BY ISAAC CHIPAMPE
In their 14th November, 2020 edition, The Economist magazine published an opinionated article that at best describes Zambia as a collapsed economy caused by its President’s authoritarian style of leadership and called for neighbouring countries, and the rest of the world to press for regime change.
Now, this is not a new call out because the international media, in tow with the main opposition in Zambia, have been calling for the rest of the world to declare Zambia a pariah state. But it is normal these days for a frustrated opposition to wish a country bad omen as long as that helps in discarding the ruling party from power, patriotism aside.
What is new, however, is the extent to which an internationally recognized and probably authoritative magazine went in demonising President Edgar Lungu. And I assume here that this malicious article was written by the publishers, themselves, and not a correspondent or even one of their reporters because at end, the Magazine does not proffer any disclaimer about the origin of the article but states cheekily that “This article appeared in the Readers Section of the print edition under the headline “Zambia’s descent”.
The online version, however, is a little more blunter with a multi-faceted headline: “The Mugabe model…How to stop Zambia from turning into Zimbabwe…Neighbours and creditors should resist its slide into autocracy and economic collapse.”
And it is in this headline or headlines that one clearly sees the push for regime change. It is obvious that firstly by likening President Lungu to the late Zimbabwean leader, The Economist tries to brand and frame the Zambian President as a dictator, and by doing that they hope Zambia’s bilateral partners would react in a similar way they punished Zimbabwe. But it is also a ploy to force those who hated President Mugabe to shift their focus to President Lungu, that the Zimbabwean leader is no more.
President Mugabe’s nemeses are obviously missing him and now that he is no more they have been looking at which African leader they could calibrate as a dictator. They want to create imaginary authoritarians in Africa because in truth dictators are now in short supply here. The pendulum is moving to them.
In their effort to scandalise and chastise President Lungu and his Government, the magazine tries to portray Zambia as headed for economic destruction and calls for Zambia’s neighbours (who ironically include Zimbabwe, by the way) to embark on a mission to remove President Lungu and his Government from power. Reason?
- President Lungu is more dangerous to Zambia’s economy than covid-19;
- he scares away investors by seizing mines;
- he detains mining bosses;
- he fired the Central Bank Governor for resisting to print money;
- he arrested opposition leaders before the 2016 elections;
- he shut down the main independent newspaper; and
- he has arrested Hakainde Hichilema, the main opposition leader, as well as journalists, musicians and other critics.
The Magazine then makes a clarion call:
“Many Zambians worry that their country is sliding into autocracy and economic ruin, like next door Zimbabwe. To stop that slide, the region and the wider world need to start paying attention now, rather than just sending election observers a few weeks before the poll.”
Obviously, The Magazine painstakingly tries to portray President Lungu as an authoritarian they would like him to be, but at the expense of truth. And “truth” is the heart and soul of good journalism which this respected Magazine has foregone. The Economist is being economical with the truth. For what gain? Only them and their Zambian allies would know. The truth is in all the bullets above, the magazine is either lying or spinning facts i.e slanting facts out of context. There is absolutely no need to explain bullet point by bullet point because every Zambian knows that The Economist Magazine is lying. The authors of this article were either deliberately lying, or were lied to by their sources but what is important is that, out of all these lies above, none would persuade a Zambian to frown upon President Lungu. Why? Because Zambians know these are fibs…outright lies! No amount of demagoguery will skew the thinking of Zambians about the President.
Brand him and frame him in whatever way you like, President Lungu is anything but a dictator. He has allowed the Zambian media to criticize him day in day out. More importantly, through the operationalisation of the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA), a plethora of vibrant radio and television stations have been born under President Lungu’s administration. This has allowed citizens to hold Government to account on a daily basis. This has also allowed a plurality of voices on air, unlike before when Zambians relied only on the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) for information. President Lungu has also allowed his opponents to criticize him, and sometimes intrusively defame him, on a daily basis. President Lungu has allowed civil society to thrive and they are in numbers here, some of them very critical of him and his Government. He has also not tampered with the independence of the Judiciary, legislature, and critical governance agencies like the Anti-Corruption Commission, the Drug Enforcement Commission, and the Electoral Commission of Zambia, to mention but a few.
It is, therefore, a shame that ignorant international media can pick on him to be a dictator when there are dictators not far from their newsrooms. The world must not worry about President Lungu, they must instead worry about the trajectory being taken by the Western media, especially the likes of The Economist and their ilk.
