OPINION: The Politics of Procurement-A Case of Fire Tenders

Does anyone remember the debate around the printing of ballot papers in the April 2016? Does this list not ring a bell? Note that the bids were quoted in United States dollars. Renform 1,398,360, UniPrint 1,522,864, Fongda (AVIC) 1,956,057, Paarl … Continued

The post OPINION: The Politics of Procurement-A Case of Fire Tenders appeared first on Zambia Reports.

Does anyone remember the debate around the printing of ballot papers in the April 2016? Does this list not ring a bell? Note that the bids were quoted in United States dollars. Renform 1,398,360, UniPrint 1,522,864, Fongda (AVIC) 1,956,057, Paarl media 2,125,891, Tall Security 2,875,689 and Al Ghurair 3,101,000 Renform did put up a challenge against the awarding of the tender to the most expensive supplier who turned out to be Dubai based company Al Ghurair. With effect to the 42 fire tenders that have been expensively purchased at US$42 million against lower bids that went as low as US$36 million we need to be conscious of the system we are up against. In truth the purchase is not going to be reversed and as in the case of the ballot papers a rival bidder is the one that has turned out to be loudest critic. Maybe we should reflect on this disposition. Fifteen companies put up bids with United Kingdom based company that is at the head of the protests named Albion Export Services pushing a US$49 million bid. Note that is the debate rages on that the Ministry had also specified the type of fire tenders and service equipment required on each fire lorry. Eventually the tender was awarded to Grandview International Ltd to supply 42 fire tenders and safety equipment at an award sum of $42million. But Albion Services disputed the award and appealed to the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) with their objection thrown out. Is this therefore a closed case? What then should the debate focus on? Does the Zambia Public Procurement Authority ever reverse a deal once it is closed? What can people with legitimate grounds to challenge the US$42 million fire tenders purchase? If the deal really stinks what then should the citizenry do? What about having a closer look at the loud mouths that are at the head of the protests? Are they merely championing this debate as a result of being beaten to the corrupt game of tenderpreneurship? No matter how hard people may feel about this transaction it could appear that it is a done deal with no way back for the people that have implemented it. But then we should all be concerned about the concerns raised on the quality of the fire tenders that have been allegedly branded inferior. So while we are still at it bickering about the tender process maybe we should do better to refer to the past on how nothing has ever been done with regards to protestations about allegedly corruptly awarded tenders. The post OPINION: The Politics of Procurement-A Case of Fire Tenders appeared first on Zambia Reports.

source: Zambia Reports

MultiChoice Treating Zambians Like “Bloody Cinderella” – Senior Journalist

Distinguished journalist Edem Djokotoe says South African pay television channel Multichoice is taking Zambians for a ride. Djokotoe is particularly upset that SuperSport will not show the Carnelo Alvarez fight this weekend. He said some channels are filled with content … Continued

The post MultiChoice Treating Zambians Like “Bloody Cinderella” – Senior Journalist appeared first on Zambia Reports.

