By Godfrey Simwinga Chitalu
THE older folks who have survived Zambian presidents to date called it politics of the belly. The term itself, is a metamophisation of a popular Cameroonian expression into French, Politique du ventre by author Jean-François Bayart. Not to be outdone, our country has gone ahead to invent a new term in similar lines called Nshima twerking politics. Perhaps, like politics of the belly is attributed to the aforementioned author, musician bashi Lota, popularly known as Drimz has played a major role in coining the term nshima twerking politicians.
What then is politics of the belly or nshima twerking politics? This refers to politicians that are adept at amassing wealth for themselves at the expense of the electorate. They insist on being financial gatekeepers for their constituencies for wrong reasons. Their hall mark, at the right price, is to conveniently move from political party to the other and back if need be. These are a bunch of spineless fraudsters that ostensibly ride on democracy but conceal their hunger for ill-gotten wealth. Today they can be in political X and tomorrow in party Y and smile about the whole belly politics circus.
These are shameless and unprincipled politicians who can defend policies and statements they condemned in their former political party a while ago. Selfishness has taken center stage with many a politician being shifted like rice husks. How else can you explain the new money dishing crave that has engulfed our nation?
Unfortunately, the vast majority of our politicians fall into the Nshima twerking bracket. According to them assuming power at the cost of clientelism, corruption, patrimonialism and tribalism is part of the end justifies the means. Politicians venturing into their so called strongholds and uttering tribal remarks are received with warped ululations.
Just why is it that the vast majority of our politicians have earned the nshima twerking tag? Your guess is as good as mine. You can know that a politician is part of nshima twerkers or might be prone to the said by using the following guide.
- You can’t win without your party – any politician who rides on their political party for victory but can never win on their own are susceptible. The genesis of most nshima twerking politicians is that they have no clout of their own to win any vote. They have to be propped by their political parties to victory. In essence they become so idealized that they can’t rise above partisan politics. Wrong or right, biased or unbiased, these politicians always vote with their party – kufa na yes!
- You can’t win without kin, ethnic and family connections – if you are in this bracket where your vote can only be guaranteed through tribal leanings just know that you are a nshima twerking politician. Family members can only be happy to propel your wings for nshima reasons. While we know that we can’t survive without support from groups, some tribal groups promote exclusivity, bullying and scapegoating. This is the route our country might end up traversing, where certain people are excluded from their democratic rights because of tribe.
- Your community can’t survive without you – like comedian African Joker said, some politicians think we can’t survive without them! And yet we always have breakfast, lunch and supper without their support. If you have inculcated the belief in the community that you are their financial gatekeeper woe unto you. Such politicians have failed to provide participatory solutions to their communities. They resurface during election time with yet other fake promises. A good politician has grassroots based systems that foster development. Nshima twerkers come once in a blue moon with yet another lie.
- Your stance on national issues is fluid – politicians who have low understanding of national issues easily fall prey to politics of the belly. A politician must be conversant with national issues and decide where to lean at all times. If you possess meager information about your country how can you lead others? We have politicians who shun national events on one hand and others who exclusively think national events are their birthrights! We need to meet somewhere folks! Personal and national relevance must reconcile.
In conclusion nshima twerking politicians don’t understand the meaning of common good. They have compromised minds that defy principles and resists the sacrifice expected from them. In the past years both ruling and opposition party members have greatly disappointed me. They have failed to uphold values and to speak with a national voice. They both missed opportunities to recognize acts of common good and opportunities to work together. In this regard I have no regrets but to collectively lump the vast majority of them as nshima twerking politicians.
The author is a social commentator who writes for pleasure.
For reactions and feedback call: 0977466284| 0963013760, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (@goddychitty) Twitter|Facebook)