Monday, June 24, 2024

Elias Chipimo releases the first instalment of constructive criticism of the PF Government


Elias Chipimo Junior
Elias Chipimo Junior

The National Restoration Party (NAREP) President Elias Chipimo Junior has released the first instalment of the 10 part series aimed at pointing out what things are wrong and right with the current PF Government. The 10 part series is in response to Statehouse reaction to a press briefing held on January the 10th  by Mr Chipimo to deliver his party’s new year  message in which he criticised  the government’s running the affairs of the country. This first series is focused on the current Mealie meal crisis.


Below is the full statement.




As promised, we set out the first in a series of 10 statements that we have entitled: “The Parallel Universe Series”. The term “parallel universe” is normally used in a non-complementary manner. It suggests that someone is out of touch with reality. When NAREP held a press conference on 10 January 2013 to deliver our New Year message, we challenged the Patriotic Front to stop focussing on political domination (for example, through triggering unnecessary by-elections) and to prioritise development actions. We then gave several examples of people’s expectations and pointed out that it was not our intention to see the PF fail because if they failed, it would be the people who would suffer.

We received a harsh response from State House suggesting that we are living in a “parallel universe” and requesting us to: “pinpoint where the PF Government has failed, and provide alternative grounded options rather than spend time in a day-dreaming or theoretical session about what [we] [wish] to happen”. The Parallel Universe Series will therefore address issues we were asked to point out. We do this in the spirit of offering solution-oriented thinking and to share with the general public our own policy priorities and governance plans as a Party that seeks to restore values-based leadership through constructive reasoning and issue-based politics. Our first discussion topic is the current mealie-meal crisis.

Rule number one in handling a maize crisis: accept that there is a problem

Few people would deny that we are facing a serious food crisis and one that could get a lot worse by the time the current rains are over and the new maize crop is harvested. The price of maize meal – the nation’s staple food – has increased in some cases by over 100 percent from the prices prevailing prior to the day the PF administration came to power. As we will try to demonstrate, although the problem is not entirely the PF’s fault, decisions that they have either taken or failed to take, have served to make a bad situation even worse.

With the price of mealie-meal reaching record levels, the PF appears to have finally woken up from its development slumber and realised they need to get their act together. The problem is that rather than acting, they are reacting. During one of the seemingly endless swearing-in ceremonies at State House, President Sata stated that he would consider re-introducing price controls to curb the high cost of mealie-meal. This would be an act of desperation and would only make the situation worse over the long-term.

When you consider that prior to the election in 2011 the average cost of a 25 kilogramme bag of mealie-meal was K45,000 (rebased K45) and that this had risen to over K90,000 (rebased K90) at its highest point in some parts of the country last month, it is clear why there is some panic within the PF hierarchy.

[pullquote]The threat of price controls should not be taken lightly. Mealie-meal increases on a much smaller scale formed an important part of the revolutionary build up that saw the downfall of President Kaunda in 1991.[/pullquote]

The threat of price controls should not be taken lightly. Mealie-meal increases on a much smaller scale formed an important part of the revolutionary build up that saw the downfall of President Kaunda in 1991. Riots that took place in June 1990 due to Kaunda’s attempt to remove subsidies on maize were seized upon by a daring signals officer who mounted a short-lived coup less than 12 months before Zambia’s First President was finally voted out of power. Mealie-meal is clearly serious business in Zambia. What is sad about the situation we face today is that the present increases were predictable and could have been avoided.

The belated intervention by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) and continued threats from the Head of State against the millers have meant that prices have started to come down. This has reduced the fear that price controls and other Second Republic tactics will be adopted to address a problem that was almost entirely due to the mishandling of the situation by an administration that appears to be focused more on playing politics than on development.

Before we get too cosy with the idea that this risk has gone away, however, we need to remember that because the current price reductions are not a reflection of market forces, the reductions we are witnessing may only be temporary. Sooner or later, a more comprehensive approach to dealing with the mealie-meal crisis will have to be taken. What is needed now is a government that fully understands the politics of maize.

Understanding the politics of maize

When prices of commodities rise drastically, it is usually a market signal that something has gone wrong with the balance of supply and demand. If more people want to buy something that is in short supply, the price of that item will quite naturally go up. Any person who is in the business of trading in mealie-meal will be well aware when demand goes up and so will the consumers.

Out of desperation and in order to secure an “essential” commodity whose availability is uncertain, people will – up to a certain level – be reluctantly prepared to pay more. This is exactly what has happened with the price of mealie-meal in Zambia.

The PF does not seem to have understood the politics of maize quickly enough. They have been too busy dealing with their political opponents to realise that they have created for themselves a new enemy: the ordinary Zambian who just wants to be able to enjoy his staple nshima without paying too much for it.

Things might not even be so bad for the generally neglected Zambian if at least he or she had a job and could afford the price increase – or if he or she did not have to suffer endless load-shedding, lack of access to quality healthcare and safe clean water, or to face costly transport charges getting the family to school and to work. But before we give the PF too much grief over their poor handling of the maize crisis, let us first examine how we got here in the first place.

The roots of the crisis

The roots of the current mealie-meal crisis lie in the seemingly insatiable demand for the commodity from neighbouring countries, particularly the Democratic Republic of Congo (as well as in the broader Great Lakes Region and beyond), which demand has been made even worse by last season’s poor harvest in the United States and Mexico.

Here is a summary of the challenge: South Africa has produced about 12 million metric tonnes of maize this year and is able to supply mealie-meal to the Congo more cheaply than Zambia because of its efficient system of planting, harvest, storage, finance and generally well-supported agricultural sector.

[pullquote]The roots of the current mealie-meal crisis lie in the seemingly insatiable demand for the commodity from neighbouring countries, particularly the Democratic Republic of Congo (as well as in the broader Great Lakes Region and beyond)[/pullquote]

This year, however, South Africa is not exporting to the Congo because its exports are covering the shortfalls in the North American markets (which were a result of last year’s drought in that region). The massive vacuum in the Congo supply chain has created even greater pressure on Zambian maize. Due to the basic rules of supply and demand, Zambian maize has simply become hot property in the DRC and beyond, pushing up the local sale price to unprecedented levels.

Had the Government intervened early enough when it became clear that prices in Zambia were rising, the crisis would have been far better managed. For example, when several politicians and commentators started speaking of banning exports last year, it was precisely to prevent Zambian maize from being sucked into the regional vacuum and creating a crisis here.