Distinguished journalist Edem Djokotoe says South African pay television channel Multichoice is taking Zambians for a ride. Djokotoe is particularly upset that SuperSport will not show the Carnelo Alvarez fight this weekend. He said some channels are filled with content for an Afrikaans audience. Djokotoe, a key feature in the Zambia media, says it was sad Multichoice had continued to treat Zambians as third class citizens. BELOW IS WHAT EDEM DJOKOTOE WRITES It’s official. Multichoice treats those of us who live outside South Africa as third-class citizens. And if they think they will pressurise me to take down my complaint like they’ve done to one Eugine Phiri, theyve got another thing coming because I won’t. Not when I am a paying customer and they treat me like my Kwacha aint shit. We all have our reasons for subscribing. I was big on Premium because of boxing–as in live world championship boxing fought in Madison Square Garden, the MGM Grand, The T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, at Wembley in London or wherever big money scraps could be organised. Never mind all those crazy game shows and Afrikaans channels I care two hoots about. As long as I could watch my No. 1 sport and keep abreast with What’s What in The Fight Game. And then, one day, without warning, they stopped showing us elite boxing fights and decided that we were better off watching Golden Gloves and fisticuffs from East London . The so-called best of South African boxing from town halls in the Eastern Cape.. Folks, if that is the level of boxing I want, I could mosey on down to Matero all day long and watch bloods trading leather in dingy little venues where their skill set isnt too different from my own. That’s like taking away the EPL and La Liga from soccer lovers only to give them league games from Outer Mongolia where there are more mountain goats per square kilometre than there are people! Anyway, you con us into believing that you’d seen the error of your ways and would start treating us to The Fight Game like you used to do. All you did was show us The Money Fight which, as any aficionado of pugilism will tell you, wasnt a real boxing match. There is no such thing as The Money Belt. It is not a title sanctioned by any of the boxing bodies. That fight was all about money, period. Yet you showed it and we got our fill of the novelty. Now, tomorrow night, the world will wake up to what is arguably The Fight of the Year. Genaddy Golovkin steps into the ring to fight Canelo Alvarez to determine who is the baddest middlweight on the planet. This here fight, which has taken years to seal, is the only fight in town and we all want to watch it. But all you’ve done, MultiChoice, is to show us the hype and to take us through the countdown–only to make it clear that the fight is only available to viewers in South Africa. Now if this isnt treating us like bloody Cinderella, then I dont know what is. Now you know exactly what I think of you. I have said my piece and it is either you get with the programme and note down a genuine complaint by an old client who is as pissed off as hell with you. Do I speak Afrikaans to be saddled with all those Boer channels? Aikona wena. I dont want!!! It has taken me the better part of 15 minutes to vent my spleen at an infernal time of the morning when normal people should be sleeping but I needed the peace and quiet to put my thoughts together for your benefit and on behalf of many subscribers who feel as cheated and as slighted by your lack of consideration like I do. Just know that I will not take down this complaint, no matter who makes a song and dance about it. It is, after all, my wall, and last time I checked, freedom of expression, was still a basic human right. You heard. The post MultiChoice Treating Zambians Like “Bloody Cinderella” – Senior Journalist appeared first on Zambia Reports.

source: Zambia Reports

Mumba Yachi – A Victim Of The Lenshina Ghost?

Former presidential spokesperson Dickson Jere has laid the possibilities of incarcerated popular musician Mumba Yachi. Yachi has been in prison from August 28 for unlawful stay in Zambia and giving false information in a material particular contrary to section 13 … Continued

The post Mumba Yachi – A Victim Of The Lenshina Ghost? appeared first on Zambia Reports.

Former presidential spokesperson Dickson Jere has laid the possibilities of incarcerated popular musician Mumba Yachi. Yachi has been in prison from August 28 for unlawful stay in Zambia and giving false information in a material particular contrary to section 13 (1) of the National Registration Act cap 126 of the laws of Zambia. He is also charged with making false representation for purposes of obtaining a passport. The matter has been adjourned to 18th September for mention and 22 October for the commencement of trial with the accused remaining in custody. BELOW IS JERE’S INSIGHTFUL SCENARIO OF PERMUTATIONS: By Dickson Jere I am an ardent fan of Mumba Yachi’s music and have all his albums. His Afro-beat is clearly in his own class and league only comparable to the likes of the legend Fela Kuti. Not until his recent incarceration, I never thought he had issues with his citizenship. But what struck me was his passion and well-informed lyrics on the now infamous “Lumpa Church” or “Ba Lenshina” and the connection to Mokambo in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo. So, his predicament made me go on a soul-searching through various literature in order to understand this Lenshina stuff, whose history remains buried and told in a bias way. We grew up to believe that the Lenshina followers drunk urine and believed they had a passport to heaven. They were evil doers. However, yesterday, as part of the literary week, I stumbled on an interesting book titled “A Time to Mourn” that provides a good and unbiased read on this obscure history of Alice Lenshina. Authored by John Hudson, a former District Commissioner of Isoka, the book is an eye witness’ personal account of the 1964 Lumpa Church Revolt in Zambia. It gives his personal experiences of the Rise and Fall of Alice Lenshina Mulenga who formed the Lumpa church in Chinsali even though it spread to other parts of the country. The book is descriptive and for all intend and purposes, what transpired to the Lumpa followers could be best described as “genocide”. The author places the blame on the authorities at that time who mishandled the conflict between the Lumpa Church and UNIP supporters which led to thousands of people to be massacred in cold-blood. Official statistics show that the Lumpa church had the biggest following than any other church in Chinsali, Kasama, Mpika, Isoka and Lundazi and their biggest crime was to refuse to join UNIP or participate in politics at crucial time of independence struggle. And so, the long and the short of it is that the Lumpa supporters were attacked, raped, maimed and made to surrender including their leader Alice Lenshina. But a group of faithfuls refused to submit to UNIP’s threats and consequently fled to the neighboring Zaire now DRC where they established themselves especially in Mokambo in Lubumbashi on the border with Mufulira. Hudson writes: “in all, nineteen thousand Lumpas went to the Congo between 1964 and 1968. Efforts were made to induce them to return after an amnesty declared in 1968 but only three thousand did so.” I am told that among those who fled and refused to return was Mumba Yachi’s grandmother hence his birth and upbringing in Mokambo, a border town which features prominently in his songs. And he sings proudly about it! So the Lenshina migration is believed to be the first known, after Zambia’s independence, where Zambians fled their country to seek refuge elsewhere. “It was estimated in 1993 that there were up to fifteen thousand followers of the church in the Congo. Up to September 1994, only one thousand, six hundred had arrived in Zambia,” Hudson writes. “The majority remained in the Congo; if they see that those who have come back do not encounter any hostility, more can be expected to return,” Hudson writes on page 63 of his Book. How then do you treat these Zambians and their offsprings? That’s a question! I end here! The post Mumba Yachi – A Victim Of The Lenshina Ghost? appeared first on Zambia Reports.

