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I shed a tear for President Sata

27 May 2014 at 14:57hrs | Views

With tear-bleared eyes I looked at the picture of the president. I know I am his critic, but I felt a touch of pity and choked, distraught at the sight of him. What heart could not bleed? I imagined tears welling from the faces of those who genuinely love him. How many? I thought. None—so it seems. Not his beloved. Not his vice. Not his confederates. If they were any, they would not have allowed it to happen. They would have done their best to stop him, even if it meant tying him to his bed.

I saw them, the pitiless PF, swarming a president so emaciated and frail, chanting their slogans in senseless ecstasy. My anger surged not at them, but at Wynter. What kind of man is he? Because picture evidence often conveys more than words can tell, I took another closer look at him. His demeanor externalized the cruel and heartless nature of him. He was undisturbed. His action bespoke no shame. He had no desire to conceal from us the mental state of the man we call our leader. He cared less for Sata and for the world around him. It did not matter to him whether he was dangling a wilted "cabbage" or not. I saw it in him; his foredoomed act; an act that mounted to false loyalty and the cunning want for power. I called it an inherent evil.
"How could he let this happen?"

The picture spoke a thousand words. It illustrated a lawyer's grand-strategic misjudgment; one that should be displayed in the annals of constitutional law. It showed a Minister of Justice entirely comfortable with absurdity, idiocy, senselessness, and futility. It showed a Wynter, an advocate, a politician, a minister's disregard for dignity. While I believe his motive will become known to us in future when he is prodded to greater depth, it can be unequivocally stated that Wynter is not the lawyer worth the vocation. I pray that the moral court finds Wynter Kabimba guilty, and de-robes and debars him for eternity.

My eyes shifted from Wynter to Mulenga—Sata's golden son who is the mayor of Lusaka. Calm and calculating, all Mulenga craves is chivalry and propriety. It was him who should have stopped his father. There is always an implicit bondage between father and son, a downright relationship. Although he may not know if his father's behavior is the outgrowth of a sick mind, he is at least cognizant of his irrational actions. All he should have said is: "Father please, you are above this. Leave it to Wynter. There are more pressing issues than you going to court. You'll be making a fool of yourself. Besides, you are not well. You need all the rest you can get."

Of course Mulenga did not. If he did he failed. It is possible his vain, sadistic, paranoid and vengeful father over rode him: "I'm tired of people defaming me, telling lies about me. I need to go and tell Sakala that he's a liar. I'll see to it that the court finds him guilty so he can pay a dear price that will serve as a warning to others."
For years Mulenga has endured the cannon's mouth and drunk from the fountain of parental authoritarianism. We all have. We treat our father as superman. We see no flaws or vulnerabilities in him. Ironically, the more vocal and insolent a father is, the more we idealize him. Mulenga sees absolutely nothing wrong with his father. He is as fit as a fiddle and as sharp as a knife. He despises those who call his father ailing dictator, lunatic, buffoon, or a spectacle. In actual fact he sees him as a political genius, dearly loved by countless souls.

Dipped in olive oil, and clad in a princely suit, I could see that the golden son, a man of average capacity, and unknown acumen, is trying very hard to become the second most-widely recognized person in Zambia. There has been speculation that his step-mother carries with her ambitions beyond her present chores. It is perhaps the reason why he sought the mayoral position, so he could become a part of his father's inner circle and feel like the acolyte of the emperor—the real "de facto" president. It has dawned on him that we Zambians are laid-back, meek, submissive, modest, timid, easily swayed and ready to be led by any fraud, trickster, or blockhead.  

My eyes moved. I stole another glance at the president's wrinkled brow and felt sorry for him. I could see that he was ready to do battle. Yes, the president has intense and unstable emotions; he is hyper-sensitive. For three months I researched his life and discovered that he has an abnormal love for self, an exaggerated sense for control, and an obsession for power. Some stuff I read pointed to his rough childhood, that as a young man he was in the habit of deliberately harming and humiliating others, and often engaged in fist fights. His bullying habit was meant to scare others and be admired by his schoolmates. In the picture I saw that his brute and thuggery instinct had kicked in—the past had infiltrated the present.

