By Expendito Chipalo
The term “useful idiots” is not an insult. It is a Russian expression which was used to describe western communist sympathizers or liberals.
Soviet Union mass murderer Vladimir Lenin is thought to have coined he term (statistics indicate that over 60 million Russians were killed by Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin for suspected anti-government activities).
Lenin and the other Soviet leaders held the “stupid liberals in utter contempt” they also considered them useful fools for disseminating propaganda.
In political jargon, useful idiot is a term used for people perceived as propagandists for a cause whose goals they are not fully aware of, and who is used cynically by the leaders of the cause.
I am beginning to see a lot of “useful idiots” in our country; the propagandists who run online sites for different political players are proving to be worthless liars who will publish anything as long as it pleases the sponsor.
I have had complaints from people who have been misreported, misquoted, misrepresented and even wrongfully accused of crimes they have never committed by online media and I always though oh, its just one of those things.
But last week, I had personal experience of the idiocy that has become the core value of online media in our country. I led a group of retrenched BP Zambia workers to deliver a petition to the residence of Mr. Hakainde Hichilema in relation to our accrued pension benefits.
The attacks and innuendos that followed within hours from the Watchdog were a manifestation of worst propaganda imaginable.
The Watchdog alleged that I was a hired gun of the PF who had never worked for BP Zambia. They further alleged that the whole exercise was arranged by Honourable Chishimba Kambwili and the proprietor of the Daily Nation Newspaper Mr. Richard Sakala.
The Watchdog went on to allege that I am employed by Mr. Sakala to write this column in order to destroy Mr. Hichilema.
All these are cheap allegations because I have never sat with Honourable Kambwili at any time to plan against Mr. Hichilema. The last time I met Mr. Kambwili was more than three years ago during the Supreme Council of Sports in Africa extraordinary General Assembly in Asmara, Eritrea.
As for Mr. Sakala, we do meet often to discuss the media in general and in particular the direction of my column, but and a very big but, he never tells me what to write or who to write about. I have known Mr. Sakala from the time we worked together at the Times of Zambia.
The fact is that I started the Troubleshooter column on my own because I saw that there was a gap in knowledge and information among the younger generation of writers and I had something to share with my fellow countrymen.
Troubleshooter was instigated by anyone. I have tried to share my knowledge and experience in the past columns. I have for example written extensively about the history of the Zambian Constitution from 1924 up to 2016.
My writing is about facts. I will never speculate or accuse anyone without defendable facts. If I am not sure about a subject, I will research and inquire and in the case of individuals, I will endeavour to talk to them.
In relation to the BP Pension saga, I held a press conference this Sunday and also published a copy of my speech in the Daily Nation of Tuesday 31 May 2016. If any person has any dispute with the facts I have outlined, they are welcome to inform the nation through the media.
I would like to tell the Watchdog and other online media to contact their subjects and stop creating stupid gossip. Our nation requires great ideas to prosper and get out of the trap of poverty that the western nations have locked black people.
The sponsors of the Watchdog and other online media run by incompetent people should realize that every stupid bit of gossip they publish has a negative impact for their campaigns.
The worthless propaganda doing the rounds on our internet is not adding an value to the lives of Zambians. The scribes have a huge responsibility of documenting our history for the next generation. Posterity will not forgive you.
Finally I would like the Watchdog to know that I worked for BP Zambia for eleven and a half years and that I am an accomplished journalist. I do not only write for the Daily Nation, I also have a weekly column in the Sunday Times of Zambia called the Black Titans which documents the achievements of black people from the 16TH Century.
In view of the innuendos and attacks that have been leveled against me by the Watchdog, Troubleshooter will go on the internet from next week.
Watch my Facebook page.