What happened at the U.S Capitol Hill yesterday when supporters of outgoing President of the United States of America Donald Trump violently protested while Senate sat to endorse the election of Joe Biden was a shame and a complete circus. A country that has over the years portrayed itself as a strong democracy gave it up yesterday. The unruly cadres, some of whom were armed, broke into Capitol Hill, and pushed their way to where the meeting was being held to protest Trump’s electoral defeat.
All this was being done at the instigation of Trump who told them at a rally in Washington DC earlier that they should go to Capitol Hill and register their displeasure over what he calls “stolen votes”. In the process, police shot dead four protestors.
From this incident, we hope the U.S will stop schooling other countries about democracy; we must learn from each other. What we have witnessed in the USA is in fact a good reminder of why people should use their brains than emotions when voting. Frustrations and anger are no basis for changing your relationships and it shouldn’t be the most important driver for leadership change in any country. We have learnt from the United States where they thought Trump would be their ‘savior’.
Truthfully speaking, UPND president Mr Hakainde Hichilema is more similar, on so many levels, to Trump, than PF’s Edgar Lungu is.
Trump’s and Mr Hichilema’s rhetoric is very much the same, as is their self-centered egotistic belief that they individually possess special human powers and intellect and that only they can lead and hold all the answers that this country needs. Well, having money, especially that which is fraudulently earned through murky and shady business deals, does not make one a good leader. The only difference, of course, is that the USA will probably survive Trump – Zambia may well find out the hard way if it, too, can survive Mr Hichilema.
Getting back to what happened yesterday in America, Police brutality must be condemned in totality, and not in isolation. With the police’s action against the protestors, will the United States now have basis to stand and speak about democracy in African states? Will they have the guts to speak about human rights violations? We hope the US Embassy in Zambia will speak against this and condemn the killing of four people in cold blood.
The reactions towards a democratic election and Trump’s insistence that the votes were stolen speaks volumes about a country which has for many years been known to be a model of democracy. But well, yesterday, we saw the true colours coming out; we can safely say that what the United States has been preaching all these years is not what they practice. A couple of week ago when two Zambian citizens were killed during a protest by some cadres, the US embassy in Lusaka issued a strong statement on the incident, which was good. Nobody should ever support or justify the killing of another human being simply because they are protesting; simply dispersing them is the best route. Therefore, those responsible for the deaths must be made to answer for their actions and appropriate action taken in accordance with the law of the land.
We probably end by saying that these happenings are teaching us to believe in the saying that the devil you know is better than the stranger Angel.