When you add to the regional demand factor, the various problems resulting from

    • (i) the Food Reserve Agency’s confusing role in the maize market (exporting maize when our markets are facing erratic supplies);
    • (ii) infrastructure challenges preventing maize from being collected from rural areas when roads are impassable during the rains and there is no effective storage in these locations;
    • (iii) long-term structural problems in maize marketing;
    • (iv) delays in providing inputs and payments to farmers;
    • (v) poorly thought out government policy; and
    • (vi) last minute procurement practices,

you have the perfect storm of problems. You also have one predictable outcome: sky high maize prices in excess of K100,000 per 25 kilogramme bag. In some ways, we are lucky that the price is not higher!

When you have a critical continental shortage of a staple commodity creating strong regional demand, the short-term measure to take is to prevent exports (so that you can at least feed your own people) and flood the market with as much raw material (stored maize) as possible in a consistent manner. Belatedly, this is the action that PF administration has taken.

The reason why prices are not coming down as fast as they should is that the demand is still so high and there are no effective means of preventing exports from our long and porous border with the DRC.

[pullquote]FRA stocks of maize are not audited and it is pure guesswork as to how much maize they are holding at any one time and the quality of that stock.[/pullquote]

Earlier this month newspapers reported the discovery by a Government official of a boat laden with mealie-meal as it was about to set sail for Burundi from Mpulungu harbour. Demand is high in the Great Lakes countries and into Sudan. How many boats go unnoticed? How much mealie-meal is being smuggled daily, weekly, monthly? No one knows!

As for the FRA? Well, that is a whole different story. FRA stocks of maize are not audited and it is pure guesswork as to how much maize they are holding at any one time and the quality of that stock. It did not help that the FRA was itself getting in on the export game during the current marketing season, presumably to try and recover the huge subsidy costs to the maize sector which amounts to nearly US$2 million per day. That amounts to 730 million dollars a year – almost the same amount of money as we borrowed under the Eurobond!

So what is the way forward?

(a) Infrastructure and extension services

Clearly, there is need for more innovative approach to the challenges (actual or perceived) affecting this critical sector. Even when it is not trying hard, Zambia is capable of producing enough food to feed itself. There has to be an expanded incentive to produce not only more but to do so efficiently. This calls for massive investment in extension services, research and development, road networks, irrigation infrastructure and in maize marketing. The colossal amounts being spent on maize purchases could have done wonders if applied to these areas. It is commendable that a good part of the Eurobond is to be spent on the energy and transportation sectors. These are critical areas for ensuring sustained agricultural production.

Zambia has in excess of 400,000 square kilometres of medium to high quality arable land that could serve as a massive breadbasket not only for the region but for Africa as a whole. Without investment in infrastructure, however, this potential will remain unrealised. The PF is certainly trying to do its part to improve the road infrastructure with its Link 8,000 project. The only problem is that Link 8,000 is not being supervised and run in a manner that will get us the best results within the shortest possible time and at the least cost (but this is a topic for another day).

(b) New marketing mechanisms

Once production costs are brought under control, we need to develop an efficient marketing mechanism. Innovative ideas include the support to the development of a vibrant commodity exchange linked to a series of storage centres around the country. Storage is critical and can be tied to a system of warehouse receipts. This is a great way to reintroducing the financial sector into agriculture even at a smallholder level. Storage that is certified based on best international practice will effectively commercialise the small farmer.

If, for example, a rural small-scale farmer can deposit their produce in a warehouse near his or her field and collect a warehouse receipt for that commodity, he or she can take that receipt and obtain cash for part or all of the stock. This will prevent panic selling and will provide stability to his or her financial requirements. In order for such a system to work efficiently, however, Government must put in place – among other things – supporting legislation and a national storage construction and development programme.

It is important to recall that the private sector has been asking for the recognition of a Warehouse Receipt as a document of title from as far back as 2004. The MMD Government only moved on this in 2010 in an attempt to replace the Agricultural Credits Act. However, the 2012 Act remains unimplemented.

This action should be delayed no further. Similarly, an Agricultural Marketing Bill went through stakeholders consultation in 2010 but it is not clear when it will be taken to Parliament despite a Parliamentary Committee report recommending the immediate presentation of the Bill to the National Assembly. It contains important provisions for the improving the sector and curtailing adverse political interference. A Commodity Exchange Bill also underwent stakeholder consultation in February 2010, although it is not clear what stage the Bill has reached.

All of these interventions will help to put maize supply on a much better footing. The price of mealie-meal should be determined as much as possible by market forces and if the Government wants to intervene then it should be done for every bag of roller meal which leaves the mill and not from the raw material stage. After all, Government is probably also subsidising the production of stock-feed (which uses huge amounts of maize) and is not able to monitor how much of the subsidised maize is being used in the stock-feed industry.

(c) Rethinking our diet and farming practices

It is also important for Government to begin the exercise of re-thinking our dependence on maize as a staple food as part of a broader crop diversification programme. Consuming huge quantities of maize meal, particularly the refined breakfast meal contributes to the high rates of preventable illnesses – particularly diabetes. It is almost as impacting as taking lots of sugar in your tea because it is simply refined carbohydrates (especially breakfast meal) that are then converted into sugar by the body.

[pullquote]Traditionally, our communities were raised on finger millet – a commodity that can grow with far less fertilizer, has far greater nutritional value and would not become embroiled in the politics of maize..[/pullquote]

Traditionally, our communities were raised on finger millet – a commodity that can grow with far less fertilizer, has far greater nutritional value and would not become embroiled in the politics of maize as it can be grown more cheaply and efficiently in rural locations.

Rural farmers need to be supported to move from subsistence to income-based farming through the emphasis on money crops like soya beans. Soya beans is a source of protein that is widely used for both human consumption and animal feedstock and has great national and regional demand. A soya farmer should have no problem paying back loans on the back of huge demand. In order for the maize sector to perform better, certain structural changes will have to be made.

(d) Rethinking the role of the FRA

Government needs to seriously rethink the role and performance of the FRA. Many traders and millers are not willing to take any local positions on maize preferring to do so purely for export and to a lesser extent to supply local breweries which consume a very small portion of annual production (approximately 80,000 metric tonnes against a full harvest of over 1 million tonnes).

