Donchi kubeba: the venom of a viper is the same one used to cure snake bites

By Michael Munyimba

So, parliament dissolves next month. And until after August 12, the country shall hang in limbo with no major administrative decisions made. How fast time flies! Four years – is it six actually – since the ruling party jumped into those big boots of leadership.

One mysterious aspect about politicians is that once they are ushered into power, they begin to wallow in delusions of an eternal stay on ‘the throne’ of grandeur, they begin to live on borrowed dreams from which they refuse to see themselves out at any point in their lifetime. It’s been the normal trend from the inception of ancient history. How awesome that once they are sworn in as kings or presidents, they want to believe that they were specially chosen and ordained by God, and that no other person or grouping is wise enough to be in the helm other than them.

Israel’s first king Saul had that problem too, even though with him it’s true he was truly chosen but failed to understand that God had rejected his eventual rulership. Saul didn’t believe that young David could rule Israel, and on many instances, the self-centred king attempted to take the life of young David, but failed. And in the end, it led to his own destruction and humiliating death.

Several other leaders or regimes of recent times perceived their leadership as ‘God-given’ and ordained to last forever and were humiliatingly shown the red card and given a hard boot on their backside. Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, for instance, was a demi-god in his own exaggerated imagination of his people’s stupidity. In his own corrupt mind, only him had the wisdom to rule his people. He had a firm grip on power, such that even after ruling for 36 years and even at an advanced age of 93, he still wished to cling to power and remain at Plot One. According to him and his cohorts, he was the most educated, the wisest, the most this and that, and the most eligible to rule his people forever, but he was wrong! When the time came, his magic wand refused to work and he was forcefully cast out

There were others who attempted pushing for an unending, unworkable legacy of their rulership; Kenneth Kaunda, Joseph Kabila, Mobutu Seseseko, Muamar Gadhafi, Sadam Hussein” and they are all gone, lost in the trajectories and horizons of fate, time and nature.

Now let me tell you something, the principal or fundamental difference between a dog and a cat is that if you took a starving dog and placed it on a nice couch or sofa, gave it food and treated it well, its thinking will be like, “wow! These people are really good, they must be very special I will be loyal to them and do their will.” But if you took a starving cat and placed it on a comfortable sofa, gave it milk and delicious foods, its thinking would be like ‘’wow! All this luxury, I must be very special to these people, I hope they will always be loyal to me.”

So, what will eventually happen is that this cat will become so comfortable on your sofa it will then forget the actual reason you brought it in your house; that of eradicating all mice and snakes in the vicinity. You will one day find it red-handed with your DSTV remote watching Ramsey Noah and Pete Edochie on the Nigerian Channel while playing draft with the very mice you sanctioned it to terminate amidst a beer and braai. Why, because that cat now thinks it’s a God-sent blessing to you, that’s why it now has the audacity to abuse its privileges you availed to it. And what do you do with such a cat, you feed it to your dog and transfer all responsibility to the loyal dog.

Now, that’s how most of our leaders behave! Once they taste the fabric of that seat of power, they assume the feeling of a deity, of a small god, and they want to cling on it forever; even when they evidently fail to meet and execute the will of the electorate. Frederick Jacob Titus Chiluba said it when he assumed power, that he didn’t know that the seat was so sweet. That’s why it corrupts.

But perhaps the greatest tragedy is the tendency of our leaders to surround themselves with sycophants, bootlickers, or what in advanced komboni ’English’ we call ‘bantu bamene bamyanguta ma jombo ya bwana ati baba konde’, corrupt thugs, quarks, demagogues, nincompoops and drunkards! All these lunatics seek is any means of survival. They will go to any length just to please their master and be thrown crumbs of bread to feed their hungry families, even if it meant killing for him.

If you have been in a bar before, you will understand what I mean. When a serious buyer joins a group of broke lads, he’s accorded so much respect, such that whatever he says is a command. You will actually be amused how everyone around him laughs at his unfunny jokes. People will be choking with exaggerated laughter to a point of almost falling off their seats just to please the lad and ensure the flow of beer does not get interrupted.

They will call the guy by big respectful names, such as ‘boss, ba mudala, big man, bashi K, master’ and all. That’s the genetic composition of sycophants or bootlickers. Then when the money diminishes, they change kaitidwe the guy now becomes ‘iwe boi, mwaice.’ And that’s how people who surround our African leaders are.

Now, back to the issue at hand, it is with great repulse to note that a few weeks before the dissolution of parliament, the ruling party and its government have remained derailed from the path of correcting matters that are of core essence to the majority of Zambians. This regime has been deaf to the people’s cries to eliminate corruption, to stick to their promise of creating jobs for its people. They have refused to disband their cadres who have assumed unprecedented authority from their masters which they use to abuse the masses in bus stations and markets and even going as far as attacking civil servants in government offices with opposing views to those of the ruling party.

While millions of kwacha are trickling out to be distributed to hungry musicians singing unjustifiable praises to a filthy system and individuals in power, thousands of teachers, nurses, doctors, clinical officers, agricultural extension officers have not been deployed years after graduating. Over 3,000 retirees and separatees have not been paid their benefits for 30 years. Yet, ‘empowerment funds’ are being flashed in millions and granted to unsuspecting youths in an attempt to buy their vote in the August election.

Remember too that it has been under this leadership that we have had unseen before endless bouts of load shedding without even knowing why. And now that we are heading to the D-day, bags of free mealie-meal are seeing their way to villages and compounds around the country by PF using government resources in a mocking bid to prove that the Zambian vote can be bought with mere nshima. The entire leadership has amassed so much stolen public funds, built estates for their kindred and have usurped so much power that they feel above the law. With all these vices and atrocities, can these people honestly stand before the electorate and expect our vote? are Zambians that naive and foolish? I doubt that.

They say the snake poison is the same that is used as a remedy for its bite. It was PF’s own King Cobra who invented the ‘dochi kubeba’ strategy. Zambians shall use that same ‘venom’ they created to correct the wrongs these people have committed. So, take the mealie-meal, the chickens and free monies anyone is giving you, but on August 12, you know what to do. Remember, it was Goliath’s own sword that cut off his head. Dochi kubeba!

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