source: Zambia Reports

OPINION: Could Iris’ Porn Art be the Ultimate Mental Liberation or Sheer Stupidity?

Is there really a limit as to how far Iris Kaingu will go into courting controversy? Iris has become a symbol of rebelliousness against almost everything that Zambian society holds sacred. What has she not done to win over attention … Continued

The post OPINION: Could Iris’ Porn Art be the Ultimate Mental Liberation or Sheer Stupidity? appeared first on Zambia Reports.

Is there really a limit as to how far Iris Kaingu will go into courting controversy? Iris has become a symbol of rebelliousness against almost everything that Zambian society holds sacred. What has she not done to win over attention to herself? Iris has featured in perhaps the most publicly viewed and identifiable porn act ever that relates to Zambia. This is when her filmed sex act at the Zambia Centre for Accountancy (ZCAS) with a known male made its way in the public domain. She was arrested and eventually found guilty of producing or distributing pornographic material. Few may have thought that after that act Iris may have gone under to rehabilitate herself but the booty daughter of former Education Minister Michael Kaingu hardly gets enough of controversy and went bare before the brush depicting one of the most controversial pieces of nude art. Not that most of the 14 million Zambians have not seem Iris’s nakedness before them, but the aspiring Choma Central Member of Parliament wanted them to have one more peek at her cookie lest they have forgotten how it looks. Is Iris becoming a symbol of that one form of rebellion in our society? Should the public read too much into Iris’ pornographic exhibition? Is it the signs of time? Did we not have police recently round up over 70 teenagers convening at some form of sex Olympics in Woodlands? Is there something that our society is missing? Could it be that Iris is light years ahead of everyone in terms of mental liberation that the rest of our society can’t cope? Never mind the soggy boobs but Iris is at home with her body and does not mind shoving it before everybody as an act of her ultimate self-liberation. Do not great acts get lasting recognition through controversy? Does not everyone remember the Mona Lisa for controversy that it stirred? But then Iris could just have been a badly brought up child with an attention seeking complex. Maybe society is taking Iris too seriously but one can bet that we have not heard the ‘lust’ of Iris. Wonder what the next update on her rich ‘chitako’ CV will be? The post OPINION: Could Iris’ Porn Art be the Ultimate Mental Liberation or Sheer Stupidity? appeared first on Zambia Reports.

source: Zambia Reports

OPINION: The Mutati Must Resign Calls Symptomatic of Bad Blood Between PF and MMD

The bad blood between the ruling Patriotic Front and their alliance partners the MMD faction led by Felix Mutati is not anything that should take anyone by surprise. After all the vibe from within PF circles about being invaded by … Continued

The post OPINION: The Mutati Must Resign Calls Symptomatic of Bad Blood Between PF and MMD appeared first on Zambia Reports.

