HH and GBM at the meeting with ECZ

By Sishuwa Sishuwa

Appearing on Radio Christian Voice’s Chat Back programmelast week, opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema revealed that mining companies in Zambia have told him that they cannot wait for him to ascend to power because they see him as someone who will clean up the mess in the sector. ‘“The mining companies are talking to us; they are saying ‘HH we are waiting for you to come, we are waiting for you’”, he said. The UPND leader criticised as chaotic the new mining tax changes proposed by the government in this year’s budget. He however stopped short of explaining what exactly is wrong with the proposed mining taxes, what his administration would have done differently had he been in power, and why he thinks mining companies, generally seen by many Zambians as not paying their fair share of taxes, want him elected. Before I discuss the meaning and implications of Hichilema’s extraordinary disclosure, I would like to go back to an article I wrote in this column on 25 December 2017 under today’s title. I seek the reader’s indulgence to publish it in full and unchanged because it is important to the point I wish to make next week, when I plan to examine in greater detail Hichilema’s jaw-dropping ineptitude on the mining issue. Below is the aforementioned article.

On 17 December 2017, opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema appeared on Sunday Interview, a Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) television programme hosted by Grevazio Zulu every Sunday evening that typically consists of an in-depth, one-on-one 60-minute interview with a prominent guest. Hichilema’s rare appearance on the public broadcaster followed the UPND’s successful request to ZNBC that the opposition leader be granted an opportunity to feature on the show in order to “address some key issues affecting the nation”. Zambians who had hoped that Hichilema would use the platform to share his vision for the country and explain why anybody deserves to be led by him were left disappointed. The UPND leader failed to reveal any enthusiasm or sense of outrage, gave a series of vague and superficial replies to the interviewer’s questions, condescendingly berated his host as an ignorant worker who did not understand this or that, insisted on the legality of the court challenge to Lungu’s election without providing any political reason for continuing with the contest, and argued that he is rich because he has worked hard smartly.

To be sure, Hichilema did promise to increase maize prices and keep mealie meal prices down but stopped short of explaining how exactly he would pay for these moves. He also mentioned the recently acquired $42 million fire trucks and the inflated cost of public procurement, but only in passing. Unbelievably, he hardly mentioned anything in relation to Zambia’s swelling debt, a very odd position for someone who frequently proclaims himself to be an economist. All in all, Hichilema missed a huge opportunity to talk about the real issues – poverty, inequality, poor services, corruption, unemployment, the erosion of the rule of law, etc. – that affect majority Zambians, to critique the performance of the governing Patriotic Front on these concerns, and to project his own ability to handle them better. Even though he was not asked, any effective politician with skilled advisors knows how to answer a question but shift the answer towards delivering the substantive message. In Hichilema’s case, there was no message and throughout the ZNBC interview he seemed to be seriously in need of some ideological, strategic and tactical sense.

Hichilema’s unsatisfactory performance on the Sunday Interview underlines two of his major weaknesses as a political leader seeking Zambia’s most coveted elective public office. The first is a longstanding and costly failure to connect with the majority of ordinary Zambians. This is a weakness that his political opponents like Lungu have repeatedly exploited and probably one that arises from the feebleness of Hichilema’s political character. Other than having money (the origins of which are open to question), there is absolutely nothing to the man, politically speaking. He has no magnetism or charisma, he lacks a political strategy, he finds it impossible to identify with the majority of Zambians who are poor (by his own admission, he is rich because he has worked hard smartly, and by implication, the majority of Zambians are poor because they are lazy and not smart – so how the hell can he speak and act for them?) and he lacks the rhetorical skills necessary in politics. Perhaps his greatest weakness is that he did not enter politics as an individual with a political axe to grind, but saw an opportunity with the death of UPND founding president Anderson Mazoka and took it.

