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Alba Iulia
Thursday, May 26, 2022

What Kind of President Does Zambia Really Need

Columns What Kind of President Does Zambia Really Need


By Sean Tembo – PeP President

1. Today, our country faces huge economic challenges, with the majority of citizens being driven deeper and deeper into poverty and squalor due to the ever-escalating cost of living. This is despite the equally huge economic potential that we have in almost all sectors of the economy such as tourism, agriculture, mining, etcetera.

2. Today, our country is divided into half. No citizen is seen as a Zambian. Every citizen is looked at through the lenses of either pro-UPND or anti-UPND. Our brothers and sisters from the Zambezi provinces of Southern, Western and North-Western are constantly fed the rhetoric that the rest of the Zambian people look down on them as second class citizens. Those who are wise can see through this empty rhetoric, but a good number of our brothers and sisters fall for it, hook, line and sinker. That is a very dangerous path which needs to be challenged and corrected.

3. Today, law enforcement agencies have been hijacked and converted into an appendage of the ruling UPND party. Instead of doing their work in an impartial manner, the Zambia Police, Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) and Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) have been weaponized and used to crush political opponents, especially those who were aligned with the former ruling party. Opposition politicians are arrested in a dramatic fashion multiple times, and taken across the country in an attempt to exact as much extra-judicial punishment as possible. Bail, even when granted by a court, is delayed as much as possible on all sorts of flimsy reasons. Yet, when their time to appear in court comes, the State is not ready to proceed with the case.

4. Today, youths have been relegated to the backseat in terms of opportunities being extended by their Government. Instead of empowering the youths who have never had any opportunity before, the Government prefers to give opportunities to the same elderly people who had multiple opportunities in the past, and squandered them all. And yet, our youths are the biggest stakeholders in this country because they are going to live in this country longer than the elderly. Our youths are also at their most productive age, as they are vibrant, energetic and free from ailments that come with old age. And yet, they are sidelined.

5. This begs the question of; what kind of President does Zambia really need? On the economy, Zambia needs a President who will be visionary, courageous and competent. A President with enough foresight and imagination to envision how our country’s different types of potential can be woven together to create competitive advantage for us. A President who is audacious enough to believe that Zambia can become the largest economy in Africa in the next 20 years, and that our poorest citizens will at least be able to afford three square meals a day, have clothes on their back and shelter above their heads. A President who has the courage to deviate from the tunnel-vision of how things have always been done. A President who will inspire and catapult citizens into unprecedented levels of productivity, self-discipline and ambition. A President who will unlock the abilities of the Zambia people and help to convert the economic potential of our nation into actual wealth, for the benefit of citizenry.

6. On national unity, Zambia needs a strong minded President, and not one who wallows in self-pitty. A President who thrives on and enjoys our country’s wide tribal diversity and the 72 languages spoken across all corners of Zambia. And not a President who publicly complains at a press conference that his Tonga language is not as widely spoken across the country as Nyanja or Bemba. Of course in any society across the world, there will be some languages which will be more spoken than others. When you are a President, you do not need to use your platform to inflame your tribesmen into believing that their tribe has been sidelined by the nation, and that it is now time to claim their rightful position. No one should use the Presidency as a tool for advancing tribal superiority.

7. Additionally, Zambia needs a President who has a thick skin to distinguish between trifles and substantive matters. Not a President who convenes an entire press conference just to complain that he is being referred to as a cow, on account of his tribe. Well, late former President Frederick Chiluba was actually referred to as a monkey in a maize field. But he did not convene a press conference to complain that he was called a monkey on account of his Bemba tribe. Similarly, late former President Patrick Mwanawasa was referred to as a Cabbage. But not on a single day did he convene a press conference to complain about it. In fact, Mwanawasa joked about it saying; “after l develop this country, you’ll stop calling me cabbage and start calling me steak”. Those are the hallmarks of a statesman. One who is not bogged down by trifles and focuses on the bigger picture of delivering national development. In Chewa, we have a saying that; “mutu ukulu sulewa nkonyo”. Mutu = head. Ukulu = big. Kulewa = ducking. Nkonyo = punches. So you can do your own translation. Simply put, when you are a leader, you will always be subject to all sort of criticism. Some legitimate, some not. But you have a duty and obligation to rise above the pettiness and focus on leading the nation. As for me, if given a choice of what to be called between a monkey, a cabbage and a cow; l’ll choose a cow on any day.

