Zambia’s Democracy is still under attack, but now by President Hichilema, the man who vowed to rescue it

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By Sishuwa Sishuwa

When Hakainde Hichilema won Zambia’s August 2021 election, many hoped the assault on democracy that had characterised his predecessor Edgar Lungu’s rule would come to an end. While in opposition, Hichilema had presented himself as a reform-minded politician determined to restore the rule of law, launch an anti-corruption campaign, strengthen democratic institutions, and protect human rights.

Nearly seven months into his five-year term, however, the new president is turning out to be a major disappointment. A pattern of worrying developments suggests that democracy is not returning to Zambia despite what many seem to believe.

Maintaining the anti-democratic status quo

Since taking office, Hichilema’s administration has shown little appetite to change the laws that enabled the authoritarian tendencies of his predecessor.

These include the law on defamation of the president, which makes it an offence to publish “any defamatory or insulting matter…with intent to bring the President into hatred, ridicule, or contempt”. This crime, punishable by up to three years’ imprisonment, has been widely interpreted and used to deter legitimate criticism. It has undermined media freedom, led to the arrest of critical voices and, especially under Lungu, created a culture of self-censorship.

Another such law is the Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Act, which was hurriedly enacted by the Lungu administration on the eve of last year’s election. It violates the right to privacy by allowing the authorities to tap ICT devices, effectively turning everyone into a suspect, and confiscate electronics without proper procedural safeguards.

Finally, the Public Order Act (POA) requires any person who intends to convene a public meeting to “give police at least seven days’ notice” and other details. This colonial-era law has been used by successive administrations to restrict the rights to assembly and free speech. Under Lungu in particular, opposition meetings and demonstrations were repeatedly curtailed under the pretext of this act. Violations are punishable by up to six years’ imprisonment.

In opposition, Hichilema vowed to repeal the first two of these statutes immediately and reform the POA on assuming office. Under Zambian law, repealing an act of parliament requires a simple majority, and the governing United Party for National Development (UPND) holds 99 of the National Assembly’s 164 seats. In power, however, Hichilema has shown a studied disinterest in fulfilling these promises.

Undermining the media

Under Lungu, numerous critical media outlets were shut down. The Post, Zambia’s leading independent newspaper since the re-introduction of multiparty democracy in 1991, was forcibly closed in June 2016, less than two months before a general election, under the pretext of a disputed tax bill. Prime TV, the country’s leading private television station, was forcibly closed in April 2020 in the “public interest”, although no specific charges were laid out.

Hichilema’s administration is yet to close any media stations, but it has overseen four worrying developments.

First, the government has introduced a 16% Value Added Tax on newspaper sales, for both print and electronic copies. This move is widely seen as targeted at three private newspapers, since state-owned publications face no consequences for failure to meet their tax obligations. With the economy performing poorly and media outlets already struggling, this move threatens to raise the price of newspapers out of the reach of more Zambians and collapse the industry.

Second, the government has continued with the Lungu-era harassment of the private media. This January, the private TV station KBN published a leaked audio of a phone conversation between Hichilema’s political aide, Levy Ngoma, and permanent secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Josephs Akafumba. In it, the two were heard plotting to use state institutions to undermine the opposition Democratic Party ahead of a by-election. Ngoma suggested the scheme was sanctioned by the president and vice-president.

Authorities initially claimed the audio was fake. When this failed, they accused the journalists of having tapped the pair’s phones. Instead of interrogating Ngoma and Akafumba, police arrested the reporters who had leaked the conversation. In what has become characteristic fashion, Hichilema, who no longer holds press conferences and has adopted Lungu’s unwanted legacy of addressing the country through press aides and on airport tarmacs, spoke through deafening silence.

Third, officials have intimidated independent media. Last month, the UPND MP Heartson Mabeta threatened News Diggers, arguably the most influential private newspaper, with closure after the publication ran a story quoting the UPND secretary general saying the party did not sign a contract with anyone to guarantee them employment. In a country reeling with record unemployment, the public backslash was huge, especially after the paper published the recording of the interview. Mabeta accused the newspaper of malice and warned that it risks meeting same fate as The Post if it did not change course. No one from the government or the UPND distanced themselves from the MP’s threats.

