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Saturday, December 3, 2022

My closest shave with PF government’s treason charge; why HH should avoid similar tendencies

Columns My closest shave with PF government’s treason charge; why HH should avoid...

By Prince Bill M. Kaping’a Political/social analyst

In 2012 after a year of PF in power; I undertook thorough research and subsequently authored an article titled “Michael Sata’s family forest explained.” It’s still available on: https://zambianeye.com/michael-satas-family-forest-government-explained/

In the same offering, I took time to explicitly expose Mr. Sata’s choice of appointment of individuals to senior government positions – from Cabinet ministers, State House aides, Defense chiefs, Permanent secretaries, Constitutional officers, heads of commissions and regulatory boards, CEOs of parastatal entities and all the way to Ambassadors and High Commissioners.

Before I could jump to any conclusions, I decided to delve into the archives and looked at similar appointments made by all of our former Presidents – Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, Frederick Chiluba, Patrick Mwanawasa and Rupiah Banda. My findings were shockingly sickening! Almost all the lofty positions were dominated by people from one particular region.

However, the article in question did not sit down well with those in authority; particularly one Edgar Lungu who saved as Home Affairs Minister at the time. I hadn’t seen a person that annoyed before on national TV.

“This is treason!” He bellowed as he banged his mahogany office desk with his clenched fist. “We know this is the work of UPND. I am now directing investigative wings of government to hunt down whoever is behind this article and bring them to book!”

I smiled as I watched these theatrics on ZNBC 19:00 hours main news. Seeing this, my wife and this other western colleague we were hosting wondered why I seemed pleased. I switched on my laptop and showed them the article that aroused so much controversy.

“So, you wrote this Uncle Bill….” the young man shrieked as he popped out his eyes in utter shock. “They can send you to jail…..”

In wee hours of the following day, I found my passport, placed it in one of the inner pockets of my coat and took off before the much-dreaded spies from the office of the president could come knocking. Destination? Anywhere where I could be safe for a while…..deep into the thickets perhaps.

“In case you see any strange looking fellows knocking on our door asking about my whereabouts, don’t hesitate to alert me so I can skip the border,” I had earlier intimated to my wife as I bid her farewell.

Fortunately, enough for me, the investigative wings failed to join the dots and link the article to me. Of course, this came as a relief to me as I knew I was dealing with a brutal regime which could have joyfully dumped me into the cooler and thrown away the keys on bogus charges!

Surprisingly, President Sata himself never made reference to my article apart from some comical remarks about balancing brains and not tribe!

As I kept wondering why Lungu so agitated about the article, it reminded of a passage in Chinua Achebe’s book, Things Fall Apart where he writes that “An old woman is always uneasy when dry bones are mentioned in a proverb.”

Was Lungu one of the architects of tribalism in PF? Seemingly so for how could he possibly take issue with such a straightforward matter?

When Lungu finally took over as President, we saw how he continued on the same trajectory of appointing people from one particular region to government position. He even took things to another level by allowing his senior government and party officials to take pleasure in denigrating and making tribal remarks against a certain ethnic grouping as he looked away!

Anyway, as President-elect his Excellency Hakainde Hichilema considers assembling his cabinet and of course appointing people to other senior government positions, we would appeal to him to avoid making the same mistakes as Lungu as posterity is going to judge him.

Mr. President Sir, please put together a team which is going to represent national character and further embolden our motto “One Zambia, One Nation!”


  1. The president draws his cabinet from amongst his mps, no?? The bulk of upnd mps are from Southern, Western and N/Western provinces. I don’t know how the writer expects the president to select ministers from provinces where the party doesn’t have a lot of mps!

  2. That illiterate tribslist Sata was the creation of lungu.

    Sata is responsible for all zambias current problems ………

    How could anyone , appoint a fraud convict , lungu , to the higher echelons of power in zambia ????

    What we know is Sata took a liking to lungi because of his ability to corrupt every system of governance in zambia to work for PF and Sata ,

    Sata did not have to do any dirty work, he found lungu very good at corrupting people and systems of governance…….