8. On the weaponization of law enforcement agencies against the opposition, it is common cause that those are the traits of a dictator. I have always argued that our law enforcement agencies are largely professional and fully capable of doing their jobs without political interference. When they are operating independently, they are even more thorough than when they are under political pressure. The reason most of the sensational arrests fail to stand in court is because the law enforcement agencies are given undue pressure to make premature arrests even before investigations are properly concluded. When the docket is taken to DPP, it doesn’t usually have prosecutable evidence. And then you pile the blame on the DPP for failing to give consent to prosecute the cases in court. You are forgetting that you are the one who applied political pressure on law enforcement agencies to effect a premature arrest on your political opponents.

9. Personally l fully support the fight against corruption. Anyone who stole public resources in the previous regime should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and recoveries of stolen property made. But we need a President who can facilitate a corruption fight in a sober manner, without undertones of vengeance or retribution. For starters, the only time that any citizen is disposed of their house, car or bank account should be when they have been convicted in a court of law and the court issues an order for such forfeiture. Citizens should never be dispossessed of their property merely on the basis of an allegation. Property rights should be respected. Remember that what goes around comes around. How would you feel if one day after leaving the presidency, you are evicted from your house without any trial, on the basis that your house is suspected to be proceeds of crime from privatization? And then you take 15 years to prove that your house is not a proceed of crime, by which time the property is totally dilapidated. So let us always remember to do unto others as we would want others to do unto us. Zambia needs a President who will have no appetite for extrajudicial punishment before a conviction. A President who will uphold the fundamental constitutional principle of innocent until proven guilty. Only then can we build a better society for ourselves and our children.

10. On the sidelining of youths, in preference for the elderly; Zambia needs a President who believes in equal opportunities for all. There’s no question that the Government is the largest employer. There is also no question that the demand for Government jobs far exceeds the supply. Therefore, any Zambian who has previously had the opportunity to work for Government in the past should give room to those who have never had the opportunity before. It is unfair to keep recycling the same old people in Government positions while the youth are not given any opportunity at all. Personally am a strong believer that every person deserves an opportunity in life. If they properly utilize the opportunity and prosper, then that’s good. If they mess up the opportunity and go back to poverty, that’s well and good too. But the bottom line is that everyone deserves an opportunity. Therefore, the youths must be prioritized in any appointments made by a Government. Youth empowerment should never be an afterthought. Otherwise national development will remain elusive in this country.

33 COMMENTS

  1. Is this chap serious? Today no Paul Moonga and his thugs are harassing you in the city centre for speaking against Lazy Lungu…if I were you I would re-visit that case

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  2. In short you mean Zambia needs a President like Sean Tembo? Those of us that have lived in Zambia a little longer understand that no single person can be our Messiah. What Zambia needs are strong institutions that will stand strong even if we had a lunatic as President. Such institutions can’t be created by an individual. And we can’t blame politicians alone for the mess that we’ve created for ourselves. Politicians don’t come from some other place to reign over us, we live with them! I know for sure that Sir Roy Welensky couldn’t have allowed mobile money booths in the CBD, nor buses to park anywhere in town. So what we see is our way of life, you’re not different from the rest of us

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  3. We need a President whose character does not make one group look down upon other groups, does not falsely accuse opponents to promote his image, committed to make Zambia a country of hard working people and promotes true love among Zambians and not unnecessarily incarnating them to please praise singers.

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  4. There is something our current and future presidents can learn from this article.
    Slowly Sean is beginning to make a lot of sense. In normal situation, such are the people who could have been in the advisory team of the president. Keep the good work up Sean.

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  5. Votes us in and as soon as we are sworn in the kwacha will trade at 5;1, fertilizer prices will come down as will mealie meal prices…or should we say zambia will turn around within 90 days and more money in your pocket….corruption no sacred cows….

  6. Sour lemons from this tubalist…………..

    The man has been in office less than a year fixing the colossal PF mess……………..

    Anyways , there is nothing your Complaints will archive………..

    It’s a 5 year mandate…………..

