OPINION: Hichilema gripped by fear of losing power


Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema

LUSAKA, (CAJ News) – MR. Hakainde Hichilema (Zambian president) is now gripped by fear of losing power.

It is this fear that is now propelling his decisions and actions.

Mr Hichilema knows very well that things are not well, the ground has shifted, and the quick fix – Bally will fix it – he had promised the Zambian people to win their votes in the 2021 elections that can not be delivered. He knows that the people are tired of his lies, deception, and tribalism.

But now, even the attempt to mask this fear with a macho posturing is failing – it can’t be concealed anymore. His vulnerabilities are showing on his face and can be picked in his tone and speeches too.

Mr Hichilema is clearly a very desperate man, who has reached a dead end. And desperate people do desperate things. He is resorting to more and more repression today to curtail the effectiveness of the rapidly growing political opposition against him.

He has literally put a lid on public rallies and meetings of opposition political parties. Mr Hichilema is trying very hard to criminalise every speech or expression that exposes the tribalism, corruption of his league, and the failure of his economic and social policies as hate speech, espionage, or coup plots. Threats, intimidation and arrests are everywhere in this country today.

But trying to stop or slow down the work of the opposition or civic organisations in this way is a desperate measure that won’t do. It will backfire very badly. This will only lead to daily confrontation, which will further and quickly erode whatever little political popularity he may still have.

For how long and how far can Mr Hichilema continue to use the police to stop the people’s right to the constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of assembly, association, expression and speech without people vigorously rising up against him?

He thinks people will always be this quiet, calm and tolerant of his dictatorial ways and excesses. If this is what he thinks, then he is in for a rude awakening when it comes.

If he takes the nonsense, the repression of 2023 into 2024, his exit from power will be guaranteed and hastened. This is no exaggeration of what awaits him. This country has witnessed a similar dramatic shift before.

We make a clarion call to all Zambians of Goodwill to unite and make 2024 a year for the defence of their liberties, human dignity, and the sovereignty of our homeland.

If we choose to resist and struggle, we will win!

NB: Fred M’membe is President of Zambia’s opposition – the Socialist Party. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of CAJ News Africa.

– CAJ News

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