Fourth, the UPND has emulated its predecessor’s legacy of denying coverage to opposition parties in the state-run media. In opposition, Hichilema pledged to stop this culture by transforming the state media into genuine public platforms, establishing legal safeguards for editorial independence, and reviewing legislation that undermine their governance structures and leave them vulnerable to political interference. In power, however, it has been business as usual.

Assaulting free speech

As under Lungu, the assault on free speech under Hichilema has gone beyond just the media.

In December 2021, for instance, police arrested opposition Patriotic Front (PF) official Raphael Nakacinda after he advised the oft-traveling Hichilema to “put your buttocks down” and address the high cost of living. In January 2022, police arrested Morris Lungu, a 42-year-old taxi driver, on a charge of defamation for saying that “if there is a president who is a fool, it is the one who is there”. And, last month, 24-year-old Saliya Laisha was arrested following allegations she accused Hichilema of having sacrificed six youths, who died in unclear circumstances while on a boat cruise on Lake Kariba, “so that he can work well as has failed to do so”.

These arrests on charges of defamation have a chilling effect on even those who are not targeted as they show the costs of criticising officials. Many would prefer to self-censor than risk months or even years in protracted legal cases. The casualty is free speech and poor citizen participation in governance.

Dismantling the opposition

Given how opposition parties were continuously obstructed by Lungu, it was expected that Hichilema would behave differently. This has not been the case so far.

On 15 March 2022, for instance, the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly banned 30 opposition lawmakers from parliament for 30 days. This followed their peaceful protest in November 2021, when the PF MPs noted that the finance minister had referenced constitutional provisions that no longer exist and asked for these anomalies to be corrected. When this request was rejected, the lawmakers converged in front of the Speaker’s mace, leading to a suspension of business for about 20 minutes. On resumption, the finance minister corrected the error and the debate proceeded peacefully.

Two MPs from the ruling party, however, then asked the Speaker if it was acceptable for the opposition MPs to remain in parliament when they had “intentionally disrespected it”. They claimed, without evidence, that “the only permissible means for Members to express displeasure was by walking out of the House”. The Speaker’s decision, reserved to a later date, was finally delivered on 15 March.

Protests are a commonplace tactic in multiparty democracies, and the form they can take is hardly prescribed anywhere. To treat the action by the PF MPs as a major offence highlights Zambia’s new slant towards repression in which any dissent is prohibited. The Deputy Speaker has the authority to reprimand lawmakers for misconduct, but she failed to establish how their protest amounted to contempt rather than legitimate protest, and why the first-time offenders warranted the maximum punishment of a month-long ban and suspended salaries.

If the 30 MPs challenge their suspension, the matter is unlikely to be decided before the expiry of the ban due to the slow pace of the courts. In December 2021, for instance, 9 PF MPs filed an urgent legal challenge to the Speaker’s decision to ban them from taking their seats before election petitions in their constituencies are resolved. The Constitutional Court only ruled on the matter today, three months on, siding with the PF complainants. The Deputy Speaker may well have factored these timings into her calculations.

The ongoing suspension of 39 of the PF’s 51 MPs suggests an organised effort to weaken the main opposition or intimidate it into submission. It also means there is effectively no opposition party in the National Assembly currently.

The suspensions also appear to be motivated by a desire for revenge. In June 2017, the then PF-aligned Speaker suspended 48 UPND lawmakers for boycotting Lungu’s state of the nation address. At the time, Hichilema and the UPND condemned the move as a brazen assault on democracy.

The recent onslaught on democratic rights under Hichilema has not attracted much outrage. This is largely because broad sections of civil society and international (mainly Western) actors support the new government, think it is too early to criticise the new administration, or simply consider the PF as undeserving of sympathy given its own terrible record on similar issues. When Shebby Chilekwa, a PF member and suspect in a murder investigation, recently complained that he had been tortured by the police while in detention and showed his scars, not even major human rights bodies expressed outrage.

Another example of the UPND undermining the opposition occurred this January. Days before the Kabwata parliamentary by-election, a candidate from a small opposition party, the United Progressive Party (UPP), announced his “withdrawal” from the race under highly dubious circumstances. Given the UPP had nothing to gain from this surprise move, many speculate the UPND induced this move for two reasons.

