Saturday, 23 February 2008

Munkombwe should have given chance to young leaders

President Mwanawasa held a press briefing on Friday February 22, 2008 at State House where he announced some changes to his government.
For instance, Dr Mwanawasa fired southern province deputy minister JosephMulyata, who is embroiled in corruption charges and replaced him with Daniel Munkombwe, who until then was southern province Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) chairperson.
Dr Mwanawasa also fired ministry of agriculture permanent secretary Dr Sam Mundia.
The President also elavated commerce deputy minister Dora Siliya to a full cabinet portifolio of communications and transport. In justifying this promotion, the President has said he elevated Siliya because she hails from eastern province where he has been receiving large support.
Dr Mwanawasa also sent his aunt and political advisor Mavis Muyunda into the diplomatic service at a mission yet to be determined.
Dr Mwanawasa also appointed communications and transport minister Sara Sayifwanda to the ministry of agriculture where she would work closely with incumbent Ben Kapita, who is said to be bed-ridden as a result of ill-health. The ministry of agricuture now has two cabinet ministers but some critics have indicated that the move was contributing to the already bloated Zambian cabinet.

Well, I salute His Excellency for efforts in trying to manage Zambia and the government but I have a major issue, expecially with the appointing of one Daniel Munkombwe. Mr Munkombwe is 76 years old.

Neither do I have a personal bone to chew with Munkombwe nor do I have a personal problem with the appointing finger, but please allow me to think loudly over this issue.
Rather my worry is about leadership opportunities espcecially for the youth. This government is on record with pronouncements on youth empowerment but how do the youth get empowered when we continue placing old wine in old bottles wantonly like this?? I think this is recycling leadership. Mr Munkombwe has accepted and defended his appointment and proudly, he has said Dr Mwanawasa promoted him because of his ability to perform. He also also believes that no country would survive with young people in leadership positions hence the need to blend old leadership, such as his with new people.
"Performance and work is not related to age," he is quoted in one of Zambia's dailies.
I can see that Mr Munkombwe is at pains trying to justify his hunger for office, but he must be reminded that his only chance to make a mark in leadership is over. Whether is is fit enough to perform is no justification to hang on to power.
The books of history elaborate very well and it is public knowledge that Mr Munkombwe has served the first, second and this third government in Zambia. He has danced before in front of different political party leaders including those in the opposition.

The fact that Mr Munkombwe still wants to hang on is a clear indication that his actions are pure deeds of avarice, which would not take us anywhere.

Mr Munkombwe deserves a place in the terraces of retirement where he can serve ably as a consultant or counsellor or senior citizen on leadership to the youth. I think his time, just like many others who are still jostling for public office is over. Mr Munkombwe should retire and give chance to young people. He should follow the footsteps of his counsin Vernon Mwaanga who retired from public office honourably after serving the country for so many years.
I would like to propose that the older generation should pave way for young leaders. After all they are same people who have continued to talk about future leaders. The search for future leaders should have started yesterday. The empowerment of young people does not happen with making empty statements alone. It deserves more than that! It deserves action and tangible decisions that promote the thriving of young ideas. It can not be achieved by re-appointing people over and over again. There are scores and scores of able leaders in Zambia who would have fitted well in that ministerial job.

Mr Munkombwe should be the last person to pledge his efforts towards the fight against corruption now that he has a job in government. In fact, he should not even mention that fight as it is hypocrisy of the worst order for him to do so. I do not want to remind Mr Munkombwe about how an MMD taskforce convicted him when he dubiously received a motor vehicle from then MMD vice presidential aspirant Austin Chewe in 2003.

It now explains why Mr Munkombwe has been trotting from one political party to the other. He has been in search of greener pastures and I am not quite sure if he has found that space.

Levy appoints Munkombwe

FLASH BACK.... President Mwanawasa with newly Southern province deputy minister Daniel Munkombwe (left) in Mazabuka recently.

Time check

TIME CHECK... President Mwanawasa checks his time before addressing a press brifieng at State House.

Levy's advisors

President Mwanawasa's advisors for policy implementation Jack Kalala (left) and legal Darlington Mwape (centre) following proceedings during the press briefing. On the right is foreign affairs permanent secretary Tiens Kapoma.

Mavis Muyunda

President Mwanawasa's political advisor and aunt Mavis Muyunda does a thumbs up from her seat after the President announced her move from State House to the diplomatic service. The mission she would be sent to is yet to be announced. Ms Muyunda refused to comment suffice to say that she would thank and congratulate the President after she is sworn in as ambassador.
After Mr Mwanawasa announced her move to the diplomatic service, Ms Muyunda burst into a jovial mood and was all smiles.

Levy smiles

President smiling as he prepares his talking notes before announcing some reshuffles in the Zambian government.

Levy talking

President Mwanawasa reaches out for his talking notes.

Levy glasses

President Mwanawasa takes off his pair of glasses.

