Opinion

A Child for Zambian Minister? Risking National Security in GBM’s Hands as Defence Minister

Zambian defence minister Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba has issued two statements in a space of five days targeted at opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema.

The two statements – one in response to Hichlema’s press conference and another as a follow up to a Zambian Professor Clive Chirwa – both contain scurrilous tone aimed at demeaning the character of the opposition leader. It does not require a rocket scientist to determine the source of these statements issued by GBM.

A combination of Amos Malupenga (information permanent secretary), George Chellah (State House press aide) and an “elite” team of editorial managers at The Post are combining forces to gun down Hichilema and only ask GBM to append his signature. This is the same crew behind statements issued by other PF ministers like Kennedy Sakeni.

The same ‘backroom’ staff hatched the idea of Prof Chirwa’s interview, of course for publication in their propaganda wing – The Post – in order to bring a new face to the Hichilema discourse on which it could make another follow up using a senior PF official to support the UK-based academician. It’s a well calculated but open secret.

And as it turned out, the apparent statements issued by GBM whose contents himself has difficulties to comprehend are in public domain targeted at Hichilema.

There is more to these schemes and Hichilema, his supporters and the Zambian opposition in general should brace to stand this vicious campaign.

To actually expect that GBM will demonstrate civility in his character even when he issues statements whose message he does not understand is asking too much. Of course, there is no doubt about GBM’s financial muscle – he is one of the “money bigwigs” in the ruling Patriotic Front.

His riches could suit a “kwacha mania” style nickname as it sometimes trickles down to party cadres like manna. GBM thinks life, leadership and power starts and end with his money.

This is why Patriotic Front president Michael Sata is probably at pains to deal will the premature campaigns that GBM has launched in the background to succeed him in case of any eventuality.

Sata, the man allergic to corruption and claiming to be governing the country based on the 10 commandments, can’t even deal with GBM’s broad daylight corruption at Zambia Army, Zambia Air Force or Zambia National Service. This corruption is well known by their chief propagandist Fred M’membe. He is already but indirectly talking about it. M’membe’s double standards, however, are betraying his conscience to authoritatively speak out on the huge GBM military contracts. He is now part of the game.

It must be told that GBM is philandering with public property, public funds to recoup the huge amounts of ‘dirty’ money he poured into the PF campaigns. To the PF, winning the 2011 elections was a matter of life and death. If by any thread they didn’t win that election they were ready to fun civil unrest.

And it seems GBM and The Post were to be among the major losers and that is why they are prostituting each other in what looks like a mouse and cat fight to take on Hichilema.

But for allowing to be abused as a conveyor belt to read out The Post, Malupenga and Chellah prepared statement in their bitter and hate onslaught against Hichilema, GBM needs reminder of some stubborn facts.

Firstly, GBM is no match to Hichilema in any human sphere of comparison. This is probably the reason the UPND leader is wondering whether to respond to the man who is using his more of his belly than anything else to append his signature to statements he can least defend on any given fora.

No one can take away the fact that GBM has some form of wealth however he acquired – whether as a “ghost government supplier or not” – he lags miles behind in comparison to Hichilema’s business acumen and professionalism.

In his first statement, GBM lays out this tired but unsubstantiated allegation of Hichilema’s wealth and the privatization story that even his boss President Michael Sata has lamentably failed to prove. Not even instructions to director of public prosecutions (Mutembo Nchito) by Sata, which by the way is unconstitutional, have brought any criminal charges against Hichilema.

Can the PF find something new – real or perceived – to accuse Hichilema of not this nonsense privitisation rhetoric? Please not again! It’s as empty as the 90 days theory. It’s even become extremely boring and stale because it a story without introduction or conclusion.

But this is what happens when people like GBM and his speech writers become personal instead of addressing the issues Hichilema raised. They forget their closets habour more skeletons perhaps more than those they are targeting.

In case we forget, those vicious slanderous statements from GBM were as a result of Hichilema’s reminder about that bogus Sata assassination story the defence minister concocted 11 months ago.

Hichilema has a duty to weigh which statements – from the opposition or ruling party are published to cause alarm – especially when such a trumped up charged is laid before him for representing the majority that did not support Sata’s election.

And he did so without hesitation. Even if the Zambian Intelligence System is so bad, so ineffective, so incompetent, it can’t take 11 months for them to establish the security of President Sata is at risk. In a country of 13 million people and a handful politicians, it surely should not be a problem to identify plotters of an assassination – a Head of State for that matter.

