Trade Consultant Trevor Simumba making a presentation during the launch of his study “He Who Pays the Piper” which focuses on Chinese debt.
Trade Consultant Trevor Simumba making a presentation during the launch of his study “He Who Pays the Piper” which focuses on Chinese debt.


By Trevor Simumba

The main excuse being given for the cowardice of Zambian professionals in Government is that if they speak out they risk retirement in national interest! So what. From University in the UK I joined Government in 1994 as an Economist Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry. After two years I went into the private sector as an Assistant Consultant. My first major consulting assignment was with the World Bank which took me back into Government but with better remuneration. Since then I have advised Governments in over 25 countries across the world mainly in Africa including the UK and USA Government on issues related to trade and investment. I can state very strongly I have never seen the level of mediocrity and fear in the public service as I have seen with the current crop of public servants in Zambia.

I have worked with Hon. Mutati when he was Minister of Trade, I worked with Hon. Magande when he was Finance Minister and many a time my view was different from theirs but never once did I think oh what if I lose my job? Under both the LPM and FTJ Governments we all worked as a team. Central Bank had brilliant minds Fundanga, Kalyalya, Mwenda and others, Ministry of Finance with likes of Musokotwane, Felix Nkulukusa, Emmanuel Ngulube, Stella Chibanda, late Mubanga. At State House you had proper Economic and Political Advisers focused on managing the Zambian economy.

Today everyone in key positions is just focused on their own survival and no one is telling the President the full story nor the truth. Many a time the late Mwanawasa would directly ask for technocrats to explain to him issues rather than hear it second hand from Ministers. He also hated bootlickers and felt insulted when you thought by saying nice things you would impress him.

I remember sometime in 2006 or 2007 when I was presenting the ‘Enterprise Show’ on ZNBC I released an exclusive exposé of a fuel deal that had led to a shortage of diesel in Zambia. The information I received implicated the PS Energy and I spoke directly into the camera as it was a live show and addressed the President saying “please take action Sir, I am tired of walking as there is no diesel for my car”. ZNBC after that incident stopped allowing live transmission of the programme and did not renew the contract at the end of the contracted period. I received threats from OP officers because of that saying how can I address the President on TV like that. But lo and behold President Mwanawasa reacted differently and sent his personal security to come and get the file of information I had and he immediately fired the PS Energy and cancelled the deal with a South African bank. A few days later I met then Vice President Kavindele at Pamodzi Hotel and he said to me ‘young man what trouble are you causing, we discussed you during Cabinet’!

So do not tell me oh no we cannot talk because we may lose our jobs or Government will harass us. No you are just simply a coward. If we were like you cowards FTJ would have managed to get his third term. In my more than 20 years of professional life I have faced serious threats not only against my job but against my life. But because I stand for the truth and for my country no harm has come to me. The late Sata once called me and said why don’t you support me and I said because I do not agree with your brand of politics or policies. But he said one thing I will always remember. He said, “the problem you have Simumba is that your generation is a very selfish generation of Zambians. I wanted to give you a job but ‘abanobe were the most against you’. This is the reality of Zambia today. We have a generation of back stabbing kleptocrats who at the snap of a finger will even betray the current President whom they shower with all sorts of praises and accolades but deep down in their hearts despise. We know them and come 2021 I and many progressive Zambians will ensure we get rid of them once and for all.

They were the same people who destroyed RB and today they have gathered around the PF. They will also destroy the PF but we will not allow them destroy Zambia. Enough is enough its time to rise and shine, our appointed time has come for the Lord to hear our cry.

The author is a Trade and Economic Expert

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47 COMMENTS

    • @Olivia, that’s not cool. Be s6xxy lady! Be romatic.
      Trevor is so right. All my friends in ministries don’t even want to hear from me because I don’t address their “bosses” as honorable. Or Your worship. Or His excellence.

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    • The astute policemen in Sesheke were fired for doing their Job diligently, what makes you think PF will spare professionals for speaking out on bad policies. There lies the answer

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    • And I can also state
      I can state very strongly I have never seen the level of mediocrity and fear in Zambian journalism as I have seen with the current crop of journalists in Zambia Especially in DeadNBC

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  1. Trevor Simumba because you are telling the truth some foolish bloggers will hate you. But please understand that the people in power now are business men and not leaders they have no morals and they don’t listen to anyone.