The first would have been to facilitate a new election date when Hichilema would have been available to campaign for his party’s candidate. Some argue that the president’s failure to dedicate ample time to a previous by-election in October 2021 cost the ruling party the seat. The second reason suggested was to allow the UPND to change its relatively unpopular candidate, Andrew Tayengwa, following internal party opposition to his rule.

As it was, any possible plan almost failed to come to fruition as the Electoral Commission refused to postpone the by-election, arguing that the UPP candidate had not resigned – a move that would have required re-organising the election – but merely withdrawn from the race. A few days later, however, the electoral body claimed to have received a letter from the UPP candidate, who had otherwise disappeared, categorically stating he had indeed resigned from the party. The Electoral Commission postponed the poll to 3 February.

For this delayed by-election, the UPND re-adopted Tayengwa – perhaps afraid its ruse would be too obvious otherwise – but deployed Hichilema alongside several cabinet ministers to literally camp out in Kabwata constituency. The ruling party narrowly beat the PF, while the UPP failed to run, explaining that it had expended its resources in the previous campaign.

This episode suggests that as well as pressuring state institutions to directly get involved in an internal party matter – the same tactics once used against the UPND – the ruling party is instigating divisions within opposition parties and over-stretching their meagre resources in the same way the PF did while in government. Opposition parties with little power are potentially being used to manipulate electoral law to suit Hichilema’s party. Again, the UPND is using the same tactics as the PF, but without the consequences of criticism from civil society and international actors.

Weakening civil society

Over the years, Zambia’s democracy has benefited from a robust and effective non-state sector capable of checking the power of the government. Such actors assumed principled positions that aligned with those adopted by the UPND when in opposition. The election of Hichilema has affected the effectiveness of civil society in two main ways.

The first is that many of the critical voices from academia, civil society and the church who spoke truth to power under Lungu have failed to remain impartial since Hichilema’s election. Previously neutral voices have become part of the choir of praise or gone silent. Others have been co-opted into government through appointments to parastatal boards, public bodies such as human rights commissions, or presidential advisory entities. One or two have applied for positions that can only be conferred by the president and are therefore unlikely to speak out unless their bids fail. Some remain in the long queue for appointments to public office, including diplomatic service.

The second is that previously effective civil society organisations that were seen as having aligned themselves to Lungu, such as the Law Association of Zambia, now lack legitimacy to critique the actions of Hichilema. The result is a weakening civil society and the ironic situation in which the PF, the party that almost collapsed the country’s democratic institutions, finds itself slowly becoming the new defender of the public interest.

Hichilema has shown himself to be out of his depth on many key issues. He only appears positive in contrast to the disastrous Lungu, but as memories of the PF’s terrible record fade, the new president’s shortcomings may dawn on more people. If the public become disenchanted with the UPND, voters are more likely to see the PF differently, especially if the former governing party manages to resolve its leadership question and comes out of its elective conference united. If Hichilema’s political position becomes threatened, he may resort to bribery, repression, or both. Unless civil society wakes up soon or new progressive voices emerge, Zambia’s democracy may return to the same position it was in under Lungu.

Nurturing corruption

Hichilema has demonstrated a lack of commitment to fighting corruption in three main ways.

The first is the lack of examples. Despite being elected a platform of anti-corruption, accountability and transparency, Hichilema has so far failed to disclose the value of his assets. Along with Lungu, he is the only major party nominee and president to do so.

This is especially concerning as Zambian presidents have generally used state power to accumulate wealth. In less than 16 months in power, for instance, Lungu’s net worth grew from K10.9 million ($0.62million) in 2015 to K23.7 million ($1.34 million) when he ran for re-election in 2016. He refused to reveal his net worth ahead of last year’s vote, perhaps due to fears that knowledge of his opulence would increase calls for the removal of his immunity if he lost the election. Although there is no evidence to suggest Hichilema has started stealing public funds or using public office to promote his private interests, his reluctance to publish his net worth is concerning given his extensive business interests.

The second is that over six months in office, Hichilema’s anti-corruption strategy has been chaotic at best and non-existent at worst. The grand corruption of the Lungu era is well known yet not a single member of the former regime has been taken to court on serious corruption charges. Hichilema continues to accuse PF leaders of having presided over a corrupt administration, but mostly to delegitimise the opposition party’s reputation rather than to signal plans to prosecute those who looted public funds. Moreover, members of the kleptocratic networks that were deeply involved in high-level corruption under Lungu have since transitioned and cultivated new allies in the governing party.

