Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Political, Economical Orderliness Eludes President Sata

Euphoria at Sata's inauguration on September 25, 2011
By Nyalubinge Ngwende
The euphoria of winning the September 20 elections two years ago by the Patriotic Front seems to be quickly evaporating. The abilities to smoothly manage Zambia politically and economically by ensuring these are done in an orderly manner and ensure respect among the people seem to be eluding President Michael Sata and his ruling Patriotic Front party.

These are difficult facts to realise by the ruling inner-circle and accept as truth, but a few critical moments can reveal this. 

President Sata said a lot about the constitution, promising to deliver it in 90 Days, but done so little thus far. 

Already the technical committee drafting the constitution has differed with the Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba over the document. Kabimba wants the committee to sign and release ten copies of the constitution to President Sata, a request that the committee members have refused demanding that the government should first give them a road map on how the constitution shall be distributed and adopted. I do not find any piece of order in all this.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Only The Truth Shall Set the Patriotic Front Free

the ruling patriotic front is cracking into pieces as the factions in the party violently attack each with pangas, exposing the sins of the leaders at the centre of the divisions in the party. but the party top leadership is in self denial. vice president guy scott chooses not to accept the truth about individual and collective sins of violence in the ruling Party

By Nyalubinge Ngwende
The Vice President Guy Scott is in denial. President Michael Sata continues fiddling while his political party is ablaze with violence that defies logic.

When faced with the question in parliament of the violence in the Patriotic Front, Zambia’s vice president Scott wished he was on the other side of politics other than the ruling party. Then he would have tried more to be truthful about the individual and collective sins that caused cadres from the two factions that have emerged in the ruling party to fight street battles with pangas, leading to the death of at least one cadre and leaving several others maimed with severed hands and deep head cuts. Unfortunately he belongs to the ruling
party that is so violently divided.

And instead of being remorseful about the deep divisions in the ruling party, to which Scott himself has given classes of A-Team and B-Team, he laboured with nonsensical excuses that the violence of PF members against each other is not a new phenomenon. We say nonsensical because he is not being honest to himself. He suggests that the previous ruling party faced the equal measures of violence and those people who used to commit atrocities on other party members in the MMD or maybe UNIP are now associating themselves with the ruling party and brought with them their bad habits.

Home Affairs minister and chairman for the PF disciplinary committee Edgar Lungu is also bluffing: saying the problems the PF is going through are normal teething problems, with some people who are not PF, wanting to wear the party regalia and foment trouble.

These statements are not true. They present a terrible weakness of leadership failure to face the truth and boldly and honestly settle glary political-in-house implosion.

Guy Scott knows that he has made false observations about the divisions in the ruling party. 

Not long ago when Chikwelete, one of the party members who was at the centre of leadership controversy for Lusaka district apologised for ‘insulting’ PF secretary general Wynter Kabimba, Scott came out cheering that the confusions in the PF were over. Scott must have known that Chikwelete was just a disciple in one of the two factions that have emerged due to differences between Wynter Kabimba and Godfrey Bwalya Mwamba (GBM), two senior members of the ruling party. Each group has sympathisers within the party’s central committee and farther down the unruly youths of the party. No measure has been taken to establish real reconciliation between these factions from the top to the root—and the street skirmishes are evidence to this.

Vice President: Guy Scott
But he, Scott, chose to overlook this truth. There is also no truth in his statement that the violence being experienced in PF is a spill over phenomena inherited from previous ruling political parties—UNIP (United Independence Party) and MMD (Movement for Multiparty Democracy).

We know that UNIP cadres fought over who should take over the reins of the party after Kenneth Kaunda lost power to Frederick Chiluba of the MMD in 1991.  But never at anytime did we witness cadres heavily armed with pangas amputating each other on the streets.  Scott should give us the pictures of UNIP members hacking each other with pangas if we are to agree with his theory he is using to defend the murderous violence that has engulfed the ruling Patriotic Front.

We know the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) was violent, but this was at the time of Michael Chilufya Sata as the party’s secretary general. We saw youths being mobilised to block and beat up senior members who wanted to challenge Frederick Chiluba as party President at conventions. We also did not see pangas. We first saw pangas become popular in political violence when Sata, as MMD national secretary, commandeered a park of brutes in Chawama during parliamentary by-elections. This is after Sata had caused senior members of the MMD leave and went to form the Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD). FDD won that by-election, which remains blotted with blood most political pundits blamed on Sata.

