Washington Post: Zambia Will Never be the same again, even if HH is acquitted

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Mr Hichilema counsels his wife Mutinta in court this morning.
Mr Hichilema counsels his wife Mutinta in court this morning.

By professor Michael Wahman (University of Missouri)

A Zambian opposition leader was arrested, but there are deeper cracks in the country’s democracy.

When Zambian opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema was arrested last month and charged with treason, the world took notice. Granted, Zambia has never been a model democracy, but this degree of government repression was far out of the ordinary.

Zambia, despite its corruption and weak political institutions, is in fact known for relatively high levels of democratic stability. Elections in Zambia have been competitive. When President Rupiah Banda lost the 2011 election, for instance, he peacefully handed over power to the opposition.

In the past, the judiciary and other political institutions have displayed independence in relation to the president. The government has generally respected Zambia’s free press.

So how are we supposed to understand Hichilema’s arrest? Is this a minor aberration — or a serious indication of democratic deterioration?

It is too early to tell what the consequences of the charges against Hichilema will be. On April 11, he was charged on three counts. He was subsequently acquitted on one count — using insulting language against police officers. Still pending is a verdict on the more serious charge of treason.

Although the Lusaka Magistrate Court found that the treason charge had no substance, the magistrate refused to dismiss the case, citing that only the High Court had the right to do so. Treason charges do not permit bail, so Hichilema remains in police custody. Further hearings have been adjourned until May 22.

Zambia’s democracy is showing other cracks

There’s more to this story, though. Observers of Zambian politics have identified a much broader process of democratic erosion and government repression in Zambia, where the independence of political institutions have been undermined. Here are some examples:

Zambia’s 2016 elections turned into a controversial affair, with allegations of fraud and unprecedented levels of violence. The incumbent, President Edgar Lungu, benefited from undue financial and legal advantages. Hichilema, the opposition candidate, challenged the results in court, but the petition was ultimately thrown out on a technicality. And there was an added dispute — the president had appointed a number of controversial judges shortly before the election, bringing into question the Constitutional Court’s independence.

The state also attacked the independent media, while the official state media remained heavily biased in favor of the incumbent. When the Zambia Revenue Authority closed down the pro-opposition Post Newspaper last year, due to unpaid taxes, it silenced a voice that was critical of the incumbent regime. The timing, in the midst of a closely fought election campaign, seemed highly suspicious to many observers and international actors.

Civil society groups have also found themselves under attack. The government has tried to meddle in the internal affairs of the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ), an outspoken critic against the breakdown of the legal order. In a controversial move, lawyers with close association to the ruling party tried to impeach the LAZ council and its president.

The 2016 constitution augmented these problems

Perhaps the most severe recent blow to Zambian democracy is the 2016 amended constitution. The constitution was enacted just a few months before the general election with limited consultation with the opposition and civil society. A number of Zambia’s presidents had recognized the need to replace the 1996 constitution, which concentrated significant amounts of power in the executive. Previous efforts to amend the constitution had failed — perhaps in part because it wasn’t really in their interests to change this.

However, the 2016 constitution did nothing to increase the separation of powers. On the contrary, it extended the president’s powers. For instance, the 2016 constitution entitles Zambia’s president to make virtually all important appointments including, for instance, commissioners to the electoral commission and judges to the Constitutional Court. It grants the president powers to change administrative divisions, a frequent tactic in Africa to indirectly shift electoral boundaries. The new constitution also permits the president to dissolve parliament.

The amended constitution was enacted with surprisingly little resistance from the opposition and civil society. International actors voiced no serious concern over the content of the constitution and the debate surrounding the constitution focused on some minor changes to the electoral system.

The constitution is also vague on Lungu’s legal right to seek reelection for a third term. Lungu came to power through a by-election in 2015 and was reelected for a full term in 2016. Whether Lungu’s abbreviated first term should count toward the two-term limit is disputed. Lungu has indicated he intends to run again in 2021.

Zambia is not the only democracy under attack.

These problems, however, suggest Zambia is not that dissimilar to other countries experiencing democratic erosion. In Hungary, for instance, President Viktor Orbán has concentrated power by undermining civil society, academia and the free press. Similarly, democracy in Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey has deteriorated to such an extent that the country can no longer be

So Zambia, Hungary and Turkey all exemplify the ways in which democracy tends to fall apart in the 21st century. In the past, coups used to be the most imminent threat against the survival of democracy, but Zambia and other cases illustrate how democracy can suffer gradual deterioration. The independence of democratic institutions is slowly chipped away while presidential powers are extended.

Levels of repression in Zambia may decline, the charges against Hichilema may be dropped, and attacks against civil society and the media may become less frequent. Nevertheless, the damage to Zambian democracy through formal changes to its legal institutions will not be easily undone. Institutions unfairly favoring those in power tend to survive, even in states that are formally democratic and reasonably competitive. Politicians, in developing and developed countries alike, cling to provisions that increase their prospects to remain in office.

Is it now too late for international concern to have an impact? Zambian civil society will need support from international actors and donors to prevent further democratic deterioration. Any attempts to solve the crisis will have to deal with the root causes of the current crisis — the country’s biased political institutions and inadequate constitutional framework.

Michael Wahman an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Missouri, specializes in elections, democratization and African.

106 COMMENTS

    • +29
      -21
      vote

      I just completed my PhD

      Here is my expert take on this.

      We seem to be scared to be associated with an undemocraric country – the question is why ?

