Saturday, June 22, 2024

WHISTLE STOPS AND DRIVE-BYS

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By Sakwiba Sikota

Karmala Harris has just finished a historic visit back to Zambia.

She spent two days in Zambia and what was memorable and very visible was her motorcade and security detail. She also had a Zambia Police escort. The Zambian Police were truly just an escort following behind their American counterparts as evidenced by Kamala’s security detail even taking over security scrutiny and checks at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport.

There was no missing that Kamala was back in town because her motorcade was nothing like we had seen in many years. The last I remember witnessing a grand and spectacular procession is when Haile Selassie paid a state visit to Zambia and we saw open carriage and horses.

I do not know if it was my imagination but I thought I heard blasting from the stereo of Kamala’s motorcade’s tail car Thin Lizzy’s 1976 hit song “The Boys Are Back in Town”.

The song opens,

“Guess who just got back today?
Them wild-eyed boys that had been away
Haven’t changed, had much to say
But man, I still think them cats are crazy
They were askin’ if you were around
How you was, where you could be found”

The chorus goes,

“The boys are back in town (the boys are back in town)
I said (the boys are back in town)
(The boys are back in town)
The boys are back in town
(The boys are back in town)”

I know some of you may say, “But Kamala is not a boy but a girl!”. That’s only because you do not support LGBTQ Rights like Kamala does. Gender neutrality and freedom is what she was bringing to Zambia. That’s why, like Thin Lizzy, I still think them cats are crazy.

You did not hear Kamala openly promote LGBTQ Rights whilst in Zambia because civil society, the opposition and churches had made it clear that such talk would drive them crazy.

Kamala had planned the trip to also show that China’s influence in Zambia is waning because, to use the words of Senate Foreign Relations Ranking Member Jim Risch who tweeted, “HH is working hard to curb China’s malign and predatory influence in Zambia and as well increase cooperation with the US.”

At the joint press conference last Friday with Kamala, HH in answer to a question about Zambia’s relationship with China run away from what Senator Jim Risch said about “curbing China’s malign and predatory influence”. This turn around came with the realization that if China sees us as a stooge of the west, China will have no reason to help us with the debt problem we have.

In fact on Monday when swearing in diplomats and judges, HH made it a point to state that he is not a stooge. He wanted to ensure that Kamala’s trip did not make the ‘stooge’ tag stick on him.

Many people were therefore left asking what was Kamala’s trip all about?

Fred M’membe the President of the Socialist Party wrote in a posting headed ‘BRIEF VISIT’ that, “…. United States Vice-President Kamala Harris is going to spend …….. 20 minutes in a [one on one] bilateral talks with President Hakainde Hichilema……

She will also spend 40 minutes at the National Assembly. In addition to this, she will spend 15 minutes at a State House press conference and 10 minutes taking photos, 5 minutes signing visitors’ book.

..[S]he will tour Panuka Farms in Chisamba for 10 minutes. Then she will have media briefing at Intercontinental Hotel at 13:00 hours. After that she leaves the country.

That’s almost all with Zambian state and government business.

The United States Vice-President has come in after the “Democracy Summit”. And her programme is very brief.

It’s difficult to ascertain what her whole visit is about.”

Fred M’membe seems to have missed some of the highlights of Kamala’s visit. For example, Kamala made a whistle stop visit to the residence her grandfather stayed at whilst he was serving as a diplomat in Zambia.

There was also the drive-by at the University Teaching Hospital where Kamala was driven round but did not stop.

These two engagements were very important and sensitive because on both occasions a huge black tinted closed van with antennas and small dishes was strategically stationed by the Americans to block out internet and cellphone communications in those areas. Soon after those whistle stop drive-bys the internet and cell phone signals were restored.

To answer and school Fred and others asking what Kamala’s visit was about, I would say that it is abundantly clear that Kamala’s trip was all about whistle stops and drive-bys.

26 COMMENTS

  1. What is with Zambians taking close up photos of US secruity detail?? These are not Police Officers but secret service

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  2. Our politics are a toxic mix of envious sarcasm, insults, tribalism/regionalism, wild unproven accusations on political opponents, thuggery and hypocrisy. It’s repulsive to decent people.

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    • Yeah Fred is not only a fake socialist but a failed journalist. And a fake royalist who wants us to believe that he is related to the Bemba royalty

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  3. I have also failed to discern what your article is all about. It’s all smokes and mirrors. The rumblings of a failed opposition politician, like Fred the fake socialist

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    • Ndaba you Zambians want a story that leads you by the nose to a conclusion that you must all agree on. In literature at times you raise issues for contemplation or discussion. The author may not want to drive you forcefully to his own conclusions

  4. America has many enemies in this world. They therefore cannot trust any country to provide security to their senior-most elected officials. Yet President JF Kennedy was still shot and they do not know who did it.

