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Alba Iulia
Thursday, January 13, 2022

I want to be a benevolent opposition leader, but Bally has zero accomplishments to his name

Columns I want to be a benevolent opposition leader, but Bally has...

By Sean Tembo – PeP President

1. In Zambia, or should I just say in Africa, being an opposition leader is akin to being a leper. No one wants to publicly associate with you under the guise of avoiding the irk of the Government of the day, whether actual or imagined. If you are fortunate enough to make it and become Republican President, however, then the tide changes and everyone will want to associate with you.

Everyone will claim to have been with you as you fought for power in the trenches. In my particular case, however, when I do manage to hold a conversation with a “well-wisher”, the theme is often that I condemn the Government too much. That is unfair on the Government. That my checks and balances are laced with malice because I regret having exited from the Opposition Alliance because if I did not, then I would have been a Minister in the new dawn administration now. That going forward, I should be a benevolent opposition leader and occasionally say nice things about the new dawn administration.

2. That is a compelling submission indeed. However it is premised on the assumption that the new dawn administration has been doing good things and bad things and that I only cherry-pick and amplify on the bad things in an effort to paint them black.

Well, maybe that is really the case but from my standpoint, it isn’t. I genuinely do not see anything good that they new dawn administration has done in the past 5 months. And if I pushed myself to say something good about this new government, I would be lying. And I don’t want to lie. I know for certain that people do point to certain perceived accomplishments of the new dawn administration such as removal of cadres and political violence, payment of retirees, payment of farmers, fight against corruption, freedom of expression etcetera. So let us dwell a little bit on these issues and discuss them in greater detail.

3. Removal of cadres from the streets and end in political violence: it is a fallacy for anyone to think that UPND has removed cadres from the streets and that political violence has ended. UPND Cadres are even more lawless than PF cadres. Just a few weeks ago when Nakachinda appeared at Chelstone Police, they went there and assaulted innocent people and damaged vehicles right at a police station.

The police managed to apprehend a few of them around NRDC area but they were subsequently released without charge. At least the PF cadres that stormed Lusaka Central Police, when PF was in power, were taken to court and convicted. Additionally, during the Kabwata parliamentary by-elections nominations about three weeks ago, UPND cadres led by William Banda attacked three women who were part of the PeP Choir Group and they damaged my party bus and stole an Invertor, amplifier and one playing drum. After the attack, they didn’t even run away, they even started playing our drum right there.

The single police officer who had the courage to confront them was assaulted and his uniform torn, on accusations that he was a PF supporter. No police reinforcements came. The docket is right there at Kabwata Police and despite the fact that the assailants were identified by the victims, no one has been arrested to date. One of the PeP Choir women who was assaulted had to be admitted at Levy Mwanawasa Hospital and was five months pregnant. She subsequently miscarried.

So what is the difference between the PF cadres who attacked us in Cairo Road and the UPND cadres who attacked our women choir members in Kabwata during nominations? If you asked me I’ll tell you that the PF cadres were better because they attacked their fellow men, compared to the UPND cadres who attacked our women choir members. So you need to forgive me if I do not join the chorus that Bally has removed cadrerism and given the opposition freedoms of expression and assembly.

4. Payment of Farmers for Maize Supplied to Government Last Year: this is again a fallacy. Amid much pomp and fare, the new dawn administration announced that farmers will be paid on 3rd January 2022. Bally subsequently posted on his page that the farmers had been cleared. However it later emerged that not all farmers had been paid and there are no timelines given for payment of the remaining farmers.

The Secretary to Treasury announced that out of the approximately K1.5 billion that was owed to farmers, only about K900 million had been released leaving a balance of about K600 million. However, our sources indicate that the actual amount that was released was actually around K200 million, meaning that Government still owes as much as K1.3 billion to farmers for last years’ crop, with no timelines or commitments on when this money will be released. Clearly, there is a lot of dishonesty and lack of sincerity on the part of the new dawn administration regarding this matter.

Suffice to mention that we are talking about citizens who worked an entire year to produce that maize and that is their only source of income for the entire year which they need to use to meet their household needs.

If I was President of this country, I would not, in good conscience, go and spend weeks in America and Europe attending useless talk-shops while farmers remain unpaid. I would fail to swallow the T-bone steak that my hotel would serve me, knowing that the money am wasting overseas can help to pay one or two farmers. So forgive me if I do not join in the chorus of believing that Bally paying K200 million out of the K1.5 billion owed to farmers is an accomplishment that I should congratulate him on.

