Monday 31 May 2010

I write what I like….Its Time to Retire the Elders

By Daimone Siulapwa

31st May, 2010.

NOTHING personal here, but it is about time we faced facts as they are.
During the United States 2008 Presidential elections which saw a new era heralded with the election of Barack Obama, one student asked John McCain this question: “If elected, you’d be older than Ronald Reagan, making you the oldest president,” another student observed. “Do you ever worry you might die in office or get Alzheimer’s or some other disease that might affect your judgment?"
Forget the answer that was given by John McCain, undeniably a remarkable United States statesman.

But, this is one issue we should, as Zambians, face square-on.
We have far too many old and recycled politicians in the country thereby making it difficult for people with new ideas and indeed, those with new energies to play a meaningful way in public affairs.
Some of these politicians have been in government or in politics since the pre-independence era. What is it that is new that they want to bring to the dining table that they have not done in the past four decades? Are they the only ones ordained by the Almighty God to lead this country? Should death be the only way out of politics for them? When will their children ever have an opportunity to lead this country? Just when do they expect to rest their bodies from public service? Do they want us to introduce mandatory retirement for politicians?

Why should we have 70 and 80 year-olds setting policy that will affect their great-grandchildren? Is it not about time such people made room for younger, more progressive officials? How rational is it to keep having dinosaurs from the past setting precedent and laws for future generations?
Most companies and indeed the civil service have mandatory retirement ages although some continue to work even after that, but in the case of our politicians, especially those that have served as Ministers and Members of Parliament, and got gratuity, have they not got good money in their lifetimes to enable them retire and perhaps go and play golf, go fishing, or just spend time with their families?
Some talk of the need for experience, but how will the young ever gain experience if we keep on recycling these spent forces? And in any case, how are we benefiting from their experience? Seeing the way things are, whether in government or opposition, it is safe to say, very little actually. Some, when asked about their profession, they even say politician. Is politics surely a profession? According to my dictionaries definition, a professional is a vocation founded upon specialized educational training, the purpose of which is to supply disinterested counsel and service to others, for a direct and definite compensation, wholly apart from expectation of other business gain. Anyhow, that aside, it is time we turned the leaf and asked some of our senior citizens to step aside.
With the election next year, it’s a bit too late to ask for their immediate retirement. I think what we need to do is campaign for the retirement of all elders in politics within 5 years after the 2011 elections. They have a last chance or opportunity if you may call it to make their mark and MOST importantly to transfer the much required experience they have gained to the people who will take over from them.

With the election next year, it’s a bit too late to ask for their immediate retirement. I think what we need to do is campaign for the retirement of all elders in politics within 5 years after the 2011 elections. They have a last chance or opportunity if you may call it to make their mark and MOST importantly to transfer the much required experience they have gained to the people who will take over from them.

With the election next year, it’s a bit too late to ask for their immediate retirement. I think what we need to do is campaign for the retirement of all elders in politics within 5 years after the 2011 elections. They have a last chance or opportunity if you may call it to make their mark and MOST importantly to transfer the much required experience they have gained to the people who will take over from them
We will ask them to retire respectively because they have served their country with dignity. We will not evaluate their performance, for the sake of making it easy for them; we will retire them all on GOOD performance.
Those that will not retire within 5 years will deserve no mercy, respect or a last chance.

We will expose them for what they are. We will campaign to expose ALL the WRONG things they have done while in office, we will not leave a leaf unturned, if that’s what it will take to retire our Elders, so be it.
We will TARGET one Elder at a time, we will tell it as it is, how they started out in politics, how they have late down our people and how greedy and selfish they have been on the expense of our poor people.
CHECK POINTS….. How many times have you been a minister? For how long have you been a member of parliament? How many political parties have you been a member of? How many government positions have you held in your political career? What is your current net worth? What is your current health status, are you will to undergo a public health test? Who have you groomed to take over from you, just mention one name?

We now demand that all political parties should formulate structures that will encourage new people with new ideas to be allowed to play a role, we demand that structures be put in place for grooming new leaders. We will not all form political parties.. NO..

Without fear or favor, the list below is of Elders I think should retire from active politics within 5 years after the 2011 elections to leave room and space fro new minds and new ideas. if you have additional names, please add on..