      China, Canada, Japan, South Korea, North Korea are just some of the most attitude well versed country that are world class players and democracy is not quiet the word you would describe those country is it ?

      Democracy is just a filler for texbooks

      It is a myth, it doesn’t matters.

      A country should be governed and respected by its cultural tennets.

      Zambia is a country accustomed to discipline anyone not following the rule of law

      To sidestep that will be welcoming democracy and that doesn’t work.

      Let me summarise this in Zambian English

      We don’t need a democratic zambia to be successful

      To hell with…

    • +28
      -23
      vote

      With the Washington post.

      We have done the rigt thing

      Keep him incarcerated and sentence him to D….
      If found guilty for heaven sake

      Thanks

      BB2014,2016

    • +31
      -15
      vote

      Why is this Professor not writing about the fissures in American Democracy? Is Trump the elephant in the room? University of Missouri what is that a community college, who qualified to professor to write about Zambia?

      Don’t allow every Tom, Dick and Harry to degrade Zambia just because they are white. Learn to guard and protect your sovereignty you brain dead Zambians!

    • +22
      -11
      vote

      University charters promote freedom of speech and opinion be they sensible or dangerously drivel. This shallow opinion is a manifest of what happens when personal zeal and protruding ignorance have their way in an idealist who has come to believe that coming from a Professor would make Zambians buy every drivel. What does he know about Zambia other than parroting from blogs?

    • +21
      -17
      vote

      The connotation of perceiving Lungu as being a dictator is right.

      There is nothing wrong with being a dictator.

      people on here come and sing, that Lungu is a Dictator, well let him be. he is not a murderer, he is not a Masonist, let alone committed a Treason offence.

      There is nothing wrong being a Dictator, people need to learnt more to understand this. Zambians thinks being a Dictator is wrong – why?
      1)In a dictatorship, since the decision-making lies with only one person and others do not have any say in the working of the government, it offers a kind of stability to the country.
      2) A dictator is very stringent with regards to the rules, regulations, penalties, punishments, and rewards. This makes the people working under him less liable to corruption
      —-

    • +28
      -18
      vote

      3)When a country faces any kind of emergency, such as a war or a health epidemic, a dictatorship government can prove to be the most efficient one. The reason being that all the decisions are taken by one person,
      4)there is more development because there are no obstacles to slow down the process.
      5)Most dictatorship governments are police states. In a way, therefore, there is low crime rate under such regimes.

      People associated Lungu with Dictatorship are fine, but do not thing this has a negative connotation to it.

      Either you are unlearned or ignorant

      I have a PhD

      Thanks

      BB2014,2016

    • +16
      -14
      vote

      It is undoubted that the sitiation in Zambia has deteriorated terribly and respect for the rule of law is out of the window. The rule of the jungle is whats obtaining. We have a bunch of dysfunctional individuals ruling the country and a very weak opposition that has lamentably failed to make much of an impact on the political scene. Most individuals are too timid to speak out against the wrongs that are being committed by the ruling PF composed most of ill-educated thuggish rubbish. I totally agree with the author’s view that the damage to Zambian democracy through formal changes to its legal institutions will not be easily undone. Institutions are currently unfairly favoring those in power.

    • +16
      -13
      vote

      What a poor article designed to paint bad picture of Zambia. We had 27 years of 1 party rule & no democracy & this prof thinks Zambia had always been a democracy. He clearly hasn’t compared current constitution with one before amendment. Constitution court is final authority on constitutional issues & just like for US Supreme Court judges are appointed by the President subjected to verification by legislature. How can this be wrong Zambia & good for USA. What A bigoted article. Thankfully Zambia is God country & such articles will not define us. God Bless Zambia!

    • +8
      -8
      vote

      Mr professor, your article clearly shows that you are HH sympathizer, why cant you people just come in open and say free HH unlike hide and talk in the name of democracy. talk of the constitution amendment, if i can recall very well, its HH and his minions who campaigned tirelessly for the amendment of the constitution thinking that when the constitution is amended it will favor him win an election. After the amendment, he realized that the amend constitution was favoring the siting president hence he changed his colors like a chameleon and start campaigning for removal of some of the amended clauses in the constitution. Talk of rule of law and human rights, the same person (HH) de-campaigned for the referendum in the 2016 election which contains the bill of rights. All these happenings…

    • +9
      -5
      vote

      Unbelievable, are we being ‘PUNKED’ or this is for real?!

      I say so because the author claims to be, and I quote: “Michael Wahman an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Missouri, specializes in elections, democratization and African”

      *** Never heard of a specialty called “AFRICAN” in my life. What the heck is that? And yet he wants to claim to know so much about Zambia and her Constitutional making history and process.

    • +8
      -2
      vote

      continue:
      Quote: “[The Constitution]…grants the president powers to change administrative divisions, a frequent tactic in Africa to indirectly shift electoral boundaries…”

      *** Now you understand why I think we are being “punked”, right? What does this have anything to do with advantaging a certain candidate or Party in an election in our Zambian context? Unlike the U.S.A, Zambian elections are based on the POPULAR VOTE and not the ELECTORAL COLLEGE as practiced in America. So even if the President created ten (10) more Provinces or Districts, how does that Advantage him/her in an Election dependent on the total number of votes cast (Countrywide) and whoever gets 50% + 1 of the votes wins?! How is that a Presidential power that advantages anybody including the incumbent? I…

    • +5
      -3
      vote

      continue:

      I think the Professor is CONFUSING the “JERRY MEANDERING” of Constituent borders that goes on in America. Done by Political Parties to advantage themselves during elections (essentially drawing Constituent boundaries that excludes large concentrations of members of the other Party) and effectively boost their numbers in Congress. TALK ABOUT OWNING AND KNOWING THE “STUFF” YOU WANT TO LECTURE PEOPLE ABOUT!