The second is Hichilema’s enduring inability to explain clearly his motivations for seeking public office and power. Why does Hichilema want to be President of Zambia? This is a question he needs to articulate a convincing answer to. What exactly does Hichilema offer Zambians other than the fact that he is not Edgar Lungu? On the evidence he has given so far, it appears that the answer is very little. Hichilema has no distinctive political positions nor any real desire for genuine radical emancipatory politics the country is badly in need of. His politics appear to be entirely anchored on reminding us about the tragic ineptitude, unlimited greed and unscrupulousness of President Lungu, but Lungu’s weaknesses must never be allowed to become Hichilema’s main strengths. Politics in Zambia is not only the activities and opinions of Lungu. There exist a wide variety of pressing concerns on which Hichilema is silent. For instance, controversial estimates by a High Level Panel Report on Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) indicate that Zambia accounts for 65 per cent of Africa’s IFFs, largely ‘facilitated by a global shadow financial system comprising tax havens, secrecy jurisdictions, disguised corporations, anonymous trust accounts, fake foundations, trade mispricing, and money laundering techniques’. What is Hichilema’s position on this important issue and how does he plan to curtail this massive flight of capital from Zambia’s economy – money that could otherwise be used for poverty alleviation and economic growth?

What would be the approach of a Hichilema presidency towards mining investment? This sector is absolutely not only crucial to Zambia’s economy but one that Hichilema was closely associated with. Questions remain about his relationship to the privatisation of the mines and the mining corporations themselves. What does he think about the poor wages and living conditions of black Zambian mineworkers on the Copperbelt and in North-Western Province today, especially when seen against the lavish earnings, housing and social facilities of their white counterparts? How exactly does he intend to ensure that the exploitation of Zambia’s natural resources benefits the country as much as investors? Having ascended to the UPND presidency in 2006, Hichilema has had ample opportunity to explain his political vision and tell Zambians why he became a politician, yet he has not done so. The UPND’s ten-point plan is, to put it mildly, short on answers. Its formula simply copies PF policies by promising more. How will these policies be enacted and paid for? Zambians deserve clear responses.

Zambia’s economic malaise and slide into political authoritarianism require a robust and effective opposition. In many ways, Hichilema’s failure to provide such an opposition makes him a great friend to Lungu because a more competent leader of the opposition would have delivered Zambians from the failed PF experiment a long time ago. In a space of only three years, for instance, Lungu has effectively destroyed the vestiges of autonomy in all state institutions outside the executive arm of government for the purposes of establishing an authoritarian regime and a slide into a fearful dictatorship. The President has carried out this task with considerable ease, impunity and skill (albeit of a criminal variety), employing a line of political rhetoric and well-concealed hypocrisy that went unrecognised until it was far too late. As leader of the opposition, Hichilema was supposed to identify, analyse, reveal and oppose Lungu’s project from the outset. In this regard, Lungu has been very competent in revealing Hichilema’s incompetence, ineffectiveness and impotence.

In some ways, Lungu and Hichilema need each other. Lungu’s failures encourage many Zambians to support Hichilema even though he offers little. Hichilema’s weaknesses and inability to mobilise voters around wider concerns or shared elements of a national programme enable Lungu to remain in power largely undisturbed. They appear as two mediocrities, each benefiting from the other. Lungu has consistently demonstrated over the last three years that he is not a leader and he only appears to be one because the opposition is extremely weak. Hichilema and the UPND, for instance, have failed to address Lungu’s manifold inadequacies, making him seem more competent than he is. In turn, Hichilema benefits from the incompetence of Lungu, doing nothing as he simply waits for Zambians dissatisfied and angered by Lungu’s rule turn to him as the default alternative.

Yet if there is anything that Hichilema has demonstrated over the past decade, it is that he is not a leader of the future or a credible opposition figure of the present. He is yesterday’s man. However, thanks to the waves of present weaknesses and mediocrity in Zambia’s politics, a man whose politics and personal qualities are largely unknown may well become Zambia’s next president. He is getting so confident of this prospect that he now comes across as someone who must be President of Zambia simply because it is him. In a recent interview with News Diggers, Hichilema gave the example that when he was at Coopers and Lybrand Zambia (later Grant Thornton), he was several times elected as the firm’s chief executive officer for 13 years, and seemed genuinely puzzled that the more than five million voters of Zambia are not looking for the same leadership qualities that so impressed the few shareholders of Coopers and Lybrand.

