Opinion: Are we that forgetful?

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Emmanuel Mwamba

Emmanuel Mwamba

There is a troubling trait exhibited by most of our politicians- they impute to us an almost childish collective forgetfulness. For some unknown reason, our political actors seem to think that we all have very short memories. They are so confident in this belief that they have no qualms in serially engaging in activities or supporting causes which they were once passionately opposed to.

For instance, in a more rational society where experience informs future actions, Emmanuel Mwamba would, for the public humiliation he suffered at the hands of the late President Sata, (MHSRIP) whose vision Edgar Lungu is sworn to continue, be the last person to support the PFs’ Edgar Lungu.

The footage of that Cabinet Meeting at which Sata embarrassed and humiliated Mwamba who was simply doing his work must still be very vivid in the minds of some Zambians. There was Sata, imperious and in his typical dictatorial fashion haranguing and berating Mwamba who upon taking his appointment as PS, Ministry of Information had wasted no time in issuing two national coverage broadcasting licences – believing that he has implementing the PF’s manifesto to liberalise the air waves. Having been away in Western Province, Mwamba seemed to have received the memo that the PF manifesto and its actions were not being necessarily identical.

Like the school playground bully picking on a new boy at school, Sata howled at Mwamba to stand up so that his humiliation would be complete and unambiguous. “You Mr Mwamba do you know why ……stand up! “ Sata growled as the rest of cabinet ministers who had now become familiar with their leader’s new found pleasure in humiliating others cowed in informed expectation of what was to follow. “…..do you know why the previous administration did not give national wide coverage to all other people apart from ZNBC , do you know why ?” He continued “You are very clever intelligent; you thought all of us are very stupid, you thought all the people who died before independence are stupid. You come to the ministry and start giving coverage to all so that HH can now speak on Phoenix, can you tell me the justification. Did you come to see me about it …?”

Thinking he was in a meeting where discourse is to be expected, Mwamba attempted to explain himself and justify his actions, and offered a reasonable explanation – which only further infuriated and made Sata look bad . Dictators are not accustomed to being answered. There would be only one outcome to this. Two days later, Mwamba was fired and later replaced with a Mr Wamunyima Muwana, husband of President Sata‘s relative by the name of Edith Muwana, the District Commissioner for Chilanga District. Edith Muwana is said to be a niece of Dr Christine Kaseba. Cynical as it may sound, Sata had converted Mwamba’s misfortune into an opportunity to employ one of his relatives. Sata’s nepotism and tribalism are still very much evident in the profile of his cabinet, top government and ambassadorial appointments. Zambia once had the distinction of having a treasury headed by an uncle, nephew and brother- in -marriage of Mr Sata. But that is a topic for another day.

Sata’s tirade against Emmanuel Mwamba was as revealing as it was embarrassing . Sata’s poor leadership style was on full display once again – there he was castigating his appointee in public, and seemingly enjoying it. Sata’s tirade showed us that the PF was and is not committed to media freedom. While the PF’s manifesto advocates for liberalization of the air waves by, among other things, issuance of various broadcasting licences, Sata’s actions were clearly at variance with his party’s manifesto. It was therefore surprising to hear one radio station owner whose licence had been revoked by Sata praise the PF for having liberalized the air waves – of course this was during the national mourning period when some people understandably tend to be overly gracious in their characterization of the recently departed.

The fact that Sata singled out and mentioned HH by name is also confirmation that Sata and the PF had always viewed the UPND leader as the only formidable contender for the five yearly tenancy at Sate House. It would appear Sata and the PF were therefore prepared to deny the UPND space to communicate with Zambians, even if this meant going against their own PF manifesto. Contrast this with the freedom enjoyed by Sata as an opposition leader and how he toured the whole country and was a constant guest of many a radio station.

Equally startling was Sata’s expectation that Mwamba should first have consulted with him before issuing the licences. Sata’s expectation to have been consulted is contrary to the Independent Broadcasting Act which states that the IBA shall not be subject to the direction of any other person or authority. The dangers in having a licensing authority consult with the President on its licensing decisions are too obvious to require further elaboration.

I envy Mwamba’s stoic ability to erase all these events from his hard-drive, and carry on as though nothing ever transpired between him and Sata – the PF brand owner. But for Mwamba to expect all of us to file away these memories into some inaccessible recesses of our minds is to expect too much. Given the treatment that he received at the hands of the PF, you would not have expected Mwamba to be the chief propagandist for Lungu’s election.

Mwamba’s actions, like some of our politicians, are often irreconcilable with their past experiences and public pronouncements , and seem to be taken with scant regard to their own reputations ,legacies or public reaction – the thinking being that Zambians are either too forgetful, daft or both .

How else do you explain Wynter saying the PF has suddenly become too violent for his liking or Masebo endorsing HH ,or the once chibuku –drenched Father Frank Bwalya endorsing the PF, saying nothing of Rupiah Banda endorsing the PF ? Are we really that forgetful?

