By Chris Zumani Zimba
Featuring on Sunday Interview on ZNBC TV on 10th January, 2018 as Chief Government Spokesman, Hon Chishmba Kambwili (CK) rationally attacked the people of Southern Province for their alleged tribal voting saying Tongas would even vote against Jesus Christ if he stood against UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema in an election. Upon being fired from the party and government, CK prioritized to apologize to the Tonga people by blaming demons to have influenced what he said and today is dancing with UPND and HH in throwing heavy bombs on President Lungu and PF. For GBM, it is the same; in his resignation speech as Vice President for UPND this week, he merely apologized to president Lungu for having insulted him and the PF government as ‘corrupt thieves’ and ‘failures’ between 2016 and April 2019 and immediately changed his tongue against his immediate former political boss, HH and the UPND.
These two political brothers are practicing political Machiavellianism, “a personality trait, characterized by a duplicitous interpersonal style, a cynical disregard for morality, a lack of empathy, and a focus on self-interest and personal gain”. GBM and CK have overwhelmingly proven to be among the few best “Machiavellian Political Gladiators” who use the same strategy to gain political relevancy before their leaders, party members and masses. Under their tongues, they are blessed with rare political assassination terms and phrases which they effortlessly employ to attack, diminish, scandalize and suffocate any meaningful political rival around for the sake of praising and pleasing their ‘sitting political masters’. The ‘King Cobra mentored boys’ are dangerously gifted in this game, brutal and ruthless “Machiavellian Political Gladiators”; not different from baptized Barcelona players facing Real Madrid or overzealous Liverpool fans facing Manchester United lovers. They know how to use malicious defence and project their current political leader and camp. You need to love them; they are overtly politically good and genius. The famous Italian diplomat and political theorist, Niccolò Machiavelli himself could have crowned them as his best disciples in modern Zambia.
- The ‘Bantustan’ Mistake
Announcing the suspension of GBM on 20th April, 2019, it was crudely shocking to learn UPND National Chairperson, Mutale Nalumango reporting to the media that the vote of no confidence against Mr. Mwamba polled 75 of the secret votes while those for Mr. Mwamba polled 0 i.e. GBM was suspended by 100% votes of NEC members of which HH chaired. This directly means that GBM had no reliable peers and true friends in UPND, not even one as all denied and denounced him. This was a total ‘evil mistake’ themselves and poor political strategy gone sour and bad for UPND and HH. Why do I say so? The old negative political branding of being a ‘Bantustan political organization’ as popularized by Dr. Fred M’membe in his defunct famous Post Newspaper.
GBM was not just financially big and a blessing to UPND, the former defence Minister was a visible political heavyweight in his Northern region for the lead opposition party and helped UPND to attract and win more members and supporters around Muchinga, Northern, Luapula and partially Copperbelt. For a known business man who co-funded the party functionaries and their campaigns for the last four years he has been Party Vice President as well as Running mate to HH 2016, his suspension or expulsion needed to have been done ‘carefully clean’ and smartly executed with a ‘clever human and political face’ in order to either kill or diminish this old and persistent ethnic tag against UPND. But to brutally denounce him like Satan with a 100% vote of no confidence especially that he made UPND to have regional/ethnic balance and nationwide appeal in a defined NEC meeting chaired by HH himself was a huge ‘Bantustan Mistaken’. They needed to have escaped this big political trap from big GBM specifically ‘created’ for them and against them. And how they could have avoided this dark mistake is another dark article for another dark day. As we speak, the pioneers of the Bantustan concept against the UPND and HH now seem stubbornly justified and are throwing deadly ‘Penanka’ dances in red wine winks and ‘Samba’ styles.
For many years, Dr. Fred M’membe of the defunct Post Newspaper coined, stigmatized, branded and rubbished HH and UPND by repeatedly insisting that he was a leader of a ‘Bantustan political organization’. Upon verifying the meaning, the word ‘Bantustan’ has apartheid roots and means, “a partially self-governing area set aside during the period of apartheid in South Africa and Namibia for a particular indigenous African people; a so-called ethnic homeland such as KwaZulu”. This is how the Post Newspaper and its master crudely described and persistently presented the UPND and HH before Zambians for many years. And the 100% vote of no confidence against a lonely visible heavyweight Northerner in the sea of Southerners and Westerners within UPND was indeed a brutal ‘Bantustan Mistake’ and political fall before the ruthless schemers and overzealous followers of this dogmatic political concept against legendary HH and the UPND as a party.
In his wisdom, Dickson Jere, a State House Press Aide during President Rupiah Banda’s administration was alerted in his Easter Weekend article to imagine that if GBM, HH’s running mate in 2016 presidential elections resigns or is expelled from the party, it means that UPND will see a record setting ninth (9) new vice president to succeed him with only two presidents (late Anderson Masoka and HH himself) since the party was formed. But should they get a new heavyweight Vice President and 2021 running mate to HH from outside Northern and Eastern regions now GBM has officially resigned and gone back to PF, UPND and HH will still be making another ‘Bantustan mistake’ in the eyes of many outside their strongholds and will be seen to have decided and prepared for a nose dive crash into 2021. However, this is what HH and UPND need to avoid by appointing a new Vice President and running mate to HH who is like GBM or Dr. Canious Banda, a Northerner or Easterner or Lusakan, not one of ‘them’ to present themselves politically sexy with a signature of national wide appeal.
Chris Zumani Zimba is a prolific Political Scientist, Policy Analyst, Author, Blogger, PhD Scholar, Researcher, Consultant, Public Health and Tobacco Control Advocate. Besides being the CEO at Chrizzima Democracy University (CDU) in Zambia, he analyses African politics weekly on Voice of the Cape Town, South Africa every Wednesday at 16:45hours CAT. So far, he has authored more than 10 political and academic books as well as published over 100 well researched articles on African politics and public health. Sometimes, he lectures Political Science-Part Time with University of Zambia (UNZA) and University of Lusaka (UNILUS) outside his usual commitments. Chriszumanizimba.firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com; +260 973 153 815 for calls or WhatsApp