We bring you-the raw voice of the common Zambian on the streets
With Emmanuel Mutale
SLAP SQUADS AND THE BREAK-DOWN OF THE RULE OF LAW UNDER PRESIDENT LUNGU
“The way things are going under President Lungu’s regime, this nation is not safe. One day the PF will not manage to contain the violence that will break out in this country- I am telling you. I don’t Know if other Zambians are seeing what I am seeing” Jack, said as he sat down in the bus going to town. He was on his way to work.
“Bushe Kanshi, in this country, do we still have a president, I wonder?!” A visibly concerned gentleman responded to Jack’s remark “Because the way things are going, it is like we don’t have a President. How can we have so many challenges as a country and your President can’t face citizens to explain? Maybe the PF should tell us that President Lungu is no longer interested in ruling this country, so that someone who is serious with the job can take over. What is going on are serious but dangerous jokes. We can’t have PF cadres doing whatever they want and us citizens should be living in fear!” the gentleman continued. “If a minister can be slapped in public like that, what about you and me the ordinary citizens, are we safe?!”
It had just been reported all over the news that Zambia’s Justice Minister, Hon. Given Lubinda had been slapped by thugs, disguised in masks but putting on PF regalia. The Minister was visiting his Constituency when the incidence happened.
“Look here, Zambians can’t assemble freely to express their displeasure with the PF but PF cadres can wake up any time and insult anybody and the Police will do nothing. Opposition leaders cannot go about their business freely but PF people can do whatever they want, anyhow and anywhere and the Police will say nothing. Does the PF think Zambians will continue watching this nonsense forever?!! That’s what worries me a lot.” Jack said, showing real concern. “Any serious President can stop the rubbish going on in the country but Lungu is watching and by so doing, he is putting this country at very high security risk. The blood of innocent Zambians will be on his hands very soon if he is not careful” Jack said.
“Ala ba Lungu, kuwaya wayafye (Lungu is just a waste of time)” A lady with a baby on her back chipped in “ Ati humble President! This country is going to the dogs, and you are telling us, ati humble leader?! Kwena we tolerate a lot of stupidity in this country. To be honest, that man has no capacity for the Presidency. It’s just that we Zambians are just too docile We should have long demanded for his resignation from the post of President. That is not presidential material at all. Let us be serious as a country!” She remarked, dismissively.
“Laws are fast been disregarded under the current PF government and wrong doers have no fear because they seem to have protection from higher offices” Another gentleman contributed. “In Zambia, criminals have more protection than me and you under Lungu’s government. The other day I was reading a story of a man who was jailed for 4 years because he stole some soap. Yet we have Zambians who are stealing millions of dollars who are walking freely, thanks to your so called humble President” the gentleman remarked in disgust.
“Mwelesa bushe Lungu mwamufumyakwi (God, where did you get Lungu)?!” One man said, jokingly and the whole bus burst out laughing. This particular phrase was fondly attributed to Chishimba Kambwili, who continuously laments the poor leadership of Edgar Lungu.
“During the time of Mwanawasa or even during RB, did we see the kind of violence and lawlessness we are seeing during election campaigns under Lungu’s government?” A man in a black suit, asked rhetorically.
“No ways! During Mwanawasa, cadres behaved themselves because the President was very clear he was not going to tolerate lawlessness and that is how it should be! It simply tells you that when a country is experiencing the kind of break-down in the Rule of Law we are witnessing, the problem is the President. Remember he is the commander in Chief of the armed forces and he holds the power to restore sanity in the country” An elderly man answered authoritatively. “All he needs to do is to fire the Home Affairs Minister and the Police Commissioner and this nonsense will stop because everyone would know the president is serious and will not tolerate break-down in the rule of law. As it is, what your President is telling you is, this is what he wants- a country that has no respect for law and order. A gangsters’ Paradise”
“Could it be true that Lungu deliberately wants this country to slide into anarchy to serve his interests?” A young woman asked, in genuine amazement.
“In my view, the man just doesn’t have what it takes for the post of President. I think he is busy drinking and dancing with his friends whilst the country is falling apart. Those who knew him before he became President, will tell you the kind of life style he led, and to expect he would suddenly become this great responsible leader just because he is now President, is asking for too much” A reserved man answered. “It is clear the man has no capacity for that job”
“Ok when it comes to Lungu, let us just admit that though some of us voted for him, twaliigonga (we played ourselves). Kikikikikik” A jovial youth chipped in and most passengers in the bus laughed in agreement.
“But people, look at the massive infrastructure development that Lungu has given you Zambians. I think you Zambians just love to complain” A fat man who had been quietly listening to the conversation, interjected “ We have been fed too much negative propaganda by the opposition to the extent that we can’t even see the many great things that Lungu is doing. Look at the roads in our Kombonis (townships). Sure you people can’t appreciate? The man argued.
“My brother on that issue, you need to be very careful” Jack answered him. “Let me ask you a question. Let’s say you needed a veranda at your house. Let’s say I am your brother and we stay in the same house. I come to you and say the veranda will cost K100,000 to build. Meanwhile, I know very well that the true cost of doing the veranda is just a mere K30,000. We then get a loan as a family and I then go and get the contractor to do the veranda. The veranda gets done and the contractor gets paid K100,000 but the contractor pays me a commission of K70,000 whilst the family remains paying a debt of K100,000 for the veranda. Are you going to to be happy about my actions as your brother?” Jack asked. “Are you going to be clapping for me saying , I brought you a great veranda?”
“Obviously that would be very wrong of you to do to your own family. It is very cruel but what are you getting at?” The fat man asked Jack.
“My brother that is exactly what the PF government is doing to us. They are building roads that should cost us $400 million but they lying to us and are saying the roads cost $800 million. They are taking the excess $400 million for themselves but leaving us the citizens of Zambia to pay the loan of $800million. Don’t forget that the loans PF government is busy acquiring are been paid by you, me and our children. My brother, I am not going to be clapping for thieves and say they have brought massive infrastructure development! No ways! They have brought massive corruption and have left me and you in serious debts whilst they have become filthy rich and it is not right! I pray that most of these criminals get arrested when another government comes to power.” Jack explained. Everyone in the bust agreed with him.