Pilato is a Prisoner of conscience

Filed under: Politics,Special Comments |


By Atotwe Elijah Mando

Once in a long time, there rises individuals in a nation that epitomise the fight for justice and equality. The evils they see around them every day, the corruption and rot they witness daily, and the personal experience of state sponsored or state condoned persecution ennobles them to take a risky stand for what is right. Pilato is one such man who has risen on this stage in our time.

Pilato is no ordinary artist. He is not a simpleton, cry-baby musician whining and seeking attention and fame. And you are wrong, very wrong to take him for such. Pilato is a very intelligent, analytical, critical and philosophical thinker. Many shallow, mindless commentators who denounce and vilify him are far beneath his intelligence to understand him. They throw their collective tantrum at him with choreographed hysteria and rage and deny the reality of the chocking and offensive odour of the malignant injustices and rot that are fast becoming normal in Zambia.

Today it is Pilato running for his life, tomorrow it might be you or me laying down our lives for this same cause. There are causes worth dying for, just as there are causes worth living for. Sometimes, God preserves our lives in order that we might live long enough to be the engine that will one day drive the bus on this long and hard road to freedom.

I am reminded of the story of Moses in the Old Testament (Exodus 2:11-15), who had to flee Egypt after killing an oppressive Egyptian taskmaster. Moses was actuated by deep love for his brethren. He was raised by Pharaoh’s daughter in the palace, but resigned his high prospects, threw in his lot with his own suffering people, and went out to see with his own eyes their condition. No doubt he came upon many sights which vexed and angered him, but was able to restrain himself. At last, however, he became witness of a grievous, extreme case of oppression. Some Hebrew, delicate in constitution or suffering from illness, rested awhile from his weary labour under the scorching sun, and gave himself a few moments of repose. But the eye of the Egyptian taskmaster was on him. His rest was interrupted by a shower of severe blows. Moses could no longer contain himself. Pity for the victim and hatred of the oppressor surged up in his heart, and he struck down the oppressor and killed him, and hid his body in the sand.

But when he discovered that his wrong deed was no longer a secret, Moses fled to Midian. The fugitive only came back 40 years later as Israel’s deliverer.

Is Pilato being a coward for fleeing the country? I don’t think so. Pilato is a freedom fighter. You may not like his methods of fighting for freedom, and I agree, sometimes he stretches the boundaries. But remember that he is an artist, and not a politician. He sings and speaks proverbially, using satire and poetry to communicate his message. He is a prisoner of conscience who is being persecuted for his political views.

Is Pilato’s life really under threat or he is just being delusional? I don’t think so either. The readiness and swiftness with which the PF cadres are willing to wield their pangas against anyone with a different opinion, has made the number of people who feel safe in Zambia shrink very fast. These dastardly acts of violence are going on unabated. The police on one hand are doing nothing to arrest these high levels of criminality, and the PF party hierarchy, on the other, is conspicuously mute on the conduct of their unruly members. Under such anarchy, who can feel safe in Zambia when they hold divergent views from those of the ones in power?

Pilato is safer wherever he is. The Zambia Police, whose duty it is to protect life and arrest those who pose a threat to the sanctity of human life have let Pilato down. His fight is our fight. Some of us will be killed for this fight, others will live on to see a better Zambia, a free Zambia, and a tolerant Zambia. What legacy do we want to leave behind for our children? Who will bequeath to them a united and prosperous Zambia? It is you and me that are alive today. And that will not happen without a fight, and if need be, even death.


One Response to Pilato is a Prisoner of conscience

  1. Pilato is not a Prisoner of Conscience.He is merely a spoiled musician who does not know how to successfully put across his message.Pilato has a message which he wanted to put across to his listeners but failed in the most critical element of communication.The maxim in communication is “IT IS NOT WHAT YOU SAY THAT MATTERS BUT HOW YOU SAY IT.Regrettably Pilato failed in this regard.Besides this,the moment he learnt of some murmurs amongst his fans,the wisest thing he could have done is engage them to find out what really was the problem.Running away from a self inflicted problem does not solve it.How long does he want to be in hiding as PF has FOUR guaranteed years to be in power.

    February 1, 2018 at 12:33 pm

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