Sunday, June 23, 2024

Presidential debate collapsed after ZNBC pulled out due to PF interference


Emptyn podiums after some debators shunned the event
Emptyn podiums after some debators shunned the event

We wish to make clear the events that transpired yesterday evening at the scheduled presidential debate organised by the Economics Association of Zambia (EAZ).

Along with MMD candidate Nevers Mumba, FDD candidate Edith Nawakwi and PF candidate Edgar Lungu, our candidate Hakainde Hichilema had agreed to participate in the debate, recognising that it would be a valuable opportunity for the Zambian public to evaluate the major contenders side by side in a transparent arena with no where to hide.

The PF Secretary General Davies Chama signed an agreement committing Edgar Lungu to the debate. Edgar Lungu dishonourably violated this agreement by not showing up. This in itself is disrespectful to the EAZ, the participants and the people of Zambia.

Having changed our schedule and flown our candidate back mid-campaign from Eastern Province we were ready to go ahead with the debate with or without Edgar Lungu.

The EAZ had agreed with ZNBC to record the debate and then broadcast it at a later date. Unfortunately once it became clear that Mr Lungu was not attending the ZNBC crew packed up and left. Attempts to find an alternative at last minute were explored but nothing viable was established.

This is not only a missed opportunity but it appears to be a blatant violation of media freedom. Despite the concerns we have raised time and time again, yesterday evening’s events show that the PF is still interfering with ZNBC and seeking to control their campaign coverage.

Acting President Guy Scott has repeatedly stated his commitment to overseeing free and fair elections. We call for him to immediately take action to end this interference with the affairs of the public broadcaster. We further call on all parties and civil society to speak out and condemn this abuse.

Dipak Patel
UPND Campaign Manager


  1. An opportunity to explain yourself to the people Mr PF has gone under because it is evident that you have messed up and have no direction! The way you killed our President, fought for his work among yourselves like wild animals…you have no place in lucid Zambia…come to the table and explain your vision via question and answer!!

    • HH was busy selling his party ideas in Eastern province and he to disrupt his campaigns just to attend to a debate which was never to be because PF – Lungu so afraid of answering questions from the people in an environment where there is dialogue.
      PF prefers the do as I say and don’t ask me strategy why?. This in their “Donchi Kubeba” Manifesto.

      Instead of telling people ideas of how Lungu will improve the nations poor majority,he embarked on an onslaught on GBM in simple minded fashion.

      PF I full of people with simple minds who concentrate on insulting individuals while UPND is full of with sophisticated minds who discuss ideas and inspire people with a real vision.

      There you have you it. UPND operates in the day light, while PF prefers to operate in the dark.

    • Lungu has an important schedule to fulfill with actual voters on the ground. He has 3 rallies scheduled for today and he won’t be disrupted.He needs to reach as many voters on the ground as he can.

      Debate will be rescheduled.

      2015 vote PF ( Edgar )

      I thank you

    • Iwe Emmanuel Mwamba aka Katondo Boys, why didn’t you and your Lungu plan in advance to accommodate the presidential debate, or at least inform EAZ in advance of your unavailability so that other players can know the way forward? Worse still, why taking away the ZNBC crew?

    • Prince

      Most DNPU supporters are talking about vision.Lungu is not campaigning on VISION.He is campaigning on continuity.

      Vision definition: an experience of seeing someone or something in a dream or trance or as supernatural apparition.

      So the majority of Zambian voters are happy with Edgar’s and PF’s campaign message of continuity.

      2015 vote PF ( Edgar )

      I thank you

    • Most Zambians are not serious people and are very wasteful. Try and run a business with Zambian people especially being based abroad – they will make sure they get more than you even if you were the largest shareholder in the business until they run it aground. This wastefulness doesn’t end here as it is carried all the way up to the top of the political food chain. This is the mindset we need to change in the Zambian citizens way of thinking if we had to make a leaps and bounds in developing the country. It’s shameful and disorientating that a country that has been a beacon of democracy is now procrastinating an opportunity to allow the citizen ask their would be president about his or her policies and explain their electoral promises on camera. Kenya hosted a very power debate.

    • HH Come 2015 fire all those ZNBC *****s. Let them be reminded that ZNBC is a national TV station and not for ant Party. If prudent that they left because of PF, then they should apologize to all Zambians.

      Dullness goes down to institutions?? what a Country??

