Wednesday, April 17, 2024

We Will Withdraw Those Disgraceful Honours


By Fred M’membe

Yesterday, at a hastily arranged investiture ceremony, the President of Zambia conferred the Order of the Eagle of Zambia First Division – one of the country’s highest honors – on three advisory board members of Brenthurst Foundation, a mining lobby group established by the Oppenheimer family to secure a low mining tax regime in Africa.

We say hastily arranged because the official gazette notice for the conferment of these presidential honours was only published in the Government Gazette on 13 July 2022 – literally hours before the awards were conferred the following day!

The members of the Brenthurst Foundation who were given State honours are Mr Olusegun Obasanjo, the former president of Nigeria; Mrs Ellen Sirleaf Johnson, the former president of Liberia; and Mr Ernest Bai Koroma, the former president of Sierra Leone. The President claimed that he was honouring the three Brenthurst Foundation members for promoting democracy and improving the living standards in their countries and other places such as Zambia. This is false.

The real reason the three former presidents are being honoured is that they are all board members of the Brenthurst Foundation, the Johannesburg-based organisation led by Mr Greg Mills that supported the campaigns of the current President when he was in opposition. (Mr Mills is the author of the book that the President went to launch in Johannesburg in January this year using state resources). Anyone who doubts this information simply has to check the details on the website of the Brebthurst Foundation shown below.

There is one thread that runs through the three recipients: they are all influencers, the ‘big boys’ and ‘big girls’, as our people would say, used by the Brenthurst Foundation to make the necessary government deals for the benefit of their backers, including the Oppenheimers.

Our people are increasingly beginning to know the Brenthurst Foundation and to rightly despise the huge sway that Mr Mills and his organisation appear to have on the President. Zambians hate foreign control, especially of their leaders. Zambians know that the Brenthurst Foundation is this week set to have its advisory meeting in Lusaka, possibly to be hosted by the President of Zambia, that brings together all their puppets in one place. To diffuse this growing anger against the foreign forces that appear to be controlling the President, these awards were hastily organised and awarded to coincide with the AU Heads of State meeting.

The truth is that these people are being awarded as part of the propaganda to launder the Brenthurst Foundation and their sponsors as legitimate allies of Africa. The puppet masters are going for resource rich African countries and making deals with their puppets aimed at securing precious minerals through questionable tax holidays. They are after the diamonds in Sierra Leone, the gold in Liberia, the oil in Nigeria, the copper and cobalt in Zambia, and other rich minerals in several Africans countries such as Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Using the Brenthurst Foundation, and as part of an integrated takeover of Africa, they are propagating on the continent a very vicious right-wing politics that is out to launder racist white capital and its Western backers. The fact that we Africans are not rising to protest their ongoing recolonisation of Zambia and Africa is a mark of how well they have concealed their intentions or how well they have used their puppets to secure their goals.

But we can see through them. We reject the decision by the President to bestow State honours on those who helped him ascend to power. With all due respect to Mr Obasanjo, Mr Koroma, or Mrs Johnson, there is absolutely nothing that they have done for Zambia that merits them those honours. No one in Monze, Chadiza, Kanyama or Luwingu knows anything done by anyone of them to promote democracy or raise the standards of living of Zambians. Yes, they are clearly important to the President, like Mr Greg Mills, but they have no relationship with Zambians. It is unacceptable and abuse of office for the President to use State honours to celebrate his friends or those who helped him in his political career.

The President is becoming so arrogant and drunk with power that he is no longer afraid to expose to Zambians who actually bought him the presidency. He thinks the time has now come to start celebrating these people and to impose them on us as our heroes. No, the Brenthurst Foundation and their agents shall never be our heroes. We reject any attempt to launder the image of those who are committed to recolonising Zambia, Africa, and to securing our minerals – led by copper and cobalt – on the cheap.

To this end, we promise to withdraw those disgraceful honours conferred in the name of our homeland immediately we assume office. We urge the recipients to either return them to avoid future embarrassment or to enjoy them as much as possible for the lifespan of the presidency of the one who issued them. Our national honours are sacred and must never be used to launder members of Brenthurst Foundation.

If there is any person who deserves to be honoured for their contribution to fostering democratic outcomes, it is late president Rupiah Banda – and that is for the important role that Mr Banda played to get Mr Edgar Lungu to concede defeat and ensure a smooth transition. Yes, Mr Koroma and Jakaya Kikwete, the former president of Tanzania, helped in the transition discussions but it was Mr Banda who led and even hosted the talks that brought the outgoing president and the president-elect to the negotiating table. But we know that the President cannot honour Mr Banda – even posthumously – and Mr Kikwete because they are not members of the Brenthurst Foundation – the only thread that ties the three people he has honoured.

There are many Zambians who have contributed to the advancement of democracy but have never been honoured. Who, for instance, can forget the role played by Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu, Simon Zukas, Brebner Changala and their OCIDA organisation in standing up to the last regime and advancing democracy? Yet all these don’t matter because – well, they are not board members of the Brenthust Foundation!

We know that the President gets angry when we say he is a puppet of foreign interests, but if he were to sit down and carefully reflect, he will realise that what makes him angry is the accuracy of that description. It is wrong for anyone, including puppets, to use public office to start dishing out State honours to their masters or their masters’ agents.

We urge the President to retreat from the pro-imperialism path he has taken and prioritise the interests of Zambians, not the Brenthurst Foundation. It is him, not Mr Greg Mills or the Brenthurst Foundation that Zambians voted for.

Mr President, please stop listening to or doing the bidding of foreigners and begin to pay attention to what those who elected you say.