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  2. Trevor Simumba because you are telling the truth some bloggers will hate you. But please understand that the people in power now are business men and not leaders they have no morals and they don’t listen to anyone.

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  3. No matter how much they pretend to be trade and economic experts , the emotions and bitterness in our friends in upnd always gives them away.

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    • Yes because UPND is in charge of the Zambian economy.. .

      Such backwards thinking. Look at the cause not external factors that have no effect.

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    • @Daniell;Exactly my point. Delivery is very important when you write an article like this. One can tell this guy was writing the article in anger. I can’t stand these green eyed, Delusionals.
      Better yet ask for the services of Nubian Princess or Linda Kasonde or the Chanda guy from PF. At least they know how to write an article. They don’t write like they are in a beer hall.

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    • who does’t know that Travor is a hired gun, he is also full of himself just like his boss the small god of dundu. he knows it all just like his long time boss and he has no respect for any human being especially Zambians. He is one of those 1980s ‘Exes’ who thought speaking good english meant you are intelligent yet he is just a cleaver kalulu who can’t miss an opportunity once it presents itself. Now after failing to read the political wave for the 5th time he has just decided to uncover his agenda because he is now so sure that zen’gombe will carry the day in 2021. What he is forgetting is PF will retain it’s 50% while zen’gombe will share the remaining 47% with fellow under 5s.

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  4. But you are a UNZA product. And you know that education teaches ethics and rules.

    If you fight at unza you are expelled so you always learn respect and dignity unlike ck. Musambo. Gbm behaviour

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  5. Trevor is talking sense you educated cowards and bloggers! Some of you strike me as very immature and when one criticizes positively for the good of the country just because you are PF, you go bananas and simply cannot reason.

    I’m neither upnd nor pf, am Zambia and that is the platform Trevor is standing on here. This country is clearly in wrong hands, Kleptocrats and mediocre moderately educated cadres and very educated cowards!

    We cannot go on like this!

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  6. The problem with Trevor is in painting everyone in the civil service with a broad brush and calling everyone a coward. He thinks he stands out as the courageous one. This says something about how self-conceited Trevor is.

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  7. If you compare Brian Mushimba with Lusambo, you end up thinking Brian Mushimba is a coward. Education tries to teach humility although certain characters are not teachable even after spending years in UK

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    • To compare Lusambo to anyone is an insult to that person…..Lusambo is nothing but a violent “ his excellency the great leader from god “ bootlicker with no brains…. the only thing lusambo can do is wake up early and catch late comers to work.

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  8. This article from Trevor Simumba is not helpful at all. Can somebody comprehensively advise what we need to do to come out of this huge economic quagmire. We are looking for solutions here and not auto biographs like what this author has done – does not help at all

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    • Simumba is telling you….you can not go forward with the corrupt theives Lungu is surrounded by ….

      Lungu is from a chawama bar setting , and rules the country as if he is still in a chawama bar…

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  9. Trevor has a point…The problem I have with his viewpoints is he tend to be a know-it-all kind of Economist.Try to be engaging ,battles are better fought as a group and no one is omnipotent.

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  10. “..At State House you had proper Economic and Political Advisers focused on managing the Zambian economy.

    Today everyone in key positions is just focused on their own survival “

    Statehouse of Lungu is a den of corrupt violent crooks …

    Here even you Simumba you are beating around the bush…you are accusing others of being cowards and blaming everyone else but leaving Lungu out…..Lungu is to blame. He is head of state, he chooses who is around him.
    The man is just a corrupt useless violent person.

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  11. What is this processionals ba LT? Back to the topic, in as much as I would like to support this Simumba with his outbursts, one thing strikes me though. He is a disgruntled element who should learn that knowledge in itself if not harnessed properly can cause one to lose direction. Don’t think that if you are put in government today you will solve all of the countries problems. In fact it is easier said than done. That is the reason why you need to follow a leader before you can lead. Economic consultant? I wonder what advise you give to the so called countries in Africa. The question is, what have you done in your life that can make people believe that indeed this guy can deliver? How many people have you employed in your life? Ranting anyhow will not win you votes, Yes PF is not the…

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  12. continued. is not the best, where do you belong is the question? On which ticket will you stand?