1. Rupiah Banda

2. Michael Sata

3. Malimba Masheke

4. Amuusa Mwanamwambwa

5. Vernon Mwaanga

6. Daniel Munkombwe

7. Mulondwe Muzungu

8. Peter Machungwa

9. Guy Scott

8. Siteke Mwale

9. Inonge Wina

10. Joseph Kasongo

11. Crispin Sibetta

12. Major Celestino Chibamba

14. Ben Mwila

15. Edith Nawakwi

16. Joseph Kasongo

17. George Mpombo

18. Sikota Wina

19. Nakatindi Wina

20. Dr Ludwig Sondashi

Monday 17 May 2010

I write what I like....

Do We Need More Political Parties?

By Daimone Siulapwa

17th May 2010

IF perhaps it was William Shakespeare, he would have said to have or not to have?

Should Zambia have so many political parties? Or perhaps are the new parties being formed now necessary at all?

Well, the simple answer to that is that the country is a multi-party system of democracy and that people have the right of association - a fact in itself. But that answer is a simplification of the reality on the ground and the challenges that this country faces.

Maybe because of the frustrations that are found in the many already existing political parties, individuals are increasingly finding it necessary to form new ones.

That may as well be true.

They perhaps see the already existing parties as not providing the necessary direction needed for this country to move forward.

But my own assessment is that we are having too many political parties being formed due to lack of internal democracy in the already existing parties.

Just look at how difficult it is for these political parties to justify why they do not go for conventions. Yet, these conventions are supposed to provide a platform for them to review policy and indeed re-energise themselves for the task of providing leadership to the country.

The biggest reason given for the inability to go for a convention is lack of resources - something that may perhaps be true.

But again, how do these same political parties manage to travel the breadth and length of the country to campaign during a general election.

And in case, if it is indeed lack of resources, why do these political parties engage in some kind of fundraising.

Truly speaking, we have not seen some serious fundraising activity from any political party in this country.

Anyhow, lest we lose track, the subject here has to do with the many parties that are being formed, and my assertion that it is due to lack of internal democracy in the respective political parties.

In the recent general elections in the United Kingdom, we saw some senior Labour Party members openly criticize their leader Gordon Brown, without any reprisals whatsoever.

But the question is can that happen to any of our political parties in this country?

If you dare oppose a position taken by the party leader in this country, 90 percent of the chances are that you will be punished. If you are a Member of Parliament (MP) or Cabinet Minister, it is likely that you will lose that privilege. This is not speaking from without, it is something we have seen time and again in our country, and will continue to do so as long as we fail to provide vibrant internal democracy.

Now, if there is lack of tolerance for its members by leadership, how possible is it for them to do so for a new member who may want to join and influence policy in the manner he feels is okay. In other words, is it possible for someone with a Barack Obama-like style promising change, to be accepted in an already existing party? Or would Elias Chipimo Jr have been accepted in any of the already existing political parties preaching what he said at the launch of his political party? I doubt that very much. There-in lies the need for internal democracy in our various political parties.

I write what I like....

The Press In Zambia...

By Daimone Siulapwa 16th May, 2010.

AM certainly sure that the press in Zambia would have loved to commemorate this year's World Press Freedom Day under different conditions from the ones they did.

The World Press Freedom Day, which falls on May 3 every year, for our local pressmen and women, came at a time when they are embroiled in what you may call a fight with the government.

On one hand, the government wants to introduce statutory regulation while on the other, the press want to stick to self-regulation.

Both sides have advanced their own reasons, and drafted some form of framework as in how they plan to have the media perform its role.

Of course the press has rejected the proposal put forward by government much the same way the authorities have failed to embrace those of the men and women with pens.

Something unique about this is that the media are united on this, at least in so far as self-regulation in Zambia is concerned. Everyone is agreed that the media in Zambia is too polarized - we have two extremes with little, if any, liberalism.

But what we have so far witnessed so far is unprecedented in terms of media unity in this country.

Of course it is not like these men and women who inform, educate, entertain and influence us are enemies, most of them are friends at a personal level despite working what you call competing media organisations.

That aside, what do we go for - self-regulation or statutory regulation. Journalism, like any other profession, is subject to certain ethics and codes of conduct.

But as there is really no regulation per se, the profession has been invaded by what you may call quacks.

There is a feeling that some of these practitioners are conducting themselves in a partisan manner, and that they are using in their reportage, language that is unsuitable. As a result of this, government feels there is need to tame them through statutory regulation.

Depending on which side you are on, you have already taken a position. I also have one, and its not new. I strongly believe in responsible journalism, get that right, I have not said self-regulation or statutory regulation. Ladies and gentlemen, I simply want responsible journalism in this country. I want journalists, who without fear or favour will carry, be able to carry their mandate of informing me, educating me, entertaining me and influencing me, without any bias whether he is from private or public media.