  1. Just wondering so many Countries are running away from SOCIALISM and somebody wants to take Zambia into that, for real ? I mean in as much as we need opposition parties for checks and balance. Please don`t take the country into socialism.

  2. I hear you President M’Membe. But if those are not give then who? Whoever will be given does not matter as long as he/she has played an important role in as far as improving peoples lives are concerned. If they are wrong people, so be it because no one is perfect. People are the same sir. The gesture of giving is good

    • We aren’t obligated to give awards. Isn’t someone supposed to sanction such whimsical ceremonies

  3. No beating about the bush; Mr Hichilema is going full on rewarding his sponsors – two fingers to any who quibble. Treacherous.

  4. As much as those honours are disgraceful, I don’t think it’ll be in anybody’s interest to withdraw them. What benefits will be derived from withdraw of the honor from a man like Obasanjo or a lady like Johnson who are both in their dotage? No one will respect them by donning such medals. So forget them

  5. Problem of these Degree holders from third class universities is they really struggle even on basic concepts like inflation. Mr Mmembe gone are days when citizens used to be cheated by gullible politicians. Talking loudly but your party doesn’t have even a single MP and you are dreaming of winning the next elections? Dream on !!!

    • Says the f00Iish failure who is cleaning old people in diaspora. If your hh is so good why aren’t you here in zambia with us

  6. The President is state capture personified. Let’s all be vigilant cos the nation’s assets will be guptaed left right and centre. Someone please ask Komboni for to play me Lusaka Radio band “kale bamwisa baletwikata ubulofwa”

  7. You cannot distinguish fire by pouring more gasoline. While Mmembe has very good valid points in his article, grabbing the medals adds or subtracts no value. Mmembe is drinking poison into his immune system and expecting someone else to die. When you trade rage, hate, wrath, or ire in your heart towards anyone, it destroys and kills you while the person you – so hate just keeps moving on with their life growing, getting better and better.

    +++ This also calls for bloggers who turn up on Lusakatimes pumped up with personal insults, abuse, and offending other commentators. Be reminded that you are drinking poison, while expecting someone else to suffer or die. It does not work.

  8. You cannot distinguish fire by pouring more gasoline. While Mmembe has very good valid points in his article, grabbing the medals back adds or subtracts no value. Mmembe is drinking poison into his immune system and expecting someone else to die. When you trade rage, wrath, or ire in your heart towards anyone, it destroys and kills you while the person you – so hate just keeps moving on with their life growing getting better and better.

    +++ This also calls for bloggers who turn up on Lusakatimes pumped up with personal insults, abuse, and offending other commentators. Be reminded that you are drinking poison, while expecting someone else to suffer or die. It does not work.

  9. Petty, petty, petty, narrow-minded, and all the rest. These people have stature the world over, independent and apart from the Brenthurst Foundation. The days you imagined yourself King make of Zambia, and used the Post to sow discord are long gone. Everyone has a voice now, and everyone can hear from different voices.

    You abused your power (drunk with power as you say) as a journalist, we will never make the mistake of entrusting you with the full might of Zambia’s power.

  10. Yes the awards are silly. Or corrupt but who is “we”? Fred and his five supporters? How will they withdraw the awards? By mugging Obasanjo na Sirleaf outside state house? Kuzankala kantu

  11. SOCIALISM Will never come to Zambia
    and to those thinking this chap has only one term must be mental !!
    if we gave Lungu and his Muppets 10 years
    We will have Hh for 10 for sure

  12. Comrade Membe………..

    The president has outplayed you again by focusing on important issues like congestion at kasumblessa, while……..

    You are shackled on petty issues……….

    Wake up and concentrate on important issues to improve zambia……..sha

  13. Kaizar Zulu. I am forming a new political party. I want to give you a position in my goevernmet. As a Minister of Toilet Affairs. You seem to know a lot about toilets.

  14. This rotten M’membe Maembe Machafu is the same one who cheered on the PF regime as they drove Zambia into intensive care unit. Now he has the gall to lecture others?

  15. Some Dreams come true, some don’t, but we are urged to keep on dreaming. Socialism is dictatorial, Mr. M’Membe. I experienced and lived it in the then Democratic Republic of Germany (GDR). The Goodies at that time were found in West- Berlin and Germany which were strictly no go areas for GDR citizens. Seeking authority to visit West Germany then was like pulling a tooth while getting a pass to a Socialist Hungary was given to me with striking wonder. I enjoyed those years in GDR then though. I thank God Almighty that I was given a chance to be with my German Friends during Christmas and New Year Period in a United Germany some years back. May be Mr. M’Membe, shed more light how Brenthurst Foundation helped the President to get to State House. Are you suggesting that the 2.8m Zambians…

    • People who went to GDR were UNIP. One of your parents had to be in UNIP for you to be given a scholarship to GDR, USSR, and the East

  16. Socialism my foot….
    He wants to be honoring Che Guevera, Castro, Chairman Mao, Stalin.
    You are free to go back to the 70’s, or 80’s and live there.
    The rest of the world has moved on.

  17. My advice to Fred is that as his Party gains momentum, he shouldn’t entertain such thoughts. Many African leaders expend their time and resources trying to undo what those before them did. This is a disease that must be cured immediately. HH is no exception. What will you a great leader isn’t your propensity to undo what your predecessor did but delivery on your promises. This disease has retarded Africa

  18. Kaizar Zulu, you are a disgrace in how you were brought up. Am in the country now and will endeavour to expose you, your past and your defeated puppets

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