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Monday, July 6, 2020

Presidential aide blocks critics on Twitter after failing to sustain a debate

Headlines Presidential aide blocks critics on Twitter after failing to sustain a debate

President Lungu’s Press Aide Amos Chanda

President Edgar Lungu’s Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations Amos Chanda has blocked University of Zambia lecturer Dr Sishuwa Sishuwa on Twitter after he advised him to stop conflating his role with that of the spokesperson of the ruling Patriotic Front. Chanda is the latest government official to block the outspoken academic on the social media platform after Minister of Transport and Communications Dr Brian Mushimba took a similar move in February this year when Dr Sishuwa demanded justification for the minister’s decision to get his broken arm treated in South Africa, where he stayed for over a month.

Dr Mushimba, who blocked several other critics, subsequently apologised and unblocked them following a public backlash against his move. The minister then claimed that he, rather than taxpayers, had paid for his medical expenses at Arwyp Medical Centre, an expensive private hospital in Kempton Park, Gauteng Province. He promised to publicly present supporting evidence in form of receipts once his arm, which he said was still in excruciating pain at the time, was better. Dr Mushimba is however yet to do so, over two months later.

In the latest Twitter war between a senior public official and an active citizen, trouble started when Chanda, using his official account, @AmosNChanda, where he describes himself as “Special Assistant to the President (Press and Public Relations), Republic of Zambia”, wrote a congratulatory message to all candidates who emerged victorious in the recent by-elections.

“Pres.Lungu congratulates Joseph Chishala for winning Roan seat for NDC & PF’s Charles Chalwe for winning Bharti; and all candidates who won local polls. He has called for introspection to understand why the Roan loss. Not a result he desired, but one that democracy delivered”, Chanda wrote on Saturday, 12 April 2019. This tweet attracted a response from Dr Sishuwa who both commended and slightly criticised it.

“One part of your message”, wrote Dr Sishuwa, “focussing on the President’s decision to congratulate all the winners, is highly commendable, though l wish he had also congratulated the losers for enriching our democracy. The introspection part is beyond your role as his aide, since it’s a PF matter.”

Unconvinced, Chanda moved to question Dr Sishuwa’s understanding of the role of a presidential aide, noting that speaking on behalf of the PF president was part of his Terms of Reference. “The construction is mine, but the brief was to call the party to an introspection. What then have I exceeded as press aide? You seem confused about role of presidential spokesperson, I think. U may also wish to see my contract and TORs. Yes, losers did their part too!”, Chanda tweeted.

“Amos, you are a press aide to the President of Zambia”, replied Dr Sishuwa. “You are not a press aide to the President of Patriotic Front. Do you understand the difference? Don’t you think matters to do with the PF such as introspection should be left to the PF President, Davies Mwila, Sunday Chanda?”, Dr Sishuwa asked.

At this point, other Twitter users advised Dr Sishuwa not to waste his time on Chanda, saying he is unreceptive to professional advise. Chisanga, who uses the twitter handle @uwachikata, wrote, “Thanks Dr Sishuwa for this even though it appears Mr Chanda is not one who listens to reason as shown here”, a message that was echoed by another user, Mr Right (@FredKamanya), who tweeted “You can’t advise any PF member, they’re are above anything. While I appreciate your efforts, I can tell you that you’re wasting your time.”

Another academic Dr Cleopas Sambo who describes himself as someone who “teaches at UNZA whenever it is open” tweeted “@ssishuwa [you are] flogging a dead horse! One wonders if this is just plain ineptitude or willful ignorance. A press aide to the President of Zambia is not a party functionary and SHOULD not be towing a party line. ToRs stipulating such are only possible in a wishy-washy state but then”.

Not long afterwards, the President’s spokesperson returned to reply to Dr Sishuwa’s previous tweet.

“He [Edgar Lungu] is PF President; he assigns me as such. Opposition leaders call me to engage him what do I do? Who must carry political instructions to SG and Sunday? Theresa May’s press secretary & political advisor resigned when campaign manifesto they wrote lost her last general election!”, stated the State House spokesperson, moments before the critical academic responded.

“You are conflating the role of a presidential aide with that of a party functionary. The role of the President’s press aide ends at State engagements; party matters are for the party aides or spokespersons. Are we together, Amos?”, asked Dr Sishuwa.

