By Wynter Kabimba SC ODS Economic Front Party President
Anyone familiar with Russian history and the end of the imperial rule of Czar Nicholas II and the triggers of the Bolshevik revolution in 1917 knows the legendary story of Rasputin, a Siberian monk and the role he played in the events leading to the Russian revolution. Romanov Russia had degenerated into a corrupt and disorderly society and it was Rasputin’s influence on the Tsarina which extended to his involvement in government decisions which inflamed the anger of the Russian people against the royal family.
This story is reminiscent of the humiliating end of Jacob Zuma’s era which was largely blamed on his association with the Gupta family in South Africa. The perceived involvement of the Guptas in government appointments and decisions of what became to be known as State capture symbolized what was wrong with the Zuma administration. When Edgar Lungu was president, the UPND were critical of his relationship with one Valden Findlay, a Zambian citizen whom they accused of exploiting his friendship with ECL to promote his business interests.
Findlay became one of the first victims of the UPND government in its corruption fight crusade when PF lost elections. At the time when the people raised questions about the ECL – Findlay cohabitation, the then State House press aide released an official statement that no one had the right to choose friends for the president. They left Edgar Lungu alone as advised, but on voting day, they told him to keep his friends away from their affairs.
Before HH became president on 12th August, 2022, no Zambian cared about his circle of friends. They least mattered to their welfare. The adage that a man is judged by the company he keeps was of no interest to them. Public interest was, however, aroused when HH travelled to South Africa soon after assuming office for what State House said was an official trip to meet President Ramaphosa of South Africa for bilateral talks.
As it has become his trade mark, this was a tailored lie. HH used taxpayers’ money to be guest of honor at the book launch of his now disclosed personal friend Greg Mills, a South African citizen who enjoys free and unfettered access to the president’s office. The role which Greg Mills is playing in the Hakainde presidency has been trending in the public arena without answers until Friday 19th August, 2022.
During his press interview at State House with the local Hot-FM channel, he came across truthfully to the Zambian people and confessed that Greg Mills is but one of his many friends and fell short of just saying, so what? Ils sont mes amis (They’re my friends). Thomas Summers’s biography of Richard Nixon titled “The Arrogance of Power’’ would perfectly fit in this anthology whose moral has not been proven wrong so far.