Opinion

Stay Away KK, Dare Not Open Old Wounds

If Rupiah Banda was to give advise, as the only other surviving former president, regarding the political situation in the country whether positive or otherwise PF dimwits, its now accepted propaganda wing – The Post – and any other attention seeking element like that hungry and disgruntled mouth – Sunday Chanda and his one man Open Society NGO – will seize the opportunity to call for suspension of his benefits.

And when similar statements are made by that fallen dictator called Kenneth Kaunda, it is heralded as acceptable interference from this fake father of the nation.

In The Post recently, Kaunda is lavishly quoted praising President Michael Sata as that ‘young man’ who was doing good in the eyes of this apostle of oppression who messed up the country.

For 27 years, Kaunda ruled Zambia and its people are alive to his tyrannical way of leadership. This is the only thing Kaunda knows – tyranny, intolerance and brutalism.

There is no doubt, Kaunda, in many ways contributed to the liberations of Zambia, the region and Africa at large but he is not the best person to start siding with the socialist type of policies propagated by a clueless PF regime that is running the affairs of government on a trial and basis area.

What makes it worse is that, at least for Kaunda he had some form of a plan with his socialism, but the people he is supporting today don’t know what to do with a lot of decisions they are making and that is why Zambia today is on the brink of a catastrophe.

If Kaunda, at 88, makes a decision to re-join politics, he should be prepared to be bruised by a younger generation that is no longer prepared to serve under an autocratic regime and witness its democracy acquired at a great cost go to worst. Make no mistake, Kaunda and his protégé Sata will regret if they continue engaging oppressive and intolerant tactics on the Zambian population.

In case Kaunda has forgotten, this is a Zambia that is far enlightened than the one that overwhelmingly rejected him in 1991. Kaunda should not dare tamper with the spirit of today’s youths through his meaningless utterances.

So far, he is the only leader to have been rejected with so much disdain. No one, not even majority of his friends wanted anything to do with him. Why? He was such a bad leader – the same measure as Robert Mugabe – and in the same class as the likes of Sani Abacha of Nigeria, Idi Amin Dada of Uganda, Mobutu Sese Seko of the then Zaire. He was friends with Saddam Hussien and Muhammar Ghaddafi both of them that died poorly because of the oppressive regimes they superintended.

This is the same man who made fools of the Zambian people by making us vote for a frog. The ballot papers during Kaunda’e era had images of his portrait and a frog. Zambians had to chose either a frog or Kaunda. What can Kaunda today tell us about democracy, free speech and indeed freedom of assembly? Kaunda should not provoke us by siding with Sata who we fear is plunging our young democracy into chaos?

For close to three decades, Kaunda ruined Zambia and began facing great opposition. His socialist policies led to three attempted coup de etats in 1980, 1988 and 1990. Further, widespread food riots rocked Zambia, thanks to Kaunda’s poor polices.

During the last years of his United National Independence Party (UNIP), inflation was at runaway rates tending towards hyperinflation and GDP growth was at a negative. By the early 1990s interest rates were at three digit figures.

Zambians did not know the colour of a basic fruit such as an apple. We queued for cooking oil, sugar and even bathing soap. Those mega stores like Mwaiseni and ZCBC had empty shelves and had turned into isles.

We were given useless coupons for mealie meal that was so scarce, so scarce that it was no longer strange for an average family to thing once a meal daily was abnormal. Yes, the situation may not have changed to our expectations but the Zambia of 2011 is miles better than the Zambia this Kaunda left in 1991.

There was not bread in the country. Not even super-loaf was anywhere near the shelves. This is the Kaunda we know, a greedy and self-serving proved dictator.

Inter-City was a government hostel. There was no transport to go to the village and we spent nights waiting for the next bus. For a distance of 500 kilometres to Livingstone, it took four to five days. Today, it’s a matter of hours. The
Kaunda UBZ system had lamentably failed and could no longer operate efficiently. Kaunda had brought Zambia to its knees. It was like a helpless goat in the bush.

If you consider most of Kaunda’s parastatals, the same one he is supporting PF on, they were mere shells which largely depended on the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mine. ZCCM was equally drained and it finally came down crushing at some point.

This Kaunda wants us to believe his useless policies that were tested and failed have any meaningful contribution to the Zambia of today.

If those socialist policies failed last time when he was in power, what makes him think they will succeed this time when he is some disgruntled advisor to another tyrant?

If Kaunda wants to earn some form of respect Zambians accord him as the man who helped found this country on the principle of One Zambia, One Nation, it is best he stays away from politics.

For an old man like him, Kaunda’s health and community service to Zambians should be of prime importance. Or may be it is the responsibility of his family to take time to check the old man. We may be dealing with a case of dementia or some early stages of bipolar. If not, then PF secretary general Wynter Kabimba was correct when he observed that Kaunda was a hypocrite and divisive failure who acts for self-preservation.

Published in The Post of January 4, 2010, Kabimba said; “…Kaunda has been very divisive. He has played a role of a divider rather than a uniting factor amongst Zambians. For him to refer to Mpombo as a person who has been barking like anything and in the same statement call upon Zambians to live under the banner of One Zambia One Nation is hypocritical.”

Today, Zambia is faced with one of its biggest problems that threaten the peace of this safe haven – the Barotseland dispute – that was signed by Kaunda.
What has this man shared from his knowledge about this agreement? What leadership has Kaunda provided over this potentially explosive matter?

This is what you call a dividing figure. His protégé Sata promised to restore the Barotseland Agreement of 1994 within 90 days but has failed. What is Kaunda telling him? The people of Western Province are even determined to go to war and this same Kaunda is happy to praise Sata.

Timely advise to Kaunda and his family is for the man to withdraw from public life and enjoy his retirement package in peace. After all, his age does not permit him to undertake strenuous activities on behalf of Sata. Tilyenji, Panji and Kaweche should advise their father to stay away so that he preserves some honour or risk being bruised beyond repair. This is a different Zambia from what he left.

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