The third is that Hichilema has ignored accusations of corruption in his own government. When opposition parties presented evidence showing executive involvement in an inflated fertiliser contract awarded to one of the president’s business associates, for instance, Hichilema kept quiet. The president has also backtracked from his commitment to delink the presidency from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), the holding company of all parastatal bodies in the country. In opposition, Hichilema condemned Lungu and, earlier, Michael Sata for their failure to amend the IDC enabling legislation, which allows the president to chair the board of the parastatal, providing opportunities for patronage or corruption and undermining corporate governance. In power, Hichilema no longer sees anything wrong with this arrangement.

Failure to tackle political violence

Under Lungu, political violence around elections was commonplace. The perpetrators were usually PF supporters, while UPND supporters were typically the victims. The police rarely arrested PF cadres but were quick to unleash brutality on opposition members, occasionally culminating in fatalities.

Again, Hichilema pledged to end this culture of political violence, but if the two by-elections since his election are any indicator, very little has changed. The polls in both Kaumbwe, Eastern Province, Kabwata, Lusaka, featured violent activities that saw suspected UPND cadres beat opposition supporters. As under the PF, none of the culprits was arrested even when the victims identified the perpetrators and formally lodged reports to the police. The political violence in Kabwata was even preceded by clear threats of violence from senior UPND members, none of whom has been arrested or reprimanded by the party’s leadership.

The false narrative of democratic resurgence

Although it may have slightly improved under Hichilema, Zambia’s democratic trajectory remains most concerning. Based on its early track record, the Hichilema administration has shown a lack of willingness to make structural changes to strengthen accountable, democratic governance. As a result, Zambian institutions will remain as susceptible to manipulation as they were under Lungu.

The recent narrative of a democratic resurgence in Zambia does not adhere to the reality, one that has seen the intimidation of independent media, the arrest of critics for insulting the president, the use of state institutions to undermine the opposition, the weakening of civil society, and the continued corruption in government. Contrary to what many are saying, Zambia is not returning to democracy. Not yet.

Source https://africanarguments.org/2022/03/zambia-democracy-is-still-under-attack/

58 COMMENTS

  1. In the first place it was misplaced to hope that a person that never practiced any democracy in his Party would do it once in government. What was the behavior of Hichilema since he took over the leadership of the UPND? How did he relate with other political Parties? He has always regarded others with contempt. Some of us don’t expect anything from him on that score. The UPND committed many crimes just to wrestle power from the PF. So there’s nothing new here

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  2. It’s like promising a married woman a better life if she left her husband for you only to start maltreating her as soon as she moves in with you. Mr Hakainde wanted to be president that’s all.

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  3. The man is a disgrace….Iam reminded of king Saul… Liars will not enter the Kingdom of Jehovah…

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  4. Zambians saw an angel in Hakainde. Anyway, let’s wait for the worst.

    Well articulated. Hakainde is stubborn and he does not heed to any advice. Sishuwa will shortly become an enemy of Hakainde because of such articles (abuse of media).

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  5. Wow. This is a splendid write-up and one of the best analytical pieces Dr Sishuwa has written in the recent past. Very well-rounded and objective. This country deserves well-informed and critical voices like Dr Sishuwa. Of course, the praise singers will skin him alive. I now understand why State House, unable to attack his argument, is sponsoring trolls like Tayali to attack the Doc personally as bitter or sponsored. Yoh, it is hard hitting.

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  6. @Number 2, you got one like from me, only because I didn’t know you actively read the news here.
    I hope you can learn a thing or two about how to criticize the government in a logical and reasonable manner.
    You are a brilliant researcher but your work always comes out as being bitter and hence unreadable for most people.
    Alas, it was expected that they would be fumbles with the UPND, but to criticize them without facts was uncalled for. Now we have clear matters to challenge them against, something that Sishuwa has done brilliantly.
    Learn from him, your approach isn’t working at all.

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  7. No need to discredit Lungu for you to explain who is HH. All that you have stated in your article are HH values. Sad.

  8. That’s the problem with Africans……..

    Let them speak English…….they want to be more English than the English themselves

    Give them a taste of democracy………they want to do things in the name of democracy that the owners of democracy would not do.

    This is Africa, badala……..