The bad blood between the ruling Patriotic Front and their alliance partners the MMD faction led by Felix Mutati is not anything that should take anyone by surprise. After all the vibe from within PF circles about being invaded by the MMD has been an on-going story. Expelled Roan Member of Parliament Chishimba Kambwili had become a symbol of the crusade to weed out MMD members from the PF that had been awarded top posts in the government. Kambwili had raised dust about seeing Dora Siliya, Bowman Lusambo, Vincent Mwale, Mutati and Vitoria Kalima among others sit at the high table whilst founder members watch from the sidelines. It seems even with Kambwili out of the equation the resentment of some MMD senior members in PF circles still has disciples. It is a highly uncomfortable relationship given how far the two parties come in election rivalry. It is an illusion for the MMD members to imagine their stay in the PF would always be smooth as there are many in the ruling party who feel they have been pushed away from the high table in preference for MMD members. Mutati has only become a target but no one among the MMD members should imagine that the subject is just a one off sponsored protest. The innuendos will continue and may be expected to heighten with the sponsors of the voice of dissent shuffling their cards. Mutati has proved an excellent choice for Finance Minister but it should not be forgotten that he still remains president of another faction of the MMD. There are those in the PF that feel he could be quietly gunning to challenge President Edgar Lungu should the slot be put up for competition ahead of the 2021 elections. Mutati has not been discreet about his presidential ambitions and few in the know are not fooled about the options open to him. So rather than be dismissive about the Mutati must resign chants there is need to reflect on what kind of relationship the PF and MMD want to have with each other. After the MMD die hards still wonder what will become of their party as they prepare for the 2021 elections. The other half led by Nevers Mumba has auctioned itself to the UPND while Mutati is in bed with the PF. The MMD should reflect deeply on what kind of relationship it wants to have with the PF. The post OPINION: The Mutati Must Resign Calls Symptomatic of Bad Blood Between PF and MMD appeared first on Zambia Reports.

source: Zambia Reports

Antonio Mwanza: Lesson From Kenya

The nullification of Uhuru Kenyatta’s election by the Supreme Court of Kenya is a landmark decision that must be applauded by all those that believe in democracy and justice. As a nation there are serious lessons we can draw from … Continued

The post Antonio Mwanza: Lesson From Kenya appeared first on Zambia Reports.

The nullification of Uhuru Kenyatta’s election by the Supreme Court of Kenya is a landmark decision that must be applauded by all those that believe in democracy and justice. As a nation there are serious lessons we can draw from what has happened in Kenya. 1. The Kenyan judges have affirmed what we have always been saying, that elections are a PROCESS and NOT an EVENT thus the outcome of an election is usually affected by what happens in the pre-election phase and not necessarily what happens on the polling day. Rigging of an election must not be attributed to just what happens on the actual polling day but to everything that happens throughout the pre-election phase. For this reason, we must always advocate for levelling of the electoral field by ensuring among others equal, fair and balanced coverage of all political parties especially by the public media as demanded for in Article 50 of our Republican Constitution; fair application of the Public Order Act; Reviewing of the Republican Constitution as well as the Electoral Process Act No.35 of 2016 to strengthen the independence of the Electoral Commission of Zambia and improve its efficiency to ensure the delivery of free, fair and credible elections. 2. We must reform our Judiciary to root out political interference and corruption as far as judgments and delivery of justice is concerned. We must demand for clear separation of powers and the independence of our governance institutions such as the Judiciary, the Electoral Commission of Zambia, the Zambia Police and others. Equally, we must demand a review of the role and effectiveness of the Judicial Complaints Commission. In its current form, the Judicial Complaints Commission is a moribund institution that is serving the interests of the judges and not the interests of the public. 3. We need to steamline and devise a clear system in which a presidential election petition must be handled to avoid a miscarriage of justice through the abuse of technical legal jargons or lacunas in the Constitution. Further, we need to review our Republican Constitution to put a clear time frame within which election petitions in this case, parliamentary petitions must be disposed of. We have cases such as the cases of Ms. Nkandu Luo and Ms. Margaret Mwanakatwe whose seats have been nullified by the High Court yet they continue to operate as MPs because there is no time frame indicating clearly when these cases will be concluded. These cases may go on and on till 2021. In conclusion, the nullification of Uhuru Kenyatta’s election has again put so called international elections observers in bad light. It is a reminder that you cannot sit in a plush hotel room in the capital city of a foreign state for two weeks or two days as an observer and claim that elections are free and fair without putting into serious consideration the happenings in the pre-election phase. That is an insult to the intelligence of the electorates. Issued by Antonio Mwanza, FDD Deputy National Secretary and Party Spokesperson. Antonio Mourinho Mwanza The post Antonio Mwanza: Lesson From Kenya appeared first on Zambia Reports.

source: Zambia Reports

Laura Miti: PF Has ‘Destroyed’ Zambia’s Democracy

An Overview of the State of the Zambian Democracy Since 1991, when Zambia replaced her long serving independence President, Kenneth Kaunda, the country has solidified its reputation as a growing African democracy. In particular, it has been known for its … Continued

The post Laura Miti: PF Has ‘Destroyed’ Zambia’s Democracy appeared first on Zambia Reports.

