Thursday, June 13, 2024

The campaign to arrest Dr Sishuwa for sedition: A chronology of events so far.


By Pilato

Zambia’s Ambassador to Ethiopia and the African Union, Mr Emmanuel Mwamba, has asked the Inspector General of Police, Mr Kakoma Kanganja, to arrest political analyst and commentator Dr Sishuwa Sishuwa for SEDITION after Dr Sishuwa sued him in the Lusaka High Court for defamation.

Sedition is a serious offence that refers to the act of inciting revolt or violence against the government with the goal of overthrowing it. Those arrested on a charge of sedition cannot be granted bail and the punishment is a seven-year prison sentence.

I thought I should provide a chronology of events to help anyone interested understand how we have got here.

19 March 2021

News Diggers newspaper published an article written by Dr Sishuwa Sishuwa titled ‘This is why Zambia may burn after the August election’. In it, Dr Sishuwa discusses the erosion of democracy and lack of freedoms in Zambia ahead of the elections, and the poverty. He also warned that “If Zambia descends into large-scale political unrest after the 12 August general elections, there are three major factors that would have driven the country to that outcome. These include the public’s increasing lack of trust in (and outright contempt for) formal institutions — such as the judiciary, the Electoral Commission of Zambia and the police — as arbiters of the contest between those who wield state power and those seeking to acquire it.

“A second factor is that this is a high-stakes election, featuring two ruthless groups of political elites. One wants to perpetuate its stay in power to continue accumulating resources and to escape possible prosecution and imprisonment; the other seeks to win power to prevent a crushing end to its members’ political careers. Leaders and supporters of both groups see the August election as a matter of life and death and are likely to rebel violently against an outcome that does not favour them — particularly if the electoral process lacks credibility.

“What has emboldened these two factors is the third: the incriminating silence of international, mainly Western, institutions and actors who once spoke out against human rights violations and murderous attacks on democracy, thus exercising some kind of leverage on the actions of the political elites in power. “

Dr Sishuwa went on to mention 15 factors that have left Zambia on the edge such as mass poverty, violent party cadres, mass unemployment and inequalities, a politicised police service, and the fact that the government has ‘stockpiled weapons to kill potential protesters in the event of a flawed election outcome’. He then provided possible solutions for averting the situation. Below is the link to the article.

20 March 2021

Lusaka Times published on their website the same article written by Dr Sishuwa. Read the article on the link below.

This is why Zambia may burn after the August election

22 March 2021

News Diggers newspaper published a response from Mr John Nyawali, a concerned parent, former spokesperson of the Drug Enforcement Commission and currently a public sector employee working in the office of the Vice President of Zambia. In it, My Nyawali disagreed with Dr Sishuwa’s views and stated that the state of democracy in Zambia was not as portrayed in the article. Mr Nyawali accused Dr Sishuwa of fanning the flames of violence and said Dr Sishuwa’s warning about potential unrest shall not come to pass because Zambians are peaceful people and institutions of democracy are working just fine. Although the article was published in the print edition of the newspaper on 22 March 2021, it was only uploaded online on 26 March 2021. Below is the link to the online version.

On the same day, two other newspapers, The Mast in Zambia and The Mail & Guardian in South Africa, published Dr Sishuwa’s article. Here are the links:

This is why Zambia may burn after the August election

Zambia may burn after the August elections. Here’s how to prevent this

29 March 2021.

Mr Emmanuel Mwamba, Zambia’s Ambassador to Ethiopia and the African Union, responded specifically to the Mail & Guardian version of Dr Sishuwa’s article. In an article published on his Facebook page, Lusaka Times, Smart Eagles and other online media outlets, Mr Mwamba stated in his response that Dr Sishuwa was attempting to scandalise Zambia, harm its reputation and impose a false alarming international narrative. Mr Mwamba then alleged that Dr Sishuwa’s article published in the Mail & Guardian was a paid for propaganda piece and he could even guess who had paid for it. Below is the link to Mr Mwamba’s article.

Sishuwa is Wrong, Zambia Will Remain Peaceful and Prosperous Beyond August 2021

1 April 2021

The Mast newspaper published extracts from a letter that Dr Sishuwa had written to Mr Mwamba on 29 March 2021. In the story, Dr Sishuwa stated that neither he nor the Mail & Guardian newspaper received any payment from anyone for publishing the article. He then requested Mr Mwamba to either retract within 48 hours what he termed as the Ambassador’s ‘defamatory and false’ claims and apologise, or face legal action. Read further on the link below:

