Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Isn’t Edgar Lungu entitled to an opinion?

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By Chimwemwe Mwanza

Why do we always seem to run for the hills at the sight of a jackal, mistaken for a lion? Are we so consumed by crises that we sometimes neglect to interrogate critical issues in our midst for political expediency?

There is an acute shortage of drugs in health centers spread across the country. And the reaction from the state has been swift but furious. Disappointingly, it’s been nothing but a diversionary of sorts. A few bureaucrats have been suspended for facilitating the employment of a radiographer, an act deemed illegal. Suddenly, the health minister uncovers a staggering number of non-existent rural health centers – supposedly created by the previous regime. Thanks to all manner of diversions, here we are talking about illegal health centers instead of drug shortages.

This reaction by the health minister is totally unrelated to the crisis at hand. Let’s jog our memory to pre – 12th August 2021, doesn’t this level of subterfuge ring a bell? That the President took it upon himself to spend an entire day at the health ministry speaks to the depth of the crisis. A cautious reminder: descent to failure is never sudden but gradual. At this rate, these mishaps and anthills will have morphed into a mountain, come the next election cycle. While 2024 may seem too far, fact is that the next election cycle will be a referendum on the governing party’s record in power.

Which reminds, Rupiah Banda’s funeral was meant to provide a somber moment of reflection and unite the country, not until former President Edgar Lungu’s verbal gaffe detonated a political hand grenade. Lungu’s polite decision at the funeral gathering to accede to an interview – never mind the fact that he was ambushed by a journalist, elicited some consternation.

Notwithstanding his calm demeanor and delivery, his response to a question regarding his views on the country’s political temperature inadvertently pieced through the heart of the establishment. The rancor and epithets thrown in his way in the aftermath of his remarks smack of dishonesty if not hypocrisy. Put into context, whether Lungu was right or wrong in his responce is not the issue but the fact that we chastised him for his honesty is deeply troubling.

His assessment that hypocrisy was slowly eating at Zambia’s political fabric is an opinion to which he is entitled. For starters, the former President did not offer himself for an interview – a factor that makes it difficult to detect any ulterior motive in his remarks. To the contrary, he tried his utmost best to dodge the media so he could leave the spotlight to the incumbent President. Cornered, he volunteered an honest view – never mind whether we agree with him or not.

It’s mind boggling that we are lambasting him for raising a fundamental issue that has potential to erode national reconciliation and unity. What’s so offensive about the big ‘hypocrisy’ remarks anyway? Shouldn’t we be interrogating whether there is merit to his claim as opposed to shooting the messenger? Would our reaction have been any different if it was Nevers Mumba or Harry Kalaba that issued such a remark?

Never mind the hate, are there extenuating circumstances that disqualify Lungu from commenting on issues of national importance? The challenge is that ours is a country in which we view critical issues through a narrow prism of partisan politics. The more things appear to change, the more they stay the same! It makes one wonder, aren’t we conveniently ignoring the gist of Lungu’s remarks for political expediency?

If that were the case, there is a real risk that we could be missing out on an opportunity to address ‘hypocrisy’ which is the elephant in Zambia’s political landscape. Just a thought.

About the Author: Mwanza enjoys reading Political History and Philosophy. The only thing he supports is Liverpool football club and Magnificent Kabwe Warriors. He enjoys goat meat. For feedback, email: [email protected]

24 COMMENTS

  1. Wynter Kabimba,Chishimba Kambwili, Harry Kalaba and host of other political commentators had alluded to Hypocisy way before ECL uttered it. But there were easily disregarded and waned with no adverse effects. Why ECL mwe bantu. He’s very much entitled to his opinion on pertinent National Matters. This is pure witch-hunting by the Hyped Hypocite and his minions in the New Doom.

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  2. We’re all entitled to our opinions but we (especially if we’re public figures) also need to measure when to speak out that opinion and when to keep it to ourselves

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  3. Yes, every one is entitled to their opinion……….

    Even a theif who is in jail for stealing is entitled to his opinion on the state of the jail…………but……..

    No matter how honest he is……….

    He is the last one who should complain about the state of the jail…………..

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  4. Whenever a high-profile person in society makes a comment about something , it is normal for people to react in different ways. Chimwemwe Mwanza also has just shared his opinion about Edgar Lungu’s remarks after the burial of RB. Nangu tapasoswa. Honestly who is Edgar Lungu to talk about hypocrisy?……….under Edgar Lungu Zambia experienced the worst leadership ever witnessed in this country

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  5. It’s a widely held view in UPND circles that ECL owes his very existence to their President. He should speak and say only that which HH has approved, what misguided individuals we have! As for Sylvia instead of being concerned about the levels of inefficiency at her Ministry she’s excited to satisfy her paranoia as if she’s discovered a major fraud. What has she to say about the province which had more health centres than her officers reported? Does she classify them as ghost centres? I’ve seen in her adverts where a centre in Kawambwa is appearing under Kitwe. My advice to them is to be sober and see things not through the PF lenses. It’s not PF in charge. Many sensible people left the UPND when Ila zealots beat Saki

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  6. His opinion led to unsustainable debt, his opinion led to ministers staying illegally in office, his opinions led to so many problems. What is the guarantee that his opinions will now be sound. I am just asking

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  7. If I was Edgar China Lungu I would keep quiet, VERY quiet, and hide under a big stone, NEVER to be seen in public again……..

