If it were a World heavyweight boxing duel between two hard nosed pugilists, I would give Steven Sackur and Hakainde Hichilema a 50 – 50 count.
Steven Sackur is a tough cookie who will not wait for an answer to his first question before he asks his second and third in quick succession and demanding for a combined and instant resolution to all of them.
He is a well researched unbiased World class journalist whose aim is to get to the bottom of a matter in an aggressive heart to heart style that distengrates his ‘prey’ and sends them into blind confusion. Thats his trademark that has made him world famous.
His fashion is to first stun his ‘victim’ with a sling shot then gleefully watch him crash to the canvass, aid him up to his feet then give him a left hook and send him crashing to the ground again.
Sackur will not ask questions that favour or sympathise with his guests otherwise it wouldn’t be ‘hard talk’.
In the case of his interview with President HH, Steven entered the mind of the political adversaries of the UPND President and asked questions that the PF have been brandishing to the World and not necessarily because he agreed with the PF, but he wanted answers from the horse’s mouth.
HH diffused most of Sackur’s questions among many were the Mongu incident where the latter wanted to know why HH didn’t just give way to Lungu’s motorcade. HH responded by clarifying that Lungu overtook a hundred other common motor vehicles whose occupants he didn’t lock up for treason. Why was it that it was only him that was imprisoned other than the fact that Lungu has a predetermined agenda?
On the fact that International bodies and Governments recognized the elections as free and fair, HH reminded Sackur that former American Secretary of State John Kelly swallowed his words and apologised to the Kenyan people after having certified the elections ‘free and fair’.
Hakainde then emphasized that Kelly’s decision to apologise came after the conclusive hearing of the petition in the Kenyan courts which is not the case in Zambia. He explained that the Kelly issue has shown tne World that the legitimacy of an election doesn’t lie in how many international observers and Heads of State declare it ‘free and fair’, but how the Courts rule after the election petition is presented before it.
I believe HH perfomed extremely well under the intense scrutiny of this world class journalist. I also believe that if Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu one day finally agrees to settle in for the same interview, Steven Sackur would enter into the minds of the Zambian people and ask questions on their behalf.
Sadly Lungu has always refused a BBC request for an interview. After watching Steven Sackur so many times, who would blame Lungu?