Sakwiba Satirises Zambian Political Comedy

SakwibaLusaka lawyer Sakwiba Sikota has made light work of the Zambian political scene by satirically laying out the complexities of the goings on in Zambia.

Sikota has laid out the unpredictability of the on-going power game in the ruling party and took a dig at The Post Newspapers’ turn around in its editorials where they are vilifying individuals they ‘canonized’ as saints not too long ago.

Below is the full posting:


What is happening in Zambia is like a true life thriller. It lends credence to the saying “stranger than fiction”. All the sub plots, twists and turns of the classic movie “WHERE EAGLES DARE” are replicated in Zambia’s political thriller.

The intrigue, suspense and high drama generated by our political leaders and systems would make an Agatha Christie “Whodunnit” seem absolutely pedestrian, predictable and boring.

The cast of characters is more colorful than the cast from “ONE FLEW OVER THE COOKOO’s NEST” which stars inmates in a mental institution where it is not clear who are the disturbed and who are the normal. All I remember from the film is that the professional medical personnel are the ones who finally push Jack Nickelson’s character to the other side and smother the life out of him.

The twists in the plot are more shocking than the classics like “PRIMAL FEAR” where Ed Norton plays a character who at times is an almost lovable but disturbed young man who stammers in a most vulnerable way, but has an alter ego of a twisted killer. Richard Gere, does what every good lawyer is paid to do and gets Ed Norton’s character acquitted. In the Zambian drama who can you bank on? There may be a lion out there in the bush laying wait for you.

The twist is that once acquitted Ed Norton reveals that the stammering character that gets not only the court’s sympathy but that of the audience watching the film as well, was just a charade and Norton is a hardcore killer who has no remorse. What is the true position of the newspapers in Zambia and what is their true character?

This story may also have a late twist like “THE STING” where the “Mwine wa film”, Robert Redford and Paul Newman are shot dead but at the end it turns out that they were not actually shot dead and are both alive.Could it be that someone we think is out of the picture or has been sidelined is yet to play a major part in the drama?

Then there is “WHERE EAGLES DARE” which has endless twists and turns, where the last person you suspected turns out to be the betrayer in the group. You not only have secret agents, double agents but even triple agents. In the Zambian drama the major question is who is really on your side and who can you trust?

We have newspapers telling us of a corrupt and tribalist clique. No names are stated as to who makes up this tribalistic clique. What we know is that you can never tell the true position of these media houses.

After having had an editorial a few months back about how ABC is selfless and we should follow his example, a twist which should only happen in Hollywood fiction is thrust upon us and we are told that the person is, quite suddenly, in fact leader of a tribalistic and corrupt band of people.

If you go back in time, say eight years and above you find that they are will speak ill (and I do not mean speaking ill of someone in a mild way but in a full blown Ebola way) only to years later to speak of the same person as one would talk about Mother Theresa or Nelson Mandela, or indeed referring to them as almost a saint whom we should all emulate. The same person they said was only fit to be one of the characters from One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest is now a selfless person we should all strive to be like.

In a sub plot to the unfolding Zambian drama someone considered as an all weather friend to the President in an unexpected twist is thrown out to the fringes without as much as a security blanket to get through the winter.

This provokes non stop uncontrolled wailing as if all the much treasured Belinda’s in the world have died. Not even Bollywood can provide such drama.

Then we have a vice who tells us one day that there is a group in the party who are out to get him and two days later, in a Nollywood type of twist to the plot, the guy says there are no camps in the party and all is well and calm.

There is a position which is known to have a high turnover rate. It has seen Edwin Lifwekelo, Honourable men like Charles Chimumbwa, Edward Mumbi, Dr. Chileshe Mulenga (in an acting capacity), learned men like Wynter Kabimba and now someone has taken up this high risk job. I would not blame him if it took a little bit of “Dutch Courage” each morning, or even throughout the day, to face the people trying to throw the book at him.

Talking about the book and facing people reminds me that false Facebook accounts have been set up in an attempt to properly set up people in the party. The question is “WHODUNNIT?”

As we fast reach the climax of this drama, a stellar cast of characters is being assembled in the manner all true whodunnit thrillers do. In about a fortnights time several African Heads of State will assemble in Lusaka to celebrate Zambia’s Golden Jubilee.

If it were a Hollywood movie ala Agatha Christie or Alfred Hitchcock, at midnight on the 23rd October the lights would go out and there would be a deafening din of a magnificent fireworks display which would create surreal dancing shadows as the exploding fireworks light up the sky. The moon and the stars would seem to come alive. Flashes from the exploding fireworks allow us to catch glimpses of macabre facial expressions highlighted by un complimentary shadows cast like lightening does in classic horror movies.

After the last bang and sparkle from the fireworks display, the lights come back on and, there would be an Alfred Hitchcock like moment of serene silence before the still night air is pierced by such a frightening shrill scream that it chills the hot October night air as someone notices that one of the dignitaries has either collapsed or disappeared from the rest of the entourage. Even the moon will retreat and hide behind a gathering dark cloud as the stars rapidly blink with incredulity.

In a pool of blood, at the bottom of the high podium where the rest of the dignitaries are, lies a twisted lifeless body. Who is it? Was he pushed from the podium or did he fall on his own? Is he still alive? Could this have been foreseen? Could it have been averted? Whodunit?
You have a long list of suspects who are all on the dignitaries high podium. Amongst them you have, in no particular order the usual suspects, Chishimba Kambwili, Christine Kaseba, Given Lubinda, Guy Scott, Mulenga Sata, Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba, Alexander Bwalya Chikwanda, and not forgetting those “Legal Eagles” Wynter Kabimba and Edgar Lungu. These are just the usual suspects but it could be that someone who is an unusual suspect is the person “whocouldhavedunit”.

In the meantime you have the Defence Force Chiefs go into a huddle with the Director of Public Prosecutions to decide who should be arrested and prosecuted. Unbeknown to them a newspaper editor is secretly recording their conversation and receiving leaked details of this highly classified discussion. The newspaper editor reveals that the motive for the crime is a strong desire by some people to inherit riches, fame and power. The questions are, “Who is the mole?” “Whodunnit?” and “Where do they want to get to?”.

You need someone with the skills of Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot to work out whodunnit, or “who’ldoit”, in Zambia’s real life thriller. THE STING is yet to be provided to this story when it shall be revealed as to who will overcome their PRIMAL FEAR as ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOOS NEST to get to WHERE EAGLES DARE. And where do Eagles dare?
Nkwazi House is where only Zambian Eagles dare.

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