Hichilema should, however, be warned that he cannot rely on the passive support of voters. It is even possible, if he is not careful, that an upstart presidential hopeful such as Chishimba Kambwili may reach State House earlier than him. The UPND leader needs to develop an affective political strategy and a clear vision, one that resonates on a very phenomenological level with majority Zambians, especially the common man. Although he almost won in 2016, many of those who supported him were not UPND members; they did so only because they opposed Lungu’s continued misrule. There is no guarantee that the same voters will support Hichilema or the UPND in a future election. The fate of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy should be a lesson to the UPND about how quickly political support can evaporate. Zambian voters do not have a history of party loyalty and there is no guarantee that the 47.6 per cent who voted for Hichilema in 2016 would do so again tomorrow.

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74 COMMENTS

  1. Now Bwana Shishuwa Shishuwa interrogate ,dissect and examine Edgar Lungu’s tax policies, project priorities and development programs with the same zeal.Zambian voters badly need neutral advise and prescriptions.

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    • Mr Sishuwa Sishuwa has aptly described HH to the tee; personality of a boiled egg; and no political aptitude whatsoever. He may have been voted as CEO so many times at Grant Thornton but those where his peers. If you asked anybody on the streets of Lusaka who Grant Thornton is, they will probably think it’s an old white man with a big farm in Chisamba. I have never seen such an out of touch politician like HH!

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    • “The mining companies are talking to us; they are saying “HH we are waiting for you…I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Is this the Donald Trump moment? Wasn’t Donald supposed to intervene in his election loss because according to HH they are friends. Or the “I will be president next time because for the 4th time the elections where rigged moment.
      This is what happens when ones signature perfume becomes Eau De Loser!

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    • -If HH reveals how he’ll fix the economy, PF will definitely copy & paste it like Sata copied Mazoka’s manifesto almost word-for-word.
      – Do you know that eliminating corruption alone will save the country $-Billions. Lungu has become very wealthy from Chinese kick-backs.

      – Auctioning of the prime land & assets to Chinese is a big concern. All the big contracts are being awarded to Chinese bcoz they bribe big and they don’t abandon site when Govt doesn’t pay them on time bcoz they get low interest loans from their country. They have strangled our local construction companies into bankruptcy. They invest their profits in our cheap prime land. When it’s time for them to go they’ll sell the land to us at 10 times what they bought it.

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    • Quote : a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.

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    • HH has simply offered himself. It’s up to Zambians to choose who they want to lead them and live with the consequences of their choices. Those who are not biased can understand his plans and even in the interview on christian voice he explained how differently UPND would manage the mining sector. Maybe a word for word transcript would help mr sishuwa.

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    • Zambians can be very funny. If you know how to be a better opposition leader why don’t you become one we see. lol

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    • Sishiwa or what ever you call your self youngman don’t think you are the first to earn a PHD in History in Zambia.If you truly you are a historian then you must know the history of Zambian politics.We all HH and what he stands for.He thrust is on education as the greatest equalizer,Agriculture processing and prudent management of resources.He not yapping like you he has demonstrated how to create worthy unlike you who is looking for a Job like Lubinda Habazoka. So back off young man,HH is presidential material.Since you claim to be a good politician form your won political party we see if you can even come up with 1000 votes in Zambia. Stop being a spectator but join.Football is to play on terraces than on the pitch .

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    • It is unwise to judge some about his leadership credentials when he has never in government before. But one can tell that Lungu is a thief because he has stolen from his client before and was directly involved in selling Zambian assets during privatisation from which it is believed he got bribes to sell the assets at less than what they were valued.