An Overview of the State of the Zambian Democracy Since 1991, when Zambia replaced her long serving independence President, Kenneth Kaunda, the country has solidified its reputation as a growing African democracy. In particular, it has been known for its ability to change presidents via the ballot box. It has also been known for preventing presidents who wanted to overstay their constitutional mandate like did second President, Fredrick Chiluba, from doing so. The Zambian resistance against excesses by office holders has been remarkable for its robustness and yet unique, for the continent, for its non-violent nature. All this has been brought into sharp relief by the country’s seeming regression into undemocratic practices in the 5 years that the current ruling Patriotic Front (PF) has been in office. The PF was founded by Michael Sata in 2001 as a breakaway from the then ruling Movement for Multi Party Development (MMD). Sata had been the public face of the defeated attempt by President Chiluba to go for an unconstitutional third term. It is widely believed that Chiluba had promised Sata that, in return for his vociferous support for the third term bid, he would in time support him to take over the presidency. When Chiluba picked on a relative outsider, Levy Mwanawasa, to stand for the 2001 elections he was prevented from contesting, Sata left the MMD in a huff and set up the PF. Sata proceeded to contest 3 consecutive presidential elections (including one bye election resulting from the death of President Mwanawasa.) He lost all three but grew his support base after each. In 2011, he finally took advantage of a veritable popular revolt against what was seen as the arrogance and corruption of the ruling MMD and was swept into office via a mini revolution similar to that of 1991. It is worth noting that to grow his popularity and finally win power, Michael Sata and his PF took advantage of the democratic space that the MMD allowed in the country. In between elections, Sata was able to hold on-going political rallies and appear on radio and TV stations right across the country to sell his very populist message. However, when the PF assumed office, the Sata administration proceeded to shrink that democratic space in ways that had not been foreseen, much less expected. It was a veritable act of climbing up a building using a ladder and then immediately removing it to ensure no one else can. After President Sata died in September 2014, he was succeeded by the current President, Edgar Lungu, who won the closely contested bye-election in January 2015. He went on to win the scheduled election 18 months later – another closely run contest which was also unprecedentedly divisive and violent. In both elections, Edgar Lungu defeated his bitter rival Hakainde Hichilema of the United Party for Democratic Progress (UPND). A petition of the 2016 election result was thrown out on a technicality by the newly constituted Constitutional Court in a very consequential move that has left the country unable to determine whether or not the last elections were freely and fairly won by the current President. It is under President Lungu’s presidency that the country has found itself in the international spot light for a stunningly rapid regression of its democratic principles, especially the upholding of a free press and citizen freedoms. Exemplifying this worrying trend, are a number of worrying incidents that have occurred since President Lungu came to office in 2015. First is the closure of the Post, the largest independent newspaper in Zambia which opposition and civil society had largely depended on for coverage. The Post had become a vicious critic of the current administration (after having for a period lost its independent ethos by providing unquestioning support to the candidature and presidency of Michael Sata). The Post was closed ostensibly for protracted tax issues which it has to be said ail just about every media outlet in Zambia, especially the government owned ones. As significant as the closing of the Post was the recent arrest of Opposition Leader, Hakainde Hichilema. He was arrested and charged with treason after an incident in which his motorcade failed to make way for the presidential convoy at a traditional ceremony. He was only released after the intervention of the local church and the Commonwealth. Dialogue between between Lungu and Hichilema has been mooted and is greatly anticipated by a nation very worried about the direction its politics are taking. A threatened state of emergency has also been declared on the back of acts of arson which it has to be mentioned are yet to be proved to be the work of the opposition as claimed by the President. They were cited as the reason for the invocation of Article 31 of the Constitution which provides for the threatened state of emergency before any investigatory evidence was provided to the public. The public still awaits the connection. This threatened state of emergency allows for arrest without warrant and detention for extended periods. Using the power therein, citizens have been arrested for expressing their views on social media under the colonial “defamation of the president†laws. Eleven people are awaiting trial for the arson incidents. They have been held for longer than a month and were reported to be on hunger strike (a claim that has not been confirmed). The extra powers accorded to the police under the threatened state of emergency are particularly concerning because the Police service have, even without emergency powers, been acting very much outside the law. Since PF came to power, the police have routinely prevented opposition gatherings claiming they do not have the manpower to protect them. They then have arrived at the venues to prevent any possibility of rallies proceeding with more officers and show of force than would have been required to ensure a smooth event. The police have also displayed a brutality in crowd control previously unknown in the country. Critical to note is that the police under PF, again routinely, fail to prevent or address extreme incidents of violence by the cadres of the ruling party. This no-need-to-fear-consequences has translated into a PF membership that is understood to be a law unto itself and feared by ordinary citizens. Cadres have been known to march in the street openly brandishing weaponry that was previously unknown to be in the hands of anyone who was not a violent criminal. On the other side of the political spectrum it seems the main opposition UPND has also adopted a violent ethos for its cadres claiming the need for self-defence. The result of violent cadre meeting violent cadre need not be set out. The long and short of the situation in Zambia is that a country that was well on its way to instituting itself as a shining example of democracy in Africa, is taking longs strides backward. There is an urgent need to ensure that the democratic spaces, especially the free press and freedom of expression Zambians are accustomed to, are protected. It is also critical that citizens push back against government acts to take their democracy south. Citizens must, like they did to President Chiluba, say no to President Lungu. It is after all because Zambians have been able express themselves freely that administration after administration has known not to dare overstay in power. It is also because of the democratic freedoms they have enjoyed for decades, that citizens have been able to use innovative ways of expressing their unhappiness such as the loud blowing of car horns at 17 hours every Friday together with wearing green ribbons that let President Chiluba know he could not stay in office when his 2nd term was over. Zambia’s famed peace is because Zambians have been free to draw a line in the sand for those in power. If the Lungu administration is allowed to continue encroaching on citizen freedoms, that peace is at risk. Source: LAURA MITI FACEBOOK PAGE The post Laura Miti: PF Has ‘Destroyed’ Zambia’s Democracy appeared first on Zambia Reports.

