Saturday, 13 June 2015


    >>But Can They Find The Right Campaign Messages<<
President Edgar Lungu may just benefit from late Sata's image in the 2016 polls
By Nyalubinge Ngwende
Elections are won far away before the polling day. It is the campaign messages that build all the way to the polling day that give the opposition the favour of opinion polls.
But it is not every message that wins an election; people must interpret those messages into their social lives and see the reality.
Therefore opposition leaders in Zambia must not be cheated, reliance on the negative views in The Post Newspaper will not help them win the 2016 elections against the ruling Patriotic Front.  
The first reason is that the PF message of pro-poor policies is still well-grounded among the call boys, necessity entrepreneurs and others who could be categorized as the street-wise life earners.
Taxi drivers in Lusaka own their own cars because Sata and his vice President Guy Scott bought them the cars on loan which they have paid back. The salary hikes, enforced through the minimum wage, for shopkeepers and unskilled public workers across the labour market is still a delight.

Thursday, 11 June 2015



Barrick Lumwana Mine in Solwezi
By Nyalubinge Ngwende
The uncertainty over one of Zambia’s mining operations closing down has been settled and put behind the country’s concerns.
Lumwana mine in Solwezi of North Western Province faced closure. This followed indications by Barrick Gold of Canada that it was pulling out and placing on care its open pit copper mine in the first week of January due to unfavourable tax measures announced by government.
Government last December introduced new royalty taxes of up to 8 percent for underground mining and 20 percent for open-pit operations, claiming the measure was intended to give the country more benefits from its mineral wealth.
However, government made a last ditch, reversing the tax regime in a move that State House announced was intended to serve 4,000 jobs that were going to be lost if the mine was forced to close.

Sunday, 7 June 2015


<<A Gift Today for a Vote Tomorrow Is Nothing Noble>>

NOBLE CAUSE: First Lady Esther Lungu meets PF women clubs in Mpika

By Nyalubinge Ngwende
Zambia's First lady Esther Lungu has been up and about the rutted terrain of the rural Zambia trying to engage women, encouraging them to form clubs and distributing gifts.
At the surface of it, the first lady’s traverses and engagements are a noble cause. She is reaching out to constituents—rural women, who are left out in the economic activities of the country. They need her support. Through her initiative, they can get access to various resources that can help them to embark on start-ups that supply the rural needs.
The activities of Esther Lungu are not new to this country. These activities have been done by previous first ladies. Vera, wife to President Frederick Chiluba had Hope Foundation, Maureen, wife to President Levy Mwanawasa had Maureen Mwanawasa Community Initiative and Tandiwe wife to President Rupiah Banda undertook an agriculture and environmental related cause, while Dr Christine Kaseba wife to President Michaela Sata ran Ubutala Wa-bumi (granary of health) project.