      In any case what comparison parameters is this rogue , Lungu anikonde analyst using to compare Lungu with HH ? Lungu is a thief while HH is not!
      Evidence is awash that Lungu has failed to deal with corruption and continues to enjoy embezzled funds with his stooges. While HH is donating money to help the community out of his own pocket.

      But for Lungu any donor funds meant for the poor he stealing. How shameful!

      This comparative…

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    • But for Lungu any donor funds meant for the poor he stealing. How shameful!

      This comparative analysis by this id1ot is a useless tool to help him get a job from Lungu. It does not stack up for he is naive about political and business economics. You don’t kill goose that lays a golden egg by over taxing it so goes the economic saying. Njala yamu nyokola.

      PF has failed and Lungu must go.

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  2. Youngman, your faith in Hichilema’s hyperboles is what God curses when he says cursed is he who puts his trust in man as in Jeremiah 17:5

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    • The fact that mining companies what HH to become president is reason enough for me not to vote for him. Mining companies are thieves that should not be tolerated by any sober minded person. Capitalists are all thieves. PERIOD.

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  3. Is there anyone left untainted by pf brides? Antonio Mwanza and now this?
    1. Hichilema is articulate, Lungu is not
    2. He seeks office to better the lives of ordinary citizens; he has said this repeatedly. Lungu said in no uncertain terms that he has no vision
    3. Lungu is the opportunist who benefited from the death of Michael sata (mhsrip)…he had the benefit of incumbency; no such thing with Hichilema who has had to toil diligently to sustain and grow the party
    Check your facts mr. Sishuwa

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  4. Good Analysis Man! Warn him as well against supporting lower taxes for mining Houses. This makes those of us that see him as next leader for 2021 cast doubt on the man we perceive to be so. Reality still remains that by any manner of calculation, the New Mine tax regime does not send these mines houses into oblivion, they will still make profits, the sliding scale tax policy on Royalties has been there for some while, the only difference is the upward adjustment by 1.5% points over sliding scale which for that matter is based on copper price and not production. The sliding effect of this tax is even likely not to be felt by the mines, given that copper have been projected to remain stable for some coming years. The sales tax is the best thing to happen, because there was a lot of cheating…

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    • @Shimwana
      You see HH as your next leader, where in UPND forever i presume. Certainly not at National level, because if you still doubt and dont know this HH, please read the article again! The man has an inferiority complex and only aligns himself with the elite who he dines and makes shoddy deals with. Here, he is reminding you that, he will stll bring back Anglo America, the mining giant that left millions of Zambians in perpetual poverty. This is true unless you have history of Copperbelt and how it uesd to be before HH sold it for his own interests.

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  5. Don’t be blinded by the headline. This is actually a good and an objective article from this author. For the first time, he seems like he is now finding his voice and unfortunately, people are judging the author based on his past one sided nonsense he has written in the past to please his paymasters, seems the author is now liberated.

    Good to see, or is it too early to judge or is he just frustrated by his paymaster’s naivety that has made some of us refuse to upgrade him from the Under 5 status?

    All the same good article and clearly shows that we don’t call HH under 5 for nothing . We have reasons and there in this article you have them. Question now is , can a leopard change its spots? We shall see.

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    • Typical of PF cadres. When Sishiwa criticises your EL and PF, his writeups are nonsense and he is paid. When he criticises HH, he’s suddenly objective and a good writer. How about simply accepting that the boy is independent of these political charlatans in both ruling and opposition parties?

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    • @MMD Chief Bootliker
      I agree more than you. I have same sentiments on this article by Shuwa Shuwa because for the first time he has balanced it. Hopefully he and many brothers and sisters in UPND can see things in this context.
      In summary he is saying HH can pull the critical mass for him to be elected president and as President Lungu, he can work on the issues highlighted herein and win other souls to his already massive support he enjoys based on his transformative nature. HH is not a people’s man, period.