If you asked me, we need the media much more than we need the legislature, judiciary and executive. It is not for a joke that they are called the fourth estate.

Like Thomas Jefferson, the former United States President said, I would prefer a press without the government to a government without the press.

Thursday 13 May 2010


As I remake myself in 2010, I am left answering a simple question; "How do you want to be remembered by your family?" A few weeks ago, this question would have included the word 'friends'. One of the primary 'friends' on this journey, has been my work. She has whispered sweet nothings in my ear, I have maintained this relationship with her, even at points that were a detriment to my family's health. Many times I have found myself in the corrupted foulness of this relationship, bearing no fruit except the genuine sneer of disdain and congenital wickedness. That's a heavy line that simply says, "Work has not really been my friend."

There's a chapter in Proverbs 7:10-18 that seems very appropriate, "Then came a woman to meet him, dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent. (She is loud and defiant, her feet never stay at home; now in the street, now in the squares, at every corner she lurks.) She took hold of him and kissed and with brazen face she said; "I have fellowship offerings at home; today I fulfilled my vows. So I came out to meet you; I looked for you and have found you! I have covered my bed with colored linens from Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon. Come, let's drink deep of love till morning; let's enjoy ourselves with love!"

I have ended 2009 on vacation, bringing to a close what is in many ways a banner year by professional account. During this respite; I have come to one simple conclusion, "I've given up a lot to get here." Surveying my land from this professional mountain top, I look down into the valleys I have traversed and see the billowing smoke of forest fires left in my wake. It has become clear that the work world expects nothing less than a pound of flesh. In my myopia, I have been only too willing to sit with a knife and cut myself, presenting my body ounce by ounce to fill its supply. This prostitute has had me bleeding slowly.

I am not a big believer in New Years resolutions. Actually let me rephrase that, I did make one resolution in 1990 that I kept for a year. I am declaring in loud voice though that I am making one major resolution; "I will treat my work, like it has treated me!"

I have courted her (work) delicately, invested large amounts of time and money into her well being, ignored my family and sometimes gone without food to please her; I have found myself gaining huge rewards. New titles, increased pay, recognition, awards and promises of brighter tomorrows. Yet as 2011 looms, this hollow sound pings off the walls of my heart, it's the emptiness that comes from shallow living. Much like others, it is not that I am doing anything that is not expected of a go-getter in America. If you want anything in this country, you have to be willing to work for it. No, what is currently irking me is the unsaid cost of professional gain.

Executive ladders treat personal lives with a certain disdain. Though there is outward encouragement to live life complete and fulfilled; the constant ladling of projects and expectations increases your time commitment. You lose much of your personal time in an effort to achieve goals. The prostitute, becomes the mocker. Challenging you to manage the time and juggle life. She will never mellow, nor will she be calm. She is a time devouring machine. She wants nothing else but to ingest as much as she can of you and spit out what is not of value to her enterprise.

I feel now, like a sinner at confession. "Bless me Father for I have sinned........" I am re-discovering the true value of family. They of the; "What can we do for you?" clan. Constant cheerleaders, single minded objectivity, only looking out for your best. Standing where others fell, throwing life lines where others throw stones, coming out in the cold, when others won't answer the phone.

I resolve not to be sick at home and healthy at work, I'm going to treat this prostitute the same way she has treated me;

1. I will get the most I can from her while doing the least I can to make her happy.
2. I will give her a time limit and make her pay for any time added for services
3. There are some things that I will absolutely not do regardless of the monetary
4. If she wants me to perform special services, she will have to provide special
services herself.
5. I will not be at her beck and call. Time off, is time off
6. I will not allow her children to act like they belong to me nor will I feel
compelled to support them.
7. I will see the honey dripping from her lips as the venom of a viper and watch her
mouth as it wields its teeth.
8. I will always use protection.
9. I will see her only as a means to achieve my own means and not allow her to bend
any of my rules without consequences.
10.She will need to go through my pimp to get to me.

I write what I like…

Our Leaders and Morningside clinic in South Africa
By Daimone Siulapwa

You will be forgiven for thinking Morningside Clinic is in Zambia. While the masses of our people are dying from serious diseases like Aids, cancer and many more, our leaders continue to waste our national resources by going to South Africa to be treated for a mosquito bite.

