’t just love the idea of staying in opposition as you did but seek a smooth path all the way. They need to protect their businesses and continue living a good life. These will bring you down.
- People in institutions such as the Electoral Commission of Zambia will help you get some temporal victories, as it has happened in Copperbelt, because that is the nature of these Commissions under any executive arm but it usually dawns that soon they may not manage to deal with peoples pressure. The election in Copperbelt must be an eye opener than being considered a victory.
Remember, be good to the people who were with you on your way up the ladder, you will need them on your way down, that’s the way it is.