    • +5
      -3
      vote

      continue:

      Quote: “…The new constitution also permits the president to dissolve parliament…”

      *** How about reading the old (previous) Zambian Constitutions before making UNSUBSTANTIATED claims which simply makes you look silly and uninformed. By the way, how many Parliamentary systems of Govt in the world have these powers vested in the President? Because I am pretty certain it is NOT only Zambia who have done this.

    • +5
      -3
      vote

      continue:

      Quote: “…the 2016 constitution entitles Zambia’s president to make virtually all important appointments including, for instance, commissioners to the electoral commission and judges to the Constitutional Court…”

      *** I understand people who don’t understand other Countries governance systems tend to want to always use the term APPOINTMENT in regards to every choice (person) the President makes. And reserve terms such as NOMINATE to Countries we think are Democracies. But what this “acclaimed” Professor doesn’t know is that, just like in America, The President NOMINATES people to certain positions (ECZ Commissioners, Judges and the like) who then have to be CONFIRMED by members of Parliament (the Legislature) where those in Opposition Parties (Opposition MPs) have…

    • +6
      -3
      vote

      continue:

      … a say. Of course numbers from each Party plays a big role here. Just like it is done in the U.S Congress (the U.S Senate.) Just recently we were treated to a spectacle in the U.S Senate when Republicans did have enough votes to confirm a Supreme Court Judge, and what did they do? Resorted to the so called NUCLEAR OPTION—there is Democracy for you!

    • +4
      -3
      vote

      continue:

      Quote: “…Civil society groups have also found themselves under attack. The government has tried to meddle in the internal affairs of the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ), an outspoken critic against the breakdown of the legal order…”

      ***I may be behind on current affairs in Zambian, but which “Civil society groups” have been under siege by the Govt lately? Also, can someone tell me if LAZ is considered a “Civil society” organization or it is MORE THAN THAT? With all due respect to the Professor, why IGNORE a FULL THROTTLED Statement made by the Justice Minister, Mr. Lubinda, during one of LAZ’s meetings in Livingstone that Govt does NOT support the shenanigans by a few LAZ members to splinter the organizations. Why is it so difficult for the Professor to believe…

    • +4
      -1
      vote

      continue:

      … this is the OFFICIAL Govt position on this? As a professor with “African” as one of his specialties, he shouldn’t allow his preconceived prejudices and stereotypes about Africa and African Govts cloud his analysis and understanding of issues.

    • +3
      -2
      vote

      Quote: “…The constitution is also vague on Lungu’s legal right to seek reelection for a third term…Whether Lungu’s abbreviated first term should count toward the two-term limit is disputed. Lungu has indicated he intends to run again in 2021…”

      *** It is interesting that someone who has lived under a Constitution (the U.S Constitution) several centuries old and still being debated and Constitutional cases arising and showing up at the U.S Supreme Court can see something wrong about a Constitutional issue being debated by Zambians whose Constitution is only “Months” old. This issue was taken to Court and the Courts will surely give its OPINION soon. And everyone will have to live with the Court decision. By the way, did the Professor expect a Constitution written in such a way…

    • +4
      -1
      vote

      continue:

      … as to accommodate a “TRANSITIONAL” President who finds him/herself in a unique position of being affected by both the Old and the New Constitution? Where in the world is a Constitution written that way? In fact, if the Professor has not taken time to read the Zambian Constitution, he do it before he decides to write other “shallow” piece on Zambia. Because the Constitution adequately deals with this “problem”, if you can even call it that—it is simply a matter of INTERPRETATION. People will always have differences of opinion on Constitutional matters (just as it is in the U.S of A.), and we set up the Constitutional Court for that!

    • +4
      -1
      vote

      who appoints the Supreme court judges in the USA?Do you see the acrimony that goes in congress and senate over these appointments?Democracy my foot!This proffessor reads the WatchDog,Zambian Observer ,MAST and Lusaka Times

    • +3
      -3
      vote

      What kind of PHD has Mushota completed. I guess it must be a PHD in Hatred for HH and other tribes (Lozis, Tongas, Northwesterners) other than her/his tribe (Bemba) and their cousins from the east. Because for me a person with a PHD would not be spewing the ru.bbish this Mushota spews. To me people with PHDs are supposed to be busy people discussing big ideas not hatred to a fellow human.

    • +5
      -4
      vote

      PROFESSOR MICHAEL WAHMAN (UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI) IS VERY MUCH ALIEN TO OUR DEMOCRATIC DISPENSATION AND PROCESS.
      ================================
      In the chills of thriving Zambian democracy, ignorant educated colonial wolves are trying to paint a bizzare picture about our noble country. Zambia has had political extremists sized to their normal size by our trusted institutions of governance. No one is above the law. Not even ECL. Well, in Zambia, when someone errs, we have barometer institutions to test and measure their level of mischief. If they are tried and found innocent, so be it. The SUN will not change its rising direction in Zambia as you suggest. You don’t understand Zambian demographics I suppose.

