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Alba Iulia
Saturday, May 1, 2021

Global academia community comes out in full support of Dr Shishuwa

Columns Global academia community comes out in full support of Dr Shishuwa

Leading academics from around the world have signed a Statement of Solidarity in support of Dr Sishuwa Sishuwa against what they term as unfounded charges of sedition.

The academics who mostly have a history with the University of Zambia have written a strong letter in support of Dr. Sichuwa Sishuwa.

This follows a move by Zambia’s Ambassador to Ethiopia Emmanuel Mwamba’s decision to report Dr Sishuwa to the police for sedition following his recent article in the Mail & Guardian.

They have since called for the charges to be immediately and permanently dropped.

“We, the undersigned, as prominent academics across Zambia, Africa and the wider world, are deeply alarmed at credible reports that the University of Zambia (UNZA) historian, Dr Sishuwa Sishuwa, is to be charged with sedition, as the result of an opinion piece he published in the Mail and Guardian (South Africa), on 22 March 2021.”

“As historians and social scientists who have studied and published in and about Zambia for many decades, we are extremely concerned that the threat of sedition charges is being used to silence the legitimate expression of belief by one of the country’s most prominent early-career scholars. Dr Sishuwa, who has published outstanding and prize-winning research articles in the world’s most prominent African studies journals, is drawing on his research expertise to bring to public attention his concerns about the current direction of Zambian political life.”

“Far from inciting popular rebellion (as the term ‘sedition’ implies), he seeks to address the underlying causes of societal tension as a way to reduce it. We believe it is both his right and his patriotic duty to bring such concerns into the public eye.”

The academic stated that Article 20 of the Constitution of Zambia guarantees Dr Sishuwa and all other Zambians freedom of expression, that is to say freedom to hold opinions, receive ideas and impart or communicate ideas and information without interference.

“As citizens and longstanding friends of Zambia, who have documented the country’s prominent historical role in the political liberation of southern Africa, and its pioneering role in constitutional democratisation, we are worried about the proposed use of an authoritarian tool such as the charge of sedition, and call for any consideration of such charges to be immediately and permanently dropped.”

“We are further alarmed at the issuance by the University of Zambia of a statement dated 27 April 2021, disassociating the university from its employee Dr Sishuwa. This misleading statement suggests Dr Sishuwa is not currently employed by the university, when in fact he is, as is normal for academic researchers, simply on temporary research leave from it. Indeed, as recently as December last year, UNZA publicly celebrated the achievements of Dr Sishuwa.”

They said, “All of us have worked at or with colleagues from UNZA, long a prominent university that has, since independence, been a centre of intellectual freedom, often in difficult circumstances. We wholly reject the allegation that Dr Sishuwa is pursuing a ‘personal agenda’ and call on the university to guarantee Dr Sishuwa’s continued employment and his right to academic freedom.”

Signatories:

Professor David M. Anderson, Professor of African History, University of Warwick

Professor Kate Baldwin, Associate Professor of Political Science, Yale University

Dr Nicole Beardsworth, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Pretoria

Professor Michael Bratton, Emeritus Professor of Government, Michigan State University

Professor Nic Cheeseman, Professor of Democracy, University of Birmingham

Dr Grieve Chelwa, Postdoctoral Fellow, The New School

Dr Boniface Dulani, Senior Lecturer in Political Science, University of Malawi

Professor Samuel Hickey, Professor of Politics and Development, University of Manchester

Professor Alan Hirsch, Emeritus Professor of Public Governance, University of Cape Town

Professor Faizel Ismail, Professor of Public Governance, University of Cape Town

Dr Walima Kalusa, Senior Lecturer in African History, University of eSwatini, and former Head of the Department of History, University of Zambia

Professor Chammah J. Kaunda, Assistant Professor of World Christianity and Mission Studies, Yonsei University

Professor Miles Larmer, Professor of African History, University of Oxford

Professor Adrienne LeBas, Associate Professor of Government, American University

Professor Robert Mattes, Professor of Political Science, University of Strathclyde

Dr Duncan Money, Researcher, African Studies Centre, University of Leiden

Dr Patience Mususa, Senior Researcher, Nordic Africa Institute

Professor Manenga Ndulo, Professor of Economics, University of Zambia

Professor Muna Ndulo, Professor of Law, Cornell University

Professor Lise Rakner, Professor of Comparative Politics, University of Bergen

Professor Brian Raftopoulos, Research Fellow, University of the Free State

Dr Sara Rich Dorman, Senior Lecturer in African Politics, University of Edinburgh