    Come back in 2024………….

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  7. 1#…… Tarino Orange

    What good will it bring if Sean Tembo revisited the Paul Moonga issue in which Sean was clobbered ? You are living in the past. For a person who claims to be an Economist, if that is true, your reasoning is always questioned. I am not surprised that – Zambia Today – said you are a liar who claims to be an economist. Your daily language on Lusakatimes does not reflect a person who sat at a university and studied Economics. You spend so much time insulting and bullying other bloggers just because you don’t agree with them. Just the other day you said it’s just banter. The truth is that you are an aggressor and tormentor. Sean has good valid and truthful points in this article. I hope the presidents reads his article.

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  8. Anybody can imagine what mr rooster aka sean tembo is imagining here. Unfortunately i dont think we will ever have a politician that matches the description or character that sean wish for. For decades to come the youths will continue erecting dishonest characters who are able to tell sweet lies. Stop dreaming sean i dont think you can make a good leader either.

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  9. Spaka #9

    I am responding to the comments you posted on May 10, 2022 At 2:58 pm that I have copied and pasted below.

    Spaka May 10, 2022 At 2:58 pm
    #s 8 and 10

    IDEPENDENT OBSERVER seems to be a PF cader………..
    Even with UPND in opposition I remember him defending PF or attacking HH……..

  10. 1. Spaka you sunk so low calling me a PF Cadre on May 10, 2022 At 2:58 pm . Clean up your negative energy and work on expanding your mind. If you do that, your mind will perform wonders. What does a person get out of being a cadre, apart from being a praise singer and used by politicians like toilet tissue? You seem to know more about being a cadre. iYou need to come out of the slumber of thinking that it is wholly wrong to criticise HH. Don’t get heated every time you read comments that criticise HH. What kind of shallow thinking is that which always assumes that if someone criticises HH then you automatically put him in a PF Category.

  11. 3. I strongly criticised Chiluba, Mwanawasa, Banda, Sata, Lungu. And yes HH while in opposition. Search Lusakatimes and The Watchdog Archives you will find my critics against all past presidents, though I stopped reading the watchdog 10 yrs. ago after it became so extreme. You will find comments where I have praised HH that he was the best person to lobby for investors and grow the economy compared to Lungu who was not astute in that subject area. I have called Lungu naive and an accidental president in the past. The reason why you have not acknowledged my valid regards for HH is that you live in an assumption world.

  12. 4. Not sure what is eating you about me to call me a PF cadre. Best you evict me from your head. I read you are an Engineer. Use your skills to become the next big Innovator, Visionary and Pioneer in Zambia. Your mind and body is the most powerful electrical circuit in the universe and it has limitless possibilities. So, use it and see what happens. It will surprise you. You are no different from Hakainde Hichilima, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Michael Jordan, etc… You just need to pay attention and manage your energy wisely.

  13. IMWEE BA PRAISE SINGERS STOP THE TENDANCE OF BEEING PERSONAL AND DEBATE OBJECTIVELY. SEAN IS BRINGING OUT VALID ISSUES

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  14. For starters, the Zambian president should never be Sean Tembo.
    Mr Sean Tembo, how many MP’s do you have? Zero
    Mayors? Zero
    Councilors? Zero
    I rest my case

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  15. 5. HH needs every one of us to develop Zambia. Especially those of us that have been privileged to have an education. Stop labelling people who don’t agree with HH as PF Cadres out of the 14 Million who live in Zambia.

    Meanwhile keep debating as we need different perspectives from everyone who comes to Lusakatimes. We should use this lusakatimes platform to Inspire, Learn, Motivate and put out constructive criticism and not come here to square up. It’s being cheap. It’s a waste of resourceful energy in life that is preciously needed to develop humanity and Zambia.

    No person, society, nation can develop when hate for another person is the centre of wellbeing. Adolf Hitler tried that formula it backfired and it split German into East & West. German and took the country…

  16. 6 …. Adolf Hitler tried that formula it backfired and it split German into East & West German and took the country backwards. Yes, I criticised HH while in opposition and I will continue to do so as long as he the president. And where I see that he is making good decisions and judgement, manifesting development, I will give him credit. Why? because its healthy to make a president account for his decisions and judgement. He reports to the people of Zambia, They are the ones who gave him the job and the reason he went on national tour, thanking and bending on his knees. We want him to do good. If does well, we all win.

