Harry Kalaba says those depending either on violence or their arrogance of wealth to further suppress the feelings of downtrodden Zambians should know that their strategy will not work.
“Those that will use violence as a tool to intimidate others should be reminded that in the 21st century, that tool will not work. They will use as much violence as they might want but it will not work because to intimidate or suppress the feelings of many people because you have got more money than them and you can use the arrogance of wealth, will not work. A lot of our people are wallowing in abject poverty; there are a lot of wrongs that need to be corrected and that will be corrected by those that will choose not to fear anybody, those that will stand up to those that call themselves wealthy,”
It seems the only skill Patriotic Front leaders and cadres possess is an uncanny ability to alienate the people with their arrogance. If that energy and ability could be channelled to positive political changes and growth, we would not be mired in the current poverty and inequality doldrums. Instead, we would have a blooming social, political and economic system of real potential and success. Everyday, they are issuing threats to political opponents.
And threats are becoming not only increasingly mixed with insults hurled with little respect for the legitimate articulation of genuine political concerns but there is also no impartial refereeing of claims and counterclaims. Neither the press nor the broadcast media, or for that matter the courts, are ultimately neutral. Political arrogance has become the consequential act of participation in political debate rather than the accidental result of deliberately sought after political aggrandizement. Political arrogance has become a symptom of, rather than being caused by, contemporary politics. It is a worrying trend. Participation in politics in today’s Zambia has simply become a manifestation of politically arrogant behaviour by those who believe ultimately that their views and thus their politics is superior and more correct than that of their political opponents. The direct result is an increasingly negative public perception of the Patriotic Front’s role and motivation of role of its leaders and cadres. Politics and lying, or should that be political dissembling, have become synonymous with one another. Political arrogance has become an embedded stereotype. It is becoming increasingly difficult to see past the image of Patriotic Front leaders and cadres without evoking perceptions of political arrogance.
And arrogance is an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing or in presumptuous claims or assumptions. There is a political dark side to this process with a blanket refusal to contemplate alternative political scenarios and overcompensate through an unwillingness to consider equally plausible political alternatives, especially in an era of zero sum politics.
The Patriotic Front seems to regard political humility as a symptom of political weakness rather than strength. It is the supreme form of political egotism. And political egotism comes before a fall. Failure to contemplate the need for change is inviting political failure. It is folly therefore to ignore the fact that change is inevitable. It is an act of supreme political arrogance to believe that threats and violence can hold back the tide of change. The Patriotic Front can, through violence, intimidate all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but they cannot intimidate all the people all the time.