If under Levy Mwanawasa (MHSRIP) and Rupiah Banda, the MMD saw almost negligible violence mostly with people dragging each other in jackets or exchanging slaps, then who should we say was an architect of the violence in the MMD similar to what we have seen happen among PF members just three days ago? Water follows the stream; and the violent cadres who were in UNIP, MMD and now PF must be doing the same. Which or who is that stream? 

Guy Scott must not forget that during the run to 2011 elections campaigns, Wynter Kabimba had instructed PF cadres to hit back on opposition members who would provoke them. What next, Zambians saw in front of their televisions pictures of PF cadres sharpening pangas on the tarmac close to the Freedom Statue?

Wynter is violent. And if Guy Scott tells us that this violence is coming from previous regimes, he is putting his own boss, President Sata, in the limelight of being guilty. Sata’s has saved in both previous regimes under UNIP and MMD. Therefore if UNIP and MMD were violent, then Sata’s political career is chequered with intimidation and violence.  

Something is blinding Guy Scott and all of the PF top leadership to this truth and want to find scapegoats to blame for their own problems. 

Martin Luther King Jr. had a better description for the problem that has inflicted the Patriotic Front leadership and its political party. “Rationalisation and incessant search for scapegoats are the psychological cataracts that blind us [Patriotic Front] to our [its] individual and collective sins. 

President Sata has never known to reconcile people! His management of problems end up in a break up. We saw it in MMD over the third term debate, we saw it during the PF-UPND pact and now we may be seeing the so called B-Team led by Godfrey Mwamba being ostracised from the ruling party because the A-team to which Wynter belongs is untouchable.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Emmanuel Mwamba, Scapegoat for Sata’s Indecisions

Battles in the ruling party have reached irreconcilable extent.  Every day the battles will be fought in the national press and every passing day cadres from the A-TEAM and B-TEAM will kick and panga hell out of each other. The imbroglio puts Sata’s chaotic leadership of divide and rule into the limelight.
By Nyalubinge Ngwende
There is a saying ‘do not trust a politician and ask him for a favour, he will want to control you forever’. It is true because those who win the trust of politicians also lose their liberty and get shackled. But those who want to keep their liberty by choosing to do what is right never stick so long around the circles of politicians, especially the authoritarian type—they get kicked out from appointments. 

As someone who has been around politicians for some time, this, Emmanuel Mwamba would have known about President Michael Sata. Mwamba was fired from the position of permanent secretary at cabinet office in a most chaotic way, just hours after he was transferred from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

The day he was transferred from Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Emmanuel Mwamba suffered the anger and rebuke of authority that reigns so powerful in the mouths of President Sata’s type than the jovial jester which comes with the moments of swearing in of appointees.  

Sata castigated Mwamba, like a master chides a garden boy, during a recent pre-cabinet meeting. “Do not use his ministry to fight his political battles. Go outside, stand on a platform and we can meet you on the ground,” he told Mwamba.

He also castigated Mwamba for ‘issuing’ national wide licenses to QFM and Phoenix the two privately owned radio broadcasters.

Looked from the deeper eye, in both accusations, Mwamba is just a victim of a political party and government that believes less and less in itself. He is a scapegoat of a leadership that does want to accept its shortcomings and chaos, but seek to blame others.

Trying to blame Mwamba or rebuke him over his chaotic sacking from government by President Sata will not help to end the chaos that continue to engulf the Patriotic Front. The chaos is due to Sata’s own mediocre leadership. It will not take away the failures of leadership in the ruling Patriotic Front, not even end the primitive bloodletting between cadres belonging to the Wynter Kabimba camp and the Godfrey Mwamba camp. 

The accusation that Mwamba was using the Ministry of Information to fight personal political battles emanates from the factions that have emerged among the Patriotic Front top leadership over the endorsement of President Sata as sole party candidate for 2016 national elections.

Those who were advancing President Sata’s endorsement include Defence minister Godfrey Mwamba, Community Development, Mother and Child Health deputy minister Jean Kapata, Willie Nsanda and Samuel Mukupa—all senior members of the ruling party.

This group has been enjoying public media coverage of their attacks on Wynter Kabimba, who has been against the endorsement, which Sata has also agreed is not necessary.