source: Zambia Reports

OPINION: Police Must Reflect on their Conduct

The Zambia police once again found itself in an embarrassing situation in their eagerness to impress on their political handlers. Lusaka Province commanding officer Nelson Phiri commandeered an operation last Thursday to bar would be congregants at the Cathedral of … Continued

The post OPINION: Police Must Reflect on their Conduct appeared first on Zambia Reports.

The Zambia police once again found itself in an embarrassing situation in their eagerness to impress on their political handlers. Lusaka Province commanding officer Nelson Phiri commandeered an operation last Thursday to bar would be congregants at the Cathedral of Holy Cross planning to hold thanks giving prayers for the release of UPND president Hakainde Hichilema. Commisioner Phiri unashamedly said that his officers were applying the requirements of the Public Order Act in stopping the prayers. The scene of armed police officers turning away congregants made for a very comical scene if not for its seriousness. While the police were all over town imagining their political handlers would be most pleased with them, they were rudely shocked that the one person they thought would come to their defence lambasted them. Minister of Religious Affairs and National Guidance Godfridah Sumaili said the police were out of order. No apology was forthcoming from the police and State House drove the final nail in the police coffin by blasting the police branding them unprofessional. Now the police were left eating humble pie for their high handedness. Considering the number of cases that they have bungled with their arrest and then investigate style, they should deeply reflect on their conduct. Look at how embarrassingly the Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja had to retreat in the Chilufya Tayali defamation case. Did not Obvious Mwaliteta and his colleagues endure one year behind bars only for the police to have given conflicting statements laced with false testimony. We cannot even begin to talk about other cases where the name of the President has been dragged in the mud. What of the Chawama reserve police officer Peter Habasimbi who had been dragged to court on the strength of false another case of confused testimony? Sometimes it is not the politicians pushing the police to flout the law very law they are supposed to be upholding but they are so bent on impressing on politicians that they mess up. The police should just commit to acting professionally and spare the dignity of their profession. Otherwise there is no need for properly trained officers to be pandering to the whims of politicians. Police should just begin to learn that only being professional will earn them the respect of the citizenry. The post OPINION: Police Must Reflect on their Conduct appeared first on Zambia Reports.

source: Zambia Reports

OPINION: The Politics of Nolles

A lot of dust has been raised following the nolle prosequi entered by the state in the case of Hakainde Hichilema and later Economic and Equity Forum party president Chilufya Tayali. Naturally these decisions have been received with mixed feelings … Continued

The post OPINION: The Politics of Nolles appeared first on Zambia Reports.

