Choosing to condemn others for exactly the same actions that he perpetuated shows how dishonest on bigger national issues has ceased to be a reproach to Sata, just as failing to be honest about his actions on smaller things is no longer dishonorable to him
By Nyalubinge Ngwende
The condemnation of opposition leaders, Nevers Mumba for MMD and UPND’s Hakainde Hichilema, by President Michael Sata is a grand standing of hypocrisy.
“And today Mr Nevers Mumba is not here. Mr HH is not here because they are ashamed they have been preaching Sata is dying...does a dying man look like me? ...and if you want to aspire to lead this country, come here because all you workers we understand your difficulties whether you have nice uniforms in the army, whether you have nice uniforms in the police there are still other difficulties, accommodation and transport and a number of things.
First we all know that Sata refused to participate in all government functions for ten years he was canvassing for sympathy from Zambian voters for presidency. He said all bad things about late President Levy Mwanawasa’s government and gave clumsy reasons for his boycotts.
|Sata flanked by labour minister Shamenda shake hands with worker on May 1|
Today Sata stands and opens his mouth in a usual style trying to accuse others of being irresponsible leaders who have no interest in the plight of workers. Sata did not attend Labour Day celebrations for ten years. So for decade Sata did not celebrate with workers. He should not blame the actions of the opposition leaders; he must go to the podium during national functions to apologise to the country for authoring rancorous politics.
In fact it is silly for the President to ask the opposition leadership to celebrate with the workers publicly so that they can understand the many difficulties that these workers go through. He seems to be deliberately forgetting that it is the same government that dismisses workers from the public institutions when they interact with opposition leaders. Didn’t this very government dismiss Evelyn Hone College head of journalism studies Clayson Hamasaka when opposition UNPD leader Hakainde Hichilema walked to Evelyn Hone to check on the poor sanitation at the institution in the wake of a dysentery outbreak?
Apart from the Evelyn Hone cruelty, it is the same Sata who has failed to condemn his Foreign Affairs deputy minister Gabriel Namulambe for banishing parents who belong to opposition parties from PTAs (Parent Teachers Associations) in his constituency. Sata also failed to condemn his police when it started harassing and arresting opposition MMD and UPND leaders for taking a walk in public markets and visiting chiefs. By keeping quite over these blatant abuses, it means Sata is explicitly authorising this heavy handedness. Why then should the same Sata today think that opposition leaders must celebrate with the same workers he has chosen to isolate from those in opposition?
Choosing to condemn others for exactly the same actions that he perpetuated shows how dishonest on bigger national issues has ceased to be a reproach to Sata, just as failing to be honest about his actions on smaller things is no longer dishonourable to him. We ask Sata to take stock of his wholesale past and present political rancour and be honest with himself if what he portrayed while in opposition and is now promoting as head of state can inspire other political stakeholders to feel part and parcel of national events. Maybe it is this lack of integrity that he avoids to hold a press conference, fearing he would have a lot of explanations to make about his inconsistent character.
It must be emphasise here that no matter how he runs a smear campaign against opposition leaders, choosing to ignorance to his own intolerance planted in our political culture, he will not hide away from embarrassment of being the biggest laughing stock, not from the public, but the bible he holds, which teaches that do unto others as you would love them do unto you.
We also find it shocking, if not absurd, for Sata to think that opposition leaders can have any meaningful interaction and get to understand the difficulties the workers are facing when he knows that such events are meant for his Stand-up Comedy while those who represent workers foolishly applaud him. Sadly, workers are denied any chance to speak freely about the problems they face in different work places. If he truly means well that opposition leaders must interact with public workers to understand their plight, Sata must allow mature politics that will not intimidate bosses of institutions who give audience to opposition leaders.
While Zambia Federation of Employees President Joyce Nonde in an insignificant way tried to remind Sata of his deficiencies that he also stayed away from national functions like Labour Day, she failed to blame his actions as the cause of the opposition leaders reaction. She needed to pick up courage and ask Sata to unequivocally apologise for his actions.
We also find it awful for public media (ZNBC, Daily Mail and Times of Zambia) alongside the private Post Newspaper to fail to help us get the answers from President Sata why he chooses to condemn opposition leaders over the same actions he found right in the ten years by shunning public events.
Their positions to be too hard on the opposition, representing them to be irresponsible while making Sata look as an angel when his rancorous actions are well documented and known will just work to annoy Zambians more for unfairness. Remember Zambians love justice and would want to stand and protect the weak from the powerful. The day of reckoning will surely come.