  3. @Spaka-your hatred for ECL will kill you! Tell me, is Sata also responsible for the droughts and power crisis that ravaged our economy?? Is ECL responsible for the low copper prices and covid-19 that paralysed our economy??

  4. he has the capacity to nominate MP’s and i think that is where the bulk of other regions will fall. if anything there are other key government institutions where he may consider that

  5. @ Kaping’a, I just read the older article via the link, wow! Those appointments by Sata were surely shocking, the man begun to divide the country slowly, he simply did not appoint even one person from the Southern Province in any capacity, terrible.
    And indeed, Lungu continued on that trajectory and even allowed open tribal campaigns, we really hope HH balances his team, and doesn’t recycle politicians.

  6. The writer did not mention that Sata extended an olive branch to the UPND to serve as cabinet ministers but they were directed not to accept by their party president.

  7. Kaizar you were zapped. Things are beyond your abilities in that everything you predicted failed to materialise because others were smarter and lovable than you were. So painful to realise your babe adores someone else…that is the feeling you are experiencing.

  8. Living legend, you call killing pf members and tribal voting being smarter? Anyway we understand that is how you tribal upnd thugs think. Very uncivilized

  9. @kaizarZulu if this man who call himself Kaizar Zulu is arrested, some people are going to cry foul. No human being should ever use such language on another human being

  10. #3  Zambian Citizen 
    August 21, 2021 At 8:46 am

    “@Spaka-your hatred for ECL will kill you! Tell me, is Sata also responsible for the droughts and power crisis that ravaged our economy?? Is ECL responsible for the low copper prices and covid-19 that paralysed our economy??…”

    Are droughts , covid , low copper prices responsible for the cader extorting and harassing citizens ??

    Are they responsible for the gassing of our people leading to over 50 lynching deaths ??

    Are they responsible for the unsustainable debt the country is faced with ????

  11. In all fairness the author should have made an effort to check if indeed UPND members, or Tonga ethnic people generally were not approached by Michael Sata to be part of his cabinet. It is on record that a number were approached and because of threats by the UPND senior members to these approached individuals they turned down appointment offers. Others just out rightly said they could not work with Sata.
    And I will be quick to admit here that they are also Bemba ethnic individuals who also turned down Mr. Sata’s overtures for appointments in his government. The man himself I recall publicly stated it that he was trying to bring in government people who he knew where qualified and competent but was being turned down so he was left to work with the “riff raffs” he had on his hands…

  12. This he repeated once more in his famous blasting of the caliber of his cabinet that they were incompetent and most of whom he was not going to nominate come the 2016 general elections. A President in Zambia is by law only allowed to nominate 8 MP’s; and as it is we have over 20 government Ministries and departments. H.E HH bulk of MP’s are from 3 provinces meaning for certain majority of his cabinet will be made up of ethnic members from these provinces. A man can only work with the tools at hand. Hypothetical question would be, what if it happens that those bemba’s and easterners HH approaches to work in his government turn him down…will he give up or proceed to work with the ‘tools at hand’? Well lets wait…I gave him my vote in the hope that he was the best “tool on offer”…

  13. If only Zambian journalism could be enriched by recruiting people trained in other disciplines and then make them journalists! They do their best to try and inform us but it’s not good enough. The article is a good attempt and I appreciate it. But it falls short on broader analysis of social-political issues at play.

  14. @Kaizar Zulu
    You call winning places like Sinda and senga hill and chingola tribal voting? Lungu won chipata by 1000 votes, not what he used to get.

    Stop this tribal talk. Zambia has seen through it and said enough. Repeating will not make it true. You have all been fired so go and enjoy a quiet retirement. Leave the people’s leaders to do their work. When PF was number one all we heard from PF is ‘HH must not criticise only offer solutions.’ You must now walk the walk.

  15. Zambian citizen, the president has a prerogative to nominate 10 MPs and from these he can use the opportunity to balance the act, that’s how great and unconventional people think. It’s not about making excuses. We have 10 provinces, already 10 is enough to deal with that issue.

  16. @Spaka-there’s no unsustainable debt. With the trend of the latest inflows since copper prices hit the roof, payments for debts will be done. I really wonder, which country on Earth has no debt and builds its infrastructure for cash???

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