Local traders have traditionally had mandates from mills to buy and stock maize for them for release later on in the year but this business has been obliterated by FRA. The reason is simple. If a trader is not sure whether the FRA will also begin releasing maize at a cheap price to millers in the middle of the year, that trader will not want to hold stock that he might have purchased at a high price.This is because even a small reduction in the FRA price to the market could bankrupt a miller that has pre-purchased maize stock for releasing later into the market.

[pullquote]This is because even a small reduction in the FRA price to the market could bankrupt a miller that has pre-purchased maize stock for releasing later into the market.[/pullquote]

Most millers rely on bank finance but the lack of clarity and planning on the part of FRA makes both the millers and the lending institutions nervous and therefore cautious. They have no certainty as to when the FRA will intervene in the market. The only solution is to focus on the export market or buy limited amounts of stock that they can quickly sell if the FRA drops the price of maize.

The financial sector generally prefers to lend to FRA because such lending comes with a Government guarantee. Millers would therefore rather fill their storage sheds with only a few months of stock when FRA is not participating in the market between May and October (a restriction set by the Food Reserve Act).

Further, because not every miller is able to accesses cheaper FRA maize, there is a distortion in the market. A close look at production figures shows that the more efficient producers of maize – essentially the large scale farmers – have tended to diversify into other commodities such as soya beans and tobacco.

FRA has therefore only served to promote inefficiency. Current maize yields in Zambia average about 2 tons per hectare when they are supposed to be 5-10 tons per hectare. With its 1.3 million small-scale farmers, Zambia can easily match the average annual South Africa production of 10-12 million tons of maize and feed the continent!


A simple comparison between Zambia and South Africa demonstrates the challenge we face and how without more focussed national leadership, we will not solve the problem of high maize prices. In the end, unless economic activity picks up and people are able to earn more money, the price of maize will always be too high.

[pullquote] If the PF administration was as determined to deliver development as it is to destroy Nevers Mumba’s MMD, Zambia would already be a very different country by now.[/pullquote]

Even in South Africa where production and marketing efforts are efficient, the price of a 25 kilogramme bag of maize fetches over K100,000 (rebased K100). If the PF administration was as determined to deliver development as it is to destroy Nevers Mumba’s MMD, Zambia would already be a very different country by now.

As one expert in the sector (who shall remain nameless) points out, maize in the Americas and Asia is an economic commodity, whereas here we have reduced it to a political crop, haemorrhaged the Treasury and succeeded in sustaining poverty.

Elias C. Chipimo
NAREP President


  1. Very wise. We should have more people in the opposition who think and not just make noise. If the opposition is able to point out critical developmental issues that are affecting the nation like this one and offer practical alternatives to current issues we can definitely look forward to changing government again in the very near future. If I were in power I would quietly take this advice and implement it without drawing a counter attack…

    • Well analyzed….Govt must act on this free consultancy, after all no fees paid,all for free well researched ,spot on !!! It’s now action time for pf govt….

    • Chipimo is a good author, but the guy is simply too slow & weak. He needs to work-out abit, ku gym. Ululumbi lwa mulanda ku kakata.

  2. just go out there and campaign ba chipimo.the majority of zambians have got no access to the internet.Dont spend most of your time on the computer

    • this is not addressed to the public but to state house that wanted it.LT has just done its work of disserminating it to you and i through the net.

    • Iye ubupuba. This is a report baba. The internet is jst part of the medium for disseminating it. This is also news on radios and other newspapers.

    • It is also hoped that by reading this , you are encouraged to continue the conversation with other Zambians and show them the fallacy of settling for mediocre leader and ignoring the need to be vocal and attentive to how policies, or lack thereof, impacts our lives.

  3. Quite a thoughtful piece. Only it may just go in one pf ear and out the other. The diehard thugs are surely going to just start shooting this down with their usual rantings….how sad!

    • I was with Chipimo at UNZA, what Oxford are you talking about? You might be mistaken with his father who was an English Lecturer in UK. Ukufunda abasungu ichisungu.

    • Normally one mentions the highest qualification he/she has. Though it is true that he has an LLB from UNZA, he also has a BCL from Oxford University which he obtained when he was there as a Rhodes Scholar (putting him in the same league as the Bill Clintons, Wesley Clarks, Rachel Maddows of this world). Unza is still a great teaching Institution and I am not taking anything away from it.

    • I was also at Oxford. I am a former Rhodes Scholar and Elias Chipimo Jr interviewed me for the Scholarship and so I know what I am talking about. A quick search using Google about Elias Chipimo Junior will show he has degrees from both Unza and Oxford.

    • Nostradamus, I can see that probably you just used to see Elias at ‘Campus’ and don’t really know much about him. I was there too and know that Elias went to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar in 1990. In fact contact Oxford University if you doubt. If it was David Beckman you would even have been saying “Chi Beckham chalisambilila.”

  4. Supply and demand. Invest wisely in a better constructed manner and it sounds like there is potential to feed ourselves and generate revenue through export.

  5. That is professional analysis at its highest height. The strategy used gives me a clear picture of what kind of a president you will be. I can’t wait to work with such brains.

  6. Wow! i wish all our political leaders could look at things this way,For me this is the man to next rule this country .we await a positive and well thought out answer for the ruling party.Please continue with such Mr Chipimo. You have so much wisdom. Issues and not insults is all we need in our land.

    • Wow! And you don’t even seem to appreciate or believe in the power of the “spoken word”, ka?

      Bululu, achievers first articulate (or clearly state/write down) what it is they think can change their board in life. Even accomplishing a fraction of a well thought-out plan/program is an achievement in itself.

      Chaos in the approach to national planning only breeds more chaos. This is the message Elias Chipimo is trying to convey to you THICK-HEADED and GOOD-FOR-NOTHING critics!!!!!

    • Politicians are all the same.This is nothing but political rhetoric.Don`t be lost in the jargons and empty promises.We have seen this kind of talk before only that it is now rephrased.

    • @Zebige, Chipimo is not promising anybody anything. Where did you get that in this article? He is only responding to State House’s criticism of his earlier statement. And as he promised, he is also simply offering what he thinks the solutions are to the persistent problem of “politicizing” the issue of mealie meal.

