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Saturday, December 3, 2022

Criticism in a Democratic Country like Zambia

Columns Criticism in a Democratic Country like Zambia

By Martin Mwango.

To ask what is Democracy to a country or people who have experienced and enjoyed Democratic type of leadership for over 20 years may sound useless but I think it’s wise to remind ourselves of things that we are enjoying today before losing the direction and its meaning.  

Democracy is a system of governance wherein the people elect their rulers, which literally means; “rule by the people”. In this system of the government every person is given chance to choose a leader of his\her choice from total liberty and one’s decision wrong or right valid and respected.

Besides, positive criticism in this type of governance is welcomed with the goal to develop the nation together with the current government, which is not the case today in Zambia in most of criticism we have experienced for the past few months.

I would love to bring to your attention my fellow Zambian citizens, the criticism that is prevailing in our nation today. Why do we have criticism like this more than ever? Can it be the individuals who are in opposition parties or perhaps Zambians have come to realize the mistake they made some few months ago by entrusting the nation to the Patriotic Front?

All these may be possible thoughts but we have to think deeper. It is now getting out of hands, where everyone want to criticize the government in the name of enjoying the freedom of expression. If we analyze logically so far the criticism that some people have made, you will agree with me that most of them are out of frustrations and personal interests.

To criticize the government unnecessarily goes against the nature of Criticism in Democracy. If someone has a criticism it means he want to give the government the feedback on what it’s doing for them – that means giving the opportunity to the government to learn more about the expectation from the people it’s working for and how to convert them into a satisfied citizens or foreigners.

Besides, criticism means both the opposition and the government can work together towards a better outcome. For a play or production in many sectors, it might mean getting to know what the nation actually wants.

But this is not the case in Zambia today. People are criticizing with their hidden agendas to disturb the plans of the current government which is a drawback for our nation. The Patriotic Front has been given a mandate for five years and with all respect, we have to give it chance to deliver its manifesto to the nation. If one means to criticize, it should be for the interest of the nation.

Allow me to quote the words used by Forum for Democracy and Development president Edith Nawakwi, when she attended the “Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, in Brazil

“We need to step out of our political cocoons and see what others are doing. I will criticize when that is due but we need a pool of knowledge to take the country forward. We can all contribute to national development in various ways,” she said.

But it’s a pity that this voice is one out of a million because some opposition leaders are suffering from unknown fears. Hence, the only option they remain with is to talk and criticize even where it is not necessary. Before our memory fades away let me remind you that; the freedom we are enjoying today was not there few months ago, your voice was not heard in public media but am yet to hear the opposition to give merit to the current government for that development.

In Zambia we need more sensitization especially on how to come up with some criticism concerning the governing of the nation otherwise it will hinder us from developing politically and economically.

With all respect to Zambian people who in their freedom and pure conscious gave chance to PF, let us try to come up with the criticism that will bring up progress. On the hand, my word to our current leaders; don’t take it personally if someone doesn’t immediately like your work. Even if you feel you’re being criticized unfairly, don’t retaliate with an extreme knee-jerk reaction or else you can irreparably damage your prospect of working with that opposition and can even harm your reputation as well.

Martin Mwango.


  1. During the run-up to the elections last year, there was a popular song on Muvi TV by a group called Impi. Do you remember what the lyrics were saying about politicians and their promises prior to elections? If you have an answer to that question then you are on your way to understanding the reasons for the fervent criticisms.

  2. The point is straight foward but you are beating about the bush to arrive at the point which is obvious from your first sentence! Anyway if criticism is valid, it should be given! Unfortunately most of the people who are criticising the govt today are a pile of dog s.h.i.t and they have developed an insatiable appetite with a strong propensity for lying and telling half truth! They are driven by malice, bitterness and frustrations because their political fortunes are declining each day that comes! Woe to them!