    Enjoy The Day….

  17. Mutafela Mulife – I’m afraid you have mistook me for someone else..never in my life have I claimed to an economist nor have any interest in it as a profession.
    I have never seen your alias or the location flag on here since you know me so well which makes me even more suspicious..

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  18. Like Nelson Mandela
    1) No grudges or settling old scores
    2) No discrimination
    3) No lies
    4) No falsehoods
    5) True love for mankind
    6) No are.se licking of the imperial powers.

  19. 21#….. Tarino Orange

    Dont pretend. You and myself have exchanged debates 3 times and today you say you don’t know my alias name. You are a sick liar. Below is your post under your other alias name JAY JAY. And you posted this last year claiming to be an Economist.

    JAY JAY – October 29, 2021 At 9:13 pm

    As an economist I am okay with how this budget will be funded. I hope it gets better going forward. At least 58% will be from revenues and grants.
    While about 42% will be financed through external and domestic debt. This deficit needs to be reduced over the coming years. I am hopeful it will be reduced. The debt financing of the budget needs to reduce because we should be able to fund or pay for what we spend on.

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  20. Sean + Sishuwa winning team for 2026:
    Platforms: PeP,Shishuwa-potential Party,rebranded PF/MMD.

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  21. I am glad that good wise bloggers are posting comments to clean up the hate and name-calling that happens every single day on this channel. We have people who are so delusional and hateful. They see themselves as more important than others and constantly just spill hate. What anyone says or post is not important but their points of view. No wonder there are too many defamation petty court cases for the president, wanting to lock up anyone who does not agree with his views. How can you have a president crying at the press conference that someone called him a cow when people face death in hospitals due to a lack of medicine. Lets use these channels to network together and not hate, hate, hate, ….

  22. I am glad that good wise bloggers are speaking up to clean up the hate and name-calling that happens every single day on this channel. We have people who are so delusional and hateful. They see themselves as more important than others and constantly just spill hate. What anyone says or post is not important but their points of view. No wonder there are too many defamation petty court cases for the president, wanting to lock up anyone who does not agree with his views. How can you have a president crying at the press conference that someone called him a cow when people face death in hospitals due to a lack of medicine. Lets use this channel to network.

  23. Haha haha … One again, Ba TARINO ORANGE has been caught pants down…

    When you tell lies you always forget what you said yesterday. . Ba TARINO ORANGE has claimed to be an Economist more than once on Lusakatimes. Today the man denies it. Just like when he complained about his uncle missing out of getting a job from HH. I personally challenged him that it was him who posted those comments. Rather than defend himself , he call me an *ss and *um…..

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  24. Mutafela Mulife – I Stopped using “Jay Jay ” long before 2021 due to having so many clones ..this is just the usual trolls mudsling strategy longing for interaction or diverting to some topic of his choosing,,,not gone waste time of this rubbish.

    Moonga – Another one…where have I claimed to be an economists..I am very proud of what I studied and it has nothing to do with economics.

  25. As citizens We know what kind of a President we want hence the massive vote on August 12, one thing for sure Zambians wont vote for a person who just issues statements behind a key board daily, if somebody is serious and wants to be President, he should be seen in Chama, Mwinilunga and other places the way Sata used to do, but if you want to be a lecturer and mislead people about the President they want, it simply means you could have too much time to throw away

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  26. What Kind of President Does Zambia Really Need?

    There is one already, the elected one- President HH the visionary leader, and requires support by all Zambians. Give him the opportunity to serve all Zambians

  27. When I see these hate posts in comments between brothers and sisters, I cry my beloved Zambia. Where is this steming from? I have noticed academicians that want to hear themselves. I have noticed pro UPND supporters that think HH is Jesus Christ. I have noticed pro Lungu supporters who are equally as adamant. And then there are those who are non partisan like myself. My question to you all is, where is this hatred going to take us. And trust me I have been to war torn countries and even took some in as refugees. My brothers and sisters, this vengeance against each other has to stop. I plead my case and rest as an American Zambian and a tonga Bemba.??

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