      He promised an article every week (for a total of ten articles) pointing out where PF has failed and offering solutions to the problems, and that’s what State House is getting. So I don’t know where you are getting the idea that these are political promises NAREP/Chipimo is making to the Zambian electorate!

      It really helps to understand the context in which some of these things are written if one wishes to intelligently contribute to the discussion. Yes?!

    • Yambayamba my brother.He is in short promising, no wonder i am saying that only the phrasing has been changed, otherwise it is the same old old rhetoric which has been used by so many politicians before including Obama .To be a politician one has to be good both with the words and appearing to be in the know.I personally like this guy, i have dealt with him at one stage in my life, but i don`t think he has what it takes to rule our country.High time he went back to his law practice.

    • Imwe baba ni loss! Things have to be tried out before they can be discarded. If all ideas were discarded by our fore fathers, where would this world have been. You offer alternatives to what Elias has proposed rather than just criticising. That is what a serious mind does. Manje imwe zonse ni kushuta chabe masikuyonse. Olo kunchito ndiye bvemene muchita?

    • Ba space unfortunately out country has no time for trials.We can`t just risk trying these guys.The only time we have is for serious leaders like Sata.

    • The person you call a ‘serious’ leader is truly serious in terms of settling scores with political opponents. He may have been good as a Minister but certainly not as President. At least this far. If you say truly say our country has no time for trials what do you call the frequent realignment of government Ministries by the ‘serious’ leader. Is that trial and error.

    • @ Zebige.The Man is offering solutions to obvious problems that should never exist. Whoever you are, you need to sober up and really embrace the idea of building the nation, not experimenting or trials but properly thought our plans and intentions. Every other country in the world that has made itself worthy or note and repute takes control of its future by making concrete plans and agendas, not 5 year development plans or creating districts over night. There is an ever increasing need to take stock of our resources and what we need to do with them. I want Zambia to be a political and economic power before I die, how do you propose we do that Zebige?

  7. Fellow zambians sata and pf are very stubborn and arrogant so we have to face them head on,,sata is being misled by kk. and unip mentality

  8. No insults, no personal attacks just points. Highlighting problem areas and giving possible solutions. Thats whats called checks & balances. Not noise in markets and crying over permits.

  9. Issues based opposition. This kind of opposition is the one we see in countries like uk and usa. It may not be perfect but it is constructive criticism which offers alternatives in a mature way, cool headed and not seeking dressing down the other mentality. It our country, lets support tthose in leadership to manage resources well and lead the nation, developing it from where the previous leaders left. The politics of sorting out the other or being sorted out wont help us but will keep in one step forward two steps backward kind of development. Welcome NAREP this is the kind of opposition. This modern and civilized opposition politics. I despise the politics of insults, lies, belittling, wishing each other death, calling bad names,etc which must be for dust bin.

  10. The State House will now issue a stupid statement blasting this very efficient analysis, just so that they can still get cheap publicity from the thugs and looters.

    This report needs to be taken seriously by PF, as a help from the God and they should work on it. Why? The Hon President can even invite NAREP President to work closely with him for the development of the country. But Alas! Our cheap politicians have only learnt to develop the party and then develop a bigger corpus of loot.

  11. ZAMBIA is not for cruel people like sata and k.k as well as kavimba who is busy chassing lubinda and gbm ..lets wacth them squarely.

  12. chipimo is looking pale and has eyes or sight problem…he needs speciaal attantion all the time bane..


    • Zambia should just be federal state. Let each province be managed by the party they choose. No doubt, under UPND Southern Province will achieve the gains of Botswana in ten years. Let Tribal parties like PF manage Luapula, Muchinga and other provinces who see leadership qualities in them.

  14. PF watch out. I can see Zambia’s salvation in youthful and dynamic Elias. NO USELESS YELLING AND INSULTS but thougtful analysis and possible solutions to the problem. Bravo Mr. President in waiting.


    • Will you quit with this tribal crap please? There is no room for this foolishness in our future, cut a Bemba, cut a Tonga, or Lozi, isn’t their blood all red? When you starve them won’t they all die? PLEASE UNDERSTAND WE NEED TO BUILD OUR NATION, IT IS BEYOND THIS IDIOCY OF TRIBALISM.

  16. Elias is relatively new in the political arena and yet he has already earned the respect and admiration of many Zambians owing to his objective and issue-based approach to national issues. This will undoubtedly make our multi-party politics to mature and flourish.

    I can only wish him and his party to continue on this uncomromising approach that shows unprecedented political maturity, wisdom and unparalleled love and passion to see our country move forward.
    The old political players must be ashamed reading what Elias has put out to the nation.

    May God bless you and our great country, Zambia

    • Do you mean HEAVY DUTY failures??? I see the point you are making, but the so-called heavy-duty hitters are not coming up with their own visions about what they would do. So what are they waiting for? The truth is that they have no ideas. They are just sitting there waiting for Sata to go so that they can move into State House and continue with rubbish leadership. This time the elections will be about ideas not just chanting silly slogans. We are very awake now.

    • Sata and old time politicians like him may have ‘experience’ as politicians but they are so closed minded. The style of leadership , if you can call it that, is so out of touch and self serving it offers little hope of elevating the country. For instance, what good is this ‘elimination of English’ as the mode of inculcating students. Then there’s the haphazard creation of districts with little impact and economic assessment. We all know about the random ‘development projects’ like the football stadium that is not going to adequately provide jobs, only during it’s construction. Are you seriously saying this misappropriation and other thoughtless acts from your ‘heavy duty politicians’ is progress? You sir are part of the problem cheerleading for this substandard political breed.

  17. there you go…issue based politics.if only voters can understand this.i have no idea why a sane person voted for sata after he failed all the way from 1964

    • since 1964, why indeed. why old uneducated men. why do the educated allow this. perhaps illiterate thugs have an upperhand.

  18. Chipimo i know is my fellow bemba man ,,but i can not support the young because is very young in leadership ,,he cann’t make a different,,we need a leader from a differrent region

    • I’m not Bemba, but Chipimo is the real man for me. I can trust him with leadership because clearly he thinks and thinks intelligently. Already he is MY president, Sata doesn’t exist. I’m sure Chipimo is now scaring even more elderly leaders in the opposition. He is even beginning to change the name and rules of the game. Bravo Chipimo. He can be young, yes, BUT Age doesn’t think – it is the brains that do!!! Look at this elderly man Sata whom you voted into State House, what has he achieved so far??? NOTHING – apart from harrassing opposition leaders and massive stealing and corruption.