    You can not allow absolute freedoms to do and say anything……..

    There is need for some controls……….

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  9. The level of democratic freedoms allowed under the new GRZ are adequatefor acthird world country that is striving for industrial development……..

    Zambians should be looking at how to develop the country , not how peddle lies in the name of democratic freedoms……..

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  10. Iwe ka Sishuwa which worse? Ok let’s compare & contrast the two:
    Lungu: Cadres in bus station stations. HH : no cadres collecting money in bus stations & markets. Lungu: Teargass of citizens. HH: No teargass. Lungu: Cadres controlling government workers. HH: no cadres in government business. Lungu: Kwacha high, inflation high. HH: both came down by far. Lungu: took Zambian without a debt or low debt. HH: fighting to repay the debt Lungu took. Lungu: no police bond. HH : 24hrs police bond. Lungu: tribalist divide. HH: unity & love.

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  11. So given the above analogue which worse is Sishuwa talking abt. I used to respect this academician but now I’m starting to think that he is either a hired gun for the western media(those newspaper that want to write only negativity from Africa) or he is paranoid he wasn’t given a position in GRZ. Definitely there has to be something cos this the guy that was in the forefront critiquing the pf.

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    • Analysis? Certainly not. Post full of bias employing Selective variables that suit the desired result: I.e. portray HH as an angel. Pure cadreism. Let me post before my flight to Lusaka blocks me.

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  12. If he is complaining now, barely not even a year . Then his criticism of the Lungu GRZ wasn’t genuine – he was jst doing his job to put food on his table like he is doing now. It can’t be that one person complains abt all three presidents – he complained abt Sata too. Then that tells us he is working for someone under cover. In PF he was exiled and fired from UNZA, today he is probably talking all this rubbish from the comfort of his home or office in Zambia so he can’t even see that big change? Big hypocrite Sishuwa.

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  13. #16  Deja Vu
     March 24, 2022 At 9:23 am

    “Spaka I thought that was what people wanted hence the removal of the Gestapo PF from Government?..”

    De ja vu

    People wanted freedom to assemble , freedom to freely vote for who they want , freedom to wear any political parties attire , freedom to assemble , they wanted to see political leaders free to hold meeting and campaigns, markets and bus stops free of cader violence and harassment………..

    That is what they voted for………..

    That is what they are getting………

    This shu shuwa is now trying to be more western than western countries………..

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  14. A bad thing is a bad thing. If Lungu killed five citizens and Hakainde kills three you cannot justify that but Hakainde has only killed three. It’s murder in both cases. This how it started with PF until it grew out of control.

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  15. A house were everyone is free to do as they wish is not a house, measures must be put and laws followed. Its common sense that people need to know what to say and do. Democracy doesn’t mean that the country should run like a circus.

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  16. You fools thought you were clever when we warned you about the under 5 hh. Here you arecrying like chicken in hot water.

    By the way, I hear that little sick upnd cadre kondwani banda has been rejected by the RB family as a con who is not related to them. I always knew he was too ugly to be a part of that great family

  17. You f00ls thought you were clever when we warned you about the under 5 hh. Here you arecrying like chlcken in hot water.

    By the way, I hear that littIe sick upnd cadre k0ndwani banda has been rejected by the RB family as a c0n who is not related to them. I always knew he was too ugly to be a part of that great family

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  18. Why doesn’t this ka shu Shuwa tell us that cars have speedometer that show 200 miles , so GRZ should alow drivers to drive at 200 miles per hour ????

    Because everything has limits. Even if the speedo says 200 , does not mean we can drive at 200 miles per hour and remove all speed traps ………already with the small speed restrictions, people are dying like flies.

    Same with right of expression, you can not just open your mouth and accuse people of any thing or allow audio recordings of any private conversations……….