“Mr Chanda knows how to silence people”, wrote Munir in a supportive follow-up tweet that appeared to be a veiled threat to Dr Sishuwa who remained unmoved and wondered how exactly the President’s aide silences critics:

“How? Certainly not by the quality and content of his [Amos Chanda’s] speech. A Presidential spokesperson must be impeccable in their command of the language of communication. They should take care to speak or write cogently, eliminating all spelling and grammatical errors to the extent possible.’

Unable to tolerate any further criticism and sustain the discussion, the President’s Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations moved to block his chief critic. Moments later, Dr Sishuwa tweeted “Today, l suggested to Amos Chanda, spokesperson of the President of #Zambia, Edgar Lungu, that he should stop conflating his role with that of the spokesperson of the ruling Patriotic Front party. Chanda, instead of engaging in constructive debate, has responded by BLOCKING me!”

Another twitter user, SkippyinZambia, also complained that Chanda has blocked him, posting an image in support. “That little coward Amos is doing it to every critic. He will regret one day when Edgar falls and there is no protection for him.”, Skippy tweeted. Other netizens who subsequently revealed that Chanda had blocked them include Wilfred Zulu, Webster Mulenga, Florence Chanda, and Norman Chipakupaku.

Many Zambians on Twitter quickly moved to condemn Chanda’s move. Prominent economist Trevor Simumba wrote “There is no point advising these guys. He will probably still stalk you through other accounts to keep up with your views”. Kalaluka Kapungu tweeted “Larry Moonze was complaining about similar behaviour (Amos blocking journos from covering State House) to @Dora_Siliya yesterday. Not surprised that the President never holds pressers. What with a press team averse to engagement.”. Another University of Zambia lecturer, Dr Peter Mubanga Cheuka, implored Chanda to be receptive to public criticism, tweeting “@AmosNChanda, there is a very worrying perception in the PF government – that every criticism on the government is sponsored by the opposition. This unfounded perception will cost this government. Listen to people and answer their questions please.” Douty Chibamba wrote “Interesting. The democratic leaders cannot converse with the led at the slightest difference in opinions.” Dr Sambo tweeted “Word on the street is that @ssishuwa is now blocked. Truth really has few friends”.

Earlier in the discussion, other Twitter users questioned Chanda’s understanding of his official role. “You are press aid to the president of the republic not of the party … leave that role to Sunday Chanda and them”, wrote Mukwae Njinji who uses the twitter handled Namunji. The President’s spokesperson remained defiant, responding “What’s so painful to you about the President’s call to a deep introspection in PF?” Mukwae Njinji explained that she was concerned because, like Dr Sishuwa, she was a taxpayer. “I care less about the President calling for introspect for PF, my issue is you delivering party massage on the Zambian tax payers pen . You need to tell us what plan the government has with the worrying drought expected that’s what pays you”. In response, Chanda tweeted “Are you suggesting the party messages I deliver to UPND, NAREP and others must be paid for by those parties?” This question prompted Dr Sishuwa to tweet: “Let me simplify the point with an elementary illustration. If Chishimba Kambwili was the President of PF today while Edgar Lungu was President of Zambia, would you, as Special Assistant to the President of Zambia, consider it as part of your role to speak on behalf of Kambwili?” Moments later, the presidential aide effected his blockade on Dr Sishuwa.


[Read 10,944 times, 2 reads today]


  1. “Let me simplify the point with an elementary illustration. If Chishimba Kambwili was the President of PF today while Edgar Lungu was President of Zambia, would you, as Special Assistant to the President of Zambia, consider it as part of your role to speak on behalf of Kambwili?” AC! AC! Unlearn and Relearn!

    • We have criticized Chanda on the same matter on this forum, this guy simply doesn’t get it. He misuses his role, no question about that. Never seen a Presidential Spokesperson being so powerful, even Ministers seem to be pulling their tails between their legs, when it comes to this guy.
      The example given by Dr. Sishuwa, above, should be an eye-opener for Chanda

    • These chaps have become so arrogant they see no difference between PF and GRZ…taxpayers are nothing but sheep to them.
      There is no leadership everyone is a boss this reminds me of that other silly boy George Chellah who used to create news pages, fake accounts to insult bloggers on Facebook and had his own team of PF bloggers.