  2. Ba patel you are old school! are campaign rallies not debate? Look not many people watch ZNBC. new and better channels have come. do not waste your time with useless tv debates. Ba UPND thank God it did not take place your candidate does not even know how to talk.

    • @basila! U are a very big I’d.iot! U can’t see the importance of such debates in these modern times! Just becoz u benefit in a small way u force yourself not to look beyond yo ugly nose! Are those the questions a normal person can ask! How do u manage to be so stupid and dull! U like it or not u are gone into the archives! We mbwa iwe! Who do u think can vote for that drunken master apart u, who licks his sickly dirty ass!

    • OH MY GOD!!!! Dullness at these levels exists???? Basila please tell me you were joking with that drivel because if you were serious my friend I am obliged to shed a tear for this poor country. Dullness of this magnitude should be a prosecutable offence! Ati ‘are campaign rallies not debate???’ seriously mudala serious? Bushe walikwata na gelo iwe???

  3. this statement is coming from a Dipak Patel
    UPND Campaign Manager there fore can not taken as gospel truth of what transpired and besides if they were serious they would have gone ahead even without EL Bushe did EL carry the entire production and camera personnel ???

    • Exactly! Look, Mumba showed up, Nawakwi showed up. HH did not show up, why didn’t he? I do not see how Lungu comes into the frame.

    • Lord chakuti, HH was there. The only person who did not show up was sickly cowardly Lungu. Why would HH’s team lie about being there when the truth can be easily verified?? The only people who lie shamelessly and do not care about any verification of their lies are the PF. Please show me where it is stated that HH never showed up because from what I read, HH, Mumba, Nawakwi were all there. HH and Mumba actually left in mid-campaign to attend this debate because they knew it was only going to take a coupla hours and then they would continue their programmes. This tells me that bene Lungu’s excuse is shallow and reveals the scared little visionless man Lungu is.

    • I’m shocked at the levels of ignorance surrounding some bloggers on this forum. Don’t just support PF for the sake of it. Be issue-based.
      This debate should have highlighted the candidates’ views on important issues such as health,education, water and sanitation affection 90% of the innocent population which has evaded Zambia for long. Only yesterday,we had one PF leader legging it to SA for treatment for a blocked bladder-a simple 30 minutes procedure which can be undertaken at UTH! These are the people in power who can’t trust systems put in place by themselves and they run to other countries where political parties have got people with brains to put in good health care for their citizens. Humility,humility,yes put humility in power and continue dying like flies.

    • Appleseed

      Calling your fellow Zambians ignorant just because they support or belong to a different political party is not right. Let’s all refrain from name calling and learn to accept other people’s views and ideas. Even the dull and the Ignorant, they too have their story. I don’t think Edgar will garner even 50 votes if he wanted only the smart Zambians in the Diaspora to vote for him. So Mr Appleseed or whatever different screen name you might be using after January 20, my message to you is PLEASE STOP CALLING ZAMBIANS IGNORANT.

      2015 vote PF ( Edgar )

      I thank you

    • It appears that most UpDn supporters are of the opinion that those who support other parties, especially the PF are dull. Each time some one criticizes their “great leader”(you can not criticize the party because HH has become bigger than the party), instead of countering the argument, UpDn supporters come up with all sorts of insults. If that is the calibre of UpDn membership then I am afraid HH is going nowhere slowly.
      I understand like attracts like. hh is like his supporters, full of insults.
      VIVA PF

  4. It is not about PF interference. It was to be aired by Muvi so that is useless. Also, HH did not attend, Edgar Lungu did not attend. Chipimo was not invited. DO not blame others for poor organization. If you want a debate, make prior arrangement and respect others campaign programs!

    • How does HH continue with a televised debate when ZNBC packs up after Lugu fails to show?

      Perhaps you should read the article before commenting.

    • Continue what when your main rival is not there and the event won’t be recorded or broadcast therefore defeating the purpose of the whole thing. Are you people serious? Mumba and HH had to fly back from there campaigns and you think its a joke!!! Some times learn to advise your candidates instead of supporting whatever they are doing even if its wrong. Why did the PF sign the MOU committing to attend if they were not planning to do so?

  5. Mr Dipak Patel what was the major reason of President HH in participating to this debate? Embarrassing President EL or convincing the
    people of Zambia why they should vote for UPND?