    • +3
      -1
      vote

      Yaba!!!!! Oh Yabaaaaaaa as the Flingstones would shout … Oh Yaba!!!! I have never seen anything this shallow coming from someone with a PhD. No pan intended … I don’t have one and I still can excogitate at a higher level than this.

      Among the smart people of the Zambian Enterprise, this Prof would be laughed out aloud out of a room by even 2nd graders. For instance, Prof W or Whatever you are called, please pay Mmembe’s back taxes and the ZRA will cease and desist.

      You mentioned a technicality as the reason the ConCourt discontinued the petition!!!! How dull is that??? Did you also know that the same constitution has a 14 day period. Half truths all the way … mwa litumpa ba Professor imwe … mwileka tu ng’oze mbwa

  1. +14
    -7
    vote

    Such a personal opinion is no different to what our own learned intellectuals think about him and other countries. Doesn’t he know that Zambia has many of her highly educated sons and daughters some even leading minds within the faulty this opinionated Professor is lecturing? Iniversities are governed by Charters and such opinions are free flowing even without dots to truth.

    • +15
      -14
      vote

      Lungu is a dictator and murderer. He and his militia murdered Mapenzi and Choongwa. He has attempted to murder HH and Siandenge. You are watching and not complaining until when he comes for you. It will then be too late.

    • +9
      -7
      vote

      Buck Teeth,
      You are one of the dullest people in Zambia or the world. Every country runs by laws and if chaps like you don’t want to follow the laws then they must face the consequences. Unfortunately Mapenzi had to die but this should be a lesson to your kind.
      When Zambia elects a president, the country moves on. But HH is up to no good.

    • +4
      -7
      vote

      @ shu shu shu,

      You’re worse.just go and drink junta like your master Chakolwa Kadansa Kamwendo Lungu who is a murderer…

    • +2
      -1
      vote

      Ba PF chamikalipa.Ba PUSHI we are coming for you ask Gadafi and Sadamu were they?Whose ka Lungu epilepsy?if not a little rat.

  2. vote

    PF have raped Zambia’s democracy credentials and I totally agreed with the Washington post, vengeance has been planted in Zambia because not using qualified political analyst when with sensitive political issues. This issue could have been approached differently maybe house arrest.

  3. +10
    -3
    vote

    I don’t totally agree with this author. Using the law of reversal, I believe there’s nothing impossible if we want to redraft our destiny. Zambia was once colonized, where are the colonial masters? Tanzania is doing it, what is the excuse in Zambia? The author thinks there are no credible people to turn this country around. I say no to this. No, no, no!!! We are not that incapable. Don’t buy into this kind of mind set fellow Zambians! We are better that this.

  4. +11
    -9
    vote

    Prof.Michael Wahman came up with this personal opinion after reading ZWD and Fred M’membe’s Mast online.
    His one sided opinion has no truth in it.HH is not the only opposition leader in Zambia.moreover,PF didnt put a gun on HH’s head in Mongu to behave in such a bad manner!!British HC openly told the world that HH’s mongu behaviour was very provocative,so who is Prof.Wahman from New York to rant like this?its us Zambians to decide whether our democracy is ok or not fine.Nobody in USA can listen to any Zambian concerns about American democracy,so why these people always rant on issues which do not concern their countries?
    I would have appreciated Prof.Wahman if he commented on HH’s weird behaviour after 2016 elections.HH&GBM have been behaving like wounded lions after losing 2016…

    • +11
      -11
      vote

      The author has provided reasons to support his claims. What about you? Do you have any reasons to support your conclusion? So, you just write for the sake of writing? You need to go back to school to learn argumentation and critical thinking in order to understand issues and be open minded. The way you approach issues demonstrate that you lack critical thinking disposition. You too readily satisfied with some uselessly vague response to serious issues. You need to have a critical spirit, reflective, or mindful of whatever goes on.

    • +6
      -2
      vote

      True, Njimbu. @lipkwa: What reasons support this professor’s claims?? Falsities??
      1. “Civil society groups have also found themselves under attack. The government has tried to meddle in the internal affairs of the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ)…WHEN DID LAZ BECOME A CIVIL SOCIETY GROUP??????
      2. “Perhaps the most severe recent blow to Zambian democracy is the 2016 amended constitution. The constitution was enacted just a few months before the general election with limited consultation with the opposition and civil society…AFTER 2011, PARLIAMENT CONSISTED OF 3 PARTIES WITH PF HOLDING ONLY 42% OF SEATS THE REST WAS OPPOSITION. WHEN MCS INTRODUCED THE TECHNICAL COMMITTEE, IT WAS DEBATED AND PASSED BY THESE THREE PARTIES. IN 2015 UPND LAUNCHED A VICIOUS CAMPAIGN SUPPORTED BY CIVIL…

    • +2
      -1
      vote

      …SOCIETY TO PUSH THEN PRESIDENT LUNGU TO ENACT THE AMMENDED CONSTITUTION WHICH HE DID; HOW CAN THIS PROFESSOR SAY TODAY THERE WAS NO CONSULTATION????
      lipkwa, Njimbu has a point because these foreigners are being fed biased information and are blundering badly in their opinions; Compare with the British High Commissioner who is on the ground and sees what is happening everyday. YOU ARE THE ONE WHO REQUIRES CRITICAL THINKING AS YOU PREFER TO LISTEN TO A FOREIGN PROFESSOR WHO CARES LESS ABOUT THIS COUNTRY AND MORE ABOUT GAINING FAVOUR FROM HIS PEERS IN AMERICA BY WRITING DRAMATIC STORIES ABOUT AFRICA!!!