A lot of dust has been raised following the nolle prosequi entered by the state in the case of Hakainde Hichilema and later Economic and Equity Forum party president Chilufya Tayali. Naturally these decisions have been received with mixed feelings depending on which side of the legal divide one is on. The more politically informed may not have been too surprised given the events surrounding the build up to these decisions. But the traditional political sceptics have found fault with these decisions. However it is not the merits and de-merits of these nolles that should preoccupy the country but rather the opportunity that these legal decisions provide for healing. The nolle entered in the treason case should be used as a first step toward diffusing the political tension in the country. Part of the country had been hurting under the weight of what seemed like political suppression in the aftermath of the August 2016 elections. But with Hichilema out there could be no reason to miss out on the opportunity to build on the positives presented by his walking to freedom. We are not privy to the roadmap of the reconciliation process between Hichilema and President Edgar Lungu but we must repeatedly remind these two gentleman whose mutual dislike is well known to take the next step. It will not help for either party to stick to their hot headedness of pride that has dragged an entire population at loggerheads. There should be no compromise on having the two gentlemen meet and diffuse the tension they have helped build. No matter the strong positions on either seeking to be publicly recognized or screaming about being robbed of victory there has to be a middle ground. Was it not ironic that President Lungu was willing to meet South African opposition leaders about the problems in Zambia whilst staying clear of his chief adversary back home? And Hichilema on his part should tone down and stick to conciliatory language if the proposed dialogue has to work. The country has watched the two chief actors dance around each other and must now demand that the two personalities meet and resolve their differences. At least someone recognized that the first step toward dialogue would be to release Hichilema albeit on a nolle and with that done there has to be a second step otherwise all that effort would have been in vain. Even small fry like Tayali could have had the potential to keep the animosity going if they had stayed on trial. So we implore the champions of the dialogue process to take the next step otherwise the nolle may just account for a possible abuse of the court process. The post OPINION: The Politics of Nolles appeared first on Zambia Reports.

source: Zambia Reports

OPINION: Pres. Lungu Must Act On The South Africa Debacle

The drama around President Edgar Lungu being shunned by South Africa opposition leaders Mmusi Maimane and Julius Malema make very embarrassing reading. So often the President’s handlers have received credit for managing to push a polished image of him. His … Continued

The post OPINION: Pres. Lungu Must Act On The South Africa Debacle appeared first on Zambia Reports.

The drama around President Edgar Lungu being shunned by South Africa opposition leaders Mmusi Maimane and Julius Malema make very embarrassing reading. So often the President’s handlers have received credit for managing to push a polished image of him. His handlers have managed to package his dress sense making him an embodiment of flawlessness. But the same cannot be said about how smart they have been in handling his public relations and diplomatic affairs. The President has needlessly been encouraged to make acquaintance with some of Africa’s loathsome personalities. They have done little to check what image has become of him among his peers but keep sending him from one dictatorship strong man to the next. But the manner they threw him into the lion’s den when the meeting for Maimane who was denied entry into Zambia and has been spearheading demonstrations in South Africa against the Zambian government and Malema whose loathe for Lungu and his regime is a matter of public record is sad. Once the meeting was announced the President’s media team led by flagrantly excited individuals that at the drop of the hat flood the media with needless statements went to town. They went to town imagining they had scored a diplomatic coup but embarrassingly bungled the whole affair. Once Malema and Maimane shunned President Lungu the Head of State’s handlers could not come up with a discernible explanation. With Malema and Maimane relishing for an opportunity to hit back at President Lungu, no doubt his handlers who are paid a lot of money to keep his image polished handed the President an embarrassing episode. To have had a Head of State moving hotels running away from picketers tells a lot about how badly a job was done by people on the ground. While they go about excitedly proving their relevance on social media they better have an explanation otherwise it may have easily been a calculated move to embarrass President Lungu. Surely such incidences call for tough decisions if people paid handsomely to maintain the dignity of the Presidency only dream of enhancing their wardrobes or littering social media with ego trips they must as well be replaced by others worth of the dignity of the office. The post OPINION: Pres. Lungu Must Act On The South Africa Debacle appeared first on Zambia Reports.

source: Zambia Reports