Exiled former Information minister of Zimbabwe, Professor Jonathan Moyo recently criticised Zambian president Hakainde Hichilema for reducing the value of the office of the president by posing for a photo with “Uncle Tom’s Boy,” in an apparent reference to a US general.
Moyo, a Political Science Professor, commented on a picture of Hichilema posing with United States Africa Command visiting Brigadier General Peter Bailey and U.S. Embassy Zambia Chargé d’Affaires Martin Dale. He captioned:
Some things from Zambia are too much. A whole President meeting and posing for pictures with a mere Brigadier General, just because he’s Uncle Sam’s boy? Even Uncle Toms would cringe. Bad optics!
Zambia’s ruling UPND Publicity and Information Secretary Joseph Kalimbwe’s interpretation of the statement was that Hichilema was the one being referred to as ” Uncle Tom’s boy” and that would have meant the Zambian leader was a ‘puppet’ of the West. Kalimbwe made an outburst telling Moyo to stop it! He said:
Jonathan Moyo stop attacking our leader, we aren’t Uncle Tom’s boys. Our politics has suffered huge blows from failed political leadership. We’re now building up; a Zambia freely educated, a stabilizing currency and an Economy strong enough to accommodate the dreams of every Zambian!
Moyo played a central role in destroying a once bread basket of SADC, a county that had a bright African future. On the other hand, we’re shaping Zambia into an envy of African democracy; one where power is transferred peacefully from one freely elected President to the next.
Hichilema’s decision to allow AFRICOM to open an office in the US embassy in Zambia recently attracted criticism from Zambia’s opposition, the New Heritage Party which condemned the move.
The party said the move carries very serious national security implications for Zambia as the country can be a target for terrorists who are opposed to the USA.
The New Heritage Party added that the move was against Zambia’s long-standing neutral foreign policy position of non-alignment which has been premised on “our being a truly independent sovereign state.”