The author is Special Assistant to President Edgar Lungu for Press and Public Relations
We have seen this before. Country finds gold, western world do everything in their financial power to destabilise debt negotiation, then western World start a campaign to label country authoritarian so that there is reason to impose sanctions and steal resources through illegal intervention. Meanwhile dull diasporans believe this tosh and are blinded.
Thank you Robert Mugabe for opening our eyes. RIP. We shall never be cheated.
So everything in our beloved country is just great right?
You really think the rest of the world doesn’t notice when: 1. Some GRZ officials openly declare their districts/provinces “no-go-areas” for HH, thereby infringing on his freedom of movement in his own country.. 2. Nevers mumba was few days go blocked from visiting Vubwi and the district police officer in charge even admitted getting “instructions from above” to block him…3. Cadres freely intimidate the oppostion, e.g interrupting live radio interviews…and destroying the opposition’s property and rarely face the full wrath of the law… 4. Prime TV get’s shut down under the disguise of not supporting GRZ efforts to fight Covid when we all know it’s because it was a critical of government and had a wider audience…5. The economy is indeed in shambles with our currency having…
Why does Chipampe always look like he does not believe what he writes?
Ah, he once believed the same things he now calls lies. His face looks a contradiction or constipation.
A silly article paid for by hh fellow gay organisations. You think such can move us. 2021 be prepared for yet another loss. The staff at the economist magazine do not vote in zambian elections. Hahaha. Mulimbe
and they fu#ked and your peace of sh1t boss in the @ss, who is gay now you @sshole
Kanshi Chipampe naena chinangwa fye. All the 7 truths listed out the 25 worst deeds are nothing but the truth.
Why Edgar have this Chipampe, what is his use? Amos Chanda would not have exposed the PF president like that.
You rightly state the the Economist is a highly respected magazine.It also has an intelligence unit which means that its sources include not only foreign embassies but probably individuals right in your office.Now,instead of denying the obvious, it will more productive for you to work on your serious shortcomings the magazine has highlighted.Resistance is futile.
That article is absolutely true and it is only the PF government or is it COVENment to blame. I’m quite happy that the evils that this government does has finally hit global attention. Nothing is forever hidden under the sun. The world has now become too small for atrocities not to be heard across the globe. Shame on this government. REPENT and change your ways or else the wrath of God awaits you. God will disgrace you in public. Kudos to the Economist Mag.
First, let’s get one thing straight: Zambians are born with the right to speak their minds as they wish so long as they do not unjustly injure another Zambian. The right was regained at independence after a brief interruption. Nobody alive today in Zambia should claim powers to be the permission giver.
Second, although I have done it myself, it is insulting and unfair to Zimbabwe to compare it to Zambia. Zimbabwe had a concerted campaign of sanctions imposed as it tried to deal with the complicated landownership issues. We, on the other hand, suffered nothing of the sort other than intoxication on Easy Money.
Really laughable…These foooools remind me of Saddam Hussein’s minister of information who was bragging that he will slaughter the Americans when US Abrahams tanks can be seen far in the background entering the Baghdad.
The Finance minister has admitted to defaulting before this famous default last friday. So we have been defaulting all along, no big deal.
KZ and the chipampe should tell us which , out of the 7 list are lies ????
Because we have seen all 7 of them , and more……
Chimpape is playing to the gallery. Where does Zambia borrow money from? Is Zambia an island? What is the diplomats’ work in Zambia? Who has been doing the rating of Zambia? There’s so much ignorance in PF.
In normal circumstances it’s not Chimpape who should have given a response but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Information.
Chimpape should also know
Such a poor attempt at deflection. This fellow has utterly failed to refute the substance of the article, point by point. All you have done is draw more attention to the article and to your inability to rebut it.
IF ECL WAS A DICTATOR WOULD HE BROOK THE DAILY NONSENSE FROM MMEMBE’S MAST TRASH PAPER?
WE SHALL SHAME THEM IN 2021 WHEN ECL RETAINS POWER
Borrowing money from Western bond markets means opening yourself up to the scrutiny of the magazine all the fund managers who hv lent money to Zambia read. That’s just the way it works. Anyone willing to do an interview with The Economist on this article? The editors will relish the opportunity.
Tell us which of the 7 points listed are not true ????