Thursday, 26 March 2015


By Nyalubinge Ngwende
No one can be against the emblem of One Zambia, One Nation. But the choice by President Edgar Lungu to issue instructions to Zambia’s public media—ZNBC—to use the motto every time the station opens and at the beginning of all news casts, both radio and television, raises eyebrows—there is more to it than meets the eye.
Lungu says it is important that ZNBC uses the motto as a reminder that there is only one country for all the 72 tribes—at least in his conception he tries to mean that.
  What is the real intention of President Lungu? Had he won the election with a landslide, was he going to think about One Zambia, One Nation? Has it got to do with the respect of First Republican President Kenneth Kaunda, whom he has been reminding us to respect?
If he thinks Zambia is divided on the political front, he must know that a look at this country’s history reveals that the people of this nation have lived with these deep crevices time immemorial. Politics do not divide or agitate Zambians to rebel at a grand scale. Even if a possibility may come, which is not yet there, the One Zambia, One Nation slogan cannot be a magic wand to inspire them into restraint.
By the way, this country lived with this motto under Kenneth Kaunda’s rule, but it did not add any value to the country’s aspirations. The country continued to get from bad to worse in terms of the economy. It might have been better or not, but fact is: the country has pulled through over 20 years plus of the MMD rule without that slogan. What happened everyday under Kaunda and UNIP in terms of patriotism or lack of it continued under Chiluba and the MMD. In fact during the time of late President Mwanawasa Zambia did not need to recall the One Zambia, One Nation to register economic growth. Mwanawasa faced the worst resistance towards his government by the people of Zambia, but he remains one of those Presidents people say Zambia missed a leader who really had what it takes to move the country forward. He did not need the slogan.
There is nothing unifying or of national commission in the One Zambia, One Nation motto. It is empty lullaby that cannot put off the cries of thousands of graduates for jobs. It has no historical and empirical proof that it has had some subliminal effect, not even under Kaunda, to unify the country.
What Kaunda did was to hold this country together using force and fake democracy under one party state system. That was it. He built a country that excluded potential leadership; there were so many Zambians who did not flow with his rule. The return to multiparty politics in 1991 and Kaunda’s loss of that year’s election to the Frederick Chiluba’s MMD confirmed that.
If we have lived without the One Zambia, One Nation for 23 years: What makes Edgar Lungu think it is worthwhile lifting it up from the rummage of history? What is the real value and intention of President Lungu’s decision? Had he won the election with a landslide, was he going to think about One Zambia, One Nation? Has it got to do with the respect of First Republican President Kenneth Kaunda, whom he has been reminding us to respect?
Zambians will always be politically divided, but they do not show that until the elections come. What divides this country is more of economic inequality and that will not disappear with the chanting of a slogan. This is a country that has the rich and the poor cast at two extreme poles. It is a country where there is no drive to do things differently and change the fortunes of over 11 million people who are struggling to put food on the table. Further it is a country that has political leadership that resembles a circus—just jockeys and clowns juggling balls and bottle-sticks, walking a precarious tight rope tied up between two poles. Like spectators still holding their breath to see the string walkers get to the end, Zambians are in suspense not sure about where the country is heading till the next poll.  
It is the duty of Edgar’s government to dispel that fear, not with slogans but well seated policies. He must show us that above that tight-line he is walking, he is well secured and will not lose his balance and come crashing down with the whole economic act of the country. We are not referring to the events that happened on the International Women’s’ Day. There is no doubt, the man was declared fit, or is it feat?—to walk straight from an operation procedure at a South African Hospital and get straight to work.  
The Brutal Journal has particularly found it very awkward for Lungu to try and use empty ideological slogans that revive memories of an oppressive regime to inspire Zambians today, when there is a lot of room for meaningful political engagement across the table.
What is especially worrying is that the advancing of the slogan comes as key priority to President Edgar Lungu when on the economic policy front the only big decision he has made is a reversal of the well placed but ill-timed mining tax regime.  The other policy statement being peddled by his vice President Inonge Wina thus far shows how she got a job out of some emotional militancy she staged, as party chairlady, during the selection of the Patriotic Front successor to late Michael Sata. Had she not prevailed in support of Lungu, the job was going to go to someone else.
But lucky she is… though it will be difficult for her to convince anyone that her appointment was not mare tokenism. It is laughable that her first policy articulation was a sound-bite ZNBC was so glad to use proposing that: “government needs to establish some commission that will be entrusted with looking after the health of the President”. Is that not politics of self-preservation?
The next policy is that she will be visiting the markets to see how they can be used for economic development of the country. Economic what? How can a country start with markets when it is failing to address the biggest problem that has continued to keep Zambia to be a dumping place for foreign products?
What Inonge Wina must realise is that the problem of the poor performing of the Kwacha, the poverty
ravaging the many households and the increased number of girls who are breeding like rabbits does not lie in the markets. The hapless market traders have not even a single idea of what economic development is.
A lot of women with greater ideas to contribute to Zambia’s development are still waiting for her to constitute a conference committee that will look at the wider issues to liberate women out of poverty. She must get down to the desk and consult and hammer out some policy thoughts that are quite inspiring. For now, there is nothing booma Inonge has done.

Monday, 26 January 2015


>>But Stumbles over Unfinished Cabinet Appointments<<

By Nyalubinge Ngwende
January 26, 2015 will be a day Zambians will remember for many reasons. One reason being that it is a day, in four years, that a sitting President has held a press conference and interacted with members of the press on the State House grounds.
President Michael Sata never held a press conference since September 2011 when he was elected until his death on October 28, 2014.
However, Edgar Lungu has broken that legacy set by his predecessor and today held a press conference to announce appointments to his cabinet, a day after taking oath of office at the Heroes Stadium.
The conference, for one thing, set the tone of the kind of leadership that Edgar will provide to the country— a seemingly open system that can be subjected to public scrutiny; at least if that means being able to subject himself to the media questions on various national issues and providing adequate and rational answers without getting angry with the ‘messenger’.
Without disappointment, Edgar took questions from the media while upstanding. That shows he wants to be a President who engages others on national issues as a firm leader and on an equal standing—he shall not be an arm chair leader.
The President also hit the ground running, but not without a stumble.
During his maiden speech after being sworn as sixth President of the Republic of Zambia, Edgar announced that ‘I want to give you a new constitution’. To that effect he immediately appointed Dr Ngosa Simbyakula as justice minister.
Later during a ‘victory’ luncheon at state house, Edgar announced that he had dissolved his cabinet subsequent to the earlier appointment of a minister to the same cabinet.
While this appointment and the dissolution of cabinet is an indication that the new President has hit the tarmac running, logic finds the order of things confusing.
The new President has stumbled especially: first appointing a new minister of justice on the podium, then later going to announce the dissolution of cabinet.
Which must have come first between Simbyakula’s appointment and dissolution of cabinet might not matter, but it looks like the continuity of late President Sata’s frugal way of doing things is back. Hope reversal decisions may not take precedent again.
To avoid this Edgar must show some orderliness in the manner he is going to handle his duties. There must be a plan and decorum in doing these things.
Maybe this may seem to be asking too much from the new President? But orderliness is one of the virtues of leadership. It helps the leader exhibit thoughtfulness and intra- and interpersonal consultation before final decisions are arrived at.
Another stumble is that for some days, the country will be without a full cabinet. It will be the President, his vice Inonge Wina, home affairs minister Davies Mwila, foreign affairs minister Harry Kalaba, health minister Joseph Kasonde, and finance minister Alexander Chikwanda.
He did not tell the nation whether he was keeping the key position of defense minister to himself.
This means for weeks or several days to come, the Zambian cabinet will only comprise Wina, Chikwanda, Mwila, Kasonde, Simbyakula, and the President. That is how the sixth President starts his business with a cabinet of six.
Lungu is also pandering to opportunism by repeating the same problem of appointing members of parliament from the opposition without consultation with the leadership of the party where such appointees are being poached. In this case is the appointment of opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) Solwezi Central MP Dawson Kafwaya as Northwestern Provincial minister.
This approach to so called inclusive government lacks its merits as it promotes opportunism and just fans animosity between opposition political parties and their members of parliament.
Inclusive government must not come at the discretion of a President alone in terms of choosing whom he wants to appoint to his government. There is need to consult the political party that has its members being sought to serve in government who should propose names.
Unless a particular political party does not cooperate, then such action could be understandable.
This is another stumble that Edgar was supposed to avoid in every way…at least just to show us that as a ‘Jubilee President’ he wants to do politics of reconciliation. You cannot reconcile without talking to others.
We are going to wait and see if this was not a stumble but a slip-up and the new President will do things much better; orderly and in a manner that reconciles the country’s political tension while seeking a better and energetic team of ministers to work with to revive Zambia’s economy.