  5. +10
    -5
    vote

    It is factual that Zambia has deteriorated to unexpected levels where the powers that be advance reckless arguments with implausible reasons premised on accusations and, irrelevant uncalled for threats in many forms. A leader continuously alludes to his law degree whenever he is confronted with facts pertaining to unorthodox leadership styles, and turns around to play as a victim. He is a victim of his own circumstances, but he rather elects to shift the blame to the opposition and, blames Tonga people and other members of certain tribes who refuse to follow the status quo. He weaves the above tricks insomuch as to maintain and sustain his followers(disciples) and, he also anticipates that the PF rank and file can be bloated like a snowball through undemocratic procedures.

  6. +11
    -7
    vote

    Such illiteracy levels amongst these foreign academia is sickening. The guy says there was limited consultation over the constitution. What is wrong with these people who write stories outside the country. This is so lame and crazy.

    • +6
      -8
      vote

      Come on! Who is an illiterate between you and the author? Besides being emotional, what reasons have provided to rebut the author’s claims?

  7. +8
    -5
    vote

    What a load of RUBBISH, VERY SHALLOW ANALYSIS and OUT OF TOUCH WITH REALITY! I believe this article IS NOT WRITTEN BY ANY AMERICAN PROFESSOR but a ZAMBIAN with political inclinations hiding under this identity, wanting to show that the OUTSIDE WORLD IS TALKING about what is happening. The article fails to tell us how Zambia will never be the same again? Now does this same person know that the person he is talking about has been the 1st opposition leader to insult judges, international and church monitoring groups,electoral commissions, regional economic groupings, AU and UN and is the 1st one to face treason charges as a legitimate opposition leader? If that is what he means then he is right, Zambia will never be the same again bcoz PEOPLE NOW KNOW HOW NOT BEHAVE AFTER LOSING ELECTIONS!

  8. +3
    -2
    vote

    Democracy can take many firms to suit the level of advancement if the people. In some countries, just allowing people to vote should be enough!

    • +4
      -3
      vote

      Corrections…….can take Many forms.

      To be frank the Zambian Multi Party project has proven not a successful model because Leadership in opposition is about Tribal war. People are just not advanced enough for complex democracy.

  9. +11
    -4
    vote

    I totally agree with Mushota.
    Democracy is just a myth.if anything,many African countries are not ready for democracy because of poverty.all politicians in African countries want to be the ones in power.nobody wants to give chance to his or her fellow politician who wins to work in peace.these politicians would happy subjecting us to daily elections(if its not me in office,then tomorrow Zambians must go to the ballot until i win)!!DEMOCRACY IN AFRICA IS HELL.MANY POLITICIANS ARE NOT MATURE.IF CITIZENS ARE NOT CAREFUL & MATURE,CIVIL WARS CAN BE THE ORDER OF THE DAY IN AFRICA!!
    so its better to be like Japan,China,Russia,Canada,etc FOR THE SAKE OF PEACE&DEVELOPMENT!!Hence,Prof.Wahman never think that our democracy can be at the same level with USA-never!!WE’RE MILES AWAY!!

    • +3
      -5
      vote

      Hogwash posts by you and mushota .Democracy and rule of law go together cuz unelected leaders often don’t feel the need to be accountable or respect other institutions.

  10. +6
    -4
    vote

    It is childish for any reasonable person to dwell on lies, especially when such accounts are poorly constructed or clumsily concocted and inserted in a pool of usual falsehoods. Prior to or after said we do not see any principal logic in promoting and augmenting falsehoods concerning a person, just because he or she furthers a logical (coherent) idea which is designed to effect change for the downtrodden. The achievements of one person should not be turned against him and his tribe (Tonga), rather observers and spectators ought to take a leaf from top achievers and, transform it into their own accomplishments. Unfortunately, grinding poverty and a string of failures of many PF politicians in respect to managing the Zambian economy prudently, cause them to castigate brother HH.

  11. +5
    -4
    vote

    “the judiciary and other political institutions have displayed independence” Mscheew , Mr Michael Wahman what about the open defiance of court order by PF govt to hand RB his passport back?

  12. +8
    -9
    vote

    The writer of the Article is spot on. With flawed,disputed and Petitioned 2016 Elections, Zambia’s Constitutional Democracy is under threat. The illegitimate Lungu Regime has already blocked the Petition Hearing Process,has arrested and imprisoned HH on trumped up Treason charges, has indicated that the Courts have been directed by Lungu not to free HH until he withdraws the Petition from the Courts and has recognized Lungu as the Legitimate President b4 the Petition is heard. This means there is no longer Rule of Law in Zambia, no respect for Constitutionalism,Good Governance and no more respect for Human Rights. Zambia under illegitimate Lungu is now a One Man Party Dictatorship and a Failed Police State. Dictator Lungu is now Ruling Zambia with an Iron Fist. Chapwa!!

  13. +5
    -3
    vote

    @Bwafyaa:you are 100% right.this article is from a UPND media team hiding behind a fake Prof.Michael Wahman.
    Zambian democracy has gone to the dogs!!
    Indeed our multi-party project is about tribal war.Zambians are not advanced enough for complex democracy!!!
    Today we have Prof.Doctors,learned Zambians supporting political parties on tribal line.you would find Prof.Mutale or Dr.Sakala being pro PF.same Prof.Hambulo or Dr.Kayekesi being full time upnd cadre.THIS IS HOW THE SO CALLED DEMOCRACY HAS DIVIDED MOTHER ZAMBIA-ITS HELL!!!99% Zambians from Southern,western&N/Western saw nothing wrong with what HH did in Mongu or those daily provocations after losing 2016 elections.but,a lot of Zambians in 6.5 provinces blamed HH for that.SO OUR DEMOCRACY IS SIMPLY A TRIBAL BATTLE!!