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  13. Jz
    Well spoken these are people we need in society. The truth shall set you free. Very inspiring. Great Brains.

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  14. Bamwine the man is telling you to stop being cowards instead speak out when something is amiss. many bad decisions have been made and no one has dared to say anything. Remember the social cash fund and medicine saga, right now there is so much corruption but none will dare tell lungu about the reality of it. Only in zed workers go unpaid for months and they still show up for work like it’s normal

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  15. Yes educated professional people are cowards. The country is in a mess and the educated ones are quiet.

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  16. I thought the author meant ”professionals” and not ”funeral processionals” Neverthess, that aside, professionals are not cowards as Trevor puts it. May be he meant cowardice in the sense that they don’t join politics. There are professionals who are in the background advising government on how to execute salient policies in the nation. Not all professionals want to be in politics. They would rather pursue their dreams in a different avenues than joining politics. That is not a sign of cowardice. African politics are full of mudslinging and character assassination. Most professionals would rather keep a low profile than exposing themselves to mediocrity in politics. Calling professionals as cowards, is a misplaced statement. There are professionals who are contributing in a…

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  17. The general feeling amongst certain groupings in our nation today is that only the Mwanawasa era was productive. Trevor was active during those years and he feels only his kind can save this country. That is prejudiced thinking and a recipe for chaos. There are young Zambians out there who can do better than Trevor and if we stick to the notion that only these people can save our country then what will future generations do?? Trevor’s time was under Levy-GIVE OTHER ZAMBIANS A CHANCE TO PLAY THEIR PART, BASAA.You belong in the archives now Trevor.

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  18. Trevor well said. You ve unwittingly answered yourself. Compare the different governance cultures. This culture is in such a hurry for self aggrandisement, they consider professional advice as a threat to their propensity to plunder.

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  19. Trevor you make a lot of sense, change is inevitable to get back the Zambia we were once so proud of. A PF female leader expressed concern a few days ago on political playing field in Zambia failing to attract more women, cos of the violence, vulgar language etc. characterise the nature of current politics. Cadres with little knowhow are put in pisition of signifucant control in public service to work alongside or above career civil servants, this in itself stifles creativity and impacts negatively on the quality of service.

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  20. So the writer is 1000 percent right. In the first place today, the university of zambia as well as many zambian tertiary institutions do not produce educated graduates of any use. Only illiterate graduates who dont bother to contribute any tangible idea to the well running of the economy. Actually there is no difference between a graduate from a zambian higher learning institution from a street kid in terms of reasoning or voting pattern.

    For this reason, our country has benefited from its investment in education. Thrrefore the country has to rely on “expert” advise from individuals from other wordly institutions or countries to come and tell us what we should already know. They tell us – to plant trees which we intentionally cut ourselves; – when to stop borrowing so ss to avoid…

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  21. I don’t agree with Trevor. It is a lie that people don’t speak out. Has he not heard of people being retired in national interest lately. They are being retired because they speak out, they are not cowards. This Trevor guy is not being truthful. Even the impression he is trying to create that he has been the bravest person in the land is a crystal clear lie. And what makes him believe people don’t speak out – don’t just dream here

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    • Malieta , i share your thoughts. This guy must know that “what you say, matters less than how you say it”.
      He sounds like someone with scores to settle.

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  22. It’s not the professionals that are cowards but the current regime that is being cowardly and being scared of their own shadows.

    How many people are on suspension or have been retired in national interest? We may not know the exact number but there are many.

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  23. How many Cabinet Ministers are in Government now who fought with President Sara side by side and what is the composition of PF Secretariat of President Sata’s administration ?? I’m sure you will share with me that this is not the Original PF we fought for.

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  24. Not all Zambian professionals are cowards. Some are. When Trevor generalises he misses the point. Neither can he give us statistical data to qualify his assession.

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  25. How come no one knew him until now? what is Simumba’s pedigree? Just another John solye ubwali kind of economist!! Probably promised BOZ deputy governor by another wannabe.

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