The Other Side of the Coin


mingeli1The Opposition in Zambia- Whats the plan?
By Mingeli Palata
Political news in Zambia can be sickening. I choose to think most of you will agree with me. Most mornings when you buy or like me peep to see what the headline reads, most will agree that headlines are predictable seeing as they are often about the same people and the usual subjects; corruption, some prominent figure being sent to jail,donations, insults, and state visits. There is nothing new or is it that there is nothing we are looking for? What are we looking for? That’s a very easy question to answer.

The world is in a crisis and so are we yet I don’t feel sorry for us because to some extent we have ourselves to blame for the hunger ravaging our stomachs. This whole economic crisis is nothing new to the world as much as it’s nothing new to Zambia. We had a similar crisis in the 70s, that Kaunda economic depression was caused by the very commodity that is responsible for the current exchange rate- copper, copper, copper. For years we have talked about how much Zambia should diversify yet nothing has been done to that effect.

In the last 5 years we all praised the strides made towards economic emancipation, the dollar was sweet and we were all smiles, it’s called a comfort zone, contentment! At Toyota they believe their biggest enemy is themselves. The moment they think they have produced the best car brand is the moment they begin to go down. Indeed we live in a dynamic world that requires revolutionary thinking.

My point exactly?

We need a new plan. What is the plan Zambia? How are we going to get out of this mess we have created for ourselves? We are not getting the answers we need. HH says he wants to build schools and make government smaller. Sata says RB is a bad man. Nothing about how to get the currency strong again and nothing about making extra forex. Gee! This reality is scary I tell you!

Last Friday I met this Japanese lady at a friend’s get together party in Kabulonga, and so naturally I asked her what makes their country tick. She told me that Japan was once gutted down to nothing and they don’t have as much resources as we do but the one thing Japan did was to invest in their people, human capital development and look were they are today. Now Zambia has triple the resources and nine times the possibilities. What are we waiting for?

We are looking for answers, HH, Sata and whoever calls themselves opposition are not giving us alternative answers to what Musokotwane is doing (That’s if he is doing anything). The opposition needs to realize that election time is way past and the next elections are in the next 2 years. What would they do differently if they were in power besides Mumbi Phiri having a catfight with a fellow MP at Parliament? How would HH empower Zambians apart from sleeping and not working to fix the mistakes that cost him the last two elections?

The opposition needs to realize that their role is much more than talking about Dora Siliya and Magande, they need to persuade government to make the right decisions and to help them take our country to greater heights. We need to see the relevance of multi-party democracy and begin to appreciate difference and hope that when the opposition wakes up, those that be will be able to tolerate views other than their own.


  1. My observation of why Africa is so poor. The majority of African people are uneducated and they are the majority that vote. We all have rights but I think something serous should be done about this trend. South Africa is currently going through the same thing and obviously going the same way every (once prosperous) African country has gone. Think about this please and whats your take!

  2. I like this article because it’s so objective. It leaves us with the choice, how can we as human capital contribute to the development of our beloved country? Like JFK once said ” Don’t ask what your country has done for you, ask yourself what you have done for your country!”.

  3. The opposition should be the alternative government, but the problem is that they always work to discredit each other instead of working together to provide a way and check and balances.
    The electorate are also to blame because they vote blindly especially the rural populace.Its high time we stopped witch hunting and concentrate on real issues whether in opposition or government for us to move forward.

  4. Is anyone out there also having problems to view today’s comments on Regina’s thread? My page is only showing yesterdays comments.

  5. What do you expect in a counrty where all politcians are either Mentally,Physically, Financially or ethically sick and bankcrupt ?

  6. After reading this article I end up with mixed feelings altogether. Some will say that the article is objective (like Nine Chale, greetings Bro) but I strongly feel this view ain’t just enough. Maybe Mr Palata has opened a field of wide thinking. At this juncture its more a food for though than a quick itch to comment on the article. Thanks Mr Palata for this enrichment. I will do the thinking today. I will be back.

    • Greetings bro. and welcome back with your original ID. Your mixed feelings about the topic are OK. this is why we are grateful to have a forum like this where we can learn from each other. In this sense, let us committ ourselves to friendly and constructive dialogue with other bloggers about how we can all contribute to make a strong and prosperous nation.

  7. Mr. Palata, I have always asked myself the same questions. I think it was not worth getting political independence if we cant think of being economically independent.

    Yes, the truth hurts but Africans were better off during the colonial era than they are right now. We should have simply fought for inclusion in the system these foreigners had introduced so we could understand and be able to adapt and move with the flow rather than just getting ‘independence’


    We have failed ourselves.

  8. Mr Palata,

    Maybe when you pick up the POST, Dailymail or Times, you must flip over to the business page. That is the first thing I do. If you want economic news, most of the time it is found in the business section.