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  6. HH doesn’t have a vision to change Zambia economy he jumps all the questions.headless cow ing’ombe ilede

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  7. ‘The mining companies are talking to us; they are saying ‘HH we are waiting for you to come, we are waiting for you’, he said. Shishuwa, I give you a Red Card for saying this. HH may have fancy ideas about changing this country but it doesn’t mean he’s the best man available. We have many better men and women than HH. There is something poor people in urban areas don’t see in HH, because he can’t see it means he’s not the most suitable presidential candidate, and as long as he’s running with that baggage called GBM, he’s never going to have the votes of many. GBM and HH aren’t a necessary evil, they just aren’t.

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    • @Mike. I have read the entire article and have clearly understood it. Shishuwa shouldn’t have used that as a basis for opening his argument, same goes with quoting what HH said to Diggers. People tend to speak uneducatedely when asked on the fly. So it’s always best not to quote them or use their words against arguments, since it creates a straw man. The rest of my writing was simply agreeing with and adding to Shishuwas’ words.

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  8. UPND lack political strategy and better campaign tactics to win. They have the wrong people in their party positions.

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  9. Are you sure hehehe.

    We gave him chance to privatise he ended up enriching himself. Thats enough .

    Have you ever heard or official opposition leaders like Besigie. Tswangarai. Tsitsekedi.

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    • @Its political. If you were given a task of packaging honey into jars, what do you do when you get some on your hands? Try to lick it off and if there is excess, you wash it off, no? Anybody in his shoes would have done the same. Before you cut off my head, I am not a fan of Hakainde. BTW, I second @Dokowe’s comment.

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  10. HH has no strategic policy for the country because he suffers from acute inferiority complex due to being a stooge for
    some Western mercenaries who are greedy who are determined to make Zambia under developed specifically and Africa in general

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  11. Most people will admit that during Banda’s rule the economy of Zambia was relatively good with reserves of at least 4 months import cover. But we had very poor infrastructure in the country. When MCS (MHSRI) came to power, his view was to develop the infrastructure and move away from “just talking” to acting for all to see. This is what Lungu has continued to do. Arguably, the infrastructure has improved a lot under PF in comparison to the previous Governments. But life has become a lot harder. Perhaps PF needs to strike a balance between infrastructure development and lower inflation. But which opposition leader in Zambia has been able to articulate to the electorate today that they can do better than PF? HH is simply not a leader, he is there by chance. With the opportunity that he…

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    • @Kelvin Mulanga. The only way to strike a balance is through locally financing most projects. When we borrow to build infrastructure are just creating investments opportunities and business for the contracted Chinese companies.

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  12. I am sure HH’s worshippers must be fast asleep, because none of them has reacted as yet. But once they wake up, they will certainly come out with their knives aimed at Sishuwa for bringing down their little God.

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    • Official bloggers are 2hours behind Zambia time and They are still still sleeping. Ati upendi – uk chapter

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    • @Its political. Unfortunately we do not know what bundles are. We have internet everywhere 24/7. Home, public places, name it. Zambians pay the highest internet rates ever and they are not even aware of it.

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  13. Badly written essay. That’s the problem of giving attention to someone for the sole purpose of identifying his weaknesses. Mr Sashula Sashula cant see any good in a person he is determined to only see bad.

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    • If he wants to become a good politician he should spend more time listening and reflecting on feedback. We don’t have any patience for any politician because of our past experience. In fact as voters we need to go for a disruptive approach to bring hygiene to politics, move away from these fellows who seem to be overwhelmed by egos and luck humility. The next president needs to listen and work for the freebies.

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  14. …HH has failed to inspire the majority of the electorate like Michael Sata did. Hence the hyper to gavanise one man political parties to help his cause.

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  15. ‘The UPND leader criticised as chaotic the new mining tax changes proposed by the government in this year’s budget. He however stopped short of explaining what exactly is wrong with the proposed mining taxes, what his administration would have done differently had he been in power, and why he thinks mining companies’…..

