Hakainde Hichilema is indisputably the hot button of Zambian politics, perhaps since Kenneth Kaunda of the pre Independence days. The panic he effectuates on his political opponents some of who control instruments of power is an ironic testimony of the power he wields without actually possessing power.
Imagine a horse carriage driver with an invisible whip, but able to make the horses gallop at full speed. This is the disposition of Hakainde Hichilema on his political opponents, and it is this inexplicable combination of factors that ironically makes him the most powerful political figure in Zambia since KK and that is the reason they hate him.
The wielding and demonstration of power doesn’t often lie in the physical ability to force things to happen, but the proficiency to put things in motion. Thus, without commanding an army, Hichilema has still commanded the locomotion of an overflow of ideas that have energized politics to a new level and a new high. This kind of power and influence is detestable to a typical Zambian politician but is a set of ideas that have moved nations like Singapore and Malaysia whose GDPs were at par with Zambia in 1964.
As Professor Lumumba would say, HH’s opponents would rather seek refuge in ethnicity and religion as a major factor of mobilization than anything mutually beneficial to citizens.
Due to a series of a systematic and well-coordinated political ‘Bantustan’ conspiracy theories, commissioned by the defunct ‘Post Newspaper’ and Fred Mmembe and his former friend Wynter Kabimba, very few citizens until now were prepared to believe that as a matter of fact, Hichilema has never cited ethnicity as a motivating factor to aspire for public office. Neither has there been established historical evidence that his Tonga ethnic grouping has perpetually supported only Tongas.
This perception and agenda that his detractors have pushed hard to legitimize can be outrightly dismissed by the region’s 100% parliamentary vote for President Fredrick Chiluba, a Bemba speaking candidate, not once but twice in 1991 and 1996.
No region of Zambia has voted for a candidate outside their ethnic group since Independence in 1964, in a manner the Southerners did for late President Chiluba. This is a historical fact that the opponents of Hichilema have hidden from the Zambian people.
The power of hateful propaganda driven by lies and deceit have attempted to nail Hakainde Hichilema to a cross of tribal hegemony, that paradoxically, the perpetrators of the agenda, have had absolute ownership of.
Last week, the Nation was awakened to a shocking op-ed of an aspiring Presidential candidate, who cited the alleged superior size of his ethnicity as a major attribute and reason he should be voted in as Republican President in 2021. This ethnic arrogance has been openly and repeatedly flaunted and showcased by a lot of known Zambian politicians to canvass for votes, apart from Hichilema.
Despite’s Hichilema’s spirited effort to walk a straight line, his opponents have dubiously pointed a tribal non-existence smoking gun at him. One cringes to imagine what would have happened to Hakainde Hichilema had he sold himself along those lines. Hell would have broken loose.
But why should HH be singled out among the pack of dozens of his counterparts, mostly from the North and Eastern Regions of Zambia who are competing for the same prize?
Chishimba Kambwili, Nevers Mumba, Chilufya Tayali, Edith Nawakwi, Harry Kalaba, Felix Mutati, Sean Tembo, Danny Pule, Mwenye Musenge, Savior Chishimba,Tilyenji Kaunda, Cosmo Mumba, Steven Nyirenda and many others, are opposition politicians fighting for Zambia’s top position and some have fought for it longer than Hichilema.
Though hailing from the regions that have dominated the Zambian political landscape since Independence, the above politicians have largely been free to enjoy their constitutional and democratic right to aspire for public office, without the political and ethnic mudslinging that Hichilema has been subjected to by successive governments. The question is why? Your guess is as good as mine.
Never in Zambian history has one man caused so much political pandemonium to so many political opponents, for so few or no reasons at all, than the fear of a clean and accountable government, that will root out corruption, theft of public resources and ethnic injustice. Hakainde will govern Zambia.
by David Zulu.