    HH be careful with your advisers, they will make you cry on 20th January, 2015. We know already about PF, now we want to fully know about you so that we make informed decision.

    Refusing to debate because EL was not in attendance,surely this is
    a big joke of the day.

  6. Dipak, even if Chama signed that undertaking, it can be ignored as it is not a legal document. Why should Edgar leave an important schedule and come back to Lusaka to waste time? you started your campaigns earlier and therefore can interrupted them. As an electorate based in Zambia unlike some economic refugees on this forum, i am happy that Edgar did not come. Eloquence in the way you speak does not mean that you are a good leader. HH speaks well and does not have a heavy cow-dung tonga accent. That does not mean that he can lead, no he is a cow herder and cannot lead humans. Only ECL has a chance in this election. Go Lungu, go!!! I know you will start insulting me because you are hurt by the truth.

    • These are some of the commentaries I alluded to in my earlier blog.

      Bloggers who need to be given their own platform so that those who are no brainers can participate in their insulting ways.

      LT needs to quickly look into my suggestion, otherwise you lose readership. Quality readership and a health debate is the only sure way that your media will flourish.

      Mark my words you will not in the distant future revisit my suggestions, if no change is made.

    • So in your thinking, Lungu was campaigning in the night as well? Because that was the time the debate was to be held, at night. How did HH and Mumba manage to travel from their campaign trails?

    • I’m shocked at the levels of ignorance surrounding some bloggers on this forum. Don’t just support PF for the sake of it. Be issue-based.
      This debate should have highlighted the candidates’ views on important issues such as health,education, water and sanitation affection 90% of the innocent population which has evaded Zambia for long. Only yesterday,we had one PF leader legging it to SA for treatment for a blocked bladder-a simple 30 minutes procedure which can be undertaken at UTH! These are the people in power who can’t trust systems put in place by themselves and they run to other countries where political parties have got people with brains to put in good health care for their citizens. Humility,humility,yes put humility in power and continue dying like flies.

    • @salaula just like yo name tells you are Baboon herder infested by Ebola .You will keep on voting for Maggots to get fat at Embassy park.We the majority Zambia educated and wise we have refused to vote for yo Edgar Lungu and will prove it on 20th janaury,2015.Muntu ni HH chabe.

    • Excuse me folks if I digress…

      I would like to thank LT for providing us with an annual platform for airing our views, no matter what they are with the occasional edit performed and for those many cringe worthy headlines!

      I would also like to thank Jess and Wantansha for supporting me while I received my thousand paper cuts from the Professor of Doom with the pseudonym of the guy who collapsed the gold trade in Egypt with his visit.

      Happy new year to all bloggers of all persuasions. This includes the many who read and remain silent, past bloggers who made this platform what it is today and those who continue to exercise their freedom of speech in a manner we can only hope will be offered to all Zambians in the future.

      Wishing you all a happy and blessed new year!

    • A Phiri ana bwe: Happy new year everyone!

      Prof MM: You mean a novel amount of euphoria to each individual.

      Jessie WMT: What’s wrong with everyone?

      Katondo B: Edgar thanks you.

      Nyau: Happy new year A Phiri

      Patriot Abroad: Happiness is not universal.

      Jayjay: Let’s not discuss juvenile matters

      BR M: Peace and prosperity to my mother Zambia

      Saulosi: I am checking if it is a new year

      LT: None of you are worth editing.

      A Phiri ana bwe…: Can I say fool?

      LT: Ha ha ha ha ha Happee Nyoo Yeer

      Mushota: Nick and I thank you. BB2015

      Pretty: BB2014 is accurate

      Mwanawakwitu: I rarely agree with you but let’s be happy.

      SOS: What is the topic?

      Zeb de ze odd guyz: White men rule

      Dudelove: How hard is it to say happy?

      Lord V: Depends who…

    • Yamba Yamba: That is subjective

      John James: So what is the objective

      Chills: Why not be reflective?

      Appleseed: One must be effective

      Sara: Others are on the offensive

      Fititi: This guy sounds defensive

      Jimmy Jones: This quality of debate is destructive

      Wisdom: So say something constructive

      Spuds: Just make it relative

      Prince: Someone needs to take the initiative

      HAPPY NEW YEAR PEOPLE. Make a few resolutions you can break tomorrow. Thanks for being so entertaining especially when debating a debate!

