President-elect HH has been showered with a lot of accolades in the past 3 days as a hero of the people, especially when it became apparent that he was going to win the election without a re-run. I might be wrong but I think there has never been a time when the nation had his back than the past few days, this must have been the epitome of support! But it’s not always been like this. Other than KK, I don’t think there’s a Zambian president that has been so severely persecuted and ridiculed by his own countrymen and betrayed by his close friends and family. Some have done it out of ignorance, others out of malice and mostly with impunity. Other than political opponents and tribally indoctrinated individuals, the state has been complacent and been used to abuse the current man of the moment.
Lest we forget, on the night of 11th April 2017, the police raided and teargassed HH’s residence and smoked him out of the bunker where he had gone to seek refuge with his wife. His asthmatic wife collapsed two times. He was apprehended and went through the worst of things.
Lest we forget, Zambia’s first president Kenneth Kaunda was even turned away by prison officials when he visited Hichilema in Prison.
During his time in prison he was held in solitary confinement for eight days without food, water, light or visitation, and was tortured, and his wife, Mutinta, was turned away by prison officials when she took food for him at Kabwe’s infamous Mukobeko Maximum Prison. He stayed in prison for 4 months and was only released on 16th August 2017 after so much protest from outside the country and within. After his release from prison, people had written him off as an utterly broken man fixed by the system. But on the same date, 16th August, 4 years later he is declared President-elect of the Republic of Zambia.
Lest we forget, he’s been on several occasions joined by political clowns and traitors who had nowhere to go only to turn against him and stab him in the back trying to ruin him not only politically but personally as well. We witnessed their desperate tactics of trying to divide the country along tribal lines just this month. They used his family to turn against him and say all manner of evil whilst being paraded before state media. His family members took turns denouncing him and smearing his name with dirty whilst the nation watched in awe. Fortunately, the family members renounced their actions stating that they had been held hostage and forced to say things they didn’t intend and begged for forgiveness.
Lest we forget, HH was literally prevented from campaigning on multiple occasions weeks prior to the election. He was also denied a permit to fly whilst others were flying in choppers. He was even teargassed and prevented from entering certain regions. In Chipata, he was even held at the airport and prevented from entering the city when he wanted to campaign and there were assertions that power was even switched off in the city. He was only “let in” in the evening. Arrested over 15 times, the amount of persecution against the man is so huge to jot down in a single post.
Lest we forget, HH defied all odds by winning in the very places he was denied access, Eastern and Northern regions. The Lusaka and Copperbelt metropolis showed unprecedented support for the man, even the forgotten little town of Kabwe did not want to be left out of the party supporting HH. The people that persecuted this man cried foul and stayed in denial for most of the election period but the writing was already on the wall as people were not having it.
Lest we forget, roses are red and beautiful, but they have thorns. So, even as we admire the sweet victory of the man HH, let us remember the thorns in the backdrop that had to prick him, LEST WE FORGET AND BE A PRETENTIOUS AND FORGETFUL PEOPLE.