Retract your lies or else, Sishuwa warns Ambassador Mwamba

6 April 2021

Lusaka Times published Dr Sishuwa’s response to Mr Nyawali. After thanking Mr Nyawali for responding, Dr Sishuwa rejected the accusation that he was advocating violence. Dr Sishuwa said in the article: “I wrote to alert Zambians to the possible consequences of the trajectory the country has embarked upon, to help identify the drivers of that possible danger ahead, and to suggest some effective solutions. In other words, I am not the message. I am the messenger. I am a carrier of the knowledge of the possible consequences of a flawed election. I am not the cause of the current movement towards civil unrest in Zambia, post the 12 August election. I hate violence, which is why I am, in fact, alerting the nation to the point that any country that follows the trajectory Zambia has embarked upon may end up in grief, great grief, if nothing is done to arrest the key drivers of potential post-election violence, as elaborated in my article…

“I am merely illustrating how our behaviour is leading us to that outcome. Alerting the country to this progression does not amount, even in the remotest sense, to fanning the flames. To the contrary, I am doing everything possible to prevent us from arriving at a situation where unrest becomes inevitable. Please stop shooting the messenger, deal with the message.” The full response is on the link below.

Don’t shoot the messenger, deal with the message. A response to John Nyawali

21 and 22 April 2021

Several newspapers including the Zambia Daily Mail, News Diggers and Daily Nation published stories stating that Dr Sishuwa has sued Mr Mwamba in the Lusaka High Court for defamation. See the link below.

26 April 2021

Mr Mwamba circulated on his Facebook page a letter dated 26 April 2021 that he wrote to the Inspector General of Zambia Police in which he asked Mr Kakoma Kanganja to arrest Dr Sishuwa for sedition over the Mail & Guardian article. The same letter was published on Mwebantu, Lusaka Times, Zambian Observer, Zambian Watchdog and several other online outlets. Below are the links.


So, there you have it, Ladies and Gentlemen. That is how we have got here.

Source: Pilato’s Facebook page


  1. Debate on any issue is good for the Health of the Nation. Differences in Opinion on those issues is good for the Nation but those differences of Opinion is part of the discourse and should never be reported to the Police. ZPS should not interfere with such a discourse among Citizens. Dr Sishuwa alerted the Nation to the dangers of a violent, rigged and disputed Election. What Dr Sishuwa wrote was just Conjecture. He warned the Nation that if certain drivers are not contained Zambia might burn after August 12,2021. Dr Sishuwa said Zambia may burn not it will burn. The EIU Report and the Church Three Mother Bodies in Zambia echoed Dr Sishuwa’s fears and warnings. Dr Sishuwa was just a Messenger and not the message. Zambians from all walks of life should do everything in their Power so…

  2. Each time 3 or so Zambians discuss a topic of National importance and they have differences of Opinion they report each other to the Police? This cannot be. Ambassador Mwamba is being childish. He should deal with his false allegations for which he is being sued for Defamation. This matter is subjudice and ZPS should stay out of it. Filing a Report to the Police should be a serious matter.

  3. It wasn’t necessary for Sishuwa to sue Emmanuel as much as it isn’t necessary for the latter to report the former to the Police. National debate shouldn’t polarize the country to an extent of failing to see eye to eye. I read Sishuwa’s statement and I agreed with most of what he brought out, I also read Emmanuel’s statement based on his interpretation. Both should respect the other’s view, but it’s offending to accuse anybody of having been paid. We can’t all be sponsored! You won’t prove any point by going to that extent, it’s not necessary. Let it end there, unless you just want to satisfy your egos.

  4. I find it troubling that there is this beef between Sishuwa Sishuwa and Ambassador Emmanuel Mwamba leading to suing each other and reporting each other to the police for possible arrest and prosecution. I have followed the articles which both have written on various issues quite educating. The two men should learn to accommodate each other when their public opinions is at variance. If they can’t grow thick skins to criticism and start rushing to courts and police stations the best they could do is stop brining some articles in public domain because we also have the apatite to read, digest and later pass comments. The two men are not doing service to this nation where we expect learned people to debate positively not seen to be taking offence if one disagrees with their opinions.

  5. Sishuwasishuwa’s suing of Mr Mwamba is an indication of the extent to which Sishuwasishuwa has gone to highlight and justify the issue of violence but not only that it also showed an underlying hate that he harbours in his heart for whatever grievance he carries. For Sishuwasishuwa to be that insensitive it shows a flawed line of thinking which is not good for our country the messengers of this kind of messages have been rare or even absent in Zambia and that is why we have enjoyed peace this far. Messengers of seditious materials and violence like messengers that carry drugs must be tried.

  6. It only became sedition after Emmanuel Mwamba had read it. Kakoma Kanganja has also read it for himself. He has seen no sedition. So many others hv read it. If it is seditious, hw come there are no street protests calling for the removal of the PF government now?