    This is what makes me angry with HH.He embarasses the economics fraternity with his normative statements not backed by facts.Read a statement/article by Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane and you will know that it’s from an economist.I wonder what Grant Thorntorn saw in this man or maybe he does this deliberately.No malice but he has failed to impress me.

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  16. Finally I have come to concur with DR Shishuwa on HH,the man is not a politician but a white collar crook with no vision to rule Zambia but just for his ego.when did HH ever worked hard other than unexplained wealth which he has failed to explain to the people he wants to rule.

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  17. HH is not a politician he is a businessman, hence what do you expect HH offers… He has even failed to give hope to a woman who sales tomato, to tax drivers, to igoigo, to just ordinary Zambian. A businessman is a businessman. He has failed to apply the law of attraction. For this it will make PF to continue from 2021, that’s why Sunday chanda, stated that the opposition is not worth of it’s salt..

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  18. Here is a list of younger generation that must take over govt

    Ntewewe
    Sishuwa
    Cornelius mweetwa
    Antonio mwanza
    Levy Ngoma.

    If only they can be given chance in the main existing political parties

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  19. Factual all the way to the last word, you penned fair and square. A wise one would take this not as an attack but as very valuable advice. It should be clear that the current leadership has a lesson to learn from equally in this article. Well strike!!

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  20. Chisushi chisushi learn to summarise your articles. Is this a lecture at Unza? I wonder! That’s why chaps from unza are not sharp.

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  21. This article is meant to repair the battered character of hh. Sishuwa still sticks to the jagged belief of upnd that ECL and PF have destroyed the economy and the country. He shows his deep rooted hate for ECL by slapping untruths on him-“…the tragic ineptitude, unlimited greed and unscrupulousness of President Lungu…In a space of only three years, for instance, Lungu has effectively destroyed the vestiges of autonomy in all state institutions outside the executive arm of government for the purposes of establishing an authoritarian regime and a slide into a fearful dictatorship…” This is a useless article that contains lies and propaganda originating from the political rhetoric of upnd. It is the same people like Sishuwa who designed hhs failed strategy that has seen him fail…

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    • …This has seen them develop a strong hatred for a man who prevented their hh from going into plot 1 when all the political giants of Zambian politics had all but passed on. They then vowed to obliterate his name and character by vicious slander on various media platforms-A MOVE THAT CONTINUES TO FAIL AND ALIENATE KAINDE FROM VOTERS.

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  22. Neither HH nor Edgar Lungu was my choice in the last elections. That’s why I did not even vote. I don’t think HH can be any better despite the fact that he’s already a rich man.Donald Trump became President of USA when he was already rich but do Americans like what he’s doing for them today?

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  23. What gets me is the ” the mines are waiting for us”. The mines are self-serving and the can only want him coz they know they will have a free ride. He must also learn to fake a genuine smile (if that’s possible at all)

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    • Will a smile bring the kwacha to K3 per dollar? It’s common to also hear
      pof cadres say he is already rich what does he want in politics, i don’t understand why pf cad res worship poverty so much. Is politics for the impoverished so that they can come and rampage the national treasury? Is this what you mean?

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  24. ‘“The mining companies are talking to us; they are saying ‘HH we are waiting for you to come, we are waiting for you’”, he said.By now HH should know that the power comes from the voters so instead of wowing support from mining companies let him tells what he will do to improve the current situation in the country

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  25. HH is not a politician, but Zambia is on Auto pilot right now, we have a head of state that spends most of his time abroad, to the extent that he has now also encouraged his wife to travel at governmmet expense.
    HH is a capitalist and has made millions out of the capitalist system, as a UPND supporter I have my doubts on his genuine concern of the struggles of the common man on the street, but then again Lungu who you would think cares about the common man having come from a humble background cares nothing for the poor as well. Fellow country men, we in trouble with the kind of leaders we currently have.