    • They create enemies. What did Saddam Hussein do for them to subject him to a disgraceful death? Or Muamar Gaddafi ( imagine encouraging another man to have sex with him before killing him). They have created enemies everywhere where they think the leadership is not a stooge. I didn’t like Donald Trump but one thing is he didn’t venture into foreign territories. Even the gay fiasco that caused the departure of ambassador Foote didn’t seem to bother him (it’s the system that acted against Lungu over the issue).

  5. Even COVID-19 is a creation to see how the world’s population can be reduced should the population overwhelm the planet. The experiment worked.

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  6. This story is about mad cats. The crazy kitties came and went. Them cats are just that passionate about us. Are they? Thanks for the visit. The hype about the Zambia trip was so overated. Oh! Our country eventually got underated. How much was in it for Ghana? $139 million. And Tanzania? $500 million. Thin Lizzy asked: “They were askin’ if you were around”. “Yes”, Zambians answered, “Leaving us with $16m”. Them cats are crazy. But thanks, anyway. Lest I become crazed too.

    • This story is also about rock music; Phil Lycott and his band’s sweet riffs, not to forget his lyrics. A Zambian band called The Witch were equally good at lyrics

  7. We need to introduce in our curriculum very early in primary school the shame of being beggars both as individuals and as a nation. No one whether it’s USA, China or Russia gives aid for nothing. There is always be a catch. As long as we champion “aid”/debt we shall never chart our way to prosperity. We will be condemned to the servitude of “donors”/schemers. Respect is earned. We won’t get it by begging.

  8. Kindly address the above tittle. Don’t digress. What’s the point of going around the building without going in? Why jam communication utilities as if Kamwala Alice was in a danger zone, visiting North Korea, Afghanistan or Russia? This is Zambia, dude. One of the safest havens on earth.

    (Swahili + Gunner).
    We definitely are already “condemned to the servitude of” the West. Three times, we got IMF money. Kaunda’s and Chiluba’s are exhausted. Hichilem’s is not the last one. We are servants and I have no personal bearing on our bondage. I am not “proud of receiving aid” or debt, but only stating facts which are on the table for all to see. Please, “think again”.
    Where were we?

    Yeah, let’s discuss the American WHISTLE STOPS AND DRIVE-BYS while in Zambia.

    • Zambia’s problem includes an enlighted class that doesn’t want to behave as an enlightened class should. This means asking itself what its obligations to Zambia are compared to less enlightened members of society. Instead this enlightened class behaves as if it’s not aware of its obligations to the country. Issues of mistrust exist but these can be taken care of in rules of engagement with one another. Because the enlightened class fails to rise up to the challenge, the country is rotting. The enlightened class consumes much of the news and after getting this news it chooses the “do nothing” option.

    • Kwena mwe! These Americans are overly dramatic. Democratic Zambia with its free DeadNBC would nt be the deathplace of their democratically elected veepee. Our president who reluctantly enjoyed criminal defamation law has voluntarily given that crime back to the people

  9. Reminds me of when Gaddafi visited Zambia with his security guys with guns all over, when the Gadddafi entourage reached South Africa all of Gaddaffis security people were told to surrender all guns to the South African Authorities and would be given back to them on departure as the South African law did not allow any foreigner to have guns whether they were a security detail of a foreign head of state

    • Johannes niwaboza Gaddafi went to Zimbabwe from Zambia after attending the OAU. He didn’t go to South Africa. In 2002 he drove from South Africa to Swaziland Moz and Malawi and his women bodyguards never surrendered their guns anywhere

  10. Hopeless. For a country with so much poverty for everyone to see and yet those privileged to read and write, get higher education, have internet connectivity and yet THEY CANT READ BETWEEN THE DOTS for our country and Africa, is heartbreaking. Everyone with small change in their pockets thinks of being an MP and then President. Toxic characters for that matter! They do Not think of building industries for our young the evergrowing AFRICAN population. Their P1 is to build mansions for themselves (which no one carries to their graves). To condemn our children and those that will come after them is a sin.

  11. Johannes niwaboza Gaddafi went to Zimbabwe from Zambia after attending the last meeting of the OAU. He didn’t go to South Africa. In 2002 he drove from South Africa after the 1st AU meeting to Swaziland Moz and Malawi and his women bodyguards never surrendered their guns anywhere.

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