Levy thinks

President Mwanawasa going though his notes during the press briefing.

Levy listens

President Mwanawasa pays attention to a question from journalists during a press briefing in at State House.

Friday, 22 February 2008

Escapades in the east

On valentine's day, I traveled to the eastern province of Zambia. This is about 600 kilo metres from Lusaka, the capital. It is usually a six hour drive on an average speed of say 100 to 120 kilo metres per hour. Chipata lies on the border with Malawi and this distance is just about 12 kilo metres and about 15 minutes drive.
I was out on assignment to cover the British Council's youth leadership training programme under a name called Dreams and Teams.
There was myself, a Bristish comrade and lead trainer called David Huskins, Macnon Luwaile from british Countil, Ernest from Zambia's national broadcaster ZNBC and young man Modern from a television station in Lusaka called MUVI.
We set off from Lusaka aound 3:30 pm and got to Chipata at about 10pm.
This (in the picture) is the road that takes you to the east where there are wise men, some people say.
I spent seven days and took a lot of pictures to share here.
I saw Ngonis preparing for the Nc'wala traditional ceremonies, I shot bicycles, which forms a large part of the transportation system in Chipata.
In Zambia, Chipata (formerly Fort Jameson) has large potential for economic development especially in agriculture. There are a lot of shops for trading and this is where one also finds Asians of Indian origin who speak the local language better than the indigenous people. The major crops grown in Chipata are maize, tobacco, sorghum and potatoes.
I just wanted to share with you a brief story about my escapades in Chipata. Let the pictures talk on their own.

Road to the east

Mwanza, the man who drove me to eastern province looking looking so far away in front of the great east road.


There I am, trying to get a shot on my way to the east.

War dance

This is a war dance. It is performed by the Ngoni people of eastern Zambia during ceremony called Nc'wala. It is a dance characterised by slamming of feet on the ground and fierce display of war prowess. The dancers usually brandish spears alonside the women, who sing and clap as the men dance around.
In Zambia, the Nc'wala has remained one the major traditional ceremonies. It is considered to be among the major unifying factors among the tribes and in preservation of culture.
The the traditional ceremony, which is usually graced by a high profile person such as head of state, the inkhosi yama nkhosi (king of kings) drinks raw blood from a bull that is slughtered in front of the audience.

Ngoni dancers

Ngoni dancers practicing he Ngoni war dance.

Ngoni dancers

Some Ngoni dancers preparing for the Nc'wala traditional ceremony in Chipata.


David Huskins welcome the youth leaders before the start of the leadership training.

Future writer??

Quite attentive. One of the youth leaders concentrates on her work as she prepares a presentation.


Future writer??

One of the young leaders leans on a table opposite her chest to draft notes during a leadership training in Chipata.

Ride from the bus

CHildren participating in the Dreams and Teams training alighting from a bus after a sports festival organised by fellow children in Chipata.

Umbrella repair

This is Aaron Daka, an entreprenuer in Chipata. He is good at repairing umbrellas. In fact, Mr Daka is cashing in on broken umbrellas that get damaged in the rains.

Mirror mirror??

What a shot!! I got this one from the lounge of the lodge where I stayed in Chipata.

Plaiting hair

Plaiting hair

These are pupils from Chipata day high school. They are plaiting each other's hair outside class. They arrived late and the teacher could not allow them nut they too the opportunity to demonstrate the plaiting skills.

Bus ride

These are some of the pupils that took part in the Dreams and Teams leadership training. They are on a bus ride back to Luangwa lodge where they stayed.


These are some of the youths on a bus ride in Chipata after a sports festival.


This is David Huskins from manchester. He belongs to an organisation called Dream and Teams. He was in Zambia to conduct leadership training for the youth. Here, David dances to some Zambia tunes during a sports festival organised by the youth in Chipata.

Vice President at His farm

Vice president of Zambia Rupiah Banda shows off a 5oo acre maize field in Chipata. He acquired the farm in 1965 at K15, 000.
Mr Banda is proud of his works in agriculture.

Sharp shooter??

This young man with an 'out of this world' pair of malegeni (catapults in English) loiters with that weapon in Chipata. He is a singer and dreams of charning out an album one of these days.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

KANYAMA BY-ELECTION-politicians should be noble

ALL eyes are now on the Kanyama parliamentary seat that fell vacent after the demise of Henry Mtonga late last year.
Kanyama is a shanty suburb in the heart of Lusaka, Zambia’s capital city. Although this place is a shanty, it commands large political influence on Zambia’s landscape.
All political parties vie for this seat. It has once been a hot-bed for political violence, in which some people has lost some vital body parts and others have earned themselves indelible scars. Others have even died.
This constituency is popular for several reasons such as the proximity to the central trading district and that it just holds many vocal people from the political parties here.
Now, the run for Kanyama has once again heightened. This Time around, the ruling Multiparty Democracy (MMD) and opposition Patrotic Front, United Party for National Development (UPND) and All People’s Congress Party (APC) who are fielding their president Ken Ngondo are jostling for the seat.

