OPINION: Mukubesa Could the Neutrals Choice in Mayoral Race

Mundia Mukubesa, better known as Petersen has been running a smart campaign for the mayoral seat in Lusaka. It had seemed like a joke when Petersen showed up at the Lusaka Civic Centre to file his nomination as a candidate. … Continued

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Mundia Mukubesa, better known as Petersen has been running a smart campaign for the mayoral seat in Lusaka. It had seemed like a joke when Petersen showed up at the Lusaka Civic Centre to file his nomination as a candidate. It had almost seemed like one of those wishy-washy undertakings that were just an egoistic fulfilment of infant dreams. But Zagaman or is it Zagaze has clicked with some mass of prospective voters. One has got to admire the sincerity of Petersen in evaluating his chances in the mayoral race. Petersen has conducted an honest appraisal of his chances which is accurately reflected in his campaign song “Tikosesa†which translates in we would make it difficult. Petersen knows very well how hard it would be for him to win the Lusaka mayoral seat given his credentials that may beyond the enthusiasm of youth just has him dismissed as an entertainer. He has not been so outright about winning but making a mark on this campaign. The better enlightened could classify his pursuit in the league of the “strike a blow and dieâ€. Strike a blow and die in script of Malawian independence hero William Chilembwe. Enough about history lessons! Petersen is not only coming up against a campaign that is heavily viewed as a two horse race between the Patriotic Front and the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND). He is standing on the nondescript People’s Alliance for Change (PAC) that is rather seeming like just fulfilling an electoral obligation to field a candidate. But Petersen who will appear on the ballot as Mundia Mukubesa has not let the negative vibe weigh him down and has gone about his campaign business alongside his youthful president Andyford Mayele Banda. It is very clear that Petersen has emerged as the neutrals’ choice. Petersen could very easily cause an upset on July 26 if his vibe continues resonating with the Lusaka voters. Of course winning may be a tad too far but Zagaze may have come of age to finally practice what he has preached over the years. He has made the right political and societal commentaries in his music over the years. His voice has resonated with the downtrodden of society making him a rare moral voice in music circles. His trademark songs like Anyandule, Bufi (collaboration with Pilato) and now Spartacus are some of the social commentaries that set him apart from the crowd. He may not win the mayoral race but Zagaman deserves some respect. He is a man simply living his dream. It may not come to fruition this time given the dominance the ruling Patriotic Front enjoys in Lusaka but surely Zagaman may just be happy to live his word.   The post OPINION: Mukubesa Could the Neutrals Choice in Mayoral Race appeared first on Zambia Reports.

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OPINION: GBM’s Violent Political DNA

It is quite ironic that Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba could be whining about his political party, the opposition United Party for National Development being a victim of violence. Mwamba, popularly known as GBM is violence incarnate and may not have the … Continued

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It is quite ironic that Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba could be whining about his political party, the opposition United Party for National Development being a victim of violence. Mwamba, popularly known as GBM is violence incarnate and may not have the moral right to talk about violence. It could appear that violence is in the man’s DNA. Everyone who is a student of Zambian politics would know that GBM has been one of the chief architects of political violence in the country. The now physically scaled down GBM has been consistently violent in his political pronouncements. He has coined catchy violent political slogans that have become part of the political lingo. Innocuously sounding statements like “tukembana inama mumeno†loosely translated knocking out each other’s teeth, Panga for Panga which needs no explanation and jumping at each other’s throats are some of GBM’s signature violent slogans that have become part of his political diatribes. Even the dawn of heavy muscled youth in shady dark glasses at political rallies has his signature. There is no limit to how low he can go to propagate his violent ways and even commits to recruiting unemployed youths to his violent ways. His role in the unlawful drilling case where a number of youths were picked at his gymnasium in Villa Elizabeth testifies to his well-known violent tendencies. Don’t they say charity begins at home? A man who batters his own wife surely will have no trouble hurting anybody else to meet his political ends. Perhaps what the UPND should do before going to town about being victims of violence is to take a deep introspection and remove the log in their eyes. The UPND cannot be going guns blazing accusing everybody else about political violence without admitting their role to the violence that has become part of the Zambian political fibre. It was no wonder they were at ease in the company of GBM as their running mate that the clean mouthed Dr Canisius Banda. Even the once upon a time mighty man of God Dr Nevers Mumba these days speaks violent political tongues. So perhaps the UPND should know that whilst playing the victim card it could be more prudent for them to take some responsibility too and confess to their violent ways.   The post OPINION: GBM’s Violent Political DNA appeared first on Zambia Reports.