  3. Ba Martin are u blind or what?
    Do u remember William Banda being beaten n his house burnt? Musicians that supported MMD had their cars burnt, Parliament was threatened with dissolution, Finance Bank which breached over 10 Banking Laws was cleared and given to Matani, over 200 diplomats were fired without being reassigned within Zambia, state house was renovated without bidding by a nephew, oil contracts are now being dealt with by PF NEC which also has it’s own companies bidding, MMD vehicles have been impounded without proof of not paying duty or proof of being bought with stolen funds, UPND youths were beaten on the street with no consequence, Nchito’s 14billion is being secured by firing 5 reputable judges, judiciary is being slandered and threatened with dissolution 

    • Uli wabufi sana iwe. You just sound like one of them disgruntled and frustrated opposition pumpkins still leaking the wounds of defeat. Get a life because however much you cry foul, the PF is here to stay for the next 5 years, and with this bull crap people like you are puking, it would not be a surprise if they rule for the next 20 years. As for Mutembo Nchito, when are you wonkers going to understand that he’s innocent because if he was not, would RB have let him and mmembe go scot free? Come on iwe kaboke, get real life and stop hallucinating. 

  4. Start by telling Sata. He used to critisize the ruling MMD every day even where unnecessary. The current opposition is critising where critism is due. Just tell the PF to deliver. They shouldn’t fear critism. Multi party democracy is all about allowing critising to enhance service delivery and development. PF wants to sail without any critism. If you don’t see the sence, join the PF as a cadre.

  5. In the meantime GBM, Lubinda and Wynter are winning all contracts that are worthwhile! Austin Chewe is being harassed, yet Mpombo and Masebo are safe, Guy Scott is going about doing the exact same thing we blamed MMD for!
    PF is now far worse than MMD because they are doing exactly the same but with no sense of actually caring for the people or growing the economy or even any plan to deal with our problems

  6. Junk and nonsense  from PF propaganda machinery , I can’t believe that they have already started paying people to write useless articles in support for them, when it is so early in the game.

    PF Cadre Kaponya  Mwango, let me unpack it  for you my brother. You cannot teach the public on how to criticise you as if they are your subordinates. Your advise is only suitable in a corporate culture where you are trying to rally your troops towards the common goal using a criticism steps  manual.

    My friend when it comes to public life, the onus is on the leader to filter out constructive criticism and act on it and ignore useless criticism. That burden is not on the public. The public owes PF nothing. That is why public life demand thick skin.

    • Mwata if you are not careful you are going to have a heart attack for your hatred seems more personal probably as a beneficiary of the former ruling party MMD. Chill out because sometimes you sound quiet intelligent until you put on your robe of hatred. The PF have still got 5 years to go and at the rate you are going, you will end up committing suicide. Calm down basankwa.

  7. I do not agree with the commentary above on having more freedom of speech today than before. SATA (opposition) used to talk a lot even insulting the previous leadership in government. Martin you are not accurately observant to recall the previous happenings in Zambia as a democratic state. And i would like to remind you that, what we are doing now used to happen 9 months ago and no one was sentenced to prison for insulting President Banda or Mwanawasa.

    • You are right by brother. Sata called his friends all sorts of names and was not imprisoned. Why should Hakainde be imprisoned for called Sata Chimbwi no Plan. And besides that is not an insult. We have often used it in our language and it simply means a man without a plan. Why should it be an issue today. Sata went with the entourage to Rio consisting mainly of relatives. Sally who is the younger sister to the first lady went for the semit and and if she was to be asked what she learnt from the sermit, she will tell you she went for business. When others were doing it, you criticised, when its your government doing it, you want people to be imprisoned and you call it freedom of Speech.

  8. Are you a PF who is trying to lobby for a position with our president. You can not tell us about freedom of speech when all the criticism is coming from what the PF government promised the people of Zambia. Why do you give promises you cannot fulfill. Yes we are peace loving Zambians and we will give PF a chance to deliver, but one thing they shouldn’t forget is, people are watching and would like to see the change promised to them. PF promised a lot of things and we ought to see the promises come to reality.

  9. Martin you are either a paid gun or an ignorant *****.
    How is opposition fearing the unknown when they have been beaten by police over and over, houses searched irregularly, one such case is George Kunda’s parents farm! 
    Meanwhile Judge Ngoma is walking around beating more people, Sata’s nephew who defrauded ministry of health is slowing winning his cases (Kapoko).
    Bank managers are reporting to opposition leaders that their accounts are being looked into by the state, PF cadres are being ferried to people’s houses and businesses to demand the opposition prove that the property is not spoils of theft/corruption

  10. Mr Martin
    You can tell this stuff to the DOGS. you are so blind and naive and your machinery of propaganda doesn’t work. Let me remind you that criticism is just criticism. Nothing like positive or negative because its a different voice from yours. The role of the opposition is to give checks and balances and that means that giving their side. Remember that in a democracy, there is competition for numbers and therefore, you can’t say that they should agree with govt because as governments in waiting, they have interests to protect, its normal. PF did the same. You are so naive and foolish in your analysis to say that there is more freedom of expression than last year. You are very dull. what would you say when the judiciary is being threatened and protesters maimed. WAKE UP MWINSHO!!!!!

