By Charles Mwewa
I know politics can be dirty and brutal at times. But in Zambia, recently, it seems the new president is driving too fast to keenly observe the traffic rules. I believe in President Sata like most Zambians. But the November 16th, 2011 report in the Zambian papers worries me.
The report that, “The President is concerned that information obtained so far suggests serious financial impropriety at the Mission in Toronto, which is under the supervision of Dr. Nevers Mumba,” is fundamentally disturbing, for three reasons. First, such a mission does not exist. In fact, if it did, that would have been a big breakthrough for the Zambians in Canada, especially those in the
Greater Toronto Area (GTA). On May 13th, 2010, I requested then Foreign Affairs Minister, Kabinga Pande, to establish a consulate at Toronto because people were having distance-difficulties to always travel to Ottawa for passport applications. The former Minister nodded my request, but ignored it when he reached Zambia.
Second, the only office that exists at Toronto is the Zambian Canadian Foundation (ZAMCAN) which I preside over, and Dr. Mumba does not supervise the ZAMCAN board, let alone reorder our financial obligations. In fact, since Dr. Mumba became High Commissioner, he has repeatedly expressed regret that his Mission could not help us financially because “there is no allocation for that purpose from
Third, on October 29th, 2011, ZAMCAN in conjunction with the Mission at Ottawa hosted the Zambia National Arts Council-led Amayenge band. The troop was sponsored by the Zambia-Canada Cultural Exchange and
partly by Barrick Gold. Even with these sponsors, we still had difficulties on the release of the finances, and up to date they owe ZAMCAN some money they did not fulfill. At all times, the finances
were been handled by someone else and not Dr. Mumba.
I am neither MMD nor PF, but I feel that Mr. President should present us with a new attitude to politics. We expect him to rule the country with well-searched and properly vetted facts. We expect his advisers
to be themselves well-informed and candid with information. We expect him to concentrate on delivering on his promises rather than focusing on non-substance-related politics. If his allegations on Dr. Mumba are
politically-motivated, we expect the president to stop campaigning and begin ruling. We expect the president to listen to the people more, but to be cautious in selecting what is credible and in disregarding what is purely flattery.
I beg the president to focus on issues and fulfilling campaign promises. The people of Zambia are not benefiting from politically-motivated rhetoric so far. In his campaigns, Mr. President promised: a new constitution within ninety (90) days; free education; jobs for youth; more money in the Zambians` pockets; windfall tax on mining; Barotse Agreement restoration; proper housing; free fifteen (15) bags of fertilizer per farmer; upgrading of shanty compounds; liberalisation of air waves so that private media houses can broadcast national wide. To accomplish these, our dear president needs to concentrate on truth and ignore liars, and remember that Zambians elected him for change, and not for more of the same!