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  26. Zambia needs leaders who should not behave as if GOD has whispered to them that if they don’t become presidents, the country will cease to exist. The next president of Zambia should be in a position to do the following, 1) Select a cabinet and permanent secretaries with people with the most balanced minds. These must be individuals who have a clear understanding of the fundamentals of the Zambian economy. We need Fellows who can turn around the country’s economy, 2) Develop a strategy for making Zambia a design economy 3) Select a committee of economists with smart brains to rigorously review terms of conditions for loans from IMF, World Bank and other creditors before government can make a decision to get the loans, 4) Develop a strategy for managing and repaying national debt, 5) Hold…

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  27. I pity HH in 2021 elctions. Who are his advisers? Honestly uttering such dark corner meetings with mine owners on air is downward rating on his political fortunes. Zambians detest the thought of mines arm twisting the govt to lower taxes because most of us believe, and rightly so, that we are subsidising mines on electricity and other utilities. Yama muleishiba ifyakulanda pamwela!

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  28. It is not easy to be a politician in Africa. A lot of things are at play. Victimization from those in authority to rigging of elections. The people in authority will make sure that one does not take their jobs. They will protect their jobs and their political environment from being threatened. A person can have better ideas and opinions,poilitically,but it is not easy to penetrate a political cocoon that has been cleated. It is not just a matter of being a rhetoric. As brilliant as one might be, he or she is dealing with a sophisticated political environment. It is not that he cannot become a president, the system is so rigid to penetrate. Unless there is a revolution like in 1990 or when Sata took up. People were fade up and wanted change. This time people are tired of voting.They think…

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  29. I saw the name of the author of this article and so didn’t bother to read it. Hidden bias masked as intellectual reasoning.

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  30. Even without hiding his blatant hate for ECL and PF, Sishuwa Sishuwa got so fedup this time and stated the entire truth about HH. Its evident he is very upset with the UPND leader that he just went out to state facts. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on where you belong, the writing about HH lack of strategy or even knowledge is so true. How does he just depend on condemning EL and PF actions without ever telling his followers, not even in their secret meetings, how he will ran the Country? Like the comment I have read here, and I have also said it to one of my colleague I drink with, How did he manage his Job at Grant Thornton? This guy is not an economist but maybe a businessman. A crook who benefitted from “insider trading”, unethical business dealings, Devaluation of…

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  31. UPND STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.

    14TH OCTOBER 2019.

    REJECT 2019 NATIONAL BUDGET.

    The National Budget announced by Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe is the most useless budget the Patriotic Front (PF) government has ever presented in Parliament.

    As the United Party for National Development ( UPND ), we would like to appeal to all the Honourable Members of Parliament to reject the budget. There are many reasons for rejecting the 2019 national budget but here are a few reasons:

    1.
    The budget has put more taxes in people’s pockets instead of putting more money in their pockets.

    For the first time in the history of the PF government, the Minister of Finance offered NO TAX RELIEF to workers. The suffering workers will continue to pay huge PAYE amounting to K11.4…

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  32. The workers will pay K11.4billion which is more than all the companies in Zambia combined at K7.5 billion.

    To make matters worse, the minister hid alot of fees and fines which people are going to start paying under non-tax revenue. The minister merely stated that she will introduce cost-reflective tariffs under non-tax revenue. What this means is that government will start unleashing statutory instruments to increase fees and fines. The country has already tested Mwanakatwe’s medicine on cost-reflective tariffs through the increase in fuel prices a few hours after the presentation of the national budget. New electricity tariffs are also coming. Fees for things like licences, traffic offences, title deeds, court fees, market levies, education and health are likely to be hiked…

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  33. The issue is that government is there to provide a service and not to make profits. People pay taxes to enable government to provide various services. Government should not be in the business of reaping profit from poor people.

    The taxation in the 2019 national budget has so been reckless that it will kill the goose that lays the golden egg. The minister targeted small scale businesses to collect more taxes by increasing the turnover tax to 4% from 3% previously. Small businesses must be nurtured and given incentives to grow and prosper rather than choking them with unaffordable higher taxes.