  19. People who mean well for our beloved Zambia will highly appreciate this kind of high-caliber political discourse. It is an issue based critique, devoid of insults and “stone age” kind of political power-play. How I wish the leaders of the so called “three largest” political parties behaved the same way—like Chipimo Jnr has observed; “Zambia would truly be a different place by now”!

    Keep it up NAREP, you truly bring a fresh perspective and approach to the meaning of ‘political criticism’ and ‘providing checks & balances’ to the party in power.


  20. Yes, this is real opposition. He has not just pointed out what is wrong, he also tells us the root causes of the problem and the possible solutions.

    He is not playing opposition politics of witchcraft that say to people, “this is your problem, but I am not telling you the answer because it is a secret”.

    Well done Elias. The government will do well to listen to your wisdom in this matter.

    • Agree, but if PF implements his ideas he kisses the presidency goodbye! This is probably why other parties are holding back.

  21. Elias, there’s more to opposition than writing elegantly crafted essays. That is “lesson number one” for you

    • “First base” in any political dispensation is to establish credibility and trustworthiness with the people you wish to someday lead. If you can’t see Elias Chipimo’s strategy at work here, it is no wonder why the other so called “learned opposition leaders” have failed to inspire in the past.

      By doing what he is doing, Elias Chipimo is on the right track. And if he keeps up with this sort of mature approach to national issue, he will soon surpass many of these “self-appointed heavy weights” in the opposition. Mark my words!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Boss, I can read this article and understand it, and so can you. But will the majority of Zambian voters do the same? And will they care? Chipimo’s only legal avenue into State House is through the ballot. So ask yourself the obvious questions – how many VOTES has he got come 2016? How qualified he is and how much sense he talks are not relevant to that question. The only relevant thing is VOTES

    • @ Airtime Sakala: You and I know perfectly well that no matter how organized and prepared NAREP is by 2016, there is no chance that they would win the Presidency. I am sure this reality has not escaped Elias Chipimo Jnr either—I don’t think he is that naïve.

      What we are talking about here is LONG-TERM STRATEGY. I know most of us Zambians are impatient people. We always want to reap where we didn’t sow, big on instant gratification, and usually very myopic when it comes to planning and building for the future. And I sense this fact in your posts.

      Building a formidable Political party takes time and focus, I am sure this is what Chipimo is doing and aiming for. And he might just make in the 2020 elections after he builds up enough political capital. NOT the 2016 elections!

  22. Elias Chipimo – buddy you have my vote!!!!!! Keep it up. Your mind resonates with mine perfectly. At this rate I have no doubt you have a big chance of kicking these PF goons out of office in 2016. I’m really hard to hit on the spot, but you get it for me. Once again Elias Chipimo is clear evidence why we need to change the law and place a minimum restriction of University Degree for Presidency. God Bless You!


    • I am guessing you voted for Sata Ayi? Shame! Look at Zambia now, bring old hags to lead you when you young and vibrant leaders. Zambians you’ll never learn. You leer supporting old politicians expecting a different result, like fools.


  25. These comments coming from 2 pipo at Narep secretarit will midlead chipimo. The only reason i can vote for him is because he is my fellow bemba

    • Thats the dumbest reason to vote for someone. You ought to vote for where he stands on national issues. when you look at alternatives such as are available in this PF administration, it’s hard to fathom how you can be content with their ‘blind leadership’ brand of politics where they issue ‘edicts’ and ideas that lack a focused approach to create an environment where prosperity and sustainability are fostered for most of the country. Perhaps you’re content with the status quo because you believe you owe it to them, heaven knows what for. It’s that attitude shared by citizens in most third world countries and the leaders that they elect that keep property levels slow or negligible while the gap between rich and poor widens.


  27. Lets us always try to analyse political statements maturely,, and in the interest of the country,, has mr. chipimo got a farm?,,how active is he in farming?

    • This is a stupid argument. Has Clinton got a farm? Howcome he was able to articulate so well on issues that affect the farming industry. Grow up, please.

    • You need not have been a foootball star to be a good coach. A school bell calls us but does not take part in learning…………..need i go on?……..jst saying.

  28. Nice article Mr. President. with such thought out and well researched analysis, state house is truly living in a parallel universe. This is what we call constructive criticism. Constructive criticism i the process of offering valid and well-reasoned opinions about the work of others, usually involving both positive and negative comments, in a friendly manner rather than an oppositional one. In collaborative work, this kind of criticism is often a valuable tool in raising and maintaining performance standards. Because of the overuse of negative, nagging criticism, some people become defensive even when receiving constructive criticism given in a spirit of good will.This is likely to be accepted if the criticism is focused on the recipient’s work or behavior. Bravo Mr. President, Bravo…


  30. This is a fantastic analysis, I just hope the people involved will take one or two things and bring about a stable long lasting solution pantu ubwali nabo ngabwadula nishi takuli uko tuleya.
    Thumbs Mr Elias Chipimo no fear no favour, 2016 loading……..

  31. Good job Elias. You break it down so well that even us who were in the dark about why we can’t get it right are able to have a wow-moment. Thanks. Let those with ears listen. Zambia is for us all.

  32. Another Dean Mungoba, Derick Chitala. G Miyanda driving fast in a slow lane. Keep puping up theories that only work in make belief wold.

  33. Elias Chipimo Jnr, you are a breath of fresh air in Zambian politics. I hope and wish you all the best in the rough political climate of our country.

    Keep away from the Kabimba politics and continue to give us real hope. Move away from KK advice as it is the foundation of what has brought us where we are. That is why you see him all over PF activities. He performed his part and we respect for that, but he certainly has no place in modern politics and the solutions you are trying to bring into our politics and future.

  34. chipimo 10 vs the rest (opposition) 0

    so ba chela is busy drafting a nasty reply to this very good piece of advise on the mealie meal problem that has besieged our country.
    lets wait and see what gonna come outa state house.

    • If being an effective politician required that you have everything that characterize national issues, I don’t think anyone wold qualify.