  7. There is NOT a thing Sichuwa has done that deserves him to get locked up. PROMOTING debate in a democracy is healthy.

    That said, FREEDOM of SPEECH does come with having responsibility not to inflame HAVOC.

    Therefore, PF should just stomach it. !!!

  8. Emmanuel Mamba has a habit of trying too much to be important.

    We have the Police and Intelligence structures that can assess national security matters.

    Emmanuel Mwamba should be ignored on this one.

  9. Let that small boy face consequences of his ugly big mouth. He thought he was a bigman just because hh is sponsoring him. Today where is the same hh to protect him? Oh I forgot, hh is in a coma

  10. For those criticising Sishuwa for suing Mwamba, healthy debate should be based on the issues and not on demeaning or defaming the other’s character. Mwamba knows this and so he should be ready to give an account in a court of law as to why his words don’t constitute defamation. When we thus hold each other accountable, we will sanitize and bolster our debate – even on this forum.

  11. As for Pilato, it seems he has an attitude towards GRZ, why does he think Government has a scheme to harm him or those with his line of thinking? GRZ will allow, just like Sishuwa, to talk as much as you can because they know you don’t have a large constituency. Just ensure that you’re within the Law. Elections ignite emotions, so it’ll ill-timing to talk about possible election related strife towards elections. It can be misconstrued as inciting, and that’s what has happened here. When we commend ECL2021, some accuse us of being bought when I don’t even where to find PF operatives that buy people. But I can’t take to court because you’ve told me that I’ve been bought. It’ll be a waste of time. So what does Sishuwa want to achieve apart from his ego?

  12. @Ayatollah. Decent kids in town are getting jobs! They are not picky. Chaps like Pilato, B-Flow, Maiko…have nothing to offer. Besides their music is cr&p, who even buys it. The likes of Shisuwa are not relevant to our society, who wants to know about the history of Zambian politics. Will that earn you any money on the streets?

  13. Unless you are biased Sishuwa’s article can incite violence. A messenger carrying drugs is as guilty as the sender and recipient of the same drugs. The guy belongs to UPND. He should not pretend. I have never heard him praise government when they do good things. Just like HH his is just to look for any mistake and magnify it in his writings. He is indeed a danger and needs to be moderated.

  14. We should all be arrested then for not reporting a seditious piece of writing to the police. That will leave only Emmanuel Mwamba, the illiterate, the blind and a few people as a free citizens. Even Kakoma Kanganja will hv to be arrested for not regonizing sedition in a piece of writing.

  15. Ba @Civilised the tittle says a chronology of events so far .Nomba you want the story to give you an ending .Person has just highlighted what has happened so far .Chizungu theliz no?

  16. If you cannot respond to words with words but with actions in an intellectual discourse, then you are inadequate.

  17. Pilato and Laura Miti aren’t activists because they’re paid to do what they do. So you can’t expect them to be unbiased. As for Maiko Zulu he thinks when smokes chamba and rides his tukutuku in Libala and kids cheer after him then he’s popular. How many chamba albums has produced and sold?

  18. Corruption scandals: 48 Houses Social Security Cash Luxury Presidential Jet Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans Corruption scandals: 48 Houses Social Security Cash Luxury Presidential Jet Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans

    Mwamba was motivated by 2 issues: 1) his failure to intellectually debate Sishuwa; 2) his fear of having been sued so he is trying to use the police to cover his a$s.
    But I mentioned at the time that there was no need for Sishuwa to sue Mwamba for defamation because being accused of being paid to write an article is not a crime in itself; nor does it subtract from the merits of what is written. Just dismiss him; say you weren’t paid for it and move on. Knowing how politicised the Zambian Police are, I wouldn’t be surprised if Kanganja acts on this letter and actually arrests Dr Sishuwa… their aim is to make you victimise you and suffer make you suffer irrespective of the merits of their flimsy up charges.

  19. Have you lost your damn mind ambassador? supporting the PF mafioso anyhow. Mulekwatako insoni. Malabashi! The man spoke the truth. Ambassador, evil. Lungu evil.

  20. Shishuwa killed it and now the entire PF are scared big times. They are using Mwamba to intimidate the very democracy that they preach about but do not practice. Very sad for these PF thugs. They have to go this time. Vote PF out out out out!!!!

    Just debate bwana Mwamba we know you always want to sound relevant.

  21. When Dr. Sishuwa Sishuwa threatened to sue Amb. Emmanuel Mwamba if he does not retract his accusing statements of inciting violence, the whole essence of debate was eroded. The ultimatum expired, the Dr. sued for defamation and restrained the Ambassador from further discussing such matters. Mwamba reported him to (ZP) Zabwino Palube. Who killed the debate, the politician or the intellectual?

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