Listening to Radio Phoenix 06:45 hours news broadcast on the morning of Tuesday, April 4, we were amused by the sweet sound of a lady’s voice. It turned out we were listening to a recorded voice of the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, Kampamba Mulenga. She said words to the effect that Edgar Lungu should be recognised as the only “duly” elected President of the Republic of Zambia. She went on to say Edgar should not be seen as a dictator – in reference to Hakainde Hichilema’s comments – because no one can point to when Edgar forcibly ascended to the presidency. She uttered a few more words we now cannot recall because by that time, we had mentally switched off from processing the shallow message that was being put across.
Kampamba seems to think that a dictator is only that person who forcibly wrestles power. She is misguided in further assuming that only such a leader can lack legitimacy. Were it not that she was speaking in her official capacity, we would let this “small” gaffe pass. We will, however, offer free advice.
Many English dictionaries define a dictator as “a ruler with total power over a country”. It also refers to “a ruler who behaves in an autocratic way”. A dictator does not necessarily have to use forcible physical force to ascend to power. One can be termed a dictator by manipulatively ascending to leadership, holding on thereto and ruling in an autocratic fashion. The particulars of dictatorship can include, but are not limited to, illegitimacy, human rights abuses as seen in the Kanyama UPND rally saga, senseless third term bids, recklessness in wielding executive and judicial power as evidenced by The Post-Tax-State House liquidation, inability to discipline recalcitrant inner circle politicians, sponsored Law Association of Zambia attacks. But we all know that without a sound legal system, a small group or even a single person can take control of an entire country.
A dictator is known to be a person who behaves in a tyrannical manner and is unconstrained by law. Starting from Adolf Hitler to Saddam Hussein, the world has seen the rise and fall of some of the most historical dictators in history. They gained power shrewdly and maintained it through cruelty and violence.
It was one of the greatest errors in evaluating dictatorship to say that the dictator forces himself on society against its own will. In reality, every dictator in history was nothing but the accentuation of already existing state ideas which he had only to exaggerate in order to gain power.
A country where people are afraid of even their own shadows is surely a country of dictatorship! In such vile countries, there are two groups of people: The zombies, the living-dead who serve the dictator and the rest, the clever and honourable people who fight for their freedom!
And our last August’s elections clarified how an evil Nazi dictator like Adolf Hitler was able to come to power in global politics.
The liberators of our country wholeheartedly sacrificed their lives to fight against colonial dictatorship and tyranny, and we are allowing that very same dictatorship and tyranny to exist. Let us open our eyes.
And open avowal of dictatorship is much less dangerous than sham democracy. The first one can fight; sham democracy is insidious.
Nobody ever recommended a dictatorship aiming at ends other than those he himself approved. He who advocates dictatorship always advocates the unrestricted rule of his own will.
Stop obeying a dictator; you will then see that he is nothing! If you refuse the devil, you will then see that he will shed away.
Supporting a dictator is no different than eating a poisonous mushroom.
And there is no such thing as a non-dangerous dictator! Like all the venomous snakes, all dictators are dangerous. Then what is the antidote? Antidote is our love for freedom and our unshakable determination on the matter of keeping this love.
The main reason for the people who support a dictator is that their character perfectly match with that of the dictator. They both have a mean personality.
And people like Kampamba who can’t distinguish a dictator from a democrat are very dangerous . It is said that the loyal dogs of a dictator are much more dangerous than the dictator himself because a dictator can bite you only through his supporters. Without his dogs, he is nothing. More’s the pity, the world history is full of such loyal biters.
A dictator is a shadow; just increase the light, he shall disappear.
It is said that he who loves a dictator is much more dangerous than the dictator himself and that an honourable public and a dishonourable dictator cannot live together; at the end, the latter goes!
Until the Minister of Information can intelligently articulate the justification for these dictatorial inconsistencies in what should be democratic governance, she should spare us her sweet voice.