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OPINION: Mumbi Phiri’s Conjugal Calvary

The cat and mouse battle between Opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema and Patriotic Front deputy General Secretary Mumbi Phiri is strange. Notwithstanding that the bad blood is as old as anyone can remember. The two … Continued

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The cat and mouse battle between Opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema and Patriotic Front deputy General Secretary Mumbi Phiri is strange. Notwithstanding that the bad blood is as old as anyone can remember. The two have never liked each other and this dislike goes beyond politics. Phiri is the brainchild behind the now infamous Kachema (herdsman) tag that has stuck on Hichilema that somehow he has miraculously turned into a positive vibe. However what is even stranger are the insinuations about the Mumbi Phiri’s conjugal deficiencies. The debate about her getting or not getting pregnant has gone on for too long. Do our politics really need this kind of low game? Phiri herself of course is not one to hesitate in dishing out as much as she gets and has bluntly gone for UPND aligned media that has been making a meal out of the pregnancy spectacle. How about the taunt about Phiri not being ready to get on with Hichilema as she is married but could have taken up the challenge had she not been a self-respecting wife. Certainly the purveyors of this sick debate should halt it and just focus on the merits and de-merits of the imminent political battle ahead in the July 26 mayoral election. Certainly dwelling on conjugal deficiencies may not win anyone elections. Has she not proven her productivity to the world with her well known documented family life? Why would anyone want someone pregnant just to prove a political point? Certainly our politics can do better than this bedroom banter that we have been reduced to. Understandably the heat in the run up to the July 26 mayoral elections is getting higher and it could get worse for the leading political contenders. It will not help any political players to hide behind ghost fora to discredit political opponents. May the best candidate win! The post OPINION: Mumbi Phiri’s Conjugal Calvary appeared first on Zambia Reports.

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OPINION: Kabila’s Fear Of A Katumbi Return Highlighted In The Passport Case (PART ONE)

A biometric passport is quickly granted to one Jean-Pierre Bemba while the other opposition Moses Katumbi is being prosecuted for alleged falsification of the same passport. If Joseph Kabila, who made his speech on the occasion of the anniversary of … Continued

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A biometric passport is quickly granted to one Jean-Pierre Bemba while the other opposition Moses Katumbi is being prosecuted for alleged falsification of the same passport. If Joseph Kabila, who made his speech on the occasion of the anniversary of the country’s independence last Friday sought to open a new page, his approach should be different. On Friday, June 22, Joseph Kabila’s Congolese government officials announced that he would issue a biometric passport to Jean-Pierre Bemba who was released from prison after being acquitted by the ICC. This announcement shows a special treatment that contrasts with the fate of another opponent, Moses Katumbi. Katumbi was forced into exile in Europe two years ago. A case against him of forgery has been opened by through judicial inquiry. Is this not the case “double standard”? THE VIEW The contrast is striking. Just four days after the Attorney General of the Republic, Flory Kabange Numbi, opened a criminal investigation for “falsified passport” against Moise Katumbi, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Leonard She Okitundu wrote to the President of Senate, Léon Kengo Wa Dondo, to signify the availability of a form for obtaining a diplomatic passport in favor of Jean-Pierre Bemba. Why is there such a difference in the treatment of the two opponents? To answer this question, it is necessary to refer to the DR Congo Congolese electoral map and sociology. We’ll establish that all opponents, including Jean-Pierre Bemba and Moïse Katumbi, would not often be placed on an equal footing. Put simply, they provide varying threats to Joseph Kabila’s hold on power. JEAN-PIERRE BEMBA Jean-Pierre Bemba, how has he established his troops on the electoral plane? Before answering this question, it is important to understand that in the DRC, as in other African countries, voting is primarily ethnic, tribal, provincial, regional, linguistic. Voters bring their votes for the candidate who has a connection to them. There is also that uneasy fact that in a country of more than 80 million inhabitants, majority voters are domiciled in the east of the country: That is, 55% voters in the east against 45% in the west. In the West, politically, the strong man since the 2000s is Jean-Pierre Bemba. In 2006, the “chairman”, as his supporters call him, rose to the second round of the presidential election with 42% of the votes against Joseph Kabila. But Bemba’s political score was aided by the circumstances of the election that was boycotted by the main opposition leader at the Etienne Tshisekedi. Jean-Pierre Bemba benefitted to a large extent from Tshisekedi’s boycott. It was simply a vote of rejection of Joseph Kabila . However, in 2018, this scenario will not happen again. Felix Tshisekedi, his son, is now at the head of the UDPS, the dominant party in the central provinces of Kasai. And this one has forged a political alliance with Moïse Katumbi the political powerhouse from Katanga Province. In addition, Jean-Pierre Bemba’s relatively good score in the 2006 presidential election is explained by a series of alliances with other leaders. The electoral stronghold of Jean-Pierre Bemba is located in the west of the country, roughly the former province of Equator and its surroundings, and in Kinshasa – a city increasingly cosmopolitan because of the growing presence of Congolese from the east and central parts of the country. To broaden his electoral base during the second round of the presidential election in 2006, Bemba had formed alliances in the east of the country with personalities such as Mwando Nsimba and Lunda Bululu in the former Katanga, Thambwe Mwamba in Maniema, etc. However, if he decided to run for the next election, which is far from certain, it would be impossible for Jean-Pierre to resume such agreements today. Members of the party of Mwando Nsimba (now deceased) have joined Moïse Katumbi; the same can be said about Lunda Bululu. As for Thambwe Mwamba, he is the zealous Minister of Justice of Joseph Kabila. More embarrassing, Jean-Pierre Bemba does not benefit, far from there, of a total support to the west. The province of Bandudu for example, one of the most important electoral reservoirs of the country, escapes him very largely. It is shared today between the PALU of Gizenga, allied with Joseph Kabila, and Olivier Kamitatu, former president of the National Assembly and once an ally of Moïse Katumbi. Part Two Of This Article Will Follow Adapted from an analysis written By Par Prosper Bagondo for Le Point Afrique The post OPINION: Kabila’s Fear Of A Katumbi Return Highlighted In The Passport Case (PART ONE) appeared first on Zambia Reports.

