Edgar’s painful loss, betrayal

William Phiri, the Eastern Province PF information and publicity secretary, is pleading with President Hakainde Hichilema not to take in a bunch of opportunists from the former ruling party who are good at destroying political parties.

He accuses some “political gurus in Eastern Province” of having betrayed former president Edgar Lungu.

“They are a bunch of opportunists. They are professionals in destroying political parties with the aim of joining a new party and expecting jobs. HH, I beg u, they are here again. They want to milk you at the expense of your hardworking party officials. They will come and destroy your party in few months. Chase them. Don’t allow them to come near you, they are toxic, they are vipers,” he warns. “The betrayal of trust by Eastern Province political gurus can never be ignored especially after ECL lost an election in a painful way. It is embarrassing and disgusting to see high levels of betrayal of trust of former president Edgar Chagwa Lungu by Eastern Province political gurus. The former president thought he was well represented by Eastern Province political leaders when in fact he was being stabbed in the back every day. They never loved him nor supported him. The biggest issue was petty jealousy and lack of appreciation. Even some clergy fought their son during every mass or preaching instead of embracing him as their own. Shame. We have nothing to lose now and let us speak in a painful way because we want to correct the mistakes that made us to lose the elections. Actually, I warned the party in 2019 that losing was going to be painful. Here we are now. The people or leaders that bootlicked the president are nowhere to be found. The president was vulnerable because all the people he trusted had schemed against him instead. When PF lost, only the disgruntled and distressed few individuals gathered around ECL every day because he was lonely. Those he trusted could not pick up his calls anymore. Betrayal of trust!”

There’s nothing as hard to take as betrayal. And there is a saying that, “sometimes, the person you’d take a bullet for ends up being the one behind the gun.”

And Frank Crane once said, “You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you don’t trust enough.”

It certainly can be painful to lose an election in which one has invested their all. Edgar was very certain of victory. He had in fact declared that he would hand over power to himself. Power had not only gone to his head but had engulfed – captured him entirely. He didn’t see himself out of State House. He saw himself wielding power until 2026, perhaps even beyond! This could be the reason he could even boss around his lieutenants and citizens alike. His choice – decisions – were final. No debate.

Jim John once said, “The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.”

And we used to warn Edgar that even his self-appointed or sworn bootlickers would abandon him once power slips away from him. Where are they today? Who is he drinking with today? What’s the state of the mighty PF, the boat today? Did party political gurus really betray his trust or it was actually Edgar and his inner circle who betrayed our people’s trust following his ascension to power in 2015? But Edgar and PF’s loss in the 2021 polls is a very telling, informative, lesson to the UPND administration. Take it as a free lecture on what not to do. Electoral defeats can be excruciating! And you live in denial at your own peril! Ask Edgar. We all witnessed how pompous Donald Trump couldn’t control himself after losing to ‘sleepy’ Joe [President Joe Biden]!

Remember Nick Fewings warning that, “Often poor leadership is masked by those with the loudest voices and strongest opinions.”

There are lessons to be learnt in each case where political power has been lost, democratically. We hope Hakainde and his followers have learnt what pomposity and utter mediocrity, the Edgar way, leads to. The destination of the wicked is always known – the abyss. The lesson is that the masses must never be betrayed, because when they speak against betrayal, it produces injury. If one is in doubt, ask the arrogant, pompous and injured PF. Where or who is Edgar today? Nothing more than a petulant fellow, who can’t even proudly wave at a crowd on our streets. He got what he was brewing – a painful loss, due to his betrayal of the masses. Edgar made the bed and so, let him lie on it!

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