By David Zulu
He may perhaps be described as the most fearless and most courageous opposition politician in Zambia’s recent history. Mike Mulongoti was a President of a small opposition party called the People’s Party, but despite the size of the organization he represented, he was a towering figure that impacted the Zambia political scene quite like a Tsunami leaving so called major political players from both sides of the aisle looking like interns.
President Mulongoti was a man with an urgent mission to chronicle and shape the course of our nation’s history. He shone a light of optimism in our strange and uncertain times when political jackals and charlatans have taken the controls of our country’s rudder, and steering the ship off course. He was a cocky and undaunted field marshal whose resolve was unwavering and enduring to his aspirations. He refused to buckle to the enemy’s idea that certain tribes and groups were innately superior than others. He carved out a narrative of boldness, of hope and of freedom.
Mulongoti was fearless in his political discourse that when he spoke, both Kings and paupers would snap to attention and give him a minute. He addressed issues which often sent tremors and political avalanches in the corridors of power, and at times friends and family feared for his safety, but he appeared least troubled by possible threats to his life. He stood for the unshakable truth and for what he firmly believed in and refused to swivel around generalizations and half truths. His ideology was simply an ‘as is’ ideology.
During the incarceration of UPND President Hakainde Hichilema on trumped up charges over a traffic misdemeanor that remarkably graduated into treason, President Mike Mulongoti flaunted unflinching and unequivocal support to Hichilema by releasing barrage after barrage of statements condemning the PF at a time when much of the UPND leadership were behaving like cold stricken puppies with tails folded in between their legs.
As a matter of fact, former UPND Vice President Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba who now claims to be a political monster, took to his heels across the borders at a time his former boss needed a voice to speak out against the injustice of the institutional harrassment of Hichilema. Presidents Mulongoti and Milupi helped bring the unjust arrest of HH to the world stage through their vociferous statements that sent shockwaves across the Southern African sub region and beyond.
President Mulongoti was a selflesss and down to earth patriot and a good human being who freely mingled with ordinary people and learnt of their needs from their own mouths than through proxies. He didn’t need fake services of public relations stuntsmen and spokesmen to bully and carve people’s opinion about his meeknes, because his very nature was defined by humility.
When a young UPND activist approached him to be his guest of honour at his wedding in Mazabuka, Mulongoti braved the politically cursed Turnpike Mazabuka road and travelled to officiate at the ceremony.
This writer who was once his ‘consultant’ in one of his businesses remembers an occasion when Mulongoti burst into his office with a full golf kit complete with all golf sticks and bag and inducted him to the game of golf by this free gift. It was a truly humbling experience from a humble and good human being. May his soul rest in peace.