By Correspondent

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20 Responses to Opinion: Are we that forgetful?

  1. Agreed. No wonder Zambians are said to have short memories. Just as I found in unnerving for people to describe Sata’s uncouth approach to people as a sense of humour. I still remember how on live TV he told Rev Ben Zulu “You are a reverend of f..ces” Zambians forgot this and expected the man to behave differently in State House. Today PF is telling us they will enact the Constitution and recognize the Chitimukulu and some Zambians are applauding? We are really taken for a ride by politicians

    Tim
    January 12, 2015 at 1:03 am
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  2. Mwamba, traitor , mud smearing at other people, foolish, and pompous , nowounder , Sata, fired you.
    Very evil individual. They should even give you a platform to write nonsense.

    John kabengele
    January 12, 2015 at 3:26 am
    Reply

  3. PF + Boko Haram + ZANU-PF = Violence

    Vodka
    January 12, 2015 at 8:13 am
    Reply

  4. 100% correct most of the Zambian voters do have short memories, wish I was a corrupt politician I would also take advantage of you people. How else do you explain someone campaigning for the PF and RB. Its short memories!!! PF has completely messed up the economy, refused to give us a constitution but there you are thousands of poor Zambians at their rallies. Poor people, poor memories.

    Stanley
    January 12, 2015 at 8:37 am
    Reply

  5. Bro..you hit the nail on its head !

    Clue-Less
    January 12, 2015 at 9:46 am
    Reply

  6. thank you FOR this recap. what a man mwamba is !!he has turned ZNBC into ZGBC(ZAMBIAN GOVERNMENT BROADCASTING CORPORATION)

    Nzelunipawekha
    January 12, 2015 at 10:34 am
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  7. IN A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY, THE TERM HEIR( UKUPYANIKA) TO THE THROWN DOES NOT EXIST.

    POLITICAL PARTIES SHOULD LEARN TO FLOAT SALABLE, CREDIBLE AND WELL BEHAVED CANDIDATES FOR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS.

    THESE ELECTIONS ARE PRESIDENTIAL BY ELECTIONS; THERE IS NOTHING LIKE UKUPYANIKA.

    ANY LEADER WHO WILL TAKE OVER NEXT WEEK WILL STILL CONTINUE WITH SATAS PROJECTS. THAT LEADER SHOULD BE CREDIBLE ENOUGH TO DESERVE THE TITLE” YOUR EXCELLENCE” SOME CANDIDATES, IT WILL BE HARD TO CALL THEM BY THIS TITLE.

    afcon phiri
    January 12, 2015 at 11:46 am
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  8. Zambians – A Strange Race

    Soon after the 1988 Food Riots on the Line of Rail, Africa Confidential had an article on Zambia ‘ A Strange Race’

    The author gave a very moving analysis of our Dr. Kaunda, a man who sacrificed young Zambian youths lives in the name of Africa Freedom Struggle, subsidized maize production, transportation and milling, only to sale it so cheap through ‘coupons’, mismanaged the economy with Zambian Kwacha Exchange rate at free fall, when it was at par with Britis Pound, compared to South Korean’s economy at the time.

    The author summed up Zambians as a starnge race. He asked why Zambians would not ask for kaunda’s blood for all their problems, which he clearly relate to mismanagement. Instead, Zambians while away, drink warm Opaque beer straight from a jerrican, discuss women and football.

    Nothing has changed much at individual level, our families and as a nation.

    Zambians are a strange race.

    God save us, bless our Great Nation.

    the stoun
    January 12, 2015 at 9:54 pm
    Reply

  9. I like Mwamba’s robustness. What forgetfulness! You just do not like to see forgiven person stand up! You feel jealousy when God showers His grace! People should not be condemned for past mistakes. Ephraim sang Nga twali ba lesa who could stand? Yes human beings might not forgive and forget but Bless the Lord He actualy forgets! What do you want to remember? Why do you want to remember the fall of others? You self righteous UPND cadres! You think HH is an angel? As if the return of Mwamba was too much , marvel at Gods favour showered on ONE LUNGU! God is gracious but you are full of veg ency and hatred! Go brother Mwamba move on ! Repent! Do not Look back! God Bless you!
    UPND disciples and all, welcome to Zambia the Christian country were favor rains every day!

    zakeyo
    January 13, 2015 at 12:23 pm
    Reply

    • Who told you that God has showered blessings on Edgar Lungu? This is fake faith that seeks self egoism. God has showered blessings on everyone. Its up to you to take up the mantle and be counted. HH has also received a lot of blessings. Look at the wealth that God has bestowed on him. its tremendous. Even if he doesn’t become a President his wealth is much more than any President in Zambia will ever accumulate unless he steals. I’m glad I did away with myopic rethoric a long time ago. I now only see sense in things and there is a lot of sense in this article. Mwamba is a disgrace even unto himself.

      maman
      January 13, 2015 at 12:50 pm
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    • Zakeyo

      Your utterances make your god and country a laughing stock.

