By Kellys Kaunda
MAKE NO MISTAKE – A STRONG AND UNITED PF IS A MUST FOR ZAMBIA
There is no doubt in my mind that a strong and united Patriotic Front (PF) is good for Zambia, Zambians, and Zambia’s democracy. Just look at the checks and balances the party continues to provide both in parliament and outside. Arrested by the police and charged with all kinds of funny and spurious charges or kicked out of parliament by the Speaker for laughable reasons, they have continued fearlessly to serve this country, its people, and its democracy.
The party has found a way to work with other opposition parties thus increasing pressure on the ruling UPND. Just look at and listen to the way they blend their opposition voices and the solidarity they give one another in the face of what is clearly state persecution! You’ ve got to love these brothers and sisters and thank them for their courage. It’s not easy being an opposition politician in this country.
However, this scenario is not new in Zambia: this has been the political terrain in the country since the Kaunda days. The ruling party, abusing its powers and those of the state, has always turned the heat on the opposition suffocating it. UNIP suffocated Kapwepwe until his death. MMD suffocated UNIP until it was decapitated never rising again. PF launched an onslaught against MMD and exploited its internal wrangles until it was too weak to mount any meaningful challenge. It also mounted vicious and relentless attacks against the main opposition UPND, no words can be found to adequately capture what, looking back, may only be described as madness!
I mean how else can one explain forcing an opposition leader to escape from a media house through the rooftop or smoking him out of his house by the state police in the same way that the Mexican police or the Colombian security forces would do in search of some of the world’s notorious drug lords in the name of El Chapo and Pablo Escobar, respectively! And yet, in our case, it was just an ordinary citizen participating in a democratic process!
History is repeating itself: the same strategy and tactics that have been employed before have been deployed in the political arena as PF faces an arsenal of political weaponry that it employed against the opposition when it was in power. While the onslaught may not be exact in every detail, the strategy and the players are the same: exploit internal wrangles, decapitate the opposition by using institutions of the state, the same institutions that are supposed to uphold democracy.
In all these instances, the west has not necessarily served the day: some of them have exploited the situation for their own foreign policy interests. Instead, it is the Zambian people that have rescued their own political institutions and their democracy. Believe you me, they will rescue it once again! One would only hope and trust that PF will find the courage to remain resilient, and work with other opposition parties to defend Zambia’s democracy.
In the pursuit of this national cause, please, never draw in any foreign entities, especially the west, you will be giving them an excuse to impose values on this country that you will begin to frantically fend off when they demand that you pay back for the favors you owe them. You don’t want to be in debt with these brothers – believe you me.