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Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Horizon School – Rumors and Truths

Headlines Horizon School - Rumors and Truths

Horizon School Pupils celebrating end of year function
Horizon School Pupils celebrating end of year function


By Dickson Jere

For the past three-days, stories have been trending on Horizon School of Lusaka. Rumors and half-baked truths continue to dominate discussions and yet the government – the custodian of the truth on this issue – remains quiet. Why? I have no idea!

Here is the truth about the Horizon School takeover.

The President of the Republic of Zambia Mr. Edgar Lungu has compulsorily acquired Horizon School in “public interest” using powers vested in him by the Lands Acquisition Act. In order to exercise this power, the President only has to demonstrate that it is in “public interest” to do so – and the owners will eventually be compensated by the government as per law. They also have a right to challenge the President in the High Court for Zambia if they think the power has been exercised wrongly.

The next question is what prompted the President to takeover Horizon School.

The rumors and innuendos that the land has been acquired in order to facilitate a shopping mall is not true – at least from what I know. The acquisition has been made following a protracted international battle between the Turkish government and the allies of former Turkish President who is connected to the Fethullah Gulen Organisation. In short, the Turkish government is alleging that the owners of Horizon Schools all over the world are actively involved in terrorism – the accusation which is denied of course.

Let’s move to the next step.

The Turkish government, through its Maarif Foundation, has opted to take over all these Horizon Schools all over the world and kick out the alleged “terrorists”. Some governments have signed Bilateral Agreements with the Turkish government to take over the schools and hand them to the Turkish Maarif Foundation. The government of Chad recently acquired the same schools and handed them over to the Turkish government to run them. This is happening in so many countries.

What will happen to Horizon School in Zambia?

What I know is that the Maarif Foundation has asked to be allowed to continue running the school. Whether government will accept this offer or not, it is for the Ministers to explain. But what is true is that the school is not closing and the staff will be maintained either through the Ministry of Education or indeed the Turkish government. Surely government can explain this obvious position!

Will they build the shopping mall?

The answer is NO! There is no shopping mall coming to replace the school. And the school is also not going to close down. That is what I know talking to government and Turkish officials. So why is government not explaining this simple roadmap to stakeholders? School Board chairman Leslie Mbula is right to speculate in the absence of information!

Lastly, the President is being accused of having a personal interest in the matter. On this one, I can defend him. I do not think he has any personal interest given the fact that this an ongoing international battle. This is more of a foreign policy issue in the country. It is an international battle that has sadly entered our jurisdiction and those in power have the responsibility to deal with it – rightly or wrongly!

I hope there will be a detailed statement from the government to explain what this debacle is all about. The longer it takes for the government to respond, the more the people will believe the rumours. In a digital world, a quick response is the best!


    • The owner of the school has come out and implicated Mr. Lungu.

      If it is between Mr. Lungu and anyone other person not connected with PF, I would always believe that other person.

    • Dickson Jere has got it absolutely right here. But Zambia has to be worried. The current Turkish president is an autocrat. Whereas the founder of modern Turkey sought to modernize the country by putting religion in its place, the current government wants to turn the clock back and has. Putting religion in its place is not banning faith but merely separating it from the state. Turkey remains a country where violence erupts now and again, especially due to injustice against the Kurds. France and Britain sowed the seeds of this violence more than 100 yrs ago as they were getting colonies for themselves from former pieces of the Ottoman empire in the Middle East.

  1. Congratulation for the well informed story but yet to investigated at moment bro you are using social media as it is suppose to be keep it up bro,otherwise as nation we are against terrorism so as gay,incest and homosexuality.

    • Poorly written. Dickson are we to believe you on the basis of your conversation with officials that there will not be a mall there. The justifications in the story would not pass through an editorial board. They sound like opinions, just like I can say YES, ECL has personal taste interests because he has personal interests in other international matters such as Mukula or fuel procurement. You see. No evidence but opinion.

  2. Welldone,Dickson keep it up, I like the way you articulate issues.The School will not close and hope standard will be maintained

  3. …thank you Dickson Jere, but you correctly ask why the authorities are silent on what looks like an innocent decision. So the question is, is the decision really innocent? Even Dickson has expressed ignorance on the silence? It is not far fetched to imagine another donchi kubeba.

  4. Leslie Mbula, as a former senior GRZ official, was very irresponsible to issue wild speculations before getting the real story-he knows procedures and protocols, he knows who to see to get the right info. It’s this polarisation that has hit the country which took over his judgement. Dickson Jere, you have shown more maturity than ba Leslie, well done.

  5. Are you actively looking for a spokes person job with PF mr jere ?

    GRZ should consider hiring Dickson , I have always thought he speaks sense , that is why RBs Offìce was very civilised…..not these kapovas lungu has who are always looking for bribes to build mansions

  6. F$$lish citizens no wonder these politicians take you for granted, how are you going to believe a story by someone with some bias and is basing his facts on his own opinions. Even if it is true, I repeat this corrupt government of PF has a bad record of messing these takeovers, look at the mine saga, Zamtel. Those people’s fears are justifiable looking at how rogue Lungu has gotten. Lungu is answerable to us and so he should not abuse his powers by taking over institutions as he wishes. We need answers as to why take over a well-performing school. The country is broke, with so many issues for us to be taking over institutions, this might also strain our relationships with other nations if we continue taking over institutions, we are scaring away investors with this rogue president

  7. This age is a dangerous one, there so many opposing forces that want to gain an upper hand rightly or wrongly. In the absence of real and credible opposition in Zambia we will continue to have a “draught” of the truth to the detriment of our great nation. However, it will take sober a few minds to bring to light the truth. On the other hand there are so many misguided sauls whose intent is to believe and false negative news about our country in general and leadership in particular.

  8. Now the owners of the school are linked to terrorism? Wasn’t he/organization also linked to the Turkish coup?
    I think we (entire world) are just being used in Turkeys’ internal politics here. Shouldn’t respective govts using their FIC-like institutions atleast have some intelligence on where profits from the schools go? If there is no such intelligence linking the schools to terrorism then it’s clear we are helping current president of Turkey in politically fixing his enemies*.

  9. Rumor pa Zed ni daily bread. No wonder KK used to say to the effect of “lies in the morning, lies in the afternoon, and lies in the night!” It is as if we get scared that if the truth wills out then we lose out. Thank you Dickson. Manje nanga muyako uyo Chipampe ni cani sakamba? Ayopa ka Amos?

  10. Rumor pa Zed ni daily bread. No wonder KK used to say to the effect of “lies in the morning, lies in the afternoon, and lies in the night!” It is as if we get scared that if the truth wills out then we lose out. Thank you Dickson. Manje nanga muyako uyo Chipampe ni cani sakamba? Ayopa ka Amos!?

  11. Don’t understand how a government can repossess and asset then hand it over to another entity on request from a foreign government. These francophone countries have twisted thinking. A colonial mentality, which I hope we will not mimic.

  12. The true story brothers is that last year dictator erdogan offered more than 10 million US Dollars to corrupt president Lungu. Turkish government is funding this money from state budget ( under president expenses section, which is exempt of any type of investigation).

    These Gulen group members are the most innocent muslim group in Zambia, living among society, having legitimate business, participating in charities etc.

    Zambian media should investigate more why Lungu acts this way!

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