By Prince Bill M. Kaping’a Political/Social Analyst
President Hichilema has always taken a flak from his bitter critics and opponents alike for apparently taking a 360 degrees about turn and tilting our foreign policy towards the West, away from the predatory grip of China as was case during the PF brutal regime! .
Ironically, some of our citizens have blindly elected to jump into the bandwagon and joined the chorus of condemning and ridiculing the New Dawn Administration for what they consider “Muzungu anikonde” (Uncle Sam) without carefully weighing the merits and demerits of aligning ourselves with the West or indeed the Eastern block.
What we know for a fact is that when you maintain strong ties with the West, they shall surely hold you accountable in the manner you administer the affairs of the land while the East will pay a blind eye to human rights violations, corruption or plunder of national resources and pamper you with so called foreign aid as long as they’ve access to natural resources.
In countries such as Uganda, Rwanda and Zimbabwe that choose to rebuff the West and align themselves with the East for instance, corruption is entertained or celebrated while a plethora of significant human rights abuses abound: unlawful or arbitrary killings by government forces, including extrajudicial killings; forced disappearance; torture and cases of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment by government agencies; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; arbitrary arrest or detentions. The main opposition leader in Uganda Bobi Wine and his party have been perennial victims of the cocktail of such violations.
There are equally two other examples that immediately cross our minds: Paul Rusesabagina who shot to fame after being portrayed as a hero of the 1994 Rwandan genocide in the 2004 film, Hotel Rwanda was arbitrary arrested and detained in unpleasant conditions for the simple sin of criticizing the Rwandan government! He actually won his freedom recently obviously after pressure from the West or behind the scenes negotiations.
Not so long ago, many of us got captivated by the documentary that got aired on Al jazeera TV revealing the money laundering syndicate involving the entire Zimbabwean government and one of the country’s diplomats Urbert Angel, a popular charismatic Televangelist that storms our small screens every now and then preaching the prosperity gospel!
During it’s hey days, The Post Newspaper once intercepted a conversation between the then Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda with some top official, in which he ( Chikwanda) conceded that Chinese corruption was ” irresistible.”
What do we make of this?
Would we rather go to bed with those who condone petty or grand corruption and turn a blind eye when our leaders come crushing down on us like a ton of blocks whenever we question them for their transgressions as was the case in the previous regime or those that would hold our leaders accountable?
Contrast this with countries that maintain strong ties with the West such as Botswana, Namibia or even South Korea; it’s rare that you will see such countries being mentioned in the news for all the wrong reasons unlike those that enjoy close relationships with the East.