Friday, August 7, 2009

“ki mitolo-it’s taboo” – The reign of the village idiot.

The tone of discourse in Zambia has so riled my soul; I cannot bear it anymore.
The President is caught up in a “yo mama” like childish tirade with Michael Sata talking about whose more ugly than the other and the judiciary is forced to adjudicate whether breeched birth pictures are pornography or a sad telltale of the state of medical facilities in Zambia. Add a first lady collecting pay for work she is not doing and a monkey pissing on her husband during a press conference and you would have the script for a funny comedy but for the 12 million poor Zambians caught up in the middle of all this, all the time, every single day battling the effects of debilitating poverty.

I have always tried to hold our leaders in high esteem but when events so clearly betray that confidence, am reminded of an old proverb –
“a foolish man may be known by six things: Anger without cause, speech without profit, change without progress, inquiry without object, putting trust in a stranger, and mistaking foes for friends.”
President Rupiah Banda is angry at the media for exposing the people’s suffering during the recent strikes but rather than view himself as the leader elected or selected to resolve the problems in Zambia’s medical sector he has chosen to portray himself as the victim of an overzealous media. Pooh he moans incessantly about the Post manufacturing lies, pictures unless doctored almost never betray facts.
Culturally it has always been accepted that when women are pushed beyond social norms, baring all is the only nuclear protest move left, mama Chikamoneka did it before a British envoy, mothers have bared when their children leave them no recourse so why does the Zambian government prosecute a journalist for forwarding, the protest of woman whom our social net badly let down?
It’s a case of a fool getting angry if you ask me, where was the President for a week before this event unfolded. It’s always better to get ahead of a crisis, manage it, set the terms rather than  let the crisis set the terms for you.  Rupiah Banda let the crisis evolve to the current specter – the whole world now laughs.
Rupiah Banda does not possess the knowledge nor is MMD party machinery structure comfortable near him, he still reeks of UNIP and it’s horrible tendencies, so he deals with any potential contenders for 2011 candidacy, by letting strangers/foes like Tentamashima and Mangani run them off with threats of violence.
The sad tale of a fool putting his blind faith in foes is all too obvious whether it’s Prof Clive Chirwa panning all his hopes on a few women singing “Chirwa uli wa mano (Chirwa you are intelligent)…ni iwe wine fye (you are the one)… presidential material.” when he joined the MMD in 2007 with hopes of making the MMD 2011 Presidential candidate or King Cobra thinking his “eagle eagle” boys will carry him to plot one. The truth has always been stirring wide eyed, poverty is a grim pathetic dehumanizing condition that makes any people say or behave however you please.
When captured through the lens of a camera however it is impossible to escape the fact that a child died because his would be breeched birth occurred during doctors/nurses; strike under the reign of the village idiot.
When Rupiah Banda suddenly found himself President of the republic of Zambia after the death of Mwanawasa, he quickly moved to make himself appealing to the MMD party machinery by increasing cabinet ministers and MP’s salaries – they were after all the primary king makers without them he could not have survived politically or otherwise. If Rupiah Banda has any real agenda to relieve the suffering of the Zambian people, it is hard to say right now, what is apparent is his desperate ploys to stay on in spite of his age and lack of wisdom to manage mundane crisis’s like a workers strike.

What would a wise leader do for the average Zambian woman, well he would or perhaps some day she will certainly save us from the horrible specter of a Zambian woman ever having to throw herself on the ground to welcome a politician at airport or having to give birth on the ground in public view. My soul sinks into despair when I hear tales of what women in childbirth had to endure during the nurse’s strikes, how can such cruelty ever unfold in my homeland. Many have been moved to tears by the retelling of the 2000 old nativity story, the birth of Jesus in a manger, how can a women in modern day Zambia suffer a more cruel fate?
The cruel irony is that Rupiah Banda was in South Africa getting his knee checked out, yet when he returns to Zambia he still fails to address the fundamental needs of Zambian women, he instead leads a government lynch mob in prosecuting a female journalist who dared to expose the sad plight of Zambian women.
Ovarian cancer has afflicted so many Zambian women, I applaud Maureen Mwanawasa for prevailing on her late husband to set up a cancer treatment center at UTH, I would readily forgive our current first lady for taking pay without work if she, would at least whisper to her husband to drop this sad case against the post female journalist.
But that’s all far fetched, it’s the reign of the village idiots, the discourse and central preoccupation is about Sata’s red eyes scaring kids and Sata for his part responds that he finds Rupiah Banda ugly and fat, the needs of the Zambian women will have to wait for now.