Because we have seen all of them
……unless the video and picture footage of those incidences were fake …..?
RB cried and his statement was that we had stopped listening and that is when he lost elections. The economist is trying to advise these chaps but the stubbornness is beyond comprehension, just check the cheek from lab tach. The country is on its knees please
Thanks Economist for your accuracy, that is how both the ruling party members and opposition feel. It is now a common sense issue, you can not tow party affiliation now when everything has collapsed on the Zambian economy . There is no country in the world which has had a currency erode by 50% in one year. This is a no contest. MMD even left a decent economy
You are the only one seeing the lie, 28 million Zambians agree with the economist
What a pack of lies from this so-called respected ‘rag’. Beginning today I am going to influence all my seven children to vote PF next year.
Clear sign of lack of confidence from the international community. Arguing at your perial. Be ware
The closer we are to the 2021 general elections the more lies we will have. So expect more to come. I urge the ruling pf party to up their efforts of making sure they have as many voter registrations as possible in order to nullify the opposition’s zeal of their efforts to ferry people to registration centres as alluded by Musona.
It doesn’t surprise me that all those supporting the economists imperialist lies are upnd diasporan based bigots. They are fed, clothed and kept by their imperial masters in their adopted countries so we understand that they have to support anything their colonial masters say. After all these baboons ain’t zambian..however what I find weird is why these diasporan spend all day talking about our country Zambia. Cant you blog on British or American articles? Oh I forgot you are not considered equal to the whltes there so you not allowed to participate in internal issues even after gaining their passports. How sad is that ?
The closer we are to the 2021 general elections the more lies we will have. So expect more to come. I urge the ruling pf party to up their efforts of making sure they have as many voter registrations as possible in order to nullify the opposition’s zeal of their efforts to ferry people to registration centres as alluded to by Musona.
Although his article is full of lies Chipampe seems to know his job better than his predecessors from Richard Sakala, through Dickson Jere to Chanda who did not know this strategy of hitting back at media critics by writing back. The previous presidential assistants just knew one tactic: bullying. They loved making partisan noise and bossing journalists at state owned media. The Economist is a doomsdayer whose editors don’t think anything good can come out of Africa. They spent a lot of space bringing down KK just check their 80s issues. They think Europeans are angels and the rest of us devils
I read the article. Then I read the wholesome analysis from the first comment and it summed it up. Excellent analysis, big bro KZ. This is the same media and protagonists who demonized KK and praised and financed the MMD so much-the group that wantonly handed over our productive base to capitalist vultures who vandalised KK/UNIP assets and bequeathed poverty to Zambians. The PF has resisted these advances because the imperialists want control of our assets and minerals. Who better to support and propose as Zambia’s leader?? The imperialist-friendly, privatisation bandit, Freemason LGBT supporter: hakainde hichilema himself!!!
KZ shut the Fukc up. Where did you borrow these billions from. Was it not from European and international markets or did I get it wrong. You keep on bragging about colonialism. May be uncle Bob from Zimbabwe lent you these billions.
You are just a thick nigger who can’t think straight. Sanctions will come and it will bite you on your rear end.
The whole story is very petty, only educated fools sink so low as to dwell on pettiness! If the so called opposition in Zambia think Edgar Lungu is a dictator they should try Uganda! Hichilema thinks the Economist Editorial fools will come vote in Zambia! No, foreigners don’t vote in Zambia! So his strategy is wrong as usual! He’s headed for another loss! And who’s a dictator, Lungu who has been to one intra party elections in 5 years and Hichilema who has been to one intra party election in 15 years. Zambians careful! The Bible says ” remove the big speck from your eye, before you tell your brother to remove his . . . . . !”. And Hichilema is a chap who doesn’t want to give chance to others lead the kantemba party, UPND, that’s an out right dictator! And because of his tribal…
The all-world has become more competitive now than it was 100years age where Africans didn’t know the value of the lands and its natural resources!! with the article of economist magazine, they will go by to publish anything to undermine the capability of African countries to look bad for there own interest!! because they have realized that it’s only African that has in abundance of land and resources to keep their country running. One thing we must put in mind and understand is that the western world will do anything to manipulate Africans countries for them to obtain our resources to keep their country at bay. they have seen how china as engaged in African affairs whilst the western world is just watching and thinking about the colonialism they portrait during there time, taking away…
And because of his tribal instincts and selfishness, he has failed to work with politicians from other parts of the country like GBM and Canisious Banda. Try him and this country will crumble into pieces like a clay pot dropped to the ground!