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OPINION: UPND Violence Crusade Subtly Cloaked as Self Defence

The opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) has for last 48 hours been wallowing in self-pity. The party through its president Hakainde Hichilema have been on rampage lamenting how they have been on the receiving end of political violence. … Continued

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The opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) has for last 48 hours been wallowing in self-pity. The party through its president Hakainde Hichilema have been on rampage lamenting how they have been on the receiving end of political violence. Hichilema has had everyone believe that his cadres have had their arms folded in the heat of political harassment and attack. It has almost been made to look like the UPND has been devoid of violent tendencies.  It is a narrative that has largely gone one sided. The UPND aligned voices like political commentator MacDonald Chipenzi and Zambia Civic Education Association (ZCEA) executive director Judith Mulenga have picked on the victim mantra and broadcast it before the world. What everyone should be alive to is that the UPND has gone into overdrive mischaracterizing a call for violence as self defense. They have subtly been telling the whole world that they should be free to practice violence as they claim to be a victim of it. They are slowly becoming at home with violence as their only way to achieving political power. Has not their vice president Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba been a living chief priest of violence? In any case, who are the originators of the Panga for Panga doctrine? Did not GBM recruit some youth at his Villa Elizabeth gymnasium in a matter that infamously became known as unlawful drilling?  The blame game is all too good but political players should take an honest introspection of their actions. Any sane person would admit that the UPND did not lose the elections in Chilanga because of violence. The UPND know too well about the garbage that the candidate they fielded in Chilanga came with. To go to town and whine about being victims of violence when in reality they should be reworking their electoral strategies smacks of hypocrisy. What Hichilema should be telling his followers is how they are going to regenerate the party ahead of the 2021 general elections. Understandably opposition politics are difficult in any set up but even the most elementary of opposition politicians need not be reminded about how the late Michael Sata got down to work after the 2006 elections that he narrowly lost. Rather than sustain the cry baby mentality that has become part of the UPND DNA, Hichilema should roll up his sleeves and get down to win over the masses through a well-orchestrated campaign otherwise the mayoral elections provided yet another political disaster. The post OPINION: UPND Violence Crusade Subtly Cloaked as Self Defence appeared first on Zambia Reports.

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OPINION: Miles’ Political Purgatory May Have Paid Off

The Patriotic Front made its choice for the mayor of Lusaka in prodigal Miles Sampa on Saturday. It is a choice that comes with a lot of baggage. Naturally the Patriotic Front is the frontrunner to retain the seat they … Continued