Professor Chris Saunders, Emeritus Professor of Historical Studies, University of Cape Town

Professor Jeremy Seekings, Professor of Political Studies and Sociology, University of Cape Town

Dr Neo Simutanyi, retired Senior Lecturer in Political Science, University of Zambia and Executive Director, Centre for Policy Dialogue

Dr Morris Szeftel, Senior Lecturer Emeritus, Political & International Studies, University of Leeds

Professor Blessing-Miles Tendi, Associate Professor in African Politics, University of Oxford

Professor Nicolas van de Walle, Professor of Government, Cornell University

Dr Michael Wahman, Assistant Professor, Michigan State University

40 COMMENTS

  1. It’s best that these institutions hire this man but UNZA cannot continue to be associated with his antics. It’s clear when someone is a hired gun. And this is what I find wrong with the current opposition, you can differ with people but don’t speak evil of your own country to the outside world. Even differences in homes are kept discreet. UNZA has a lot to answer for if they continue to justify his status by being associated with him. Maybe it’s time to bring in new management.

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  2. The signatories on this “statement of solidarity”! mamamama! Awe tefintu!! Those are influential scholars.

    Kudos to these leading academics from all over the world who have come out in support of Mr Sishuwa’s freedom of expression. One wonders how an opinion on the worrying state of affairs in Zambia however much one may not like it may be seditious!

    Worse even, I am stunned by the position taken by UNZA management in this matter. Why did they intervene in a matter that does not concern them? The guy never mentioned UNZA in his article. What were they thinking? Do they realise how they have, with that embarrassing statement, undermined the university’s standing or credibility across the academic world?

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  3. It is best to stay away from making political statements at a time when cadres on both sides of the political arena are in heat… He sometimes sounds like a politician, even if not.

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  4. I just saw Muna Ndulo and Neo Simutanyi and knew straight away that this was Under 5’s work. Takatekepo. ECL back pa mupando.

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  5. Why are these scholars agitated? Let the author of the alleged seditious article be taken to court. If there’s no sedition in his article, he will be cleared by the courts of law.

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  6. UNZA was obviously pressurised to disassociate itself from an Article which had nothing to do with it. Dr Sishuwa’s Article was in his name and expressed a personal opinion. Dr Sishuwa was simply using his Constitutional Right to express himself on topical issues in Zambia. ZPS shouldn’t invove itself in differences among scholars and analysts. Ambassador Mwamba has been sued for Defamation of Character by Dr Sishuwa so the matter is subjudice. Ambassador Mwamba should defend himself in Court instead of diverting attention thru ridiculous and unfounded Sedition Allegations against Dr Sishuwa.

  7. Emmanuel Mwamba lacks intellectual depth. He is just a pretentious shallow PF carder who is always displaying his ignorance to the world. These are the type of leaders who have taken Zambia to the dogs. Worthless criminals pretending to be leaders. By the way people know the criminal role Mwamba played in rigging 2016 elections. Jail is beckoning.

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  8. First of all this solidarity isn’t necessary in the first place. The battle is between Emmanuel Mwamba and Sishuwa Sishuwa. Sishuwa has sued Mwamba for libel, he didn’t need to do that in the first place. Mwamba knows that he’s guilty because he can’t prove that Sishuwa was paid for the article, so the best option available for him to defend himself is to report Sishuwa to the Police. Sedition is criminal and so it takes precedence over libel which civil. Sishuwa’s case can’t progress as long as Mwamba’s case isn’t dispensed with, although it won’t get anywhere. Sishuwa must be advised to withdraw his writ, and that will end this story. It’s clear case of educated personalities misleading themselves.

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  9. Look at that list. Nic Cheesman?? That character wrote scathing articles about this country and was very loud during the “dictatorship” campaign against ECL that failed. A collection of misguided neo-colonialists and their stooges like Muna Ndulo who want an hh presidency for the benefit of their masters. Who cares what they say or think?? Zambia is our country and we shall fight for its destiny.

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  10. Now he has to line up scholars to defend him after issuing inflammatory statements. Sishuwa should speak for himself. He does not need attorneys in the name of global academia to speak for him. He just told Muna Ndulo about his predicament and asked him if he could get some professors to sign up in support of him. This is exactly what Muna Ndulo did for Sishuwa.

  11. Unless otherwise. No one in the security services has charged Sichuwa with sedition.

    Why are all these academics creating Hot-air for nothing. Emmanuel Mwamba is an attention seeker. The security forces have the capacity to make that judgement without Mwamba blowing the trumpet.

