Lungu’s disregard for traditional leaders, disrespect for Zambians is the genesis of his downfall
SENIOR Chief Mukumbi Ibaloli of the Kaonde Speaking people of North-Western Province has predicted the miserable loss of President Edgar Lungu in the forthcoming 2021 tripartite elections.
Speaking when a delegation of United Party for National Development (UPND) provincial, district, constituency, and ward leadership for Solwezi, Kalumbila, and Mushindamo districts led by party National Chairperson Mutale Nalumango paid a courtesy call on him at his Palace yesterday afternoon, the traditional leader expressed worry and sadness at the ruling Patriotic Front PF’s decision to brand the people of Western, North-western and Southern Provinces as “non-entities” and “tribalists” who have no value to the country.
Chief Mukumbi stated that it was laughable that President Lungu continued to scorn Zambians by treating them with disrespect, warning that “If Mr Lungu thinks Zambians are backward people who will vote him back into office in 2021, he is deceiving himself because Zambians have now become enlightened and well versed with the happenings in their country”.
The chief tipped president Hakainde Hichilema to watch his steps as he moved from one part of the country to another, stating that the PF had hatched a well-planned scheme to arrest him and slap him with a charge that would disqualify him from contesting the 2021 general elections.
He also called on Mr. Hichilema to drop the lawsuit against the embattled Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) leader, Edith Nawakwi, arguing that it was prudent for the UPND leader to allow the Zambian people to fight on his behalf.
In response to the Chief’s counsel, Ms. Nalumango, who expressed gratitude to the chief for the cordial and warm welcome accorded to her and her entourage, stated that she would ensure that his advice was considered and that a message was relayed to president Hichilema.
Ms. Nalumango is on a two-day familiarization tour of Kalumbila District where she is checking on the progress of a number of projects such as schools, health facilities, and bridges with special emphasis on good leadership.
UPND MEDIA TEAM
WE are taken aback to hear that the issuance of the NRCs in five (5) provinces (Southern, Western, Lusaka, Muchinga and Central) earmarked for phase II of the exercise supposed to have started on Sept 1, is extremely unfortunate.
The reasons being advanced for this postponement are very weak, unconvincing and disturbing to any right thinking person. In as much as Phase I has failed to meet the projected numbers of 770, 000 cards to be issued in 40 days in five provinces since the last update after close to 30 days in the exercise only managed to capture 331, 000 cards, Phase II should not suffer because of the challenges of Phase I. The circumstances that may gave to the failure to meet that target numbers in these five provinces in Phase I may be different and citizens’ enthusiasm also different, therefore cannot be generalised. However, lack to limited sensitization/ awareness progammes and politicization of the programme by Government could be the major contributory factors
The government must know that many of these provinces earmarked for Phase II will be receiving rains soon while others will be engaged in agricultural preparatory activities which may affect the delivery of this service to the eligible beneficiaries. It is also disturbing to receive reports that in these same areas earmarked for Phase II, the normal issuance of these national identity documents at Civic centres is limited to 20 people per day sending majority back to their homes on account of Covid-19 measures. The above scenario is very discouraging which has generated complaints but unattended to. But had this normal process been as efficient as envisaged and accommodative, phase II of the exercise would have found a few unattended to clients. Therefore, we recommend that Phase II should commence as planned and run concurrently with the remaining or extended days of Phase I as any delay may affect voter registration exercise negatively and people’s morale to participate in the exercise. However, Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) must learn valuable lessons from this unfolding event at the Ministry of Home Affairs. If the issuance of 770, 000 NRCs in five provinces has taken over 50 days and 1.5 milion NRCs for the nation may now take over 100 days, how is it going to register 9 million voters in 30 days esp that the catchment area and target group is the same?
GEARS Initiative Zambia
Our country is facing unprecedented social, economic and political problems. We need to quickly find a permanent solution to these challenges and the solutions is having a caring and credible leadership.