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The Patriotic Front made its choice for the mayor of Lusaka in prodigal Miles Sampa on Saturday. It is a choice that comes with a lot of baggage. Naturally the Patriotic Front is the frontrunner to retain the seat they held through the deceased Wilson Kalumba. It is for this reason that the ruling party should have exercised more prudency in picking a candidate. Sampa’s credentials devoid of the political drama he has had in the last two years are impeccable. Before losing his way, he had won the hearts of many political observers as a prospective star for the future one who had both the academic and political acumen to one lead pose a strong case to lead this country but he jumped ahead of himself and imagined he had arrived. Sampa spent the post Sata era hopping from one form of self-inflicted political confusion to the next. Confusingly he formed the National Democratic Focus (NDF) that never essentially took off before discovering the harsh reality of opposition politics. Having lost his political bearings with the NDF, Sampa went to bed the United Party for National Development (UPND) where their union ended up in defeat and the former Matero lawmaker realized even more that he was headed for the political dustbin. In the heat of his Damascus moment he crawled back to the PF where he was conditionally welcomed and has been literally overworking himself to gain acceptability. But now the PF has opened its arms to Sampa who will carry their ticket into the July 26 mayoral elections. He could sail through with some measure of ease but the precedent set here could come back to haunt the PF. The party has had members that have stuck to them even when opportunists of all hues and shades have left and conveniently come back when their imagined glories have not materialized. Among the 31 aspirants have been members have given their all to the PF and their loyalty has been overlooked. What then is the value of loyalty if all you get is perpetual snub? What example is the PF setting for its loyal members? Lest we forget even the biblical narrative of the prodigal son did raise these pertinent questions. Maybe Miles’ political purgatory has paid off. The post OPINION: Miles’ Political Purgatory May Have Paid Off appeared first on Zambia Reports.

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Mopani Installs 7 Online Air Monitoring Stations

Mopani Copper Mines says it has invested about US$ 4 billion in its operations since 2000 to help increase the life span of the mine and continue contributing to the grow of the country’s economic growth. Company Chief Executive Officer … Continued

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Mopani Copper Mines says it has invested about US$ 4 billion in its operations since 2000 to help increase the life span of the mine and continue contributing to the grow of the country’s economic growth. Company Chief Executive Officer Chris Vermeulen said the investment is aimed at not only growing the economy but adding value to the operations while maintaining and protecting the environment. He said Mopani has installed seven online air quality monitoring stations in different townships in Mufulira District to help address issues of Sulphur Dioxide emissions. Vermeulen said that the monitoring systems are linked to plant operations and in an event of a malfunction, plant operations are immediately adjusted or completely shut down. He further added that the mining company has also been implementing a major capital expansion programme valued at US$ 1.5 billion to extend the mine’s  life span at both Nkana and Mufulira to at least  25 years. “The projects includes sinking and equipping of three new shafts – one in Mufulira and two in Kitwe, as well as construction a new concentrator at Nkana, the project are employed in modern technologies that are environmentally and economically sustainable. The post Mopani Installs 7 Online Air Monitoring Stations appeared first on Zambia Reports.

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OPINION: Lessons from Chilanga

The dust from the Chilanga parliamentary by-election has hardly settled but after 24 hours from the moment the winner was declared it is relatively easier to discuss the poll in a clearer atmosphere. The victors have had their party while … Continued

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The dust from the Chilanga parliamentary by-election has hardly settled but after 24 hours from the moment the winner was declared it is relatively easier to discuss the poll in a clearer atmosphere. The victors have had their party while the vanquished may have at least recovered from the aftershock of defeat. Naturally a by-election cannot be viewed in the same light as a general election but with the new constitution tightening screws around the regularity of parliamentary by-election it may become important to read more into the by-election results. Chilanga stood as a perfect test case of how the urban population still viewed President Edgar Lungu’s midway through his tenure. Chilanga may have some markings of ethnic imbalance that plays a role in the outcome of elections but overall it has sufficient hold to be deemed an elite constituency. With the Patriotic Front getting a bashing daily from their detractors it had looked like a loss in Chilanga would be a show of a yellow card by the public. Besides the PF had never held the Chilanga seat before since its formation. It would have been very easy for the PF to accept a loss in Chilanga than anywhere else in Lusaka province. Admittedly the urban elite have been hugely critical of President Edgar Lungu therefore making it hard to penetrate Chilanga. It had very much looked like a given right for the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) until they opted for political suicide. Soon after they announced their candidate we did advise that the UPND had decided to walk on a tightrope.  It was political suicide to go to battle with a candidate with as much garbage as the UPND’s Charmaine Musonda. Musonda had just freshly been acquitted of an accomplice to murder charge and also walked with the stigma of a house wrecker from having grabbed a man from another woman. Perhaps the highest form of political naivety was in the fact that Musonda was lining up to succeed the man she was arrested with for murder. Could political success have been deemed sexually transmitted? The UPND just closed itself to any moral voices and stuck to their guns leading to one of their bitterest political lessons. It is a loss that is unlikely to win them any sympathisers, even neutrals were turned off by their choice. Quite simply Musonda was a politically toxic choice for a candidate. We may not be sure about the outcome of the election if the UPND fielded a more credible candidate. While some people may not like it the victory in Chilanga has gone some measure in confirming that PF still has a strong hold on the Lusaka voters. After all don’t they say numbers don’t lie? Regrettably the violent acts that characterised the poll will remain a dent on the otherwise smoothly conducted election. It had seemed outsiders were more desperate for a result in Chilanga than the locals who were simply looking for an acceptable candidate. It was an election that meant more to the humble and nonviolent people of Chilanga, at least they can go back to their normal lives. The post OPINION: Lessons from Chilanga appeared first on Zambia Reports.