    So let the Law get interpreted.

    Let Sichuwa address national issues on his platform without intimidation. In the mean time, Sichuwa has to realise that Freedom of Speech does come with responsibilities, without iciting fire, as that is always a source of civil wars.

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  12. @8 number, you are right to state that the issue stems from Mwamba being sued for libel and his reaction to that was to report Sishuwa for sedition.
    That criminal charge will not go anywhere, at no point does sishuwa urge anyone to pick arms and fight.
    The police, being a mere extension of the PF, may indeed arrest him and later dispose of the case, if they do not, no sane magistrate will find him with a case to answer.
    I disagree with your statement that Sishuwa needs to withdraw the case against Mwamba. It has been a tendency that anyone who questions government must be paid by opposition, this needs to stop, let Mwamba learn. Academicians have integrity, don’t cheapen what they do by inserting political funding.

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  13. Yayayaya, Does this fit our UNZA guys to come out with strong support like this when our educated men and women are being reduced to nothing by politicians who want to have their personal gain? I salute Sishuwa Sishuwa too. He has provoked the educators around the world and we must agree that in what he said we can see that some Chiefs have raised up to support their own so called son of their soil and when their subjects talk tribalism, no one voices out to condemn the vice.

  14. That’s a much better reaction than the rejection from those cowards at UNZA, who were just scared of their jobs after a call from state house!

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  15. Background:

    (MG SA) In Zambia, Covid-19 has claimed democracy, not human life
    Sishuwa Sishuwa, 15 Jun 2020

    “Sishuwa Sishuwa is a lecturer in history at the University of Zambia, post-doctoral research fellow in the Institute for Democracy at the University of Cape Town and senior researcher at the Southern African Institute for Policy and Research. This article was produced in partnership with Democracy in Africa and was first published in The Continent, the new pan-African weekly newspaper designed to be read and shared on WhatsApp.”

  16. Dr. (history, not of medicine btw) Sishuwa Sishuwa: “The erosion of democratic principles started under president Michael Sata, who led the Patriotic Front (PF) to victory in 2011.”

    Actually Chiluba – nationality requirement to exclude KK from running against him; Mwanawasa – didn’t do their part? Also, how democratic was that transition to a multi-party system? Did having more parties lead to greater representation of the people’s will in government?

    Anyway, it is true that there have been very few deaths attributed to covid19 in Africa – fewest in Tanzania which didn’t have a lockdown.

  17. Do not demean UNZA managers who are just trying to do their work. There have been too many irresponsible statements issued out from some UNZA academics for sometime. It is about time UNZA started dissociating itself from some of these so that it does not look like the institution is in support of them. The English philosopher, John Stuart Mill , in support of freedom of expression in his book “on Liberty” stated that individuals have a right to express their views. However, he put in a caveat by saying in situations where this same freedom of expression may lead to inciting violence, such freedom of expression does not become justifiable. I am pretty sure all those academics who lined up to sign for Sishuwa are fully aware of this and saw what he wrote. His language was highly…

  18. …inflammatory. His choice of words left much to be desired. He could have made his point without using the words he used like “why Zambia may burn after the August polls…” Who really wants Zambia to burn? Is that what Sishuwa wants to see of a country he claims to love. The young man seems to be out of his intellectual depths.

  19. This is a google list of support … no need to be jumping up and down. I’m even surprised people can buy into this fake and fabricated support. You think other universities have time for small issues like Sishuwa personal issues.. you must be gullible if you believe this hot air.

  20. You are absolutely right. If these foreign academicians are getting so orgasmic over their love for this traitor, they should keep him forever. Zambia doesn’t need him.

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  21. No foreigner will decide what is seditious for Zambia and what is not. They should keep their opinions with them. We don’t need it. If you think, this piece of $hit is an intellectual, employ him in your country.

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  22. No wonder! This is election year, the opposition UPND is all set to lose again, HH is preparing to bite the dust for sixth time in a row, he is paying the likes of Sishuwa to spew venom against Zambia and incite violence, and then we have these so called luminaries from across the world, showing solidarity with the criminal. It is all expected and one can anticipate even more severe reactions from so called leading academics. This is the usual practice of the global ‘think tank’ funded by George Soros to fuel unrest to get their man installed in the power.

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  23. Have you read the piece of crap this bogus historian has written in foreign media? He claimed that Zambia will burn if PF won the elections. This is nothing but the blatant incitement of violence. The article is full of UPND agenda to mislead the people in Zambia and outside world also. This is the usual modus operendi of Cambridge Analytica. It is aimed at creating anarchy in Zambia ahead of elections. If you think what this traitor Sishuwa did was right, then be ready to face the sedition charges.