If GBM’s assassination claims are credible as per intelligence briefs but they are taking this long to establish, we have a good reason to disband the intelligence system in the country. Because as things stand, according to the gospel of apostle GBM, we cannot succeed defending ourselves in an unlikely event of any attack.

But because GBM is making wild assassination claims as if he is yelling from a factory or is choked with mealie meal (corn meal powder) in a chigayo (corn grinding machine), he resorts to attacking Hichilema’s character when challenged to substantiate his falsehoods.

Oh, my foot! Look at who is engaging Hichilema on election defeats. What morality does GBM possess discussing election defeats?

Granted, no human being celebrates defeat but what matters is how the vanquished emerge in the aftermath of such an occurrence. Draw this instance between GBM and Hichilema from their previous election defeats.

When GBM contested on the MMD ticket as Kabwata parliamentary hopeful in 2006, he lost lamentably to Given Lubinda of the PF.

His reaction enthused the true measure of bitterness. GBM was so bitter that he started brandishing his gun to members of his campaign team.

Hichilema lost the 2011 presidential election to Michael Sata and courteously congratulated the incumbent in ink. It’s on record. Based on this sample, who between the two espouses bitterness from electoral defeat?

Sadly, GBM probably does not even understand what it means to be bitter since he only appends his signature to the statement without verifying the content which is clearly the language of The Post and its surrogates.

If GBM crossed from MMD to PF on account of “belly politics”, UPND members are among the most principaled parliamentarians in the history of Zambia’s democratic dispensation.

Majority of them are aware of the reasons their people elected them and they deserve salute for their resolute display of principal irrespective of how attractive the carrot, coated in ruling party privileges, is dangled in their face.

Unlike other MPs, their rate of defection to serve the ruling party is very minimal. Maybe only Ngandu Magande could be identified as the only sitting MP to have crossed the floor to the ruling party. Even when Given Lubinda crossed to the PF, he was not a UPND MP. That’s how much most UPND MPs have shown value and respect to their masters – electorates – not crosstitutes like GBM.

For this reason, GBM’s illusionary claim that there are UPND parliamentarians quoting PF can be dismissed with the contempt as the bogus Sata assassination story.

And how can the kettle call the pot black? GBM should be the last person to raise a finger of tribalism and nepotism on Hichilema? Who in Hichilema’s inner circle is either his daughter, son or sibling?

Where is GBM’s daughter Sibongile? A senior diplomat in Namibia but with no trace of any formal employment or civil service other than masquarending at Inter City or bossing her father’s employees. Is this a good example of how to properly run government?

GBM should read those statements more than twice before making them public. He is turning himself into a laughing doll.

He accuses Hichilema of being surrounded by lawyers of the same ethnic tribe
but can he show which lawyers represent his the ruling Patriotic Front. Who is behind Ellis and Co? Look at the people serving in government, diplomatic service and parastals and check their regions? The ruling class is dominated by Northern province – GBM and Sata’s origins – out of the 10 in the country.

Cabinet is dominated by Sata’s relatives in one way or another. Can the same be said about Hichilema inner circle although his party is battling to shade of the general Bantustan stigma as promoted by Fred M’membe?

If researchers did their work carefully and without prejudice on the two parties, it will not be surprising to discover that the ruling Patriotic Front promotes nepotism and tribalism more than the United Party for National Development.

Delusional

Where did GBM gather the guts to refer to Hichilema as delusional? Probably renowned researcher Professor Alan Haworth can help draw a conclusion of who between GBM and Hichilema portray delusional traits by merely poking the belly of either politician.

Your guess is right! A man who has no regard for women and can go to the extent of inflicting grevious bodily harm on his wife as if aiming to be a candidate for murder would get a quick prescription for delusional symptoms.

A man who assaults his own employees for merely asking a decent wage will pass a delusional test by Prof Haworth. Worse still, a man – for that matter a minister – who thinks Manchester University is in London is in an advanced case of delusion and entrusting the security of the country with him is a serious risk.

And who between GBM and Hichilema fits these descriptions? It can only be GBM. These are stubborn facts about GBM, not the unsubstantiated trash he is throwing at Hichilema. Those writing GBM his statements will do him a great favour by lowering their ambitions to his ‘f’ language and tendalama shaba noko chikala (is it your mother’s money – in response to delayed payment on his inside trading government contract) level instead of exposing his childish behavour.

GBM is a senior minister who even acts as Head of State in Sata absence. He can do better in that position. This childish approach must come to an end as Zambians want to see GBM respond to the issues raised by Hichilema on the failed 90 days promise.

Comments are closed.