By Austin Mbozi
To: Honorable Alexander Chikwanda
MP. Minister of Finance
Re: Proposal for Keeping the President from Public View
I urge you to consolidate the PF policy of keeping President Micheal Sata from public view or press conferences. When a speech is written for him where he necessarily has to appear in person, he must be carefully advised to stick to that paper and say nothing else. This is not only meant to protect this nation from further embarrassments which occurs each time he says anything outside what has been written for him, but also for national security reasons.
I chose to write you Honorable Chikwanda, because it seems that you are the only minister whom President Sata respects. So he may listen to you, given the several presidential responsibilities he assigns you. He never rebukes you, never undermines your decisions , never reshuffles you and when your company corruptly gets a contract without a tender to renovate state house he pretends not to know by lying that he does ‘ not even know the price of cement’.
His recent behavior and utterances at Zambia Air force (ZAF) commissioning and wings parade in Livingstone, as reported by the Saturday Post Newspaper ( 3rd November 2012) raises a lot of questions about his ability to be trusted in handling our national security issues:
He lied that he was a pilot
The fact is that President Sata has never been a pilot, not even a night ‘pilot’ in the witchcraft world where you only need primitive concoctions to become one. He has not even been to a military training and even as a mere colonial police officer he was fired! . And even if he were a civilian pilot, would he compare himself to our sophisticated military pilots he was boasting to? What really is the mentality of this man! Our military officers are highly modern and trained. Many of them do not only have high ranks in the military, they have certificates, diplomas, degrees and doctorates. ZAF commander Lt Gen Eric Chimese himself is a good an example. I had the privilege to do some academic work with him. He is a very pleasant man. Our ZAF professionals are miles away in academic and professional credentials than this man, Sata, who is trying to bully them. Does he think they are fools? When they did not challenge him point blank to go right there and then and fly one of the military planes behind that parade does not mean they are fools. They restrain themselves because unlike him, they are professionals and have no time for petty games with a petty-minded president with an inferiority complex.
From the way he enjoys bullying educated people around, President Sata seems to be the type who might have thought being president would give him some credentials he failed to achieve in his life. The fact that our constitution makes the president the Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces does not mean that he is more knowledgeable than the military. It is just that decisions of whether to go to war or not are political in nature. Once a civilian president declares war he or she can only be briefed in strategic military planning but not determine it. Yet, as The Post told us after the 2006 elections, Sata’s concept of power is totally wrong. He can not see that leaders of the world’s military powers, like Obama, Putin, Jacob Zuma etc do not even wear that military uniform or bully their commanders because they want to show respect for their military experts.
But Sata’s behavior is common among uneducated leaders. And if we want our world to be safer, we must study this new discipline called psycho-biography. This is the study of the subconscious personal psychological forces that drive people to want to acquire political power. This helps us check their actions and be safe. Adolf Hitler was rejected by the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna; just like Sata has no academic background. Hitler was not promoted beyond private first class or corporal in the Germany Army; just like Sata was fired as a colonial police recruit. Hitler had no wealth, just like Sata only declared six guns. Then what drives such failed people to want to rule over more successful citizens?
Sata is now claiming to be a pilot. Similarly, upon assuming power, Hitler declared himself Fuhrer (supreme commander of all military wings). Within Nazi politics he wore different uniforms designed specially for his designer-made titles; the Golden Party badge, the Blood Order, and the Nuremburg Party Day badge. Among his military decorations were the Cross of Honor, Anschluss Medal, Sudetenland Medal, Memel Medal and the West Wall medal.
But why? Professor Ali Mazrui reports that part of Uganda’s Idi Amin’s motivations were personal. Within Military circles Amin was a success. After joining the colonial Kings African rifles in 1959, he rose through ranks from warrant officer, the moved to a commissioned officer and become a lieutenant in 1961. Then become major-general and promoted commander by President Obote. But, according to Mazrui, Idi Amin later become a public laughing stock for running into hiding when he heard that there was a coup against his President. To prove he was not a coward, he took over power himself in 1971 and lived through life trying to prove his masculinity, including towards women in his sex life, wearing several military decorations and declaring himself Field Marshall. Recall that even our own former president Chiluba, with no academic back ground, ended up calling himself Dr. Chiluba. In contrast, the genuinely educated Nelson Mandela never calls himself Dr Mandela, despite that virtually each one every of the world’s leading universities awarded him with a doctorate.
If we do not unite and stop him, Sata might claim more military titles and start issuing potentially dangerous instructions to our professional military servicemen and women, like Hitler and Amin did. Is it no wonder that we argued that to be President one must have some kind of professional qualifications partly to private such personality complexes affecting our state institutions.