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  19. #22 Spaka…so it was ok to insult Lungu at 200km per hour and not so with new fellow? The conclusion here is whether Lungu had acted differently or not you were going to vote for HH because your aim was not about governance but to have HH as president at all costs (of I am not taking away your voting rights)

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  20. @Deja juju: stop misleading innocent Zambians you PF cadre. We know benefited when pf was in power thru Bembalizing of Zambian public institutions and now u are feeling the brunch of suffering that u created for other tribes. And Deja Vu, u haven’t suffered yet ey. Wait more suffering is coming when we start to seize & close yo illegal companies. You guys messed up our country big time, for u to beat the record of Chiluba’s theft – that is not a joke. You must all rot in jail

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  21. @Spaka: pls don’t waste your time trying to justify with these fooools there is no amount of explanation that u ll do that they ll agree with you. Cos I’m their meetings they ve resolved to disagree with UPND GRZ ,in everything. So when talking these m brother it’s fire ? fire. Don’t even be ashamed to insult(doesn’t make u a bad person). Remember u are talking to criminals here,murderers, Mukula thieves, rapists. Child abusers, corrupt morons. People that introduced the culture of guns & pangas in Zambia. People that brought Tribalism in Zambia.

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  22. This article is biggest load of RUBB!SH.
    Be real, fixing 10 years of nonsense in 7 month?
    No wonder the rest of world look at African’s and wonder about their intelligence. I do.

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  23. Dont even listen to the rogue History Graduate, Mr Shuwashuwa. The chap is desperate and bitter with HH now because he is bitter for not being given the job that he wanted.
    Ka Shuwa wanted to be made a Cabinet Secretary and even sent hi CV but was turned because he has no Civil Service experience of at least 10 years. Then he wanted to be presidential advisor for politics but Bally didnt give him either because he has never practiced politics and Bally appointed Levy Ngoma who has political experience – was an MP and has been in political trenches all his life.
    Mr Shuwa only has a degree in History just imagine…..what can you with history in Zambia. He can only work in the Museum and try to preserve the Zambia’s historical artifacts.
    You know useless tuma Graduates twa mu…

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  24. While these things are good to observe at this stage, i think the author should realise that anything legal can not just be repealed by the president making a statement. Laws are enacted through Parliament and as such, there is a process that is usually followed. Laws cannot be repealed easily. On the issue of the 30 MPs, that is the decision of the Speaker who heads an arm of Government which is independent of the Executive. So you wanted the president to interfere with the actions of the Speaker? The good part is another arm of parliament the Judiciary reversed that decision. This would have not happened. It shows the independence of the 3 arms of government. So teka matako panshi

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    • True changing laws takes time but this can be speeded up by the President urging his MPs to introduce the neccessary bills and also the President can voice his intentions. Nothing stops him from telling us if he agrees with defamation of the President law and what he intends to do about it. If he loves it he should tell us instead of just silently enjoying it and applying it in sadistic manner on his opponents

  25. The article is correct and upnd has so far not done well in many aspects. However maybe after this wake up call they will wake up! Let’s just give them up to August before we start condemning them as by then they would have clicked a year and everybody would have seen the direction that we are heading to.

  26. Well-articulated article. Maybe, Dr Shwashwa should have started by acknowledging President’s Hichilema’s achievements (I am sure, there are some), rather than just hitting his so hard, especially that he is still new in the office. His advises should pick some important points that Dr. Shwashwa has highlighted in this article (to could be quite helpful for the wellbeing of the UPND and Zambia as a whole. God bless our beloved country.

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  27. We all saw the videos of PF caders hurling unpalatable insults in the run up to elections ………….

    and lies by the then PF GRZ like GBM training UPND militia , $1.6 million UPND forigne funding to buy weapons………etc etc

    And these are the people you want to have total freedoms to say and do as they
    pleas ???????.

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  28. #22.1  Gallons? 
    March 24, 2022 At 5:37 pm

    “What are miles? We use kilometres in Zed.”

    Most normal cars show dual speedo reading in miles/h and km/h……

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  29. SISHUWA, YOU ARE JUST PRETENDING. AS A HISTORIAN YOU KNOW THAT CHANGE CANNOT OCCUR WITHIN ONE YEAR WHEN THE THINGS YOU WANT TO CORRECT WERE BEING COMMITTED BY THE PF FOR TEN CONSECUTIVE YEARS. WHY ARE YOU NOT PATIENT WITH HH? ARE YOU A HIRED GUN?

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  30. Chilyata and Step aside are primitive tribalist faggots who should be banned from all civilized platforms. They are always out to attack Bembas and I have never seen them comment positively about any Bemba cabinet member.

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  31. barely a year in office shuwa…i think lets give him time than being loathsome towards an individual who spent a great time experiencing the pain of the POA and also the biasness of state media.

