Money, power and fame have gotten to Kaizar Zulu’s head. But he’s not totally to blame. This is what happens when you give a nobody a lot of money and power they have not earned.
And this is the situation with almost all at State House – starting with Edgar Lungu himself. None of them ever thought they would have so much access to money and power in their lives. They still can’t believe their luck. And their excitement is not ending. Today Kaizar, Edgar and many others in their league can’t believe that they can get so many things, including women, they never dreamed of! From drinking chibuku to drinking the most expensive spirits, wines! From being penniless to having millions! They have failed to remain sober or level headed. Their excitement is not ending – theirs is a life of continuous merriment!
And what is really destroying them is impunity. They drink with impunity.
And we think Kaizar’s drunkenness, accidents, insolence, arrogance, violence, ruthlessness have forced many Zambians to look at the problem of impunity, but the problem is actually a state run by thugs, or a shadow state, a part of the state that is run by thugs, and presidential aides that enjoy complete legal protection – not just impunity, but immunity.
Kaizar’s damage of a government Toyota Land Cruiser VX has annoyed many Zambian taxpayers. Many are actually not concerned about Kaizar’s life, they are more troubled by his destruction of a government automobile. They would have been happy if he had died in that accident. They don’t like him at all. And this is how much they detest him.
The impunity enjoyed by Kaizar is frightening.
And this impunity makes Kaizar behave as if he was a small president with some presidential immunity.
Kaizar seems to be exempt from punishment or freedom from the injurious consequences of his actions. What we fear most is power with impunity. We fear abuse of power, and the power to abuse. In the Zambia we want, there is no room for corruption, for cover-ups, and least of all for impunity. Without justice, the most heinous crimes go unpunished; victims are unable to obtain redress, and peace remains an elusive goal, since impunity generates more hatred, leading to acts of revenge and more suffering.
We have a circle of corruption and impunity that is too strong. Nobody does good to people with impunity. Money doesn’t just buy a nice car; it also buys better education or healthcare. Increasingly, it can buy impunity from justice, a pliant media, favorable laws, business advantage, and even elections. This, in turn, perpetuates the policies that allow a tiny elite to accumulate ever more wealth at the expense of the majority.
We can hold as many elections as we want, but if the laws do not apply to the Kaizars, the most powerful elements in this country today, then there can be no rule of law and no genuine democracy. The country will never become a true democracy until it takes serious steps to end impunity. Money and power inevitably change people – sometimes for the better, sometimes not.
Kaizar always gets away with murder – just because he’s close to Edgar and does all sorts of things for him. Kaizar always avoids consequences for any of his actions; he’s able to do whatever he wants without consequences. We are completely at a loss to understand how it came about that some people who are both humane and intelligent could find something to admire in Edgar and his minions like Kaizar.
What is it that makes Edgar tolerate all the transgressions of Kaizar?
Tolerance is a virtue – most of the time. But some?
To attain meaningful leadership, we must refuse to tolerate the things that deplete, and ultimately destroy, us.