Soon after the announcement of Justice Chibesakunda that Edgar Lungu has won the elections, journalists swung into actions to get reactions from different leaders and diplomats who were there. I overhead the interview of H. E Mr. James Thornton British High Commissioner to Zambia. Among the few points he made, I got startled when he said that, the country is more divided than ever. I don’t think I agreed with him but I put it off to my subconscious.
When the UPND cadres got me from where I was standing listening to Mr. Hakainde Hichilema at Cresta Golfview Hotel I managed to slip out of their hands and run in one of the offices of the hotel. The cadres came and started making noise demanding that I am removed so that they can give me another beating.
Being familiar with the hotel and the staff, since they were once my clients at some point when I used to maintain their computers and the entire system, I felt secure that no one would give me up to my assailants, but I was wrong. One of the staff came and demanded that I come out and the door was unlocked. I quickly took off my glasses and put my phones on the table in readiness for a beating.
The cadres descended on me while one guy headed for my phones as I pleaded with him not to get them. The guy ignored me and got the phones while others dragged me out of the office as the feasted on me with punches and kicks. I resisted being taken outside the hotel as they wanted because I knew that would have been the end of my life. In the scuffle, my clothes were ripped apart because of pulling. I sustained a twisted arm on the shoulders, a shaky tooth and serious body pains especially my chest. One of the workers braved himself to risk his life to serve me and I managed to get back into the office again.
At this moment a group of people came around and they were making all sorts of comments. What was striking to me was the division in position that this group of people took. This was my first point of realizing that indeed Zambians are divided because even those that I had shared with closely when I used to work at the same hotel and changed positions.
When the police came I also saw that not all of them sympathized with me. It was worse when I was taken to the police station. I was given the medical report for a doctor to sign. I went to a government hospital and faced similar divisive reactions each time I explained my predicament.
Four days later, no arrests have been made though I have been assured by the police that the case is on course. However, I am worried of this Country. Mr. Thornton was right – Zambia is more divided than ever. The moment you are perceived as coming from one political party coupled with your name, you are likely to get an attitude of either welcome or hostility.
The civil society is also divided; some are supporting the ruling party while others are not. The same goes to local and online media.
Basically I was beaten because prior to the 20th January 2015 Presidential elections I challenged political parties to disclose their source of funding especially UPND who were reported to be heavily funded by some clandestine business entities and power brokers. Mr. Hichilema is also believed to have taken advantage of his position at Privatization Agency of Zambia to own shares in some companies that were sold on behalf of the Zambians. Instead of clearing himself, Mr. Hichilema has sort to keep quite but unleash cadres to beat me.
The challenge is how to unite the people. Having had just gone through the traumatizing experience I find it difficult to make any suggestions but I would like to confirm that the electoral results of 48% for Edgar Lungu and 46% for Mr. Hichilema have transformed themselves into societal acrimony.