Can money save a terminally ill billionaire patient?

[By Alfred Chioza]

Perhaps we rephrase the question, can money save a terminally ill billionaire patient?

Of course, money has intrinsic value and no one can deny that! But money has limitations in itself – one has to put it to good or bad use. One of the powerful old adages states that, “Money is the source of all evil.’’ Even the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, money was at the center of the scheme: remember the 30 pieces of silver? That’s what it took to have the Son of God captured by the mercenaries who had only heard of Jesus but didn’t know his face.

Close to home in Zaire, now Democratic Republic of Congo where dictator, General Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga, had amassed billions of dollars through corruption thought he had it all! When his lovely wife fell ill, he outsourced the best doctors in the world money could buy to come and treat her at his multibillion-dollar jungle palace -Gbadolite. The best surgeons, best medical equipment money could buy were assembled and flown to Congo where an ultramodern makeshift hospital was set up. The best doctors, nurses worked around the clock to try and save the first lady. They tried everything on earth but failed to treat her. On the fateful day, the surgeon-in-charge emerged from the theater and this is what he had to say: “If money could save the first lady of Zaire Mrs Mobutu would not have died. Alas, she is no more!” May the reader of this article give interpretation of this statement; clearly money failed to save the first lady!

Similarly, if money could vote, Edgar Chagwa Lungu and PF wouldn’t have lost the 12th August 2021 tripartite elections. The PF team was dangerously overconfident, complacent and they thought Zambians were stupid and insensitive. ECL dared the Zambians by saying that even if Zambians didn’t vote for PF and him, PF would still emerge victorious. He claimed that despite some people not having voted for his team in 2015 and 2016, they still won. This was the worst kind of rubbing it in. What did he mean? The guess is that they had ACES up their sleeves. This irresponsible statement incensed many Zambian voters who read it in between the lines and clearly understood what he meant. He called Zambians ‘utupuba’ – a bunch of idiots! The power of money had gotten to his head. PF relied on winning through rigging. After all, they had the biggest campaign budget in the history of Zambia’s politics. PF clearly beat election expenditures of UNIP and MMD. With this wall-chest they bought minds and souls of the weaklings who were thirsting for cash – we know them all. They empowered most of the corruptible traditional leaders and their subjects, the clergy, and most of the teachers conducting the elections. Motor vehicles were dished out like sweets to children. PF had all sorts of regalia such as underwear, toilet rolls, shoes and all kinds of clothing to dress all Zambians.

The amount of cash they posed with and later distributed was insurmountable. There’s empirical video evidence to attest to this. Simple minds were already counting eggs in the basket and betted everything unthinkable; such as personal manhood. One brilliant young PF man, so we thought, was destined for a bright political leadership. He and his friends got blinded by money to do the magic of winning the elections. Money isn’t everything. PF had disengaged from the people and trusted in buying votes.

The advent of social media power undid PF schemes. People easily shared and exposed PF’s corruption. Remember the inflated cost of fire tenders, ambulances and infrastructure. All PF scandals were leaked and shared. The brutality of PF’s cadres and abuse of the Public Order Act against the opposition was equally disgusting. Actually, Hakainde Hichilema won the election without campaigning – he was barred from campaigning in all the so-called PF strong holds. This, coupled with divisive tribalism which was orchestrated by prominent PF leaders just incensed many voters countrywide; they thus turned their backs on PF and voted them out. Of course, they chewed PF money and dumped the party. This was a replay of the 2011 MMD script under former president Rupiah Banda.

The moral lesson to be learned is clear, money doesn’t vote, people do. The wrongs/mistakes politicians make while in office, are indelible in the voters’ minds. When time to seek a fresh mandate comes, the evils politicians commit are used against them – they are thus denied the mandate. It’s therefore imperative to remain positively engaged with the people whilst in office. MMD and PF have been casualties on this score; who’s next? We should salute our many youths who are the heroes and heroines of the last elections.

Send comment to: alfredchioza@yahoo.com.

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