  14. +5
    -2
    vote

    This Professor if at all he is genuine is useless to say the least. Not academic at all. As a scholar his writing requires a balanced and factual analysis with statistics or tangible data. Sadly his lacks any of that. For instance what is his basis of claiming Zambia is corrupt? Why cant he also talk about the positives of our constitution?

    • +2
      -2
      vote

      @ Mzee,

      Zambia does practices and has embraced INSTITUTIONAL CORRUPTION as a way of life. If you do not believe in that, then you are either blind, hypocrite or member of the CORRUPTED gang pretending to be democrats.

    • +2
      -2
      vote

      As to “…positives of our constitution…” , shall we start from Index? The most useless piece of legislation in the history of independent Zambia.

  15. +6
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    vote

    I rarely concur with many Americans and their institutions, especially the US print and electronic media because it is largely unfactual and, I am also very critical given the fact that narratives are not caste on stones. Nonetheless, the Washington Post is correct about Edgar Lungu and the PF hierarchy. The current political landscape in Zambia which is being engineered by the PF is like cancer. Moreover, cancer survives by inserting itself in its host, ironically, it kills the host. Thus, cancer destroys itself unconsciously. The preceding brief analogical argument reflects or mirrors the modus operandi of PF. Put differently, the PF is currently sucking the honey juicy from a bee hive with the intention of transforming itself into a hornet so that it can kill other small bees that…

  16. +3
    -2
    vote

    Is there a honorary professorship? One gets to wonder some of these so-called professors. Professor chakuti chkuti, I think you have more problems with your president than us. Please leave us alone. In fact you should be happy for us that our country is more peaceful.

  17. +5
    -3
    vote

    Put differently, the PF is currently sucking the honey juicy from a bee hive with the intention of transforming itself into a hornet so that it can kill other small bees that produce the honey juicy. Such a move is paradoxical and always ends in futility

  18. +3
    -2
    vote

    This personal opinion by a writer who hardly knows anything about Zambia must have been talking about Congo DRC or Rwanda or Uganda! These countries have never been the same!

  19. +3
    -2
    vote

    Put in another way, UPND is a party with no idea of how to be in opposition and plan to win election! They major in confusion and confusion is its leadership’s name. Look at its MPs who boycott when a President addresses Parliament! Look at the leader who store money from privatization! Look at a party that wanted to destroy the nation after losing an election! It is not a factor in Zambia! Zambia will be better without UPND.

  20. +4
    -5
    vote

    Zambia was peaceful until the PF emerged from nowhere and, subsequently rose to power in 2011. It is everyone’s business to analyse a deviant and an outlandish political landscape which was juxtaposed by the PF. All PF members and supporters must contend relevant matters on the basis of facts and informed decisions, as opposed to being emotional and reactionary. The professor who authored the above master piece is a learned scholar and, a qualified political analyst with a strong judicial background in legal matters in international law and procedural law. The Zambian law has its origins in the archaic English law. The majority of PF members and supporters must go back to school and receive quality education which is not rot but critical and research-based.

  21. +2
    -3
    vote

    “Zambia’s 2016 elections turned into a controversial affair, with allegations of fraud and unprecedented levels of violence. The incumbent, President Edgar Lungu, benefited from undue financial and legal advantages.”

    And we want a seat on the United Nations Security Council?

  22. +3
    -3
    vote

    Warned you PF cadres 2016 stolen results is not about HH or UPND its about Zambia’s democracy. True to the article Zambia will never be the same with or without HH or UPND. A dark dent is stuck.

  23. vote

    Mushota must be mad…..IT is not true that you have CIMA….CIMA members don’t speak rubbish….you may be ACCA because I have heard some ACCA members speak rubbish….you may have a PhD in foolishness

  24. +2
    -3
    vote

    What is happening in Zambia is not right! Even a village cannot be run this way! State Institutions are being abused to get at political opponents. This is completely wrong! As far as I’m concerned I do not know who won the 2016 Presidential election until the petition is heard! Period! The Electrol Commission of Zambia completely undermined its own credibility beyond repair! ECZ is now a huge embarrassment and cannot handle any credible elections without fundamental transformation. It is a big shame. We don’t even need an outsider to tell us that.

  25. +3
    -3
    vote

    It is abundantly clear that some of us do not flaunt pride and accusations. Such qualities separate grandiose individuals from the average types with first degrees or higher degrees which do not exceed a PhD. A PhD is a minimum qualification in academic circles, yet, most PF members and sympathizers brag about a PhD. Study further post a PhD level for a minimum period of seven years and, if you still have the energy spend fifteen years or more post a PhD level at a highly ranked university. Afterwards, start bragging about your academic achievements, as opposed to lamenting about an illusion to completion. Viva brother HH

    • +3
      0
      vote

      Len Joe, you’re correct. I don’t even think that person has a PHD. A person with proper thinking and knowledge cannot analyse issues like this. This PHD holder seems to be a mad person who’s obsession is education. Dull and very uninformed, the PHD holder thinks Canada, South Korea and Japan are dictatorships and thinks there’s nothing wrong with being a dictator.

