Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Former President Lungu hails Sishuwa: ‘You are a principled critic’


Former President Edgar Lungu has praised political analyst and Stellenbosch University Senior Lecturer Sishuwa Sishuwa as a principled critic.

Prior to the 2021 election, Dr Sishuwa was one of the leading critics of president Lungu and the then ruling PF. The government and PF supporters, led by media director Mr Sunday Chanda, accused him of supporting then opposition UPND and its leader Hakainde Hichilema.

At one time, former Zambia’s ambassador to Ethiopia and permanent representative to the African Union, Emmanuel Mwamba, asked the Inspector General of Police to arrest and charge the UNZA lecturer with sedition over his critical writings.

Since the election, Dr Sishuwa has shifted his criticism to President Hichilema’s government, much to the annoyance of UPND supporters. But after leaving office, former president Lungu now sees the same critic differently.

In a handwritten letter to Dr Sishuwa dated 6 April 2023, Mr Lungu regretted that he mistook his critic for a hired gun when he was in office.

“In retrospect, we should have met much earlier, maybe I could not have taken you as a hired gun. Otherwise, I read all your writings, although I had difficulties appreciating the motive for the reason I referred to. My interactions with you however, revealed you as a principled critic. There are many lessons, and we will continue to learn and perfect,” stated Mr Lungu. “Best wishes my brother with your research. You are welcome any time. Let’s continue talking.”

Meanwhile, Dr Sishuwa explained that he had met the former president as part of his academic work on the 2021 election. In a tweet posted on Saturday, the historian wrote that “The search for historical truth sometimes takes us to the most unlikely of sources. I had an insightful discussion with former president of Zambia Edgar Lungu as part of my research into the 2021 election and transfer of power. (The note and pics are shared with his permission).

Below is the President Lungu’s full letter.


  1. People will insult you Dr. Sishuwa Sishuwa for meeting former President Edgar Lungu. Among your colleagues in UNZA, even what is written here is not by another person but by yourself. They say you love publicity stunts and want to associate with the powerful. But no matter what they say, always tell yourself you are on a mission to understand the August 2021 transition from the PF to the UPND and what lessons can be drawn for the future. One only wishes you had interviewed late President Rupiah Banda to learn a bit more on how he also handed over power. You are a historian and have every good reason to write Zambia’s political history not only from the archives but from the viewpoint of Zambia’s political elites who are key in advancing democracy in our country.

  2. Now you are meeting him when you were in State House your advisers didnt want anything to do with him and you agreed if you met then for breakfast at State House you would have sent a message of unity. You even wanted him gone from UNZA….another scholar has left Zambia and is now in RSA.

  3. The only thing good about Lazy Lungu is his handwriting as he has all time in world to perfect it…really laughable.

    • I doubt the former president wrote that note. More likely somebody else wrote it for him and he just signed it and wrote his name.

      Notice the difference in handwriting between the main body and the name below the signature.

      In particular, the ‘g’ gives away the game.

    • His Master’s Voice – You are right one of them is a forgery…the first writing has a different style of writing ie letters P, y, t dont match up….but the point still remains that its the only skill that is good about Lazy Lungu – handwriting on paper.

  4. The weakness common in our leaders is wanting to hear only what they want to hear.
    FTJ asked someone about the third term bid and that person told him it was against the principle on which the MMD was founded. FTJ was livid with anger and dismissed the fellow
    He asked another one the same question
    The man said it was ok. After all even some USA president had run for a third term. FTJ was happy and kept this person to the end.
    HH should take note.

  5. The 2021 elections revealed most people’s motives and goals. True friends can best be seen after the storm subsides.

  6. Mature states man. He makes hh look like a baby in diapers. Sir you remain my president not that vengeful failure

    • Lungu is still PF President, and Lubinda is acting. so that qualifies him to be in politics. It’s not about him coming back, he never went away.

  7. Principles. They are only seen by those of us who arent in power. Those in power are always affected by the tunnel vision focused on their mirror. The tunnel vision on self aggrandisement . The tunnel vision focused on Me Me Me. The tunnel vision that sees only what I want to see and not what others are telling me to see. The tunnel vision that makes me savour the very things I loathed in the man who was on this very throne. The tunnel vision that strangely dissappears after I have lost elections and are able to appreciate others.

  8. It’s too late President ECL, but I really commend you for admitting that you where mistaken. Hopefully HH learns the sane lesson while still in power.

  9. Lesson for UPND, already they are labelling Sishuwa as bitter and frustrated because he never got a job in government. It’s difficult to comprehend how political party supporter fail to believe that some people take part in public discourse out of patriotism and not looking for handouts. Similarly when Sangwa challenged the appointment of the Chief Justice ati he was bitter because he wanted the job after ‘supporting’ PF. To them, anyone who wrote against PF must now support everything the UPND does.

    • We call this being principled. So far only archbishop Mpundu and Shishuwa have continued with the battle for real democracy. The others like that ruffian Pilate have jumped on the bandwagon.

  10. Incredible! If only leaders could pause and invite those critics they perceive as a threat to their political careers to the round table; and kick away those praise singers who lick their backsides, they would better leaders. It’s great to see Mr Edgar Lungu recognize the fact that this Dr Sishuwa man meant well and he is a man of principle, integrity and intellect. Bless you Sishuwa, you are a rare breed although the Diaspora has now swallowed you, which is a huge loss for our young people studying at UNZA.

    • Let me add that it doesn’t make sense for any well meaning government to have round table discussion with critics and other opposition leaders. Imagine gathering the likes of Archbishop Mpundu, Sishuwa, Sangwa, even that PhD fellow Andrew Zumani and political leaders like Sean Tembo, Kateka, Mundubile and CSOs to a discussion aired live on TV discussing possible solutions to some of the challenges the government is having.
      To brainstorm and come up with some solutions together. Surely, why would the government be opposed to that?

    • You almost lost me there mate but good correction of the typo (I thought you were being sarcastic or something :))

    • I concur with both above.
      And that is where I expect the media to play their role. I mean such discussions on TV or elsewhere are common in democratic countries, one would think that is happening in Zambia, but alas! even this basic requirement we can not do?
      No point to have one individual, like Sean Tembo, because he will just talk rubbish. But if you brought in e.g Situmbeko and other well-known people in Economics, Budget, Finance, etc, and get them to discuss, it will be worthwhile

  11. KKKKK these are the kind of people zambians are looking for inoder to develop our country.kkkkkkk Lekefyo iwee.

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