  7. Dipak is putting his side of the too late. We heard several reasons as to why this debate failed. Elias didn’t like the criteria of being excluded simply on grounds of not having a parliamentary candidate representing his party. Some candidates did not like the fact that some presidential candidates weren’t going to attend and although they turned up, they decided not to participate if the debate went ahead. Reasons like (Madalitso hasnt gone to school, therefore am also not going) since my friend hasn’t gone to school am not going. Justice Ireen Mambilima was consulted we are told, and the advice was to go ahead with the debate anyway, but those present also developed cold feet. It was going to be an opportunity to gain the confidence of the electorate by demonstrating commitment.

  8. As we say goodbye to 2014 my wish is that the majority of Zambians should learn to read and understand rather than just ranting on every story. Many a times i have seen comments which clearly show the lack of a reading culture in our country e.g the comments on the story. Pay attention to DETAIL please my fellow countrymen and women. Happy 2015 to everyone.

  9. Y do we pay the monthly K3.00 TV levy? If I had my own way, I wud have stopped paying this K3.00. Anyway, wat wud u expect under PF! This is a party where abnormal looks normal.

  10. Allow me to share Mr,PF obituary on this day 21st January 2015: Patriotic Front was born in 2001, he was a very brutal and ruthless man due to his up bringing. He was always surrounded by his father’ s relatives. Like his father, he was always a denialist. He was always in the company of drunkards, Indian hemp smoke and vultures who always wanted to use him for their gain. Before his father died, PF was always involved in fights with his own brothers, sadly his father passed on denying that he was never sick. PF then became uncontrollable with everybody stabbing one another. His life turned for worse when his father’s successor who is a drunkard started to control things. PF was sent to his early grave by his relatives. He will forever gnash his teeth in hell. Peace at last!!!!!!

  11. Lungu chickened out of the debate because he cannot engage in a rational debate. He was supposed to grab the opportunity to explain to the people how he will integrate socio-economic strategies into an organized and prioritised national plan of action.

    Lungu has proved to the Zambian people that he has an intellectual disability.

    Only an intellectually impaired person can fail to see the importance of the debate.

  12. only f00ls will ever trust PF .There are just too many wrongs in PF such that even deaf people can hear and blind people can see them

  13. I’m shocked at the levels of ignorance surrounding some bloggers on this forum. Don’t just support PF for the sake of it. Be issue-based.
    This debate should have highlighted the candidates’ views on important issues such as health,education, water and sanitation affection 90% of the innocent population which has evaded Zambia for long. Only yesterday,we had one PF leader legging it to SA for treatment for a blocked bladder-a simple 30 minutes procedure which can be undertaken at UTH! These are the people in power who can’t trust systems put in place by themselves and they run to other countries where political parties have got people with brains to put in good health care for their citizens. Humility,humility,yes put humility in power and continue dying like flies.

  14. At times it’s difficult to appreciate why people are sooo ignorant. But when you flip the other side of the coin,you actually realise that people don’t know any better and the gloomy surroundings they live in has become normal and they have finally reached this ‘fatality’ mentality of its okey to continue suffering.
    The political leaders are also only happy to continue exploiting this mentality as they are greedy bastards. I am an advocated for better health and education. What you’ve to know is that you can go to SA for medical care,but when you’ve an acute severe illness requiring repatriation,no one will until you are stable. So politicians failure to improve health care in zambia eventually catches up and they die at home like a dog

  15. A face-saving and one-sided statement from Depak!

    If it was really about presenting UPND’s case to the people, the agreement was that if at least three candidates showed up the debate would go ahead. So what was the problem with HH debating NM and EW?

    Oh, now it was because of ZNBC’s? And of course with an invisible and mysterious hand of PF doing its magic behind the scenes. Really? And Depak expects people to believe this.

    I feel this whole thing was the brain-child of Depak himself. It looks like even HH was simply being dragged into this hoping that he can somehow humiliate Lungu.

    By the way, did they confirm with Edgar Lunga because I see that it was the PF Secretary General Davies Chama who signed the agreement. I understand EL was busy travelling/fundraising.



    On behalf of all Teacher Mother Bodies & Pupils in Zambia, we are asking you to consider using your influence to reschedule the 2015 Term One Reopening Time Table for Government Schools to reduce Syllabus Coverage Disturbance in schools because of the Presidential Elections.