Saturday, 24 January 2015


Will Edgar Lungu Deliver A Militaristic Rule Or A Judicious One? 
 By Nyalubinge Ngwende
It would have been better to have United Party for National Development (UPND) leader, Hakainde Hichilema, win the Presidential elections in Zambia.

Hakainde, otherwise known as HH, and his UPND team together with those who endorsed him put up a formidable campaign; it is the name of the game, a winner had to emerge.

The election is over despite four constituencies of about 91,000 voters remaining. UPND leader HH has already squealed “Edgar Lungu steals election” on the party’s website.

HH claims the election result was predetermined in favour of PF’s Lungu. Whatever that means, this vote had predictions.

The major prediction is one fact that cannot be ruled out: based on the love of the Copperbelt and Northern Provinces still have for Patriotic Front (PF) and late President Michael Sata, and the endorsement from former President Rupiah Banda for Edgar Lungu.

Edgar has won it, but there is still a lot to see out of this victory.

When I looked in the stars I saw Edgar is Scorpio, otherwise an Eagle. There are problems of full use of military ways in Edgar.

The nation still remembers the way he handled those deportation in Gestapo style. These deportations involved the Rwanda Priest from the Eastern province and some business brothers from Italy.

Lungu also behaved in a very illegal way over former President Rupiah Banda’s passport which was held by the state, refusing Banda to travel on international engagement on which he was invited in his capacity as former head of state.

He, however, still realises about people he has stung, but seems to say “it was their own fault”. Look at the way he got back to Rupiah Banda and asked him for huge assistance in the election.

Edgar was grounded and his campaign was running to a standstill, but when Rupiah Banda happily came forward and endorsed him, the PF candidate was airborne and looked organised again.

Was a big deal cut between Edgar and RB? What is that deal? We will never live to know, Edgar is a secretive Scorpio—whose way of doing things is so subliminal psychology, bordering on manipulation. That is the true nature of a Scorpio, it does not go for the target, but it attracts the target to its ‘shrewd’ ways. 

Some people say God was in Edgar’s favour, I say the stars were. He is Scorpio born on November 17, that is his Sun Sign and that is Zambia’s Sun Sign, too. What a coincidence, Zambia is also seen as an Eagle Nation, a perfect selection of the symbol by the founding fathers of the country.

Some people think the Eagle as national symbol was just an accidental pick, but Zambia is Scorpio, whose symbol is also an Eagle.

Edgar also militated his way to the PF candidature, putting blinders to anything that was happening on the both sides of the path, crawled all his way to getting what he wanted as those who opposed him got stung.

Those who stand in Lungu’s way will be fore warned to get the heck out of the way and if they do not, the man has the ability of sticking out his bite.

Edgar Lungu will have to learn to run an open government. On this he has even a lot of problems as can be seen from the way he behaved on the little task of releasing the road map on the constitution making process.

When UPND got out its roadmap, the whole PF campaign team alleged the opposition stole a government roadmap and told police to investigate and bring people to book.

Scorpios also makes people with a good understanding of the law, but may overprint the concept of justice to a point of using it for restitution. They are jealousy and seek revenge.

These are general characteristics, but let us wait and see if they manifest in our new President. Do not get surprised next time you see certain things come out exactly like analysed here. Bon Voyage!