  11. let people criticise where they feel things are wrong. it is up to those that are concerned to defend themselves. consult the passed leaders they too were critised. who are you to stop people from critising things which they feel are bad.

  12. Well said Mr Mwango. I know haters will criticize you here. These are the same people your are referring to, they are possessed with a spirit of Criticizing anything. Even if you say fish leave in water, they will say no. Tell them that they where given birth by a woman, they will say no.

    • Kwekwe,, hahah you have broken my born,, sure the author as pointed it right,, but I can see a lot of HH cadres here… 

  13. A marriage full of criticism will not last. While we agree that criticism is good, it should be progressive and not retrogressive.

  14. It is good for pipo to look at issues from different angles or perspectives but it is bad manners to insult them for expressing their opinions,lets grow up fellow zambians.

  15. Criticism is healthy in any democracy worth its salt and must be encouraged. Let the people offload as much anger, disaffection, grievances, disappointments, anxieties, frustrations, regret, etc. This is the way we are going to keep govt on its feet. Govt must not only be told what it wants to hear.
    Govt can then intelligently sift through all these forms of criticism, learn from them and even apply some suggestions delivered this way to move the country forward in line with its development agenda.

  16. MMD bootlicker!!!! the author has the right to write what he sees fit, just as you have the right. so dont just shoot and expect you to be the only righteous person. PF has the right to propagate just as MMD had.

  17. I personally see very little intelligent crictiism especially on some blogs. Most of the time the talk is about bemba, Tonga, Lozi, Nkoya etc. Then Catholic bishop so and so and father chakuti is a pf cadre, Father Luonde is also PF cadre, Rev Matale has been bought. After that it is Kolwe, Kaponya and all such dirty stuff. The problem is that some blogs are under some political party payroll and they set the agenda for the debate (insults). If one posts some thing against their preffered leader, they delete it.

  18. positive criticism in this type of governance is welcomed with the goal to develop the nation together with the current government, which is not the case today in Zambia in most of criticism we have experienced… Well spoken Mr. Mwango, this is wisdom we need to share.. 

  19. Perhaps constructive criticism is a term quite alien to keyboard warriors :)

    Reference: Best learning curve was reading all comments posted within the six months prior to election and six months post election. Time consuming but so revealing…

  20. @Bandawe, I agree with you that there is a lot of foul language in this criticism. But you can decifer and decode context of the bad language. Let them voice out however it comes. The bad part is that it may be a bad culture for the young ones. But the best way I deal with this heavy language is to laugh about it, at the whole saga. Otherwise, we have a job as PF but they wont catch us man. We are there!

  21. When you get power by telling lies through a newspaper that some people thought was truth, you should be ready to face realities after peoples eyes have opened up to the truth. The people feel used for selfish reasons of getting power to enrich each other like giving back a bank to someone whose cases were still in court like forgery; appointing a DPP who has cases and interest in legal system; (14 billion saga); questionable appointments like that of one convicted of serious offences and victimising political parties; not to mention single sourcing of contracts- see the draft constitution and state house rehabilitation. Ba Mwango what do you expect citizens to do? Keep quiet? Zambia is the only company where all citizens are shareholders and they have a right to point out wrong issues 

  22. You are a wise one Mwango, but be rest assued and prepare yourself for the venom that will come from those that oppose everything Sata and the PF government does. As one of my former students taught me when I told him that “ukutamfya lunshi pamafi, kunya pabili.” His response as some of these forever critics was, “bufi sir ninshi yamwiketefye sana amafi.” Much as we want what’s best for the country, some people can’t just accept the reality as it stands that the PF and Sata are in government since they were praying and were pretty sure that this would not happen as late George Kunda always emphatically insisted. Look where the hatred has taken him. And many more will follow suit, for in September 2011, zambians with God’s blessings spoke on behalf of Micheal Sata and his party PF.

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