5. Fight Against Corruption: So far, Bally’s fight against corruption is laced with a lot of sensationalism. And for some of us who have been around the block for a while, we cannot help but be reminded of Mwanawasa’s sensational fight against corruption which saw a Task Force being created and staffed by his lawyer friends who walked away with billions of Kwacha’s of taxpayers’s money.

So far I see a pattern whereby false information on the corruption fight is leaked to News Diggers who paste it all over the place only to turn out not to be true, meanwhile the objective of alarming the public would have been achieved.

This was the case with the reported alleged use of the Presidential Challenger Plane to carry US dollars from Turkey as well as the reported 49 properties allegedly owned by Bowman in Lusaka, which reduced to four properties the day after the sensational News Diggers headline.

So far I see a pattern whereby false information on the corruption fight is leaked to News Diggers who paste it all over the place only to turn out not to be true, meanwhile the objective of alarming the public would have been achieved.

Some of us see through these matters and we are not going to be hoodwinked by this marriage between the new dawn and News Diggers which appears to be aimed at exaggerating the successes in the fight against corruption.

Of course, like any well-meaning citizen, I want the perpetrators of national looting to be prosecuted and the money recovered, but that has to be done in a sober manner free from any malice or personal vendettas. My idea of a successful corruption fight is actual convictions and not just arrests.

Anyone can allege and arrest, but the truth of the pudding lies in the conviction. So again forgive me if I do not join in the chorus of believing that the new dawn administration has scored successes in the fight against corruption. Until such a time that am convinced that Bally’s fight against corruption is different from Mwanawasa’s and that it is not laced with malice and vengeance, I will not be ready to give him a pat on the back.

6. So it appears that we are back to square one. I am really itching to be a benevolent opposition leader and I genuinely want to say something nice about the new dawn administration, but my only handicap is that I am unable to identify anything good that Bally and his new dawn administration have done so far. But I am an open-minded person.

I am fully aware that I am fallible. It is possible that I might not have seen the good things that the new dawn administration has achieved so far, and so am appealing to all those who might have better eyes than mine to share with me any accomplishments of the new dawn administration so far.

Because from where I stand, Bally has zero accomplishments to his name. Unless one wants to argue that getting an IMF bailout loan is an accomplishment, or increasing fuel prices is an accomplishment, or engaging in voyages of discovery across the globe is an accomplishment, or paying 30 pensioners out of approximately 227,000 pensioners is an accomplishment, or appointing party members into the civil service is an accomplishment, or giving student loans to 2,000 out of 10,000 eligible university students is free education or refusing to shift to Nkwazi house because it is below his standards is an accomplishment, or having a 34 member cabinet when he condemned bloated cabinets when he was in opposition is an accomplishment, or paying farmers K200 million out of the outstanding K1.5 billion is an accomplishment, or giving mining houses a defacto tax holiday when copper prices are at an all-time high of above $11,000 per metric tonne is an accomplishment, or planning to privatize Indeni and Zesco is an accomplishment, or giving the police a shoot-to-kill order while on the other hand claiming to be a Christian nation that does not carry out the death penalty is an accomplishment, or awarding an exorbitant fertilizer contract to the husband of your cabinet minister who then fails to deliver after being paid 100 percent upfront is an accomplishment, or appointing an archaic finance minister who believes that fuel price increments will not affect the youth because they don’t drive is an accomplishment?

Please do share with me any of the new dawn administration’s accomplishments so that I may have something nice to say about Bally and his government. I very much want to be a benevolent opposition leader, so please help me to become one.

38 COMMENTS

  1. As I have no arguments with your point, let me just call you bitter ( praise singers line of thought). Oh and CDF is benefiting many many youths and vulnerable bla bla bla .

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  2. Even replying to Sean Tembo is according him the attention he doesn’t deserve. But if he’s serious, let him contact the Lusaka City Council and ask them if they are making money and whn they started making money from their assets Intercity bus terminus and Soweto Market bus station. And he should be brave enough to share the answer on social media.