    • +3
      -1
      vote

      @ Len Joe
      You are spot on. In Zambia people believe that Ph.D. is a big deal. I beg to differ because as one who undertook 2 postdoctoral positions after completing the Ph.D. I realized just how much humility we need to demonstrate. There is just too much stuff that remains unknown for anyone to be so stuck up with a Ph.D. It’s an entry level qualification for research and my argument is unless one can demonstrate (NOT tell!) what one has done beyond Ph.D. in terms of research and patents filed, one might just do well to shut up and go on with a quite life without telling the whole world about a Ph.D. when there are so many others out there with that entry-level degree.

  26. +4
    -4
    vote

    I am very assertive and I will never subscribe to PF verbose and lies. Quality education is total empowerment to any person. I do not look for associates or friends. In fact. influential and highly educated persons with bloated pockets seek much sought after expertise from me. I am more than comfortable. Long live brother HH and UPND.

  27. +1
    0
    vote

    What? Which country remains the same?
    The USA, the UK, France, Germany; none remains the same.

  28. +3
    -2
    vote

    “The incumbent, President Edgar Lungu, benefited from undue financial and legal advantages”
    THE SO CALLED PROFESSOR MAKES A WILD STATEMENT LIKE THIS WITHOUT EVIDENCE
    AND HIS WRITING DOES NOT SOUND SCHOLARLY. I DOUBT IF THIS IS COMING FROM A PROFESSOR. HOW MANY OPPOSITION LEADERS HAVE BEEN IMPRISONED IN ZAMBIA? AND WHAT HAS THAT DONE TO OUR IMAGE. GREAT MEN LIKE KK, KAPWEPWE, NKUMBULA WERE IMPRISONED BEFORE AND NOTHING HAPPENED. WHAT ABOUT THE MAN HH WHO COMES ON THE SCENE WITH A CONCOCTED STORY OF “STOLEN VOTES” WHICH CANNOT BE PROVED IN TWO WHOLE WEEKS AND A BACKLOG OF LOSES AT THE POLLS..

  29. +2
    -4
    vote

    Sorry for those who think the article was written by UPND media. The story is on the Washington Post website

    • +1
      0
      vote

      Nimwebo mwachiba pela mwembwamwe ! That Author is a non-entity ! Infact he has been sent by Bushiri

  30. +4
    -1
    vote

    The Washington Post has also taken note of the fact that GBM has fled UPND after being plainly told that a Bemba cannot not head UPND, thats why bo Milupi has been given executive powers to lead UPND whilst the richest inmate remains behind bars !

  31. +1
    0
    vote

    @Prof Wahman be balanced in your criticism though I might agree that the state media would do better to be more independent the matters to do with HH’s conduct are beyond mere political victimisation. Had been honest with yourself you would’ve mentioned HH’s conduct and call for violence amongst his supporters after the elections- even BBC reported his supporters attacking members of the ruling Party in their strongholds, other attacks leading to deaths of non UPND members have been recorded. Now with all due respect when you add to that the recent incident in Mongu that could’ve resulted in a fatal accident what does that tell you about the state of mind of this Human Hyena (HH)?

  32. +1
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    vote

    So what u useful full..ati ni ba professor. Go tell such sh.it to Trump…

  33. +3
    0
    vote

    1. Professor Wahman, take it from me, you are only soiling your name. This HH and hus Mutinta are just spoilt little donkeys. Why dont you make yourself useful by doing a research into why HH keeps losing elections, what went wrong with his strategy for the 2016 elections where he thought that conditions were ripe for him to become President? Otherwise you will join my lust of donkeys.
    2. My other comment is that you are insulting us Zambians and we dont take kindly to colonial minds I can assure you. You and your ilk have ensured that politically HH is buried forever, whether he is released from correction or not.

  34. +4
    0
    vote

    This biased Professor is the reason why Supreme Leader HH of the UPND loses elections because majority Zambians who vote detest to be told lies by aliens when infact they know the facts on the ground why the Supreme Leader is languishing in jail because of his antagonist,pompous, elitist, and anti Zambian behaviour as well as conduct…The article clearly was written by a friend of the UPND or the writer is a UPND cadre….

  35. +5
    -1
    vote

    What the Prof has conveniently side-stepped is the fact that THE OPPOSITION IN ZAMBIA HAS CONTRIBUTED SIGNIFICANTLY TO THE POLITICAL VIOLENCE AND THE BREAKDOWN OF LAW AND ORDER. Being a Prof worth his salt, he must have learnt that the MAPATIZYA FORMULA is a strategy for political violence employed by the Opposition (NOT THE GOVT) during election campaigns. It is therefore absurd, ridiculous and ludicrous for the the Prof to ascribe sainthood to the opposition, and thrust only the govt into the pits of hell.

    NOTE: I am beginning to believe that Mushota is indeed a PhD holder. Agree with her or not, she’s come out blazing real academia today!

  36. +2
    -3
    vote

    The article is raising interesting issues. First, true HH is under arrest. Second, true The Post is out of circulation. Third, true LAZ got pressurized recently. Fourth, true the Constitution remains work in progress. Fifth, the CC judges list left out certain good candidates. However, the statement that “Zambia has never been a model democracy” is outrageous. What was the criteria? What is the model? To begin with, the country achieved its independence through non violent struggle. This implies that Zambians value peace and democratic order. Secondly, the One Party dictatorship was removed through non violent struggle. The return of multiparty democracy received overwhelming support. Many political parties, alliances, blocks and formations are free to exercise their right to fight for…

    • +2
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      vote

      Many political parties, alliances, blocks and formations are free to exercise their right to fight for power. The country’s democracy is getting better all the time with the support of local and international partners and friends.