This Econom8st magazine is so biased.What shame to report outright lies all through. These guys want to take our resources for a song. We know they propping HH. Shane on them shaaa
When Zambia accessed the first Euro-bond, the then deputy finance minister Miles Sampa led the celebrations. He had to be reminded that it was actually borrowed money and would hv to be paid back. It was pointed out that u don’t celebrate getting into debt.
Edgar Lungu has failed, of all the things they have written about him what hasn’t he done? And now he wants to illegally force himself on the ballot next year. He knows very well that he doesn’t qualify. The best he can do is to quickly exit power, he has wasted our time. Let him know and let those supporting him know that there will be consequences of that illegality. This isn’t like smuggling mukula and getting away with it or ignoring the FIC or Auditor General’s report. The country is on its knees because of wanton pillage of its resources. The day of reckoning is coming soon. Dununa reverse is coming to roost
This Article was not written by Isaac Chipampe .It was written by sunday chanda .I find chipampe to be a very sober man and in no way can he tow this narrative .He would in my opinion dismiss the article while pointing out the strides that the president has made to prove his democratic credentials .This Childish write up that tries by all means to paint the west as imperialists has Sunday Chandas Signature all over it .
The Face id chipampe can show that it him who is not telling the truth at all.
Where is the lie in what the Economist wrote? What does it benefit us to spend our time fighting the report without any points raised countering what was written? You should at least show us the works and actions of our government that have produced positive economic gains to the country now and in the future. Where is Haabazoka these days? Things are not OK – whether we like it or not.
The Face of chipampe can show that it him who is not telling the truth at all.
The Face of chipampe can show that its him who is not telling the truth at all.
Cheap propaganda will be discarded by peace loving voters. In a way, favorable stories are in short supply. There is need to generate good stories about the country and its leadership. A documentary about Kazungula Bridge would do wonders. A documentary about Kenneth Kaunda International Airport would do wonders. A documentary about new Shopping Malls around the country would do wonders. A documentary about Robert Kapasa Makasa University would do wonders. A documentary about Chalimbaba university would do wonders. A documentary about Kwame Nkrumah University would do wonders.
We are not dull.
In between the black lines are spaces in which we draw our own conclusions.
kabanshi, you are spot on. Chipampe cant write such, we have seen his urgent flimsy press releases
what is the truth guy with thick lenses..you may be able to see clearer than us Isaac..is there anything positive?
First they used to call the debt a lie until it became so huge they could not hide it anymore and had to admit it. Now they are calling the economist article a lie. In due course it will come out as the truth.
Next year will be a difficult year for everyone. These thieves have nothing to lose, they are capable of doing anything. They’ll certainly not give up power that easily. Trump’s madness isn’t helping either, as you can see they’ve already started referencing to what’s happening in USA. God help us.
The Economist Magazine article is accurate. And l live in Zambia. Iam an independent political analyst. The said article was actually lenient on the PF government. Apart from ‘State Capture’ this post President SATA PF has broken national and international records on unprecedented levels of corruption. And unprecedented threat of Zambia being a China proxy state.
The Economist Magazine article is saying the truth
Dr Makasa Kasonde @ 39, u don’t get cheap propaganda from The Economist. This is a magazine of record. There’s simply no university with a decent budget in the English-speaking world that does not subscribe to The Economist. Check its letters-to-editor page, the panoramic coverage of issues and organisations that place advertisements in its pages. If u hv a declared policy of economic diplomacy, it will go nowhere if your country gets poor coverage by The Economist.
Physical copies of The Economist magazine where these articles appear should be available in Shoprite by Thursday or Friday this week in Zambia. The magazines writes about” theft by ruling party elites”. I hope someone sues The Economist for this because it’s a very serious allegation.
Kwena bamyeba mwe bakalemba belyashi bamu Zambia muli batulo. Kazungula Bridge is about to open not a single in depth article about such a milestone. All the dumb media is focusing on Kambwili. Good journalists would have given us more than ten articles on the bridge. DeadNBC is waiting for BBC to come and film the bridge and dive us a doccie. Tulo twamusango shani utu? do the story
Show me another English language weekly which covers the world the way The Economist does. There’s simply none.
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