    • Behaviour of a typical gremlim that Amos is. This guy behaves as though he is an elected PF official and defacto the VP, and only because drunk and clueless Edgar allows it

    • LT bloggers have been pointing out Chanda’s flawed press assistant role for ages. If his Terms of Reference say what he says, they are illegal. A civil servant never works for a political party. If he does he should be fired. Other civil servants are constantly reminded and are warned of this. Who is Amos to think he is a special human?
      Any good thinking individual would have corrected the flaw if he noticed it in his terms of reference but not these self serving thieving louts

    • Shametola nkhani – This is the next generation of leadership we have to stop from ascending to power by all means possible ..very rotten selfish mindset without an oz of integrity like that of Tayali where he can eat from everyone in PF and proudly call himself a President of political party….he sees nothing wrong with what he is doing as its feeding him that’s what matters.
      As far as Amos is concerned he is where he is because of PF as the money he gets from GRZ is nothing compared to the loot he are amassed with his crooks in PF. This is the reason why most of these young boys never get recognised and end up doing further studies after living office as they are ill-qualified to work in these positions in the first place.

    • Chanda has a first and fourth amendment right to block anyone he wants to from his social media feeds. I do that all the time!!!

      It just goes to show I don’t need your input I am doing just fine without you in my life and you didn’t get me to where I am, so go hang if you want to and I care less.

      I got here by myself, so thanks but no thanks for your input!!! Now go ahead and do your thumbs down as per usual …

      I don’t need your approval (thumbs up to be me) to feel great about myself unlike Gay Gay and Spooked!!!

      Epo mpelele,


    • B R Mumba, JUNIOR – Yes you have “first and fourth amendment” to block anyone but guess what? You are not a Presidential Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations do you understand what that word public in there stands for…you are not employed by GRZ. You should understand that Sunday fooking Chanda doesn’t have this problem on his page as he is a PF media guy..he can say all he wants no one would bother with him.

    • @B R Mumba, Sr
      I had respect for you, but I think, there’s something wrong with you. You don’t get it! Read what the people are complaining about. Amos’ boss does not hold press conferences to explains issues and allow them to ask questions about issues facing our country. Chanda seems to be the one to whom the president has delegated that role…to answer questions that he cannot answer. Now Amos is blocking people to avoid answering questions that the people of Zambia have about the affairs of the country. So , you B R Mumba, Sr can’t see people’s frustrations, people’s blocking?
      Get a life ba Mumba. Don’t support blindly.

    • @Ba Angela … I perfectly understand people’s frustrations and the answer is simple.

      Next time you have elections make sure Chanda and his boss are not in a position to block people from social media feeds solely because they are asking about job performance.

      Both Chanda and his boss are not wa muyaya and people have the power to choose alternatives to replace them, chapwa …

      And by the way, I have a great life ~ What A Sweet Life!!!

      Epo mpelele,


    • @Gay Gay … there you go again as per usual!!! Totally off the rails. It’s his prerogative either in his personal or professional capacity.

      He can even take it another step further if he wants to. Plead the 5th and there’s diddly squat any of you can do about it.

      Got it??? So, where it’s the 1st, the 4th or the 5th one can exercise those anyway one wants, it’s called freedom of rights, badala.

      Epo mpelele,


    • AMOS is Stupid, Politics should never be Personal. It shows the maturity of an individual. Lungu should kick some of these boys.
      On another Subject When did Brian become Dr?? was he honoured or He was studying.

  2. Its very disgusting that PF can never take criticism. How do you improve without criticzm. you keep on labeling us as tribal and anti government simply because we loathe your way of governing us when in the actual sense we are concerned tax-payers. we are your pay masters and you are answerable to us. the moment you start being arrogant and stop listening, it wont be long before we trash out of power. Power belongs to the people!

    • This is a boy who was insulting BUFFOON CK after he questioned his wealth liking him to a HIV patient..he was never punished by his inept useless boss LAZY LUNGU….I mean who has he ever punished? Here is a civil servant publicly arguing with taxpayers who happen to learned people and to add salt to injury the govt is failing to pay these very people at CBU and UNZA on time.

  3. flag Corruption scandals: Social Security Cash Luxury Presidential Jet Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans

    Wow! Nice read… this is the type of info that some of us who are slightly disconnected and removed from the country need.

    Kudos to Sishuwa (I didn’t know he was a Doctor and UNZA lecturer)… great to learn we still have them few inspiring individuals ready to question the status quo.