  37. +5
    0
    vote

    Let such analysis be done on Trump who is right there in Washington before the “Professor” speaks of things so far away.

  38. +2
    -1
    vote

    “……but this degree of government repression was far out of the ordinary.”

    When Satanists (PF) and especially when the hypocritical drunkard lungu, currently operating illegally as president, took over, the cast was die. Zambia as you knew it is no more, finished, gone, dead. You will have to be an unbelievably stup!d idyoti to entertain the idea that PF will develop Zambia. People who escaped that dangerous dungeon and have established themselves overseas are luckier than the sheeple who still believe PF under lungu mean well for Zambia.

  39. +1
    -1
    vote

    Chi Hikande miserable Hichelema has messed up this country and for sure for as long as he stays in politics this country will deteriorate. Sad indeed.

  40. 0
    -1
    vote

    The Concourt is yet to interpret for us what the constitution says about Edgar Lungu’s eligibility to stand in 2021.Why has it taken so long? Is the constitution written in Greek? I think the outcome is simple to guess.

  41. +1
    0
    vote

    The scenario in Zambia is not dissimilar to Donald Trump calling for Clinton to be arrested over emails?

  42. +1
    0
    vote

    Why are you hiding the evidence of your stolen votes. I am sick and tired of your lies. Instead of forever calling for petition and calling PF thieves produce the evidence now for every body to see otherwise shut up for heavens sake. You twits are extremely irritating.

  43. vote

    IF INDEED THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN BY THIS PROFESSOR,THEN HE MUST BE A VERY DULL PROFESSOR.
    IN THE FIRST PLACE,I WANT TO URGE THE OUT SIDE WORLD WHO ARE COMMENTING ON HH ARREST TO TELL THE ZAMBIAN PEOPLE IF WHAT HH DID IN MONGU WAS CORRECT AND CAN BE TOLERATED IN THEIR COUNTRIES.
    IT IS NOT FAIR TO PAINT THE COUNTRY BLACK BE OF ONE PERSON.
    SURELY,I DON’T THINK THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN BY THE SO CALLED PROFESSOR MICHEAL.IT IS TOO BIASED.HH DECLARED THAT HE WILL NOT ACCEPT ANY THING THAN A WIN AND HIS TRIBES MEN IN NAMWALA BUTCHERED NORTHERNERS AND EASTERNERS AND PROMISED ARMAGEDDON IF HE WAS GOING TO LOOSE THE ELECTIONS.
    ARE THESE CAPITALISTS NOT AWARE ABOUT ALL THESE SENTMENTS FROM HH? HH IS NOT A SPECIAL PERSON IN ZAMBIA.IF HE COMMITS A CRIME,HE HAS TO BE TREATED LIKE ANY BODY ELSE…

  44. +1
    0
    vote

    I mean your PhD prostitute..always you finish this…that..why don’t you say yesterday..I was sacking my boyfriend Mushota

  45. vote

    The problem you PF supporters is that you keep on saying HH did this in Mongu..but you are loosing a very case before the court, when you have accused HH..That is why they are saying..it is politically motivated cases..surely you should have won at least one case which involves HH……RELEASE HIM

  46. +1
    0
    vote

    We are coming for you weak Zambians we are just next door.you cant even run you just like talking pa kamwa peka peka.iam Zambian born trained to liberate the Zambian JEWS .

    • vote

      Congo has been fighting all it’s life without winning, what kind of war is that, heh?

  47. vote

    Clearly prof. wamani is ill-informed. Worse things have happened to more consequential political opponents in Zambia and the country has retained its rightful place in the world Eco-Political environment. True friends of HH, please help him to come back to his senses; the unreliable GBM has abandoned him and run away!

  48. +1
    0
    vote

    IF the article was full praises of current governemnt, then the Prof would have automatically been a PF supporter – how Zambian mentality works ka

  49. vote

    All of us brothers & sisters do not seem to feel the sweat because we are covered in the rain! We are closed to every word of reason and advice. We shall regret our actions when its too late.
    Our democracy is under siege, cant you see? Let us not come and say that we’re blinded by satan when we still ve a conscience to appeal to now!
    For any further clarification, refer to the Catholic Bishops Pastoral Letter. I wish you well and Gods revelation to you.

  50. vote

    Given another opportunity, Hazaluza Hagain! You think they are interested in you as a country to progress? No! Blind Three Manions and other wizards!

  51. vote

    This article sounds like one written by someone from Alaska forests. If this guy was writing from somewhere else other than US I would have tried to think about it. But these guys have no idea about the democracy they talk about because they have two types of democracies. They have one democracy for America and one for the rest of the world. But worse still is that this guy has no clue about the Zambian Democracy except that which is seen through the lens of his ignorance.

  52. vote

    This article is quite interesting and lacks merit. This American professor who gets information about Zambia from one side has no clue about Zambian democracy. This American should understand that America cannot talk about democracy as theirs is in a chaotic state even being mocked by Putin. He should first talk about the log in his eye before talking about the speck in other peoples eyes. America is no longer the leader in Democratic principles. There is no perfect democracy in this world.

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