    Similarly, abolishing the Value Added Tax (VAT) and re-introducing the Sales Tax will push up costs for industry that add value to their products. In this modern age and error where most…

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  34. In this modern age and error where most economies in the world are finding it prudent and fashionable to go for the VAT system, it is strange for Zambia to take 20 steps backwards and resurrect the dead and buried Sales Tax. We are back to the UNIP days of sales tax!

    Claiming VAT on inputs was helping industry to lower costs of production. If the government was having problems with the mines on VAT refunds, they should have resolved the issue within the mining sector rather than extending it to the whole economy. The problem of collection and utilisation of VAT was that the Zambia Revenue Authority was collecting the VAT on inputs and surrendering it to government for immediate consumption instead of reserving it for a possible refund for a specified period. When people were making the…

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  35. When people were making the VAT claims for refund, the government had already chewed the money. The problem is not the VAT. The problem is the government which is reckless in expenditure.
    Sales Tax will hurt the poor people more. With the introduction of the Sales Tax, whose rate was not revealed in the budget, prices of goods and services will shoot up.

    2.
    The 2019 nationalbudget is a “Kaloba Budget “. Most of the money in the budget will go towards paying both external and internal debt. External debt payment is estimated at K14.9 billion while domestic debt payment is K8.6 billion , giving a combined total figure of K23.6 billion. This amount allocated for debt service is more than the budget for many ministries. For example, the whole budget for the Ministry of Health…

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  36. For example, the whole budget for the Ministry of Health is K8 billion only. The money for nkongole is also more than that for education which was allocated K13.2 billion compared to K23.6 billion for debt service. The implication of this is that the delivery of health and education services is going to suffer. Money for social protection such as pension, social cash transfer, food security pack and public welfare security scheme will be diverted to pay kaloba in the budget. Despite the debt service being high already, the PF government still wants to borrow more money. That is being reckless.

    3.
    The 2019 national budget is a budget for teargas. About K2.9 billion has been allocated for public order and safety. What is the PF government scared of for them to plan to spend more on…

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  37. The 2019 national budget is a budget for teargas. About K2.9 billion has been allocated for public order and safety. What is the PF government scared of for them to plan to spend more on public order? We cannot have a government that is scared of its own people. The UPND will not endorse a budget that intends to buy more teargas and bullets for the police. The country has already lost an innocent girl at the University of Zambia due to police brutality and teargas. UPND has in the past lost some of its members like Mapenzi Chibulo due to trigger happy cops. We cannot be part of a scheme to buy weapons that are going to be used against our own people.

    Because of the reasons outlined above and many more reasons too numerous to outline in this article, we the UPND have decided to reject…

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  38. Because of the reasons outlined above and many more reasons too numerous to outline in this article, we the UPND have decided to reject the 2019 national budget.

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  39. I think the problem is that you want to hear what you want to hear. Economics is not politics and the 2 are far apart. I think the problem with us Zambians is that we are used to sweet talk. I personally think charisma and empty promises are not necessary for a good leader. People that have full mouths almost always make empty promises. Be wise, we need an economist for a leader.

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  40. It’s the author of this article is sponsored by someone, znbc interview was edited to start with , why edited? G. Zulu had specific question which he was instructed to ask him by the authority, privatisation issue, Lungu also took part , hh was rich even before privatisation, there is no question about his riches unless you’re a fool not to see that, the interviewer I believe controls the interview, so how would he have diverted from the questions he was been asked by Zulu? Be honesty in your reporting and be factual may be you started following him recently, most the questions you have asked already have answers.

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  41. “In turn, Hichilema benefits from the incompetence of Lungu, doing nothing as he simply waits for Zambians dissatisfied and angered by Lungu’s rule turn to him as the default alternative.”

    As I have said many times before and I repeat that if Lungu is a bad leader then T.H. cannot be the alternative, he is far worse and we normal majority Zambian voters know it.
    Sishuwa’s article says it all. We look forward to his next article, next week.

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