This takes us to the forgotten agriculture sector by the PF and Mr Edgar Lungu. Most maize fields have dried up a sign that poverty levels will escalate to unprecedented levels in our country and this we stated long before the rain season that mechanisms to support life needed to be in place.
In view of that, it is only logical for the PF leadership to rescind their decision of exporting maize and mealie meal until such a time when we will be certain that our people have and will have enough food to even export the surplus.
This is why we say for us it’s; Zambia and Zambian first.
People’s power is our power and your power.
The cost of living in Zambia has remained high and beyond the capacity of majority households, the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection has stated in its May Basic Needs Basket (BNB).
The BNB has noted that Lusaka, which has for years been the most expensive city in the country, registered a small reduction in the cost of basic goods last month. “…CSO [Central Statistics Office] attributed the cause for the increase [in inflation] to upward price movements in the prices of food items such as dried fish, dried Kapenta, Meat and Vegetables…and should be a concern especially to government. Releasing the basic needs basket for the month of May, the Centre observes that despite the marginal reduction in the cost of living in some places, the cost of living remains high. The Lusaka Basic Needs Basket for the month of May reduced by K61.83 from K 5,519.47 in April 2019 to K 5,457.64 in May,” it stated. “However, this is still high for many households. The drop in the May Basket was largely due to reductions recorded in the prices of mealie meal, kapenta and dark green vegetables.” It stated that after incessant calls and appeals from the government, millers reduced the price of mealy meal from K103 in April to K100 in May per 25kg bag of breakfast.
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This is an ugly practice which I didn’t even want to talk about in the past in the name of avoiding to trigger negative feelings or entrenching the practice; My stance has now changed and I believe that, tribalism, like any other bad practice such as GBV, gender discrimination, child abuse etc has to be confronted with the view to eliminating it, not only for its potential to breed disunity but also for side-lining other potential citizens who can effectively contribute to national development. This can be challenged by speaking out against the vice and the one to be condemned, in my opinion, is the perpetrator of the vice and not anyone who is challenging or voicing out against the bad practice. Our own Zambian Constitution provides a framework for appointments in the public service to be regionally balanced. My interaction with two of those companies enlisted by ‘Koswe’ brought to light the referred trend in their senior management teams.
I had never quite paid attention to the issue, but with such facts laid bare, it is difficult to continue ignoring the vice as doing so would be rendering a disservice to our country, and particularly those who look up to us to correct the wrongs. Unfortunately, my own children and many others, unless we do something about it now, will not be lucky as some of us have been, to have lived in a relatively more inclusive society, where opportunities were competed for and available to all on merit. Tribalism, regionalism and favouritism in Zambia, unfortunately are real and we can only rid these by not living in denial. Let me take this opportunity to acknowledge Mr. Mungeli’s patriotism on this subject. It is a developmental issue, well recognised by our Seventh National Development Plan where one of the key pillars seeks to create an inclusive and democratic society. Any economic advancement is threatened without these important tenets. Indeed, as leaders and all well-meaning Zambians, we must seek to preserve what our forefathers worked so hard to achieve; a truly One
Adversity, not only tests us, but it can either destroy or build us. We choose the latter and we believe we shall emerge stronger as a nation. It is our duty to carry this nation, to wrestle it away from negative elements, thuggery in our markets, in bus stops, and work places.
Act of destruction, violence and persecution threatens our political freedom. We must protect this precious inheritance by continuing to stand for liberty in our nation.
We are at war fellow citizens and the world is ahead of us, we cannot afford to remain behind. Even as we pray over this disease, we also implore each one of you to take self care actions in observing strict hygiene and following instructions of our health care officials, for faith without action is dead
Hope and Help on the way.
A united, prosperous and equitable Zambia
To liberate and empower every man, woman, youth and child, and people living with disabilities to achieve their full potential, through improved economic management, decentralized and participatory governance, improved integrity and probity in public service and strict observance and application of the rule of law.
People Power, Our power. Zambia Votes 2021