I paused. I had looked enough. The whole picture made me feel angry with my relatives for voting for a person such as he - all of them, my nephews, nieces, cousins, and close friends. I wrote to my PF diplomat friend: "Is this what you wanted?" He wrote back: "Don't believe online publications. There's nothing wrong with him. The man is in top shape."

Yes, you better believe it, that's precisely what Guy Scott would say. He would be echoed by Alexander Chikwanda, Edgar Lungu, Yamfwa Mukanga, Wylber Simuusa, Robert Sichinga, Fackson Shamenda, and other ministers. They are already saying that the president's spectacle was in order. "If he feels defamed he has a right to take the culprits to court." He is now preparing for the close examination, they are saying. They have chosen to ignore the clues of the president's mental state contained in the court transcript of May 21, 2014. They can't see that the president is not a well man. That he is becoming increasingly irritable, lethargic, and is pretty much mentally exhausted. They care less.

Wait a minute; it occurred to me that there was one person missing in the picture, the president's wife. I wondered if she had seen the picture. She is a medical doctor. What was her reaction when she saw it? Did she shed a tear like me? Did she smile? What did she do? How about when she read the transcript? Did she commend her husband for a job well done? Did she castigate him for making a fool of himself? Did she worry her husband could be mentally ill? What was going on in her mind? Does she care? If she does, why did she not put her foot down?

Days have gone by we still do not know what the president's wife was thinking. I have begun to think maybe she does not care what he does, what he says, and what people think. She has chosen to ignore the myriad theories out there about her husband's health and conduct. Should we then think that that the president is seriously ill and his loss of weight is evident; that his heart problem is getting worse; that because of a history of heavy smoking his lungs are clogged; that he has some sort of cancer—prostate, lung; and that he has TB?

Should the president's wife leave us to wild speculations like his illness affecting his thinking capacity; that the drugs are going to his head? If indeed her husband is unwell, she knows what is wrong because she has access to his medical files and knows all the medications he has been taking during the course of his reign. As a medical practitioner, she combines her role as a first lady and her professional responsibility as a doctor. As a doctor she holds full disclosure of the president's condition, and yet she chooses to remain numb.

It is this silence that should worry every Zambian, PF or not. Let me be candid. If the purported court transcript doing its rounds on the Internet is anything to go by, the president displayed a clear sign of mental disorder that is dangerous, breathtaking and almost impossible to control. By blatantly committing perjury with regard his age, disregarding and deprecating court etiquette, and making unwarranted comments in the court of law, he was exhibiting his delusional fantasies of power. In a harebrained manner, he was exercising a sense of entitlement and was trying to show us "his people" how powerful he is.

After writing the above last sentence I feel infuriated. How can I be part of this circus? Indeed, how can we all be? How can we allow ourselves to be led by a person who has no remorse or is never embarrassed by his own actions; a person who accuses others of precisely what he himself does; a foul-mouthed deceptive bully?

Are there peaceful ways in which he can be stopped? Yes, there are. One of them is; Zambian psychologists, psychiatrists, and medical doctors should demand that all the clinics and hospitals that have treated Sata hand over his medical records. They too, must demand they examine him. Should he be found to be unfit, which is likely the case, he must be removed. Another is for parliament to impeach him. If president Sata remains our leader in the state he is, we are doomed.

Please Note:  I have created a website on which you can access all my articles, essays, books, and my autobiography.  On it you can also learn more about the books I have written and read snippets of chapters. Contact me, blog, or join in the debate.

Field Ruwe is a US-based Zambian media practitioner, historian, and author. He is a doctoral candidate at George Fox University. ©Ruwe2012

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