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  8. whilst the ministry is unearthing non existent health facilities can it also account for the second ambulances that were bought and questioned by the late tetamashimba 27.000 dollars was the quote way above average

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  9. No, he does not! Not after the country was brought to its knees during his reign. The impunity of it all!

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  10. Action is the best and the only solution that will make the difference in Zambia and not the negative past which would contribute nothing to the present.

  11. ECL LIKE ALL CITIZENS IS ENTITLED TO HIS OPINION
    BUT WILL ANYONE TAKE NOTICE ?? I SAY NOT
    LIKE THE IMPOSTER JUST SPEWING GARBAGE

  12. Honestly I don’t care about Lungu’s opinions at this moment in time.
    Lungu’s PF nightmare administration is over now, other peoples opinions matter.

  13. We have lost it as a nation. The tendency of shooting a messenger instead of the message is rampant in Zambia. This could be related to our levels of education or lack of it by people that claim to be educated. What we have currently is a very very sad euphoria of Not thinking at all but a dangerous political biasness.

  14. GIVEN A CHANCE TO AIR HIS OPINION ECL HAS IN THE PAST SAID, “AM ARRESTING HH NEXT WEEK”; AT ANOTHER TIME HE SAID, “UBOMBA MWIBALA ALYA …”, THERE WAS A TIME WHEN HE SAID , ” I WILL FALL ON HIM LIKE TON OF BRICKS”, ETC. CAN HE AIR BETTER OPINIONS NOW? EVEN IF HE DID WHO WOULD TRUST HIM?

  15. Chimwemwe Mwanza, your corrupt, thieving and violent Lungu is the worst hypocrite in the world who never allowed fellow citizens to have a say or opinions. Your Lungu is the worst President to lead Zambia and he will hold that spot for the next 100 years. HE INHERITED FROM MMD A GROWING AND VIBRANT ECONOMY 7 PERCENT GDP AND TOOK IT DOWN TO NEGATIVE 4 PERCENT, just take a look at Bank of Zambia Reports, IMF, WORLD BANK ETC. You are not telling the truth in your article, did you watch the video, Lungu was actually annoyed and started breathing heavily when answering the question, please watch it again. If there was a competition for hypocrites in the World, Lungu would surely win it, and here is why, when the Commonwealth came to Zambia to foster dialogue your Lungu shunned it, when the…

  16. Isn’t Edgar Lungu entitled to an opinion? Chimwemwe He is but he must keep that opinion to himself. He had a lot of time while on the most spotlighted platform to make his opinion matter. But he opted to avoid press conferences. When he felt like talking to us he wasted time telling us about how those who work in the farm eat from the farm.
    Chimwemwe, Nothing stopped him from escaping journalists at this funeral you are citing. He just missed the spotlight so he availed himself where previously he would have had henchmen like Kaizer, Dora and Chanda to suckingly shield him from media.

  17. When the Commonwealth came to Zambia to foster dialogue your Lungu shunned it, when the three mother Church mother bodies wanted to do the same, your Lungu avoided it. Yes Lungu is entitled to his useless or meaningless opinions, we are a Democracy. Secondly, Lungu told us that his Ministers were corrupt, they were depositing huge sums of money, later when he was challenged to take action, he said ‘give me evidence’, Mr. Mwanza that is hypocrisy right there. Lungu is just a successful ‘in incompetence’ leader, how did we Zambians end up with a ‘low life guy like that? Chishimba Kambwili, Harry Kalaba and Summer AKA Winter Kabimba are leaders of ‘ BRIEF CASE NASHALA NEKA TU KAWINA LILALI’ Parties. a tandem of Lungu’s type of hypocrites.

  18. Lungu can shove his stinking opinion up his backside where it stinks and never shines, he is a kleptomaniac namunungu tuna wa sitongwani masipa Shae a musululo.

  19. How come it’s only the previously colonised who think it’s an achievement to identify with their ex masters’ success stories?
    I have not seen one Briton who supports Kabwe Warriors but Mr Chimwemwe Banda feels his cv only shines if he announces to the world that he is a Liverpool fan. I saw that Dora Siliya also announced her support for Manchester united when Lungu colonised us. There was also a permanent secretary who wore Manchester united t shirts during government ceremonis. Wake up Africa we will never go anywhere with these inferiority complexes! Be proud of what you are and what you produce. Learn from China

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