    As Senior Academicians and Educationalists, we are suggesting that schools should NOT OPEN on 12th January 2015 but should OPEN on 26th January 2015. This is will allow teachers and pupils to cover the syllabi adequately as they will be no disturbances, because the Elections would have been over by that time.

    Allowing schools to open amidst heated Presidential campaigns…

    • Maria Education

      It’s not the first time that we are having elections in Zambia. We have had elections before and everything was smooth and all went well. Nothing to worry about…this is Zambia my dear friend. Election results will be announced in a shortest period of time as soon as all the votes are counted and verified by the ECZ.

      …and please I think it’s about time you started addressing Hon Edgar as The President of Zambia. Do we really need to argue about this????? I don’t think so.

      2015 vote PF ( Edgar )

      I thank you

  17. So did HH show up at the debates?????? To me it seems like Lungu is main man in these elections….”ifintu ni Lungu” “Ni Lungu chabe”

    …and actual voters on the ground in Mbala are really excited to have Lungu in their home town. DEBATE CAN WAIT FOR NOW…..January 20 is fast approaching…no time to engage in unnecessary arguments.

    90% of the people that wanted the debate won’t even vote coz most of them are behind their keyboards in the Diaspora and they desperately need ‘Debate’ headlines so they can comment on. Just come back home and vote for your preferred candidate and stop worrying about debate.

    These elections will be decided by votes from actual voters in Shangombo, Kaputa, Pemba, Chadiza, Sinazongwe, Mungule and not online bloggers.
    2015 vote PF ( Edgar…

  18. Meanwhile…Mbala is on fire right now….images coming to you very shortly. …unbelievable scenes

    2015 vote PF ( Edgar )

    I thank you

  19. useless arengement n useless platform.
    y dindnt it go ahead with or without lungus attendance?
    this y MCS HSRIP used to call f00lish under 5 n caculator boys,how can one candidate stop the all programe? those who where there should av taken advantage of lungus absence.but as asual these empty tin called patel is ans his visionless regional party want to make childish and cheap political milage.

  20. These debate was for Lungu and Hh others are just time waster .So Hh was smart .@siniormostman Hh has out smarted your plans wo.HH is very strategic.Start counting down Pf is gone.

  21. Why is Lungu not going to southern or northwesten.Hh will go back to Nothern and Luapula for the third time .GBM,HH,Mutati and Mucheleka will take northerm by storm on 5th janaury ,2015.

  22. Appleseed

    Promises….yes we have gone that route before and this time Zambian voters are not buying any more Promises.sorry!!!!!

    ” ichintu chintu umwene”

    ” a bird in hand is worth 2 in the bush”

    2015 vote PF ( Edgar )

    I thank you


  24. May someone educate me! was it meant to a Chagwa lungu debate or presidential debate? If it was to be lungu debate then too bad lungu did not make it. but if it was to be a presidential debate with or without ba lungu it should have taken off.

  25. Knowing how dull and docile Zambians are, they will still give this lunatic (lungu) a vote and start complaining 2 days later. What is wrong with these Zambians? Please open your eyes! wake up from slumber, stop being shy and gather courage.

  26. Nomba ba PF, instead of insulting Dipak for the article, why not ask EL what makes him fear the Debate. Even Nevers Mumba was available sure…. sure sure sure, Mwebantu!

  27. Bene Nawakwi, Mumba and Chipimo were merely curtain raisers,
    “Rabble-rousers” the main bout was meant to be between HH and EL.

    How could the match go on when the main contender was nowhere to be seen? HH entered the ring but his opponent was missing.

  28. This is bitterly disappointing as it has robbed us, undecided voters, to gauge the calibre and quality of our next President.

    I beg to differ with those that think the debate is worthless. It is an opportunity they should with both hands as it provides the platform to market themselves not only to Zambians but the international community as well.

    It is clear to me that even though HH showed up he was ill prepared becoz if he was it shouldn’t have mattered whether Lungu was there or not. The idea was to showcase to the Zambians and international community alike what developmental policies especially “promising” HH has instore for us. EL has nothing we know.

    EAZ could you pls reschedule this debate. Make it easier for them this time by giving them the topics and not questions…

  29. It just the matter of where you started from HH has started with his weakhold and end with places where he is,While Lungu has started with his stronghold and end with weakhold so do not compare those crowds ,wait to HH’s crowd In Choma,Monze etc compare like to like

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