He exposed ZAF by saying it had no capacity to fight a war.
So this President, tells the whole world that our air force has ‘no air transport for (our) troops’, ‘no transport for disaster management’, ‘no transport airplanes and helicopters’, and that ‘ we are ‘lucky that there is no war’ etc and we Zambians are sitting quiet ndwii? All our previous presidents may have known our military strengths and weaknesses. But they discussed it secretly. With Sata’s disclosure, every one of our enemies can come to attack us with impunity.
During the reign of Chiluba, The Post Newspaper had reported that our top military personal had refuted Chiluba’s claims that Zambia could defend itself against Angola. Chiluba tried to arrest Post Newspaper editor Fred Mmembe on grounds that exposing military capabilities was a criminal offence. During that time, Sata was a key MMD government leader. So if Chiluba and Sata thought exposing military capabilities was an offence, why is Sata exposing it now? Is it because he is above the law as he claims? We ask LAZ to give us guidance of this. What is the President’s role with regard to military confidentiality?
Should ZAF personnel use their salaries to buy airplanes etc?
Sata then told our ZAF officers that there was ‘no need (for them) of getting good money (salaries) , good houses when you have no equipment…’ . But who determines the wages and equipment budget for our military personnel? Is it not President Sata through the ministry of finance budgetary allocations? Or is he implying that they are corruptly paying themselves from money’s allocated for equipment? If so is he not going to create tensions within ZAF by inciting junior personnel who don’t handle money to think top officers are abusing funds? Is this the leadership we expect from the Commander-in Chief of our armed forces? How can they put up a united from against our enemies with a commander like this?
Contradiction: Is Sata ignorant of military capabilities?
Shockingly, the same President who said we have no capacity to fight then says ‘I don’t know even how many aircrafts you have here … and I don’t know when they were last serviced’. He then called for a list of what is needed. So which is which? Does he know or does he not know? If he is a pilot and he already knows that we can’t fight, then he must know what we need! You can only know that we can’t fight if you know how many planes are needed, say 90 planes. Then you count what we have and find we have only 20 planes. Then you conclude that 90-20 we need 70 more planes to be able to fight! But Sata does not yet know how many planes we need, so how did he know we can’t fight? Just what logical processes go on in this man’s head?
He rebuked the Army Commander in public
It was wrong for Sata to publicly tell off our commander that ‘he is not telling me what he is supposed to’. Remember how Sata began by publicity rebuking Dr Malama at the police? How can the junior officers respect our commanders if you rebuke them in public?
He publicity revealed the ‘disloyalty’ of GBM, the ministry of defense.
Even if defense Minister Geoffrey Mwamba is just a useless character in government, it was wrong for President Sata to claim the his minister is forming a political party right in front of his juniors, the ZAF Commander, graduating officers and the entire nation. Does Sata know that this will create insubordination? How will the defense minister be respected by military men and women if the President indicates to them that their boss, the minister of defense, is disloyal to him as Commander in Chief?
Sata is free to go about dividing and ruling party and his PF cadres. Let them continue starving while he eats well. But he should stop messing around with our defense forces and other respectable institutions.
He compared Eastern Province ZAF personnel to ‘monkeys’
His statement that people from eastern province walked like monkeys is totally uncalled for. Chimbuye (traditional cousinship jokes) cannot be done at a formal gathering like that one. Chimbuye assumes that the person you are doing it with should be in a position to joke back. But did Sata expect the Eastern Province graduates to joke back to him just there? And are the Post newspaper not the ones who referred to chibuye as stupid during the Rupiah Banda era and now they write it as if its normal for Sata to do it? And who likes Sata’s silly jokes anyway? Those jokes are not presidential. That is why international diplomats, like George Bush, did not take them kindly.
So Honorable Chikwanda, please keep that man out of public domain, or restrict him to his party cadres. Right now, just before I finished writing this advice to keep him away from public, he tells Mufumbwe people that if they don’t vote for PF, he will channel (their mineral revenues ) resources elsewhere (most likely his preferred Muchinga tribal province). The Post Newspaper used to say that this country did ‘not belong to Mwanawasa’s mother or father. It belongs to the people of Zambia.’ The same should be emphasized even more on Sata. The resources he is talking about do not belong to his mother or father. They belong to the people of Zambia.
I urge the people of Mufumbwe to vote for the MMD candidate and reject a petty candidate like Masumba who can associate even with a tribalist like Sata just to get money for dancing in bars.