  36. Politically Chipimo is very young, pls zambians don’t mislead young Chipimo,,he is no where near in political spheres of zambia

  37. Personally I really like Mr. Chipimo’s way of thinking. He seems to always inderstand the needs of our nation, and have a sensible solution to our many problems. Howvever, I dont think he has the push or the energy to win any election, he dos snot have the charisma needed as a political leader. My advice would be work with the govt in power and try and make your point heard and implimented, that way he can build support and maybe just maybe can win some seats or even the presidency.*jasobserving*

  38. Wow!any meaningful person cn see ths guy got brains. Hop PF wil start listenin en takin such advice. Wudnt b surprised if Sata picked him as his successor. Bravo mr.chipimo!

  39. Now we are talking.
    Let him who has ears, hear!
    This is enhancing your Manifesto. Keep on shaping your future.

    I would urge NAREP to support its thinking by appointing Shadow Ministers and holding of District, Provincial and National Conventions and not to be dissuaded by wet blankets.

    Looking forward to your next contribution.

  40. Every true meaning Zambian will follow this debate with the intelligence it deserves. Only some one who is not a true Zambian patriot will not support such thinking. Chipimo has neither insulted the leadership nor the business community. He has given us a true reflection of what should take place for us to manage our staple food properly and avoid negatively affecting the community. That is what it means to offer alternatives to the ruling party. Nice analysis with facts and verifiable indicators for all to judge and refer to in any of contrary views and arguments. Lets support “The Parallel Universe” concept. I am waiting for the next article.

  41. Chipimo all you have written only makes sense to people who have been to school. You are dealing with a grade 7 constable… that is music to his ears.

  42. Great article and serious alteranative to this visionless government.Elias Chipimo can easily get over 90% of votes from intellectuals because of his reasoning.Unfortunately this group only makes up less than 10% of the general electorate.What Honourable Chipimo needs to do is simplify his message for the average voter on the campaign trail and he`ll easily sail to State House.It`s time we got rid of these old recycled politicians and ursher in vibrant visionaries.

  43. Al Gore and John Kerry lost to Bush jr for being wonks. Chipimo you need to be foxy. When are you going to introduce yourself to the electorate in the provinces? The only people who know you are your fellow Bembas who continue fawmimg over every statement you issue on the internet! We enjoyed your campaign meetings you held in the UK and USA as part of the 2011 campaign! It must have been succesful as you got zero council and parliamentary seat. I am afraid the 10 long statements you intend to issue wont take you anywhere! They only good if you are applying for a post of Adviser to Sata!

  44. This is a very good informative issue based argument NAREP has put forward…even more encouraging that they have touched on rethinking our staple diet…this is a very bold and progressive move that should be encouraged. In this day and age we CAN NOT be dependent on maize meal its a food security risk we are just one drought season away from disaster; there options are plentiful..look no further than to our West African colleagues diets.
    As for the other policies put forward, there is no better time for this gov’t to implement drastic changes than in there second year in office later on and it will elections loomimg BUT what more can we expect from this reactive gov’t with no long term strategic plans….

    • Unfortunately other non-Bemba leaders tend to be focused more on tribal politics than on real politics—just like their supporters such as you! Tribal politics will not take you far, baba.

      At least learn from “MASHOLI” (the Bembas) how to gain people’s trust. You cannot simply force people to support and vote for you just for spouting off the rubbish you are spewing here. You have already started trying to drag Elias Chipimo in your stup!d tribal politics so that when he does well in the future it will be easy for you to pin your failures , once again, on imaginary BEMBA TRIBALISM. How intellectually bankrupt and shallow are U guys willing to sound?

      And please stop pretending to be Bemba; you are so transparently phony even a blind person can see through you!

  45. Please open a branch in south africa and will gladly voluteer to organise.Zambia needs clean politicians like you weldone!

  46. Its unbelievable the way most of cheer this report by Chipimo without critically analysing his reasoning.
    He does NOT say at what point of the maize crisis the Grz should have made what decision to avoid the price increase.
    He does NOT bring in the millers who blackmailed the Grz to get maize at 35% subsidy.
    He does NOT applaud when Grz painfully gives away this FRA maize in order to make it affordable to Lazos.
    It is inadequete to write high sounding article that doesnt critically analyse a matter at hand. 50% pass ba Chipimo!

    • Every written piece will have pores in it. Those of us in academia know that and you have just demonstrated your inability to see that.

  47. well written but lacking the real solutions, chipimo has no solutions. the solution is for GRZ to re-open NCZ, sell fertiliser cheaply, buy the maize and mill it, sell it both locally and export some of it. GRZ spends a lot of money on farming inputs, buys maize and sells it at a loss..what a waste


    “Riots that took place in June 1990 due to Kaunda’s attempt to remove subsidies on maize were seized upon by a daring signals officer who mounted a short-lived coup less than 12 months before Zambia’s First President was finally voted out of power.”

    i). Mwamba Luchembe coup was in June 1990;
    ii). Kenneth Kaunda was voted out October 1991.

    By my count, that’s at least 16 months!

    “When prices of commodities rise drastically, it is usually a market signal that something has gone wrong with the balance of supply and demand.”

    i). A rise in prices of a commodity can also be as a result of a rise in input costs;
    ii). When input cost rise, most often businesses pass on the added costs to the consumer;
    iii). Farmers are facing input costs pressures at the moment

    The analysis by NAREP is insufficient in this regard!

    • I concur with your addition to the three additional points you’ve made. But do those that are dictating that price of mealie meal must be KR50 appreciate these facts of life?

    • I will not take anything away from Chipimo and the article, but he could have used another pair of eyes such as yours before sending it out. If he had used mine, I could have recommended making it more concise; point by point outline of problems and solutions to the extent of labeling them as such.

  50. This is the guy to watch in 2016. If he doesn’t make it then and God still sustains him and wills he shall probably be good for 2021.

  51. If Zambian’s want change, this is the man ELIAS CHIPIMO Jnr. Enough with old politicians who suddenly develop dementia when they get into office. All Sata does is fire people, he has loose canons in his govt the Wynter Kabimba’s and Sylvia Masebo’s who are so excited for nothing. You Zambian’s should learn to think outside the box, every Person I asked in Zambia why they were supporting Sata they said, he did a good job when he was with ministry of health, he cleaned up Lusaka real good bla bla bla. Honestly are those the reason’s you can vote someone into the highest position of power? Muchinje bane, Elias is smart give him a chance.