Wynter Kabimba, on the other hand, enjoys the positive coverage of The Post Newspaper and the paper’s editorials all point at sympathising with him even in the midst of making terrible outbursts, accusing those opposed to him as being tribal and corrupt elements.

The Patriotic Party is seriously divided that with or without Mwamba at the information ministry. 

In the midst of all this news paper owners remain beneficiaries to make money from sales of headlines. Therefore if the private owned newspaper chooses to prop Wynter Kabimba, the other ruling party officials look to the public newspapers. The public media knows that it cannot make money by going with The Post newspaper’s slanting of the news towards Kabimba’s favour. It also knows that a balance of views is needed in the whole imbroglio. Like this they have a share of the readers who want to read what The Post newspaper down plays.
Instead of accusing Mwamba of allowing this, President was supposed to tell the two groups never to give any information concerning the other to the newspapers, whether private or public. Like that the two groups were going to stop fighting each other and bringing the ruling party’s image in disrepute as the most unruly political organisation in the country.
Emmanuel Mwamba

Sata must come to know that what is happening now in the ruling party is the camps emerging and wrestling for favours from his office and for power about who is supposed to be close to him as president for the possible takeover.

Sata has shown greater inclination to Wynter Kabimba in all the infighting taking place in the Patriotic Front, but has come short of telling off Godfrey Mwamba that he is not his favourite. Wynter might have worked hard with the President to mobilise support for the 2008 and 2011 national elections, but Godfrey Mwamba bankrolled the Patriotic Front.

Some political pundits believe that this gives Sata a nightmare to openly tell Godfrey Mwamba that he is not his next heir. So to scare off Godfrey Mwamba and his likes, Sata cut the neck of Emmanuel Mwamba and spilled the blood in front of everyone, instilling fear that should they continue getting to Kabimba they will be the next.

Wynter openly called those who want him out of the ruling party as a tribal and corrupt clique. He has been asked on several occasions to apologise, but arrogantly repeated the claims indicating that he has evidence.

Unfortunately Sata has failed to castigate Wynter Kabimba for his utterances, a sign that confirms Sata’s divide and rule leadership style.   

Making the issuance of the national licenses to private radio operators, Phoenix and QFM, as a reason to fire Emmanuel Mwamba is self indictment against the Patriotic Front as a government that little believes in itself.

“The private radio stations are used by opposition political parties...why didn’t you ask the previous governments why they did not issue national wide licenses to private radio stations other than those operated by Christian institutions,” Sata was quoted chiding Mwamba.

A government that believes and has confidence that it is on the right course and doing what the electorates aspire for cannot fear the voice of opposition being heard with the same coverage and frequency those in government use to get to the masses.

Sata’s move to ask for the revocation of the national wide licenses to Phoenix and QFM shows that his government is not strong on the fundamentals of policy delivery and fears that “if small media start telling the people where government policies are wrong, the people will become more curious and arrogant that they will never be keen to vote for the Patriotic Front in 2016”. 

But the worst that Zambian people will not tolerate is a violent political party that has cadres who can mercilessly spill each other’s blood over matters that were supposed to be democratically sorted out.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

List of People Killed in Politics

According to the Human Rights Watch report vol. 8. No 4 (A) of 1996 under sub head ‘Deaths in Disputed Circumstances’, by 1996 Zambia had experienced killings of political opponents blamed on the government agents. This largely showed failure for the government to the individual’s right to life set forth in article 6(1) of the ICCPR: “Every human has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrary deprived of this life.”
Human Rights Watch/Africa believes the deaths of opposition members   were commissioned
1.      Baldwin Nkumbula  died on August 27, 1995. Patrick Mubanga Kafuti, who was in the car at the time of the accident said Nkumbula was killed by State House agents. No inquest was carried in the killing
2.    Clement Busa Bulanko, a National Party candidate in Luapula constituency for 1996 November elections, was murdered in July 1996. No inquiry was instituted in the killing.
3.    Rex Mushamushi, a National Party provincial treasurer, was shot dead by unknown assailants in suspicious circumstances on August 31, 1996. No inquiry was undertaken
4.      Harry Kamima, a former director general of intelligence died in early 1995 of unknown causes. He was one of UNIP Stewarts and his opposition political party colleagues suspect government agents killed him.
*We may have among ourselves people who have killed for political reasons and all other motives.  They are guilty and their conscience is troubling them. To find comfort they are trying to please the family members of those they might have commissioned assassins to kill.