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  24. We don’t need bootlickers from other countries to teach us what is right and what is wrong for our country. If you are so pained by the action against this m0ron, then keep him with you forever. And enjoy.

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  25. If these so called academics are so concerned about a criminal, they should volunteer to go to jail with him. Then only, I would believe that they really meant to support this p!g called Sishuwa.

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  26. This is called the anti Zambia ecosystem. This is how the destructive forces across the world operate. This is the way to shake the democracy in any country and destabilize it. But the plan will not succeed.

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  27. When I read the headline, I said to my wife, most of these so called academicians would be the self proclaimed torch bearers of liberalism. The list proved me right. If you conduct even a cursory background check of even two three of these, they will and exposed. These are the usual suspects who are ever ready to support anyone who commits treason with his motherland.

  28. Good that these people came out in open. Now we know who is supporting this traitor Sishuwa. The government should keep an eye on the Zambian nationals who have signed the statement.

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  29. Who are these people to dictate our country? Who are they to ask for charges to be dropped immediately and permanently? Boss, mind your own business and don’t poke your nose where it doesn’t belong. Find some other country to run your destructive agenda.

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  30. You think we give a flying fuk? Let him move there abroad. We have no use for this useless tribal ugly little man. Come get him.

  31. @Chiza Chirwa, the adage “Nerver agrue with a f00l or people won’t notice the difference”comes into play here. Sishuwa will gain more if he withdraws that case and we’ll still respect him as an acadecian. Emmanuel Mwamba is a well-connected cadre. If Sishuwa doesn’t do as I have advised he’ll be bruised. The best for him is to move on.

  32. @Ayatollah, I disagree, and very strongly at that.
    Zambians needs to learn that when we criticize the government, we are not doing it because we support UPND.
    Personally, I, like John Sangwa, don’t see any difference between the two biggest parties in zambia.
    Sishuwa has further written about the UPND and also criticized HH. He is independent and analyses issues affecting the country.
    To ask him to withdraw his legal and rightful claim is to ask him to acknowledge that he is paid for his personal opinions.
    How many people have written about Zambia going to waste if PF continues? They have written these as personal opinions, no one has accused them of being funded.
    Anyone with a strong voice who takes the government to task has to be funded?

  33. Comedian Lungu, meanwhile Nawakwi, 7 senior OP officials and 5 State House officials were aliged to be locked up in a meeting in Lusaka West as they strategise on how to stop HH from appearing on the ballot or kill him if possible.
    Nawakwi entered the Intelligence offices situated in Lusaka West around 02:00 AM on 28th April and had her phone confiscated so that she doesn’t communicate with anyone.
    Everyone attending this meeting had their phones confiscated at the gate and only Koswe managed to enter inside with a smart phone.
    The gate has been locked since 02:00 hours and no one is allowed to enter or leave the premises.
    Top of the agenda here is on how UPND President HH will be blocked from filing in for Presidency by either arresting or killing him before 17 May, 2021.
    Even if…

  34. @Chiza Chirwa, a person that gives expert opinion allows people to debate his statement, Sishuwa doesn’t. His articles are tilted and he wants to have the final say. Refer to what he wrote about Linda Kasonde and the exchange that ensued. Even when those involved clarified that Linda didn’t make the decision alone, Sishuwa insisted and yet Linda doesn’t influence how the Court moves. He’s responsible for what will come out of this tiff with Mwamba

  35. flag 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

    This same troll is back again, changing aliases thinking he’s being clever when it is obvious that it is the same person (from #21 to #30). Get a life!

  36. flag 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

    Great solidarity… look at the list of universities these signatories hail from… doesn’t get any better than this! Yale, Oxford, etc. Wow!

  37. @Ayatollah, what do you mean he doesn’t want to allow anyone to debate him? He has always acknowledged in his responses that he write so as to ensure a public debate ensures.
    When he responded to Chapter 1 Foundation (Linda Kanondo herself did not respond) he states that he writes so as to debate public matters publicly.
    He further acknowledges the response from Nyawali and goes on to defend his position. Anyone who is defending a certain position needs to have empirical evidence to that effect and ought to stand firm.
    When he responded to Chapter 1, they went quiet, similar to John Nyawali who also went quiet.
    The essence of a public debate is to be convinced in your argument and defend it. If it appears Sishuwa has the final say, it is because others keep quiet.
    About Linda, he…

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