The ugly head of violence has already made an appearance in Kanyama. This was during the nominations for the seat recently.

The disturbances started when cadres from the MMD started pouring vulgar language on theie opposition counterparts, who retaliated with an equal amount of force (insults).
The people of Zambia, the police, and all interested stakeholders expect violence in Kanyama during the campaign trails.
It is good that the political parties have promised to do their activities violence-free. But we shall watch this space and hold them accountable at the end of it all because those promises were being made for the umpteenth time. These people called politicians need to be reminded that five years of power should never destroy a lifetime of togetherness. They should not influence people into judging and segregating each other on the basis of political affiliation.
The status quo is that the players in the Kanyama seat are far much apart just like guns and roses, which are ready to live with.
Set for February 21, 2008, the campaign trails are getting hot in Kanyama.

There are many social economic challenges that the people of Kanyama are facing. The politicians need to be reminded about the floods that have engulfed the place, these tongue twisters need to be told about the state of road and bridge infrastructure. They also need to visit the clinics and see how acute the shortage of drugs has become. I am sure they have seen how class attendance among school going-children has reached lowest ebb because they used some schools to plot their political gimmicks. The school children cannot go for classes because their parents and guardians are not able to pay fees or simply because the bridges have collapsed, the roads have been washed away or they school place is flooded. In some places, there are no places for classes because the rooms are sheltering flood victims.

It is traditional in Zambia that when there is such a short political event, large amounts of resources from the national treasury are spent. Some critics like using the word “wasted” instead of “spent”. Even in Kanyama, history would simply repeat itself and the critics would mention that “W” word again.
The resources being spent on Kanyama elections could spell a great deal of development if focused on mending the socio-economic life of the constituency.
This statement is not only targeted at the party in government. Even opposition political parties are spending so much. Those resources they are ‘wasting’ on the election campaigns could be of great help in Kanyama. Why do politicians turn into arm-chair critic when they are in the opposition? Even opposition politicians could contribute to helping the people of Kanyama.
The onus is on the people of Kanyama to elect the best candidate who would represent them able up there at Manda Hill (hill where Zambia’s national assembly stands). However, it is the hope of every rightful thinking Zambian that there shall be political maturity in Kanyama and violence shall be absent.

Friday, 1 February 2008

Mwalimu Simfukwe lifted shoulder high

Sata meets opposition candidate

Micheal Sata meets Kanyama MMD parliamanetary candidate Mwalimu Simfukwe at the nominations centre. The MMD is Mr Sata's previous party where he served as a senior party official before falling out of favour. He went on to form the Patrotic Front in 2001.

Sata dances with UPND cadres

Backed by his supporters and admirers, Patrotic Front leader Micheal Sata (in a hat) dances with cadres from rival opposition United Party for National Development (UPND).

Children in the PF boat

Children from Kanyama join Patrotic Front (PF) cadres in to boat docked in the Kanyama floods. The boat is the emblem for th PF.

Pupils mob Ngondo

Mr Ngondo is mobbed by pupils from Chibolya basic.

Ken Ngondo manages to go though

"Let me go through", Mr Ngondo shouted after strugling to make his way through a horde of police officers, who blocked his way into the nominations centre.

Mr Ngondo making his away into the nominations centres.

Ken Ngondo arrives

This is Ken Ngondo. He is the president for the All People's Congress Party. His party's main interest is the poor. Actually, his party's emblem is a bag of mealie-meal. He often pokes a finger in his belly to indicate that the people he represents are hungry and need to be saved.
Some political observers even ordinary lookers doubt Mr Ngondo's seriousness about his political career. They say his statements are like jokes and he has never won an election since he joined the political front as political party president. Some say he is sponsored by the government to create confusion and split the votes among the opposition political parties. But some people his speeches make quiet some sense when analysed and he seem to be serious about every move he makes in this political world. They say Mr Ngondo just lacks proper convincing language to woo voters.
Some political critics have likened Mr Ngondo's nomination in the by-election to a grade 12 student attempting grade seven examinations.
Despite all the perspectives on Mr Ngondo, the man seems quiet determined and sees himself in charge State House and Zambia after the 2011 general elections.
Here, Mr Ngondo arrives to file his nomination for the Kanyama parliamentary by-election. His arrival, in the company of a handful of suspected 'hired cadres' was marked by so much controversy and jokes. He was mobbed by cadres from other political parties, who wanted to catch a glimpse of the 'the man' as he fondly refers to himself. . The police tried to block his entry but thanks to his big body, which he used to force the police make a narrow way for him.

Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) and United Party for National Development (UPND) cadres trying to out-do each other with song and party slogans despite the flooded entrance to the nomination centre in Kanyama Township.

Kanyama by election

A police officer trying to push away curious political party cadres at the nomination centre.