  52. Message to Elias and team,

    Excellent piece. Well researched and issue-based. Really a breath of fresh air!!!! Simple advice to you: Please think of how you can simplify your message beyond this platform. Most rationale people using such platforms agree with you. But how do you convince the guy on the street – the one who votes? Its possible! Your team needs to critically think about this. One party has as its achilles heel a tribal tag, yours is probably a perception that its elitist. Ignore this at your own peril. It might not be true, but perceptions are hard to change. Best wishes, and look forward to more articles.

    “Understanding the politics of maize

    When prices of commodities rise drastically, it is usually a market signal that something has gone wrong with the balance of supply and demand.”

    This sub-heading [Understanding the politics of maize] is misleading because the paragraphs that follow outline the Elias’s understanding of the economics of maize. A more accurate sub-heading should have: “Understanding the economics of maize”

    …and, by the way, he already addressed the politics of maize under the sub-heading: “Rule number one in handling a maize crisis: accept that there is a problem”

  54. CHIPIMO don`t deserve politics but rather an economist teacher . why i ve said so this man has no stance at all . today is with sata even mobilizing for him during by elections tomoro is with MMD . when invited for a trip its yes sir yes sir . be of your own boss like KA HH.

  55. Excellent narrative Elias! I read the entire statement without a pause and was hoping it would still go on!! What a relief that we still have young men that are willing to exercise their mental faculties and thereby actualise their potential.

    PF??….getting over the crazy drive to rid the country of their sworn political enemies and do what they were voted in for (providing leadership for national development)…….I really wonder. This is a whole different breed of gentlemen on our hands. A whole different paradigm shift from RB’s pro-agric policies to what we face…..endless swear-in ceremonies, ba George’s novice state house press releases and the addition of more districts…..we can only hope and pray that years roll by a little bit quicker to 2016!!

  56. Ruling the country is not an ease one.All we should do is to offer solutions to the problems facing the people and learn to work together.And being educated is different from the knowledge required by Someone to rule the country.

  57. Good points Chipimo, but as a African Opposition leader, you must have the following attributes:-
    – You must have very violent cadres with a stone-throwing capability of 100m/ 5 Kg Stone
    – People should not question if you are gay or not. pwiii !
    – You must be able to resist travelling allowances e.g trips to Brazil etc. ( You cant hoodwink us with this well-written Essay ( Ubepelefye mwaiche )
    So far what you have said is 103% true but the fibre of your political fabric is QUESTIONABLE !!!

  58. Very good Chipimo. Far much better than HH and Nevers. How do yu expect police to arrest Chipimo who is saying sense. Let the police continue arresting HH coz his utterances are nnon progressive

  59. Godd article but he is mostly stating the obvious, like an unemployed overeducated guy in a bar. Blaming PF is where his logic falls down, he should perhaps avoid politics to achieve development, because getting votes is not a matter of expensive overseas education or personal business success. If he is criticising Chellah for reacting, then why react to Chellah? Shooting yourself in the foot man

  60. In fact let us put it a better way. In the last election NAREP gained 0.17% of the vote and ZERO parliamentary seats. A man with an education should know that the way it works with politics is:

    1. You become popular
    2. You get elected
    3. You start running the country

    Someone should educate the man on these three simple points. You can’t say “no I’m young and educated so I am going straight to run the country”

  61. I think any one who has followed Zambian politics for a while now, would appreciate that Chipimo and NAREP are a ‘breath of fresh air’. This article reflects issue based politics. Without even going into whether the analysis is correct or not, I think Chipimo shows clearly that he doesn’t sit around on his bum composing insults for opponents. There is thinking and lots of time spent analysing where Zambia is, and where it should perhaps be – a contrast to old recycled politicians who are notoriously intellectually lazy. The era of knee-jerk politics should be put to an end – together with the paranoid political dinosours that have been in power for only what they can personally acquire from the privilege. Where has the so-called ‘political experience’ taken us? Time for soberness is…

  62. This free consultancy analytical presentation to PF can never be appreciated though truthful in its holistic manner. This is because most PF cadres are intellectually emaciated from top to bottom. This analysis from Elias Chipimo will attract and trigger bitterness, vindictiveness and hatred. The likely response will be to prove who is incharge of national affairs and prompt up charges to fix the author of the article. What a pity to be Zambian led by such leadership.

  63. Maize meal causing diabetes? The biggest baloney of 2013! let us talk politics and nothing else, this article will not convince ordinary people.

  64. Very thoughtful analysis indeed … consultancy can be a very lucrative enterprise and NAREP has offered their free of charge. My only contribution to this article is that its overall perceptive is based on the “Economics of Maize” but the authors are referring to the “Politics of Maize”.

    Not really a mistake in itself but a diatribe referencing a different dichotomy of issues at hand. Like I said before, this is the right kind of opposition the smart people of the Zambian Enterprise deserve. Kudos to my good friend Elias on the leading the pack.

    You are the best, and keep up the good work. Looking forward to next week’s analysis of important issues at hand capable of lifting the living standards of our people in our fantastic franchise called the Zambian Enterprise.

  65. This is just theory in practice it is not as easy as he puts it. Most farmers cannot afford that soya he is talking about,he comes here and offloads a Text book and you all start clapping.Soya is not grown by most farmers because it is labour intensive and requires a lot of money for chemicals and others. Most subsistence farmers would not grow it.what diabetes are you talking about? my granny is 90 years old she was brought up on that Nshima and her chibuku she likes is brewed using that maize and she has no trace of Diabetes. Maybe finger millet yes. We have been lied to so many times,our eyes and ears are open this time.

  66. I give my appreciation to this advice that Elias Chipimo Jr has given. Advisers to the president should take a lot of tips from this message and advise accordingly. Ministers especially the one for Agriculture should brood over this as well to see what could be done. There seems to be a vacuum over needed dialogue in the nation where no one is called names but allowed to contribute what could take Zambia forward. I regret that our politics have degenerated into politics of poverty and self gratification. They are kaponya style type of politics that only make a lot of noise with little results. If we begin to have more voices of reason in the nation and a will to correct our woes, we should soon see light at the end of the tunnel! We prepare and spend so much to get to Parliament and State!

  67. I understand this moron called Chipimo is not a medical learned person but Chipimo should know that poor people in Kanyama, Chawama of Kitwe, Lusaka, Chipulukusu of Ndola can not differently get Diabetes from Breakfast because in the first place they can not even afford it let alone eat 3 meals per day.