Since the inception of the multi party system in Zambia in, we have seen the influx of people from rural areas into urban areas in search of greener pastures. The number of people now leaving in Lusaka has increased ten fold from 1991. This, on it’s on, should have been a good reason for whoever is or was in power to pioneer the construction of many and NOT one hospital. Here we are not talking about unregulated little private hospitals run from two bed-roomed houses in every suburb charging our people exorbitant fees enough to buy Japanese cars if you visited them for a week.

Since we started taking our leaders to Morningside clinic from 1991 to date, the money spent should have built our own Morningside clinic. My poor calculations tell me Billions of kwacha have been spent.

Consider the following1.A return ticket business class to South Africa will be around US$ 12002.In most case these people go with wives, bodyguards, personal assistant, their own Zambian Doctor and maybe with one or two of their children, total five (5) people which equals US$ 6000.3.A bed at Sandton clinic before consultation is approximately R3000, which is around US$ 400 at today’s rate. Say that person stays on average 10 days, we looking at US$ 4000.4.Doctor’s consultation can be anything between US$ 500 to 5000 depending on your problem, scans, tests and other analysis will get you down by another US 3000. In total you will be spending around US$ 7000 here.5.Surgery/ heart bypass you will be looking at another US 8000.6.Accommodation at Road Lodge, the hotel opposite Sandton clinic will charge you R800 per night without food, which is US$ 120 by 5 people in the crew = US$ 600 x 10 days = US$ 6000.7.Normally food allowances are around 200 and 300 US$. Lets pick an average of 250 by 5, which equals US$ 1000 per day for five people and US 10,000 for 10 days.8.Car hire for 10 days with driver who knows the area well would be around US$ 2000.9.I will put incidentals at around US 5000, just in case.10.This gives us a total of US 51,000.00 per sick leader.This does not cover for extended sickness or in an event of death.

Now do the mathematics yourself. How many leaders have we sent to Sandton clinic in the last 16 years? Lets say as a country we have sponsored 200 trips of leaders to Morningside clinic in South Africa - This is 200 x US 51,000 per trip, which equals US 10,000,000.00 ( Ten million dollars). In Zambia, we could build a modest hospital for 1 million dollars (including commissions and nchekelakos)

Did you know that Morningside clinic is just finalising the final touches to their expansion programme. It now looks like a five star hotel….. Part of our money I guess.

See link for expansion costing……

NOW… I ask the following questions and I demand answers now and not tomorrow,

1.Does this tell us the caliber of Zambian doctors at UTH or anywhere else is so low that our Political leaders have no faith in entrusting their lives in the hands of these doctors? 2.Do they suffer from diseases that they think they should hide?3.Or is it a question of wanting to die in luxury?4.Is being sick and in Morningside clinic part of working, meaning you can clock in some of those needed dollar allowances.

With the World Cup starting next month, I hope we don’t see more of these happenings - we could be sponsoring anything, you just never know.

There are many questions people have and we deserve answers.

Apa epo mpelele…

Monday 10 May 2010

Mapatizya Formulae key to 2011 polls

It is not difficult to understand why the MMD is bitter about their electoral defeat and therefore demise in Mufumbwe constituency. Mufumbwe is a rural area. The MMD has been rigging elections by cheating people that its strength lies in the villages. They claim that even though urban dwellers detested anything MMD, the party draws its legality and legitimacy from villagers.

Cleary the result of Mufumbwe is a direct reproach and threatens to expose this 10–year old lie.In 2001, the MMD lost elections to the opposition led by late Anderson Mazoka, or to put it more accurately, Fredrick Chiluba ‘stole’ votes and gave them to his creation called Levy Mwanawasa.The nation would have gone to war then. But because we are Zambians, tolerant but not foolish, the nation moved on in peace and tranquility. But Chiluba and Mwanawasa, like most thieves would do, engaged themselves in a fight for the stolen goods. Chiluba is still being haunted up to now though he would rather pretend that he has peace now.

From 2001, the MMD has continued rigging elections even in bye-elections.It is not surprising therefore that someone had to do something about it.And that something came from Mapatizya, a rural area. At that time, Mazoka, not Ackson Sejani had decided that ‘enough is enough.’

He had vowed that, after being robbed in 2001, he will not allow a repetition in 2006. At that time, Mazoka was preparing to lead the pact of UNIP, FDD and UPND into the 2006 elections. So Mapatizya bye-election was by all means a test ground for 2006 elections. Unfortunately, Mazoka’s health at this time was failing. A few months after preventing the rigging in Mapatizya, he traveled to South Africa for medical review. His condition had greatly improved and no one thought he would die on this trip. But the nation was told a few days later he had died, probably strangled on his bed.