  32. History is a very important subject. Without history you will be vulnerable to invasion and manipulation. Why do you think the boers fight off blacks who want to topple their monuments? To preserve history and with that preservation maintain an identity. Once you have an identity you can fight for rights under it. Otherwise you will be a lost people waiting to be used by those with stronger history

  33. There is a very good reason former President Lungu enacted those laws: he realized that Zambians, like most Africans are *****s —- you give them democracy & freedom, they will misuse it to insult & lie, promote racial & tribal hatred etc.

    So leave those statues intact pls and realize you live in Africa where most things that don’t make sense. Suck it up!

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  34. Kikikikikikijukija Hehehehehehe nkunkunkunkyu hahahahahaha kwekwekwekwe kwikwikwikwikwi
    Sishuwa is a lunatic. What slight difference has hh brought anywhere?
    Stop putting ECL mufimalyashi fyabupuba iwe konto.
    You wanted change. Change you got but ECL is not a benchmark [email protected]+ sorry. Is it not only with this article you’re trying to speak true to your hh? No need to condemn your fellow toothless tuma civil societies. We already know how fruitless you are.

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  35. Dear Dr Sishuwa,
    Your article makes interesting reading. As a student historian, it is easy, I think, to understand your stand point. Initially, I held most of your positions with regard to things like freedom of expression etc. However, I have changed my views because of the reality of African or more specifically Zambian politics. There is no normal Government that can grant the version of “absolute” freedoms or rights that you seem to advocate. They are, with due respect, utopian. You can’t allow anyone to make defamatory, false, alarming, and even treasonous sentiments unchallenged in the name of freedom of expression or human rights. This would be political and national suicide. Most Zambians have not, and perhaps may never, reach the level of ‘effectively’ distilling the…

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  36. I saw this coming, that HH had some dictatorial tendencies in his own party, particularly when he would not let others challenge him for the party presidency since 2006. But I gave him a benefit of doubt, and compared to Lungu, he seemed like a much better candidate. So not surprised that HH is morphing into the very villain he once vehemently criticized. His lack of a serious stance on the fight against corruption is troubling. He doesn’t seem to have zero tolerance for corruption. Also his failure to hold the previous plunderers of the country’s resources effectively accountable, is disappointing. He still has time to be the person he promised the Zambian people. If not, he better kiss the next election goodbye. He shouldn’t take Zambians for granted.

  37. Ka mdala ka shshuwa ni useless professor zoona, even pa Unza where he teaches, have you ever seen a student who is supposed to attain the degree in 4 or 5 years get it in 7 months.
    I used to think this man was an intellectual but his Analysis of real issues is of a grade 7 level, no offense to those smart grade 7s
    Change is gradual mdala, nga ni nchito yamene mwenzo funa tekanyani chabe.

  38. Now sishuwa is finally trying to sound like Kapya, Sean and Sangwa.
    Lies have short legs. It’s not even 1 year, look at what you have listed for your almight baal. The fixer we told that talk is cheap. Hh is idea-less and thanks for acknowledging that he is the worst individual to rule over us. I reliably informed that he reports to State House to work around 9 am and knocks of 4pm retiring to New Kasama’s bunkers. Isn’t he a lazy dude?

  39. Even you sishuwa given the presidency, you will dearly love the POA and you will love it religiously. I am concerned at your fear that people will start loving PF and this fact brings chilling fear in you little fragile heart. Take heart, we know that you ganged up to paint the Upnd evils white and the PF’s black. Look at how you’re trying to push the narrative that upnd were victims during the PF era. Truth be told, upnd and hh doctored chaos through out the PF tenure. The violence has continued and you have stayed mute. You’re just a loser and terrible bigot sishuwa. I am wondering why you can’t hit upnd without mentioning PF.

  40. @Deja vu: Block who? my foot! some of us are unblockable my friend. We run the I.T world. You cadres hired Emmanuel Mwamba to rig for you and run all fake propagandas in most newspapers to fight against the New Dawn. That will not happen under our watch. We will run you down too.

  41. @53 yes people will start loving PF but remember , only in some wards in NOrthern province and PF cadres themselves. But nothing major that even a grade 1 will tell you that there is a party known as PF. They wont end like other political parties but they are going to go down a political party that had all its top members jailed,becos they are all going to jail for all sorts of crimes.

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