Good cannot come to bad. If our country has been infected with dishonesty, hatred and selfishness of killing others just to secure a political tenure in office.

If all these injustices exist in a nation, there are no ways we will get a good democracy, a good government and development that is desired. This is because a sense of insecurity for those opposed to government cannot allow them to raise their voices. The hurt of not allowing others with a different view from ours to speak to the nation through formal media carries almost the same hurt that can lead one politician to kill those who hold sensitive information about them.

This is why the people of this country must demand total independence of investigative wings of the State and all suspicious looking deaths of every citizen must never be a closed case and until a proper inquest provides answers to all the questions that the public may have on their mind.

 Real killers must be exposed and brought to justice if the right to life of their victims is to be seen to be a concern of the State to protect.

*Brutal Journal comments 

The Story of Penza’s ‘Political’ Killing Retold

After shooting and killing five suspects just within a day, police went to kill three other suspects two weeks later, and arrested a newspaper vendor and a market trader as principle suspects as they tried to unravel the murder of former Zambian Finance Minister Ronald Penza

By Nyalubinge Ngwende
It was November 6, 1998.  One of Zambia’s political imposing figure—a finance minister of global acclaim—Ronald Penza, had his life robbed by six mask wearing intruders who broke into his house around 05.00 hours in the morning.

Within six hours of the killing police made an unusually fast response gunning down five suspects. And two weeks later then police spokesperson Beenwell Chifwembe announced that three more suspects had been gunned down, bringing to eight the number of suspects killed by the police. 

Among the first five suspects killed by the police was Chanda Chafya, a security guard who switched shifts with colleagues to guard Penza’s residence in Kabulanga area. Plain clothes police picked Chafya from his work place in the morning, six hours later he was dead. 

Monday, 4 November 2013

Wezi Kaunda: Another Victim of Political Assassinations

24 years ago today, Wezi Kaunda, the son of first Kenneth Kaunda was shot and killed by hired bandits.  Police managed to kill one suspect and went to pick a bus driver, taxi driver and another accomplice. The taxi driver Allan Mubanga 
Sungwe was later turned into state witness, while the bus driver 
Moses Mulenga and Amon Banda were charged and sentenced 
to hang for murder. During trial the duo denied the charge 
and mentioned that they had been sent to kill Wezi Kaunda, 
but no probe was taken to establish who sent them 
and were they had got the weapon used to kill the victim
By Nyalubinge Ngwende 
On November 3 1999 Wezi Kaunda, the son of Kenneth Kaunda Zambia’s first president, was shot and killed by armed ‘hired’ assassins’.

The killing of the younger Kaunda is yet among what strongly appears as political assassinations that rocked Zambia in the second republic from the early 1993 to 2000 but yet remain inconclusively investigated and prosecuted.

Late Wezi Kaunda
Initially the killing was seen as a carjacking motive that went wrong, but the Toyota GX Land Cruiser, registration number AAL 5948 that was taken from Kaunda was later abandoned.

This cancelled the police line of thought of carjacking that they wanted Zambians to believe was the motive of the killing.  

The state had earlier charged two people Moses Mulenga, a 28-year-old bus driver, and Allan Mubanga Sungwe, a 20-year-old taxi driver for the murder.  Later a third person Amon Banda was mentioned in the case and Sungwe was turned into State witness. Sungwe had driven Mulenga and Banda to Major Kaunda’s home in Kabulonga after the two hired his taxi.

But in dramatic appeal case against their conviction in 2010 in the Supreme Court presided over by now acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda, Enerst Sakala and Marvin Mwanamwambwa, Amon Banda was in the process set free while Mulenga confessed to the murder.

It took seven years for Mulenga to be troubled by his conscience to confess taking part in the killing and told the court he did not want to continue with the appeal case. 

Senior Legal Aid counsel Kelvin Muzenga said he was appearing for the second appellant, Banda and that Mulenga would represent himself as he had something to inform the bench. Mulenga then told the court that he deeply regretted the matter over which he was in court and to clear his conscience, he was abandoning the appeal. “My conscience cannot allow me to go ahead with this appeal because everything that the judge in the lower court found I had done, I did.”  