    I have had suspicions about this greedy man Chipimo who got our money as he went to Brazil he was bribed by autocratic evil Dictator ruler Sata.

    All what Chipimo has replied to his friend (who arranged his travel arrangement to Brazil George Chellah at State House) is fall of nonsense and justification for the increase of Mealie Meal in Zambia.

    Mealie Meal price increase is due to Sata & PF incompetence & not to what this evil Roman Catholic member Chipimo.

  68. I understand this moron called Chipimo is not a medical learned person but Chipimo should know that poor people in Kanyama, Chawama of Kitwe, Lusaka, Chipulukusu of Ndola can not definitely get Diabetes from Breakfast because in the first place they can not even afford it let alone eat 3 meals per day.

    I have had suspicions about this greedy man Chipimo who got our money as he went to Brazil he was bribed by autocratic evil Dictator ruler Sata.

    All what Chipimo has replied to his friend (who arranged his travel arrangement to Brazil George Chellah at State House) is fall of nonsense and justification for the increase of Mealie Meal in Zambia.

    Mealie Meal price increase is due to Sata & PF incompetence & not to what this evil Roman Catholic member Chipimo

    • Its because Nawakwi has been rewarded and given a Driver and a 4×4 and he has not. apa pakati he was quiet uyu politicians bamobene.You think if he was on the ZAWA board he would make this kind of noise?shameless man.

  69. The government of the day should be given time to do what they can do for this country, this condemnation of everything the party in power does is not helping the national. In some parts, he agrees that they doing the right thing and then fails to explain how can do it better, so that he convinces us to give him the mandate to lead this nation. The witch on maize causing diabetes is rubbish, stick to economics and leave nutrition to experts. Zambians are becoming obese because of people like Chipimo, they think someone having chicken and chips or Pizza is the best diet for the nation. Why do countries like UK have Consumer protection commission? Why is the price of Milk controlled in the EU? Zambian millers association has became a cartel, they are controlling the output to push prices.

  70. The government call for price controls is justified, monopolistic practices should not condoned. Chipimo is talking economics but all the signs of cartel are written all over the marketing practices of the millers and he is not talking about it. Let them revoke some licences for unfair trade practices so that the others can learn something and show them that they are serious.

  71. Elias is taking the stubborn “old dogs” to school, long and yet practical gripping analogy. This is indeed opposition with reason.

  72. This a good attempt. One should look at the reality on the ground. Maize was bought at K65 000 from farmers. Add handling, transport, storage,administrtive charges. What is the cost of maize now. The Government only released about K500bn to purchase the commodity and the rest of the money about K1.8tn was sourced from the banks as loans. When you factor the cost of the loan and the fact that the banks are holding stocks as collateral, makes maize very expensive and short in supply. Government directive to FRA to sell at K50 000 is bad economics which will lead to an increase in budget deficit, falling to meet budgeted obligation and eventually inflation as government competes with commercial lenders for loans from banks.

  73. Stop attacking Chipimo’s world class qualifications and talk about issues he has raised, can’t you see that you *****s?
    When will you learn to respect educated and civilized people and know how to analyse issues?
    Sorry, you are imbeciles, you may not understand what I am trying to say.
    Chipimo, has given a well balanced academic analysis of what is obtaining since the PF came to power. I salute him, Chipimo keep up the good work, i will vote for you next time.

  74. The statement is too general and theoretical for a person aspiring as president. Lacks relevant local statistial data to make the argument crisp.

  75. This is a mere classroom assignment. He can pass under my supervision. NOT IN POLITICS. He is a non entity. He is not a political material.

  76. It is nice to write and am sure that we will see a lot of such. But all politicians say the same, when given the chance what you see is pure greedy. All what we have seen is politicians come into power to enrich themselves and their families, it has nothing with national development, this is very true for the Zambia politics.

    I can only wish Elias luck has he writes for us to enjoy the read but at the end of the day, I dont see the difference between PF and NAREP, the names cannot fool me nor these academic essays. Wait for George’s response!!!

  77. Shortage of maize meal on the Zambian market can be approached in two ways. The first one is to blame government. This is exactly what Narep has done. The second approach is to provide maize meal on the market with government playing a facilitating role. It seems to me that the maize meal issue is largely amplified by Narep. What is needed is for government to consider importing, offloading, or seeking international aid. Government sometimes acts retrospectively and at times proactively. What matters really is solving problems efficiently. The long queues are not likely to resurface in the country because of better capacities built on solid experience.

  78. well said the article or statement is been carefully thought out and analysed too just one small aspect of diabetes came to my attention. the knowledge i have on the disease is enough for me to say that the opinion on break fast melie meal might be contributing to the increase in diabetes cases, the truth is simply in the life style of many people being over weight, junk food and most especially lack of exercise for a lot of over 25s. health issues and maize or mealie meal dont simply go together i wouldnt like to confuse myself with the two. you need to get youself recognised as the leader of an opposition party and can also sit in parliament

  79. I wish other politicians could take a leaf of this guy’s approach to oppositions! Most of our opposition leaders think that politics is about insulting each other!It shouldn’t be that way!

  80. Am a p.F die hard bt I still lyk chipimo very much,I think he is beta than thoz two other madalas nevers and H.H,unlyk H.H who goes abt boastin abt being the most intelligent person in Zambia as well as the richest chipimo criticises constructively and offers solutions,and unlyk nevers who commits crimes deliberately so I cn hav a fight wit police officers and in turn get sum political sympathy,chipimo is busy researchin on hw to create jobs,put food on the table and he cn help the gov develop the country,big up chipimo

  81. …and someone is all-over the local media saying Chipimo’s assertions are academic garbage…when will Africans realize that all innovations ever made where once abstract ideas in the minds of those that can actually think. Do not just sit around and shoot down other people’s ideas using your shallow ‘can’t think’ minds. Although one of the rarest traits to be found is a politician applauding an adversary’s policy, it’s always wise to critique an assertion with an open mind, and even steal the idea if it’s better than yours. The culture started by this one Chipimo is the good old recipe for problem solving and real development.

  82. But 1 thin again,the gentle man luks mulnourished,bt anyway its all gud we’ll get him a dietician and herve renard’s assistant patrice beaumelle the physical trainer will physicaly shape him up

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