The MMD went on and stole elections from Michael Sata who had filled the vacuum left by Mazoka. Just like in Mazoka’s case in 2001, Sata won the elections in all the most populous urban areas and people were just waiting for the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to announce the opposition leader as the duly elected president. But that was not to be. Instead, Dan Kalale and other characters at ECZ said there were more votes from villages which were in favour of the MMD. Sata was told eventually that he had lost.

Then God killed Mwanawasa. The nation had a presidential bye-election. In the same fashion and method, Sata was again told that he had lost to unknown and unattractive Rupiah Banda.The PF and UPND then formed a pact to see how they can defeat the MMD. So far it has worked. Out of the four parliamentary bye-elections conducted since the pact was formed, the pact has won three; MMD one in the home town of their president.But the opposition knows that the MMD can not be trusted. They rig elections and will always rig using their facility called ECZ.So, they haave to safeguard the national vote. They are falling back on the Mapatizya formulae founded by Mazoka with Sejani as operation director.

The Mapatizya formulae involves vigilantism and alertness. It is meant to stop pre and post voting rigging tricks.It involves a lot of interventions including physical when the situation demands so. The MMD calls this violence. The opposition calls it intervention.When electoral malpractice and unfair campaign methods are detected, the opposition cadres are required to intervene physically since the police, usually under the command of the most senior MMD cadre present, can not do anything.

Usually the MMD uses government infrastructure for rigging. So the opposition cadres are particularly alert to movements in these areas.
The formulae require agents of the opposition at polling stations to immediately send results to the command centre for tallying. Once the command centre has counted and discovered that they have won, they are not expected to co-operate with anyone trying to delay the announcement of results.This system is set to be replicated to the entire country next year.The MMD can not blame the opposition for such. It is the MMD to blame. The government allows a discredited ECZ to preside over elections. They retain the same people to run the ECZ even when they know that some names just when they are mentioned, the nation becomes suspicious.But to the MMD, this is ok because it works in its favour.

But Mufumbwe was shocking to the MMD and they are still confused. Not that they don’t know the truth. They know they are not popular but have been telling lies which they have started believing themselves.President Banda is particularly upset because he knows the direct meaning of all this. Mufumbwe was held by his minister and considered the entire north-western province as his stronghold. But losing two bye-elections in the same province within a few months has really disturbed the president.And to think that the presidential by-elections are less than 20 months away should be very frightening. And this is the province where the MMD thinks it has taken a lot of investment from China. It is actually a rebuke to the government. It shows that people are not satisfied with government efforts. They do not agree with whatever government is doing in the area.

The MMD is worried that the party, like UNIP, will be restricted to Eastern province if the current trend continues.So in desperstion, they are appealing against the Mufumbwe verdict.It is possible that the MMD will find a friendly judge who will overturn the people’s choice in Mufumbwe.But if and when that happens, will the people of Mufumbwe give the MMD a vote? We shall wait and see.Maybe they want the court to go a step further by not just overturning the people’s choice but by imposing the MMD candidate Mulondwe Muzungu as the ‘duly’ elected MP.As for the ECZ, they should not even complain. ECZ is a worthless commission which has no credibility at all. Which election have they ever ran and everybody was satisfied?Now they are busy misusing money by paying for useless complaints on TV when it them who are mandated to prevent such things from happening.Whatever the case, people must be ready for Mapatizya formulae in 2011, after all the opposition has seen that it works.It is amazing how many government officials like teachers are police officers one meet who are anti-government.

Tuesday 4 May 2010


All Zambians including the state and corporate institutions should be at the forefront of protecting media independence in the country. A free press plays a key role in sustaining and monitoring a healthy democracy, as well as in contributing to greater accountability, good government, and economic development.

Most importantly we should guard against any restrictions on the media that could affect freedom of the press because most often they could indicate an impending assault on other democratic institutions.

All stakeholders including media institutions should stop controlling the viewpoints that should reach citizens and repress independent voices who aim to promote accountability, good governance, and economic development.

The press should also play a role in ensuring freedom of the press is protected by thoroughly investigating issues and providing balanced reporting. While there is no reason that justifies restrictions on media independence, reporting half truths has led to unnecessary assaults on the media.

The legal environment for the media should also be designed in a way that will not allow political pressures that influence reporting, and economic factors that affect access to information to thrive.

Hon. Sakwiba Sikota SC