    Not surprised at the chicken feet reaction from the intellectual challenged Chanda… we see these same trolls on here.

    Now I’m off to follow Chanda so I can pick up where Dr Sishuwa left and be the next one to debate him and get blocked.

    And oh I’m out to follow Sishuwa too.

  4. The lines between party and GRZ roles have been blurred for so long that he (Amos Chanda) took it for granted and saw it as normal business.

    But if you are a person that loves learning, then learn something especially if that lesson has been offered free of charge.

    • You will even find State House officials publicly donating funds at PF fundraising events…these are the type of people we have advising Lazy Lungu.

  5. Mudala Chileshe, why are u so worried?

    I bet, PF shall win Roan come 2021 because UPND shall stand alone.
    And so the Roan vote of 8000 shall split between HHs UPND and Kambwilis NDC,
    PF vote shall remain intact at 5000.

    PF is winning Roan….. Why stress?

  6. Dr. Sishuwa many Zambians appreciate the valuable and logical contributions you have been making pointing out the numerous abuses being committed by the PF. This is commendable,especially at a time that many of our enlightened citizens have chosen to dine with the abusers and governance reduced to bribery and deception of citizens. Please keep it up as this is what is expected from any credible and patriotic academic.

  7. It’s clear Amos Chanda has a job description. He didn’t prepare it himself…his employer gave it to him. And like every good employee, he must execute that job description.

    It is also clear that academics and the public have THEORIES about what his job description should be. Those theories clearly differ from what the actual job description Amos has is.

    So in REAL LIFE Amos is right. In theory academics and the public are right.

    We live in real life…not theories.

    • Rules and regulations are supposed to govern countries , to be followed by all.

      If a job description contradicts rules and regulations the underpin a functioning government , do we just ignore this ??

      With lungu being a lawyer , one wonders if his morals compass is there at all…..

    • flag Corruption scandals: Social Security Cash Luxury Presidential Jet Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans

      Oh dear! This must be Amos Chanda himself, he still doesn’t get it. Listen mate your paycheck comes from taxpayers money and not from PF. Is that too hard to comprehend?

  8. “How? Certainly not by the quality and content of his [Amos Chanda’s] speech. A Presidential spokesperson must be impeccable in their command of the language of communication. They should take care to speak or write cogently, eliminating all spelling and grammatical errors to the extent possible.”
    I have no time for this ka chap party cadre Amos Chanda but I must draw a line.
    To a large extent, I do appreciate Dr Sishuwa’s articles/comments/tweets but I think the language above is a bit unprofessional, too kombonistic for an academic at Dr level, almost sounds a PF cadres tweeting, … or a trib.al … really ba Doctor Sishuwa?
    I would also block him … on the old and proven principle of “…people may not notice the difference …..”.

  9. The line is thin even in the USA Sara Sanders sometimes crosses the line when she makes political statements against the democrats…It’s the nature of the job nothing to worry much about

  10. University Lecturers have become political Animals yet their Salaries are Funded by Government. Private universities are able to operate at a profit. If lecturers are going to be political players let them do it at their own expense. Antagonism created ends up impacting innocent students. I fear late funding of these institutions is rooted in this.

  11. Dr Sishuwa is being ridiculous and an annoying internet troll. Chanda is entitled to block a troll irrespective of his role. The obvious question to Dr Sishuwa, is,….is Chanda’s role according to your understanding one of engaging in Twitter wars? That’s why he was blocked, because a discourse had gone awry. Furthermore, Dr Sishuwa, could if he liked ask his MP to raise that question in parliament to ascertain with all clarity the roles of those who represent the President and his office.

    It’s a great shame how public figures in Zambia malign those who rule us and those with support roles. In relation to the argument Dr Sishuwa, was raising, it’s clear as a representative Chanda CAN actually REPEAT what the President had approved to be put out in a statement.

    • Another empty tin even after reading the whole article he has not learnt anything…do you really think if was out of the job and wrote that on his tweet anyone would quiz him? Its this dullard-ness that is cause that is these foooolish politicians telling people that if you vote for anyone other than PF you will never receive development.

    • @Jay jay, I think it’s the dullardness of loud mouths that only know to criticise but not how to resolve issues that’s the problem. The problem in this instance is to fight or not to fight, the questioning of probity to publish is neither here nor there. Chanda answered with integrity amply…..then he had to put it to bed. In his role he must conduct himself appropriately, that Twitter war was going nowhere.