    I noticed you made a point about diversification and that is a very good point but I think this current govt is the only one that is making it top priority to diversify the economy. In the budget, there were more funds allocated to agriculture, tourism and manufacturing. More incentives where also given to this sector. In Tourism, govt is conjuring up logistics to remove bureaucracies for tour operators. Some licenses will be scrapped off

    • cont…

      Even the same economic Zones that many on this blog are keen to criticize are all leading into diversification. Govt announced that the MFEZ (Multi facility economic zones) are open to anyone (both local and foreign) and incentives will be given to investors willing to invest in activities like manufacturing and agriculture. They hope the manufacturers will manufacture goods like home appliances, tools, etc and the main aim of MFEZ is to set up an industrial base that will cater for both local demand and export demand.

      There is nothing wrong with the president traveling if his aim is to strengthen economic and diplomatic ties.

    • Free-Market-Capitalist all that the gov promises in the budget is jus lip service. How do you diversty when fertiliser, which we can even be manufactured locally, is at over K250,000 a bag (botton and top dressing would be K500,000.00) while you should sale maize at K50,000 a bag. how many bags of maize come outa one bag of fert. How do you diversify by reducing tax on liquor products instead of educational, manufacturing and medical products. How do you diversify by increasing your wages and buying new expensive cars in the middle of an economic recession. What incentives and scrapped licenses? Until its done thats only cheap politikin.

  9. You know what all this mess is happening for a reason. While im sad that my country is going to the dogs, i hope it does even faster, so that all of you who support MMD jus because your relative is one, should rot. I have no tears for the poor populations in the villages they deserve it. They had a change to vote for change, but they chose this, shame.

  10. Mr Palata,your article is not well researched.If you did you were ot going to trash the Opposition like that.UPND & PF both have manifestos of what they are offering.The other day Bwezani claimed HH requested to meet him over the Global financial crisis.At the same time you are saying you are tired of political articles flooding our newspapers,But what is governance if i may ask you.In africa it aint easy being in opposition.Bwezani has lamentably failed togather with his beaureucratic finance minister

    • Failed to do what? His budget has not even been passed yet and you want to convince others that RB has failed. Your mind was made up even before the man took up the seat of president. 3 months and you claim RB has failed? Come on guys. Lets be real

  11. All these (our leader who are not Zambian born) don’t really care about Zambian
    1. KK Zambian born in Malawi tended to waste our resorces supporting every Jim and Jack who wanted to become a guerilla fighting for Independence. 2. FJT a Congolese born Zambian privatised all parastatals at less than their actual values, without forsight. 3. Only Mwanawasa tended to care a little bit since he was a true one of us. 4. And now Nyama soya a Zimbabwean born Zambian… oh heaven helps us.

  12. Palata is trying to get us to think RB is trying to do something but is being frustrated by the opposition, it wont work. which part of debate from the opposition dont you hear sir? did you listen to the parliamentary proceedings last evening, particularly Given Lubinda’s contribution on the freedom of information bill? listen and gather more info before you show all of us that you are just full of words!!! research please

  13. Palata is trying to get us to think RB is trying to do something but is being frustrated by the opposition, it wont work. which part of debate from the opposition dont you hear sir? did you listen to the parliamentary proceedings last evening, particularly Given Lubinda’s contribution on the freedom of information bill? listen and gather more info before you show all of us that you are just full of words!!! research please . LT I’m warning you , can you publish this comment.ala

  14. This article could not have come at a better time,spot on Mr Editor! It’s high time the media too played an important role by leaving out crap news & compelling leaders to discuss & give solutions to prevailing problems & situations affecting the welfare of nation,for almost 3 weeks now the headlines have been about accusations & counter accusations on corruption etc,we are tired of cheap politicking.

  15. And I thought Mingeli was a chamba-smoking catholic priest – well at least I was right on one of those points. As usual – a poorly researched paper that is just whining and offering no real solutions. Bravo! Please keep it up!

  16. But bo Sinjoko, Palata has not offered solutions. I think that he is simply trying to stimulate us into thinking positively……really a whiff of fresh air from the insults that we Zambians condemn ourselves to day-in and day-out on this forum and others.

  17. Nice seeing Mr Palata. Now bring on Wesley Ngwenya.

    Back to the topic. There is nothing confusing going on in Zedi at present. Its just the tide and time. Iam waiting for the time they will start jailing passport office /immigration officials to prove that there is genuine transparency in the judicial system.

  18. Can someone explain this mathematical equation for me please

    Shrek > RB > Palata

    Abena Observer (#20) – okey Palata has raised the bar, but only marginally I fear. He still doesn’t cut the juice. LT however is not an exclusively professional forum, so yes we expect a lot of rubbish to pass by before the real deal comes along – if ever. In the mean time, gossiping and idle chatter will have to do. Cheers.

  19. Why is it that Zambians we like debating and holding workshops as opposed to working. Only when we address this problem will we head towards development

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