Zambian Watchdog

Hichilema and his pact games

February 20
18:16 2011

United Party for National Development president Hakainde Hichilema should stop playing games. There is no time for such.
If Hichilema has accepted to be Michael Sata’s underdog in the so called pact, let him come out clean.
What happened last week where his chairperson for International relations [EU fundraiser] Clive Chirwa wrote a letter to PF offering Sata the pact presidency is very interesting.
It is very difficult to believe that Chirwa acted on his own without Hichilema being in the know. Chirwa was in the country for a week and within that week, he caused quite a stir. Firstly, he was abruptly appointed chairperson for International relations a few hours after landing at the Lusaka International airport.
Two days later, he was on the Copperblet campaigning for Hhichilema to be pact president. He was quoted as saying Hichilema is a better candidate than the 70 something old Sata.
But behold and lo, a day before he took off, he sent a letter to Wynter Kabimba of PF offering the PF the pact presidency and 60 percent of government jobs should the pact win the elections.
Obviously Kabimba was in shock. He must have read that letter several times before believing its contents. And who can blame him for calling a press conference?
But Hichilema is trying to blame Kabimba for making public what Chirwa proposed. That is nonsense. Kabimba and the PF are resolute in making Sata president. They have never hidden this intent. They are in the pact to make UPND back them for the presidency. Anything else is secondary and less important. The PF will never and can never settle for anything less than the pact presidency. Anyone who has a functioning brain knows this. Its only people like Hichilema who cheat themselves that the PF can back him.
And why is the PF only interested in the presidency? Because that is the only important thing. People might cheat themselves and talk about economic management and other lofty ideas, but the presidency is what determines all those things.
In Zambia, when you are president, you are God almighty. Your will shall be and is done. You fire and hire at will. That is why even ordinarily weak men like president Rupiah Banda can afford to act the resident Jehovah. It’s because in Zambia, all power is vested in the presidency.
If Hichilema wants to be vice president under Sata, that is his choice. But he must know what most of us already know. In Zambia, when you are vice president, you are nothing. You are a puppet and a bootlicker. Of course you can make money as vice president because, that is what all Zambian politicians get from government. That is why they are in government. That is why they want to be in government.
If the vice presidency would be important under the pact government, why don the PF accept it?
No one should delude himself that a pact agreement can be respected once power is won. Such arrangements work in civilized societies where people can be trusted. You can not enter into a pre-elections agreement with a mad man like Sata and expect him to honour it when he is sworn in as president. If you believe that then you are a fool, a very big fool.
Even Hakainde Hichilema can not be trusted to keep such an agreement. It is just the nature of power balance in Zambia. Once you win elections, you get new advisors who will tell you to act in the interest of the ‘nation’, in this case their stomachs. So, if Hichilema wants to back Sata, let him do so without expecting anything afterwards. Let the UPND join PF and be one party. The issue of the pact can not work. It will die the minute one of them is declared president. These are harsh realities.
And this is why Kkabimba is so eager to have Sata as pact president. He knows that once Sata is voted in as president of Zambia, the pact will not be needed. Its agreements tossed out of the window. Kabimba knows that it will be the president not the vice president who will appoint ministers. He knows that if Sata becomes president, he, Kabimba will be given a government job so that he can have access to government resources. He wants to have three official luxury cars and two for his wife and one each for his children. He knows that if Hichilema is president, he may not have a government job. So, he is fighting to have Sata as president. So why is the UPND blaming Kabimba? Do they expect him to campaign for Hichilema?
Hichilema should stop confusing his followers. He must say claeraly whether he is supporting Sata or he will stand as president. His colleague Sata is not even talking about this pact thing anymore. He is busy campaigning for the presidency. It is Hichilema who is obsessed with the pact. It’s him who is pleading to be helped by Sata.
He has now been reduced to negotiate the terms of the pact with minions from Bwinjimfumu. How can a leader of the opposition sink so low?
If Clive Chirwa had a proposal to make on the pact, why did he not make this proposal to the UPND? Was Hichilema testing the waters? Is this what he really plans to do?
The other problem with Hichilema is that he is so afraid of the Post newspaper. He thinks that the Post can make him president, as if they have ever made anyone.
He fears to be condemned in an editorial.
He probably thinks that if he is not covered favourably, he will not be allowed to file his nomination. He does not seem to know that it is the Chief Justice who accepts nominations.
Instead of launching campaigns seriously, he is busy allowing himself to be distracted by the nonsense called pact. Cant some people see beyond their noses?
Hichilema is a youthful and educated leader who can bring at least some level of positive change to Zambia. But here he is trying to recycle a lunatic like Michael Sata and make him president.
Hichilema can not tell us that his party and PF need to agree on economic management before choosing a pact president. Those things should have been agreed upon before signing the pact. If they signed a pact before agreeing on such fundamental issues, then there is something serious wrong with our leaders.
Just two weeks ago, Hichilema had unofficially launched his campaign for the presidency. The interested this generated across the country was massive. But then he sent Chirwa to the PF pleading to be vice president.

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