Mulenga admitted taking part in the stealing of the vehicle and the shooting of Major Kaunda, adding that he did it out of banditry and that no one sent him or hired him to do so. 

Mr Justice Sakala asked Mulenga if he had consulted widely before he decided to drop the appeal and Mulenga said he had and that he did it because of his troubled conscience.

As for Banda, Mr Muzenga said the trial judge misdirected himself when he convicted his client based on uncorroborated evidence. 

He said the trial judge relied on the evidence given by three witnesses, who were the taxi driver that drove the two to Major Kaunda’s house, Major Kaunda’s wife and a third witness.

Mr Muzenga said Mrs Kaunda was traumatised at the time she was identifying Mulenga and Banda and therefore gave weak evidence while the other two witnesses were accomplice witnesses who had interests to serve.

 High Court Trial
On July 25, 2003 two men were sentenced to death for the 1999 murder of Major Wezi Kaunda the son of Zambia's first president Kenneth Kaunda. 

Judge Gregory Phiri sentenced Moses Mulenga, 32, and Amon Banda, 36, to hang following a long legal battle in which the two accused maintained their innocence and at one moment mentioned that they had been commissioned to kill their victim.

The duo were part of the four men believed to have been involved in the killing of Major Wezi Kaunda, who was shot dead outside his house in 1999. 

Wezi Kanuda was shot on November 3, 1999 as he arrived in a driveway at his Kabulonga home.
Tony Thompson of The Observer wrote on November 14, 1999:

“He and his wife, Didre, were driving home to a suburb of Lusaka in his Toyota Landcruiser when they were approached by a group of armed men. According to Didre, Kaunda told the gang: 'I am Major Wezi Kaunda. Please take my car, take whatever you want. I am not resisting. Spare my life and my wife. Just take the car.'
The gang replied: 'We know who you are. Do you think we don't know? Shoot him.' The men ordered Kaunda out of the car and shot him in the stomach, back and shoulder. He was rushed to hospital, where he died a few hours later. The car was found abandoned, but nothing had been stolen.”

The former president, Kenneth Kaunda cut short his political trip to the UK tp return home to mourn his son. The older Kaunda believed his son Wezi was killed by the MMD administration under Frederick Chiluba. 

The MMD leadership wanted the younger Kaunda dead to stop him from standing as a future presidential candidate, he suggested.

Apparently Wezi Kaunda, a former army officer, exhibited charismatic leadership and was the most politically active of Kaunda's children. He was already chairing the Independence founding party in the capital Lusaka while word was strong that he was going to succeed his father in the coming month at the time he was killed.

Mulenga and Banda were pleading guilty throughout the trial and at some moment mentioned that they were recruited and paid to kill Wezi Kaunda. 

It never tickled the investigation wing of the police to probe the case any further to establish the claims of the duo that they were hired. 

However, former President Kaunda repeatedly accused his successor Dr Chiluba, who defeated him in 1991 elections, of wanting Wezi Kaunda dead.

Least was any effort made to question Mulenga the kind of fire arm he used and where it could have been issued and who the other accomplices who were part to the killing were. 

Later in 2001, Nawakwi disclosed that then minister without portfolio [Michael Sata] supported the police issuance of fire arms to MMD cadres. 

Nawakwi’s disclosure followed an attempted assassination of Kabwata councillor Brandina Kamuzhyu—shot at point blank by an MMD cadre, Chilekwa Mukonge.

 “[...] The attempted murder of councillor Kamuzhyu would be blamed on the MMD leadership because minister without portfolio [Michael Sata] assured the public that the guns which were given to the MMD youths [by police Inspector General Sailas Ngangula] would not be used on human beings. “I hope he can say that again,” Nawakwi said. People like Scorpion Kadobi were given the gun on March 26 this year as second hand first issue. Any gun issued in this manner should be from police stores” (We’ll Fight Back Warns Miyanda, The Post, No. 1756, Monday June 18, 2001)
It would be interesting to revisit Mulenga’s trial, just in case another conscience has hit him to tell the truth where he got the gun to kill Wezi Kaunda and may be tell the country about those who commissioned him. 

This is especially that Scotland Yard that were brought in by government to investigate Wezi’s murder, left the country frustrated due to lack of corporation by police authorities to provide them with necessary information to proceed with