By Gershom Ndhlovu
In the few weeks before the last presidential election I heard two people, one a journalist with close ties with a Cabinet Minister and a provincial minister, and another a clergyman with very close with the MMD, say “Sata takatekepo ichalo”, loosely translated as Sata will never rule the country.
As much as the two people are my friends, I doubt if they know each other and if they do, they probably do not know how close I am with each one of them. In fact the first time the clergyman said this was in the run up to the 2006 elections and repeated it in the run up to the recently held presidential elections.
The finality with which my two friends would say this left me cold and very worried as to the intention of, and practice of the elections by the MMD as the ruling party. It may appear to me as though that the MMD and people somewhere in the government system have ruled out certain people from the presidency and Sata is one of them from the look of things.
I never took this matter seriously. In fact I dismissed it as just idle chatter among friends until after the last election when yet again serious flaws emerged in the handling of elections by the Electoral Commission of Zambia despite the best intentions exhibited by new chairperson, Justice Florence Mumba.
These friends do not give a reason why Sata “will never rule the country” but it may appear that this is an issue that is discussed in the higher echelons of government considering what links my two friends have. The clergyman actually had access to the late President Levy Mwanawasa if that should give an indication of how well connected he is in the corridors of power.
Clearly, statements like this undermine the democratic process of any country,
The Constitution should be blamed for any flaws about any candidate as it does not address the brusqueness or the lack of it of a candidate and this is a characteristic that certain people do not seem to like in Sata.
If anything, the National Constitution Conference (NCC) should quickly be given a fresh mandate to review the Constitution in total now that we as a nation have just witnessed the death of a sitting president, a matter which was never adequately addressed in the existing and past constitutions. This should be an opportunity for those drafting the document to address issues of choosing leaders in an ordinary general election or in an instance where a sitting president dies.
As it is, we will have a written constitution that gives guidelines on the election of leaders and a mental constitution in the minds of people running government who would do anything to exclude certain people from ascending to power even if they were to be elected. This in itself has the potential to undermine the electoral process when it becomes a routine exercise because the results do not meet the citizens’ expectations.
This is what caused problems in
And if comments attributed to army commander General Isaac Chisuzi and Inspector General of Police Ephraim Mateyo a couple of days before the elections are anything to go by, the electorate could have been intimidated not to vote for certain candidates because of a perception of violence that was created in the minds of the people by the two officers.
Watching Barack Obama’s acceptance speech as
While Obama is the one carrying the trophy on this lap of honour, credit should be given to people like Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr and a whole lot of others who started or ran the race at one point or other.
There are so many heroes and heroines in
It was Rosa Parks, a seamstress, who gave the Civil Rights movement the direction it took which resulted in the rise of Martin Luther King Jr who was to give the now famous “I have a dream” speech, a dream now fulfilled in Obama.
One day in the 1950s, Parks, knackered from a hard day’s job, got onto a bus in
The outcome of that event triggered the boycott of buses by black people in that part of the
***The death last week of Wapolina M’kandawire reminded me of the fact that death always plucks the best fruit in the garden. Wapolina had unsurpassed passion for the arts.