      No one enjoyed good health fighting with rabied dogs.

    • @Patriot, sometimes it helps to admit when you don’t know something. Hate or hate him, Sishuwa was right. Instead of calling critics name, present your argument and show why you think Chanda should speak for PF when he is a civil servant. Note that he is not spokesperson of EL but the head of public relations and media of the Republican presidency. He serves the office, not a person. Chanda can privately advise the PF spokesperson to release a statement reflecting the party president’s views. But he is not supposed to issue the statement himself. We are not in the era of the party and it’s government, where there was no differentiation between party and state.

    • @Abigail Mwansa, learn to read and understand other people’s counter arguments even if they vear off the topic a bit. I was not tackling Chanda’s list of duties as according to Dr Sishuwa. I was highlighting the right to turn off social media if you feel so especially when dealing with social media bullying/heckling. So please don’t patronise me by repeating the same ridiculous take on a nonsense argument Dr Sishuwa has presented. You can’t window dress it, ” as if you don’t know something”…..The manner of his conduct (Dr) by persistently being disagreeable and pompous was disgusting. Chanda was right to turn him off when he was fed up, reached his tolerance level. Dr Sishuwa, behaved like a rapist, who persists after a woman says NO!
      A lot of Africans have superficial…

    • A lot of Africans have superficial language skills. There is a real problem in understanding things properly. May I recommend an African interpreter to assist you in a language of choice.

      It might be that you tolerate harassment because you are used to it yourself. Empower yourself and learn to be appropriate on social media, above all say NO and turn off your social media if it becomes unpleasant. I hope you have learned something today.

  12. This argument of who pays who is to me total rubbish. Opposition MPS get tax payers money too. Are they not speaking for their parties and party presidents. Even PF members contribute to taxes that opposition politicians receieve and use to insult them.
    People like Sishuwa are irrelevant to some of us because all they look for are negatives in the government. They never comment where the government does better.
    Zambia is a great country with its own problems, but is not the worst in the world. Sishuwa should not pretend to be neutral, he just like Ndulo and Hansungule are supporters of a known opposition party and would be happy to see PF fail. Sorry we fully understand who you are and we will treat you as such.
    If you meant good you would quetely advise our president and Ministers…

    • Opposition MPs get taxpayers money you say…I wonder if some of you did social studies at primary school. You have no understanding of the Executive and Legislative …its just barking like those call boys looking for BUFFOON CK in that Facebook video.

  13. Chanda is a complete hypocrite .Its amazing how some public figures who criticize/attack others left and right suddenly can’t take it they have to block.

  14. #13 John Chinena, “Ndulo and Hansungule”??? What good can ever come out of those two so called “academics”? Discredited trib.als all round. What a tragedy!! I mean what a trib.al tragedy!!! This Sishuwa is slightly better as a half baked trib.al, but just a question of time he will be a proper trib.al very soon.

  15. Why do you look at everything to be tribal. So if it comes from someone of a different tribal no matter how good argument advanced it is tribal. This is the reason Zambia is stagnant economically. Habazooka is now not tribal because he is supporting Dr. Sir whatever Mumba’s paymasters, if it was the other way round he could have been labelled tribal. Listen to Tayalis video on Amosi Chanda. I hope you also won’t accuse him of joining tribalist.

  16. I like critics when one in neutral and objective. It becomes silly when he is a mouthpiece of another political party or has a hidden agenda. You can criticize and correct but taking the opportunity to degrade someone in unethical and unjustified

  17. I like critics when one is neutral and objective. It becomes silly when he is a mouthpiece of another political party or has a hidden agenda. You can criticize and correct but taking the opportunity to degrade someone is unethical and unjustified

    • @Adedo, the current crop of Opposition and their supporters are unaware of ethics. They are so desperate for power and believe destruction of everything in their path is okay. Including pulling down the very country they want to rule! Go figure.

  18. All what Chanda should have done is to thank Sishuwa for the correction and move on, but with his new found wealth he is always right, that is how PF works, remember not long ago Mwila was trying to direct the Lusaka City council as if he is a government functionary when he is just a PF cadre, maybe with he aquired grade twelve certificate he now understands where a cadres powers begins and ends, PF for you.

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