By Gershom Ndhlovu
PF president Michael Sata’s recent presentation on China at Harvard University in the United States has been doing the rounds on the internet among Zambians. Below is a reaction I received from one of my friends, Evans Chisanga, to whom I had forwarded the document:
“Well, well, well. It is very interesting to hear Sata describing Chinese investment in Africa as ‘a risk to consolidation of democracy and a culture of respect for human rights, because China does not subscribe to these values.’
Surely the Michael Sata we know has in the past himself exhibited little tolerance to dissenting views, especially when he was in power both in KK's one party authoritarian regime and FTJ's tyrannical MMD. And you may recall how he cleverly switched between the two camps. Speaking of democratic values, lest we forget, it was he that edged on FTJ during his failed 3rd term bid for Sata's own interests!“On Zambia's background he rightfully points out that, ‘After 8 years of multi-party democratic rule, the country descended into a One Party Socialist State , and changed for the worse, from one of the most promising middle-income African countries in the early 1970s, to one of the poorest in the world by the late 1980s.’ “Spot on, well said. But hang on a minute, was Michael Sata not part and parcel of this rot?“That pretty much sums up Sata's fight with the Chinese. He does have a legitimate point, but his arguments are deeply flawed and he is clearly attempting to delete his name from the ugly chapters of Zambia's history and Zambians should NOT allow it!”
I totally agree with Evans, the PF president is clearly tainted in terms of his past political actions and he needs many cycles in the washing machine to rid himself of the ghost from the past.
For those of us who worked in the government media at the height of Sata’s political zenith, we know how manipulative he was among a cabal of journalists he worked in cahoots with and, equally strange, the same journalists who worshipped “BaSata” have so turned against him it is unbelievable.
At the height of the third term debate, Sata as MMD national secretary had the power to stop the debate which he knew was going nowhere except that with Republican Vice President then, General Tembo and MMD vice president General Miyanda and the group of 22 out of the way, the Republican presidency was definitely his.
His it was, except he did not know “Bashi Helen’s” ideas. Little did he know that Frederick Chiluba would live up to his “political engineering” tag, who dribbled him all the way to Kudu Road where Levy Mwanawasa was awakened to be handed the presidency on a silver, or is it copper, platter.
A few weeks before that, Sata had vowed never to leave the MMD under any circumstances. He jumped ship the moment then MMD information and publicity secretary Vernon Mwaanga “unveiled” Mwanawasa as the MMD presidential candidate in August or September of 2001.
If Sata had been a principled politician in his capacity as MMD national secretary, he should have objected to the expulsion of Tembo, Miyanda, Nawakwi and others whose only crime was to oppose Chiluba’s third term attempt. He obviously rubbed his palms with glee at the prospect of the presidency falling into his lap.
He had told these same journalists that he was tired of “escorting” his friends into State House and it was now time for him to be escorted there.
It is the same Sata that created the likes of William “Tekere” Banda who today is his nemesis working with Mwanawasa. It is the same Sata that unleashed MMD thugs to beat up opposition members and journalists during a by-election in Chawama.
Sata must accept the fact that he has run his political race and it has come to an end. It is high time he left the political stage to lick his wounds.