      1. God forgets???
      Are you listening to yourself? What kind of god do you worship, that which forgets??

      2. Zambia the Christian country were favor rains everyday???
      Why do we have so many accidents, a declining health profile, rising number of street kids, growing rate of unemployment, overcrowded prisons, and naked political idiocy?

      I wonder on who, the favor you talk of, rains.

      Sieze Banda
      January 16, 2015 at 12:55 am
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  10. Thats just the point i was making Maman!
    Who was EL a few months ago? Just a simple broke drunken lawyer but by God’s favour the man was raised to be called hourable MP for Kanyama! Then mninister Defence! Justice and PF General!Then Acting president!
    And now soon to be unrevealed Zambias 6th President!
    Thats God favour my friend ! Yes just like that! without sweat!Jesus told about a pharisee who thought like you. The pharisee prayed “God iam not like other men even like this tax collector!” Mwamba is a disgrace even unto himself you say. But it is before before the best Judge he stands- God! Not sinful wicked you. Just repent and enjoy God favour my friend ! Yes HH sweated and Played tricks as a consultant to the Privatization deals in Zambia under Chiluba we know. But we are saying and seeing ONE Lungu bieng raised from simple lawyer and minister to being called “Excellency!” soon very soon even you like it or not will be calling One Lungu as Your excellency! Mr president sir! Even abena guy Scot, GBM yes even HH will be calling Lungu -Your excellency! Thats Gods favour my friend ! Repent and believe!
    Ala Lesa musuma! alapapusha! Kwaliba Gods favour mu Zambia!
    Its Jubilee time ba Mwamba besu! Enjoy life ! Enjoy GOD!

    zakeyo
    January 13, 2015 at 1:51 pm
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    • Zakeyo you are failing to use your brain and just rumbling in the name of God.Dont accuse God for your stupid vote. Some of us are going to vote with reason and a full understa8nding that HH has the best PLAN. Lungu cant even speak properly and he is your preference – you are a shame and wasted human being misplced reasoning.

      Sheep sheep come Home
      January 13, 2015 at 2:38 pm
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  11. Give Mr. Mwamba a break!!! I believe in my heart of hearts that no one person is as crude as Mr. Sata. Mr. Mwamba has interacted with all these people and he knows he will be fine with Edgar. so give the man a chance to support a candidate of his choice!!!

    Benny Onyango
    January 13, 2015 at 2:48 pm
    Reply

  12. If H H looses I would love to re locate to another Country. It surely means reasoning of Zambians at choosing a President need medical care

    Hamus
    January 13, 2015 at 3:21 pm
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  13. The only reason our politicians behave the way they do is because they know (and you and I know) that the voting majority in Zambia do not analyze issues the way you have just done here. The majority of voters in Zambia go for the loudest mouth, and the biggest crowd.

    Loadshedding
    January 14, 2015 at 6:06 pm
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  14. Mr. Sata’s PF is gone, right now it is Edgar’s PF. If you know Edgar or if you have paid attention to him you will notice that he is a very likeable person. You will also start to think that probably the best thing Mr. Sata did was probably to have exposed Edgar to national responsibilities ahead of everyone else in PF. Edgar is mapping his own course even as he preaches Mr. Sata’s legacy – notice that he has not pleaded with members of the party who overrate themselves? This is even at the risk of losing the election. The work for Edgar is going to be made even easier by the fact that a lot of the people that made PF even worse have liquidated themselves. Of the two top candidates in next week’s elections, Edgar has been more realistic to running Govt. as opposed to rhetoric. Against Mr. Sata’s PF the result of this election would have been a foregone conclusion. This is Edgar’s PF – is the only way I can describe Emmanuel Mwamba’s, Rupia Banda’s and many others’ decisions.

    Adviser
    January 15, 2015 at 4:15 am
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  15. I totally agree. PF has re-branded with a new young warm hearted, honest, humble leader. EL for Presidor

    Chrisentia Phenza
    January 15, 2015 at 9:33 am
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  16. Phenza, iam saying Its not just about re branding, its about God’s favor on team Lungu! It clear for all to see. Humanly speaking HH surely has the best profile for the job. But GODs finger is pointing us to Lungu inspite of all his limitations as person. Remember how powerful the cartel was . Where are they now ? Not Its not because of any tricks etc on the part of EL and his team. God is giving us a leader. Just like He gave us KK he was not the best. Remember “ka fupi” “Cabbage” or “Nyamasoya” “the Kobra”?Now we will have “chakolwa” for president.God is so humorous! Let us pray for Edgar to just repent God loves him so much.

    zakeyo
    January 15, 2015 at 12:10 pm
    Reply

  17. “As far is the east is separated from the west” thats how God forgets sins of those He pardons.
    Human beings – wicked human beings do not forget the sins of others. Move on Mr Mwamba move on!
    You are doing good job for the nation and team Lungu! You are genuine patriot we have come to know from your public life. God bless you!

    zakeyo
    January 15, 2015 at 12:24 pm
    Reply

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