15 February 2013

Zambia: Rupiah Banda's Lawyer Is Ignorant

FORMER president, Rupiah Banda's international lawyer Robert Amsterdam has certainly clocked up air miles that recently took him to Rosebank, South Africa.

For whatever reasons he went calling, and most likely it was to garner international support for his client's claims of innocence against alleged corrupt and other criminal activities, it was much publicised in the local Zambian media.

His most high-profile hosts were former president Rupiah Banda, MMD president Nevers Mumba, UPND president Hakainde Hichilema, ULP president Sakwiba Sikota and ZDDM president Edwin Sakala.

This got me thinking. Perhaps Amsterdam was so preoccupied with grappling with the presidential immunity crisis of his beleaguered client that he forgot to keep himself abreast of Zambian politics before he touched down in Johannesburg.

Amsterdam showered encomiums on MMD president Nevers Mumba and UPND president Hakainde Hichilema.

But perhaps you cannot blame the man for his ignorance.

That the opposition leaders he showered praises on are, political neophytes who are disillusioned and disgruntled seemed to have escaped Amsterdam's notice.

For the man to come to South Africa to express a loathing of Zambia's leader Michael Sata and a simultaneous praising of Nevers Mumba and Hakainde Hichilema appears ironic and contradictory to many in Zambia.

The palpable danger is, of course, that Zambian opposition politics is being left to mediocre actors. Political values have percolated away.

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