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OPINION: Lubinda’s Political Cross

It seems monsieur Given Lubinda is back on the bad books of some of his Patriotic Front colleagues. His name featured prominently on the list of low level cadres that marched to the secretariat to hand in a petition against … Continued

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It seems monsieur Given Lubinda is back on the bad books of some of his Patriotic Front colleagues. His name featured prominently on the list of low level cadres that marched to the secretariat to hand in a petition against the interference in the election of officials in the grassroots. Lubinda alongside his Mandevu counterpart Jean Kapata and Munali lawmaker professor Nkandu Luo were fingered as planting their preferred candidates in the grassroots for an unknown agenda. It is not the first Lubinda is on the end of brutal and sustained witch hunt or at least it seems from his own party lieutenants. The now fallen angel Wynter Kabimba almost single handedly pushed him out of the Patriotic Front when the former was the secretary general. Lubinda was labelled treacherous for allegedly inciting the opposition lawmakers to incite the executive in parliament by asking embarrassing questions. Lubinda only survived that assault by the skin of his teeth when Kabimba ended up victim of his weapon. The assault on Lubinda was so vicious that it cast his credibility in doubt with his more zealous supporters urging him to form his own political party. Credit to him, he resisted such calls and stayed true to his partly membership. Just when he is beginning to enjoy his peace at the helm of the Justice Ministry it seems he has to brace himself for another carefully orchestrated smear campaign within the ruling party. Could it be these cadres something we do not know about Lubinda’s alleged clandestine dealings? Could it be that Lubinda harbours the one ambition that has felled many top political dog in the ruling party? Maybe his having thrown the hat in the ring at the one window an opportunity presented itself after the death of President Michael Sata has left a lingering suspicion of his true mission. Could this be the beginning of the fall from grace of another ruling party giant? We can only watch and learn but we have an inkling that the petition against Lubinda and colleagues to the general secretary was not by accident or was it the work of low level party functionaries. Watch the space. It seems Lubinda will have to carry another of those political crosses of suspicion and lack of confidence from own political lieutenants. The post OPINION: Lubinda’s Political Cross appeared first on Zambia Reports.

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Of Police Officer, Rains And Traffic Control

By GEORGE CHOMBA In Journalism school, we were taught that a picture tells thousands words and true to those words, the picture of a Police officer, a woman for that matter controlling traffic in the midst of rains tells me … Continued

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By GEORGE CHOMBA In Journalism school, we were taught that a picture tells thousands words and true to those words, the picture of a Police officer, a woman for that matter controlling traffic in the midst of rains tells me many things. Firstly, apart from the traffic section being ranked one of the most corrupt ‘free’ department of the Police security wings, yes, corrupt free if you know what I mean, there are still souls which go beyond their call of duty to render selfless service to the public. Then there is this aspect of climate change which speaks to the public that it is no longer business as usual when Zambians knew the months for the rainy season. But the picture also exposes our lack of interest in weather as we dress up to go for work or should we blame our Meteorological department for lack of pro-activeness to inform the public about the weather pattern for the day? Don’t argue, like Diamond TV Zambia has a weather segment in its News Bulletin at 8 PM, I have been to countries where the Meteorological department is in the forefront of sponsoring weather bulletins and they do that every day. But assuming that all the above was met, the question that begs an answer is WHY WAS the procurement OF UNIFORMS done without consideration for rain coats? My humble appeal to the Police procurement department or is it the Ministry of Home Affairs is to include rain coats in the procurement of Police uniforms because whether rain or sun shine, Police officers are expected to perform their duties. Assuming in the midst of rains, some criminals had attacked a bank and were helping themselves to cash, should Police sit back because they lack rain coats? To the Lusaka City Council, can those who worked on the drainage system in the central business district of Lusaka go back as rainy water still cannot find itself away from the roads that is what the pictures are telling me. To the Police officer, of course the Police command will say woman police officer, who braved the rains without a rain coat to control traffic, it is; bravo!* *George Chomba is a seasoned Zambian journalists with extensive experience in covering political, economics and human interest stories. The post Of Police Officer, Rains And Traffic Control appeared first on Zambia Reports.

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