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  3. I wonder where you get the notion of tax holiday. As far as I am concerned, mines are still paying royalties. You are just pretending and ignoring the current mess left by the so called “Humble Guys”

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  4. Have you not heard some councils confessing that they are now raking in more revenues because cadres are out of bus stops and markets? Have you not seen that government officials are now from all the ten provinces are other than the two provinces in the past. PF left the exchange rate at K23, it is now at K16.Even with increased fuel prices, the same Central statistics PF left has told us that inflation has come down. Those showgrounds crowds that used to accompany the PF President to the UN have been reduced to the number of a volley ball team. I can go on and on, the author is deliberately wearing the wrong lenses. If he can start mobilizing and even have one section chairman in Zambia maybe fortunes can change

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  5. PF cadres who turned and became UPND cadres are the ones who have continued with un desirable vices. Late payment of farmers was due to empty coffers left by the PF as well as a necessary audit, Most of the allegations from the author are unfounded and cant stand in a court of law, the usual politicking by Zambian politicians clearly without any vision like the dispatched one

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  6. Sean Temb is still belongs to the set of attention seekers and there is no sign that he will graduate. His childish ways of politics cements that status. To be a formidable party, you need powerful functionaries behind you and a huge following. Honestly, I don’t see Sean getting closer to that in the next 15 years. He has no strategy.

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  7. He has a lot of work to do I am told what makes him more bitter is that even most of his family members vote for UPND, But its understood for the man to be bitter, those zeroes got country wide were too much to stomach. He has just reduced and accepted that he is just another political commentator like our beloved Muliyokela now

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  8. So far it’s just been lip service and no action by this dodgy government. In fact, action has been exactly the opposite of the pronouncements.

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  9. You are on point Sean. Ubu ubuteko ubufi bwachila. They came on a platform of lies. So do not expect anything from liars. Liars will forever be liars. Even praise singers are frustrated. They did not expect such a mediocrity. 3 years to go. They need to be kicked out for non performing. There is nothing tangible to write home about this pathetic government. Bunda bwakwendeyenda. No kuituntumba.

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  10. Opposition leader? You got 0.000001% of the votes during the election with ZERO MP’s, so you are a NOTHING, a professional LOSER.

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  11. Sean Tembo speaks the truth unfortunately people don’t want to hear the truth….Now HH is hiring so every Jim and Jack wants to kiss his ass….Bally is a liar…Bally is a demagogue

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  12. If you look at the money allocated to schools under the free education system, you will see that the money is far from being enough. That Upnd cadre who was warning teachers against asking parents for school money must have seen these figures and quickly saw the future problem. Sean has points but people don’t want to see it.

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  13. Lets not be busy attacking the writer and his personality. Give us points to counter period.
    @Timbwi NO6. Please explain to us what your understanding is. Making royalties tax deductible to me sounds like giving a tax holiday. The mines will claim this money after they pay.

    Only @Zilole no. 7 has tried. But please list the accomplishments to prove Sean Tembo wrong.

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  14. @Tekumwenzo, since when did William Tekere Banda become a PF cadre? Sean has mentioned his name as one among the many cadres terrorizing people with opposing views but you have conveniently chosen to label all violent UPND cadres as former PF members. If we fail to nip the problem whilst in the bud, we will not manage when its fully blossomed. NIPANO TULI!!!

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  15. Ad1] ” I should be a benevolent opposition leader and occasionally say nice things” – You are missing the point. If you were going to write your comments, like you did on Justice, you will WIN many of us. But if you write r.ubish where you state that the UPND has 0/100 achievement in 100 days, then that is a lie. And ONLY YOU will pat yourself on the back.
    Ad2] “I genuinely do not see anything good that they new dawn administration has done.” – Well, you tell us if you would have been able to freely campaign in Kabwata during the LUNGU era. If you say “YES”, you are being deceptive, hence we cant trust you.

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  16. Ad3] “forgive me if I do not join the chorus that Bally has removed cadrerism…” – You have chosen to be blind, you are comparing two cases to many that happened in Lungu ERA. Of course, its wrong to attack the women, but you are being selfish and deceptive to reduce the whole effort done by UPND in removing caderism to just two cases that you mention. So we can’t trust you, because you are being selfish and NOT trustworthy.

    Ad4] “..However, our sources indicate that the actual amount that was released was actually around K200 million..” – You are NOT even in parliament, AND YOU want us to believe your numbers than Secretary to Treasury ?? WHAT secret source, imwe…Total Ridiculous, ONLY the deplorable would fall for you.

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  17. Cont`d
    Ad5] “Until such a time that am convinced that Bally’s fight against corruption is different from Mwanawasa’s…” – That is the problem with you ZAMBIAN Politicians, fight against corruption is NOT on one person – Bally. The Opposition should join hand-in-hand with GRZ if fight against corruption was going to be meaningful. This fight has been too much politicized, to an extent where STEALING is NORMAL and FIGHTING against it is ABNORMAL. What are you, SEAN TEMBO, doing to fight corruption? If any attempt to fight corruption is considered VENGEANCE, then I DONT SEE ANYWAY, there will be a successful fight against it. I have NO CONFIDENCE in you, that if elected you will do anything.

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  18. Cont`d
    ad6] “It is possible that I might not have seen the good things that the new dawn administration has achieved so far…” – You are right, its HARD to FORCE A DONKEY TO DRINK, You have DECIDED not to be OBJECTIVE, but OPTED to BELIEVE your LIES. SO why waste TIME convincing you?. The voters will tell you on the balot papers if they believe your lies.

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  19. Pwahahahahahahahahahahaha kikikikikikijukija Hehehehehehe nkunkunkunkyu hahahahahaha kwekwekwekwe kwikwikwikwikwi!
    In this baal’s world even mere pronouncements are achiements. A political statement is an achievement. The ACC in his petticoat is an achievement too. Baal doesn’t understand convictions. This is where his energy will entirely sap. Failing to obtain evidence and proving it. Right now it just noise like an empty tin. Like the Task Force, the section in the high court on Financial Crimes will fail. I have declared.

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  20. Dear Sean Tembo. You are an OPPOSITION political party leader. Your job is to OPPOSE. So, if you want to support and praise, join the UPND. It is that simple. We have adversarial politics. If the people want blue and the UPND are giving them blue, your job is to make sure that it is not Prussian blue or sky blue or navy blue but rainbow blue. If you want to be in opposition forever, keep opposing. But if you want to be the next President of Zambia, oppose with POSITIVE messages. Say what you will do and how you will do it and how different it is from what is happening now. Good luck in 2026 (or should I say it the Zambian way Good ‘lucky’).

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  21. ST …….

    No one is asking you to stop looking silly and irrelevant…………

    Carry on……….

    Soon you will be reduced to a street corner demonstrator who no one has time for…….

    One thing , you are clever not to let your mouth get you in trouble like nakachinda and Lusambo……

    None the less , Zambians want to give bally the benefit of dought for 5 years……….

    So in the meantime you are irrelevant

  22. Good jo Mr. Tembo. Keep it up. They think getting ZERO in last election will be the same in next election. When you submit something, we the voters are following. They are not sleeping.

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  23. Aaa ba Tembo naimwe you must have eyes to see. The new government opened a car park for ZNBC at the Mass Media Complex. They also arrested Lusambo. These are very difficulty things to do. Harder than constructing roads and building houses for the homeless. Give them praise

  24. Even if it is democracy, then somebody should get up early on voting day to say I have gone to vote for Sean Tembo, even if miracles still happen surely

  25. Cant we have a law helping identify and helping differentiate political jokers like Sean Tembo and real politicians with clout like Andyford Banda and Chishala Kateka. Sean for example should just be put in political commentator category with Summer and that guy from Kitwe. Treat my suggestion with the importance it deserves please

  26. Mr Tembo, you have indeed taken time to soberly analyse the current situation. You have tried to be a candid politician who has resisted to unfairly critise your opponents in Govt simply because you are in opposition. By all standards we want to have an opposition leader who will bring some kind of thought in opposing their opponents. Looking at the so called new dawn’s perfomance all people are saying is “give them time” What the proponents of this hypothesis are saying is that we close our eyes and open them in 2026 during which time the mess will have been done. If Vasco da Gama succeeds we all succed as a nation, so let us not sugar coat his “Nothingness” , he is yet to build even a pit latrine. We really need all who stole or commited herneaus crimes during the PF rule and…

  27. Nonsense as Sean Tembo is still micromanaging his views typical of a wannabe political heavyweight! He has to get a new pair of lenses and ‘re-education on constructive criticism for no matter how much he tries to justify himself as magnanimous he falls way too much off track! He effortlessly comes out as a bitter loser!

  28. Okay the other point to this fraudster is that he leads a’ brief case nashala neka Party’ which waits for HH to say something then swing into action uttering absolute nonsense. Next time he is going to get negatives because he is not growing his useless party on the ground. Commenting on HH all the time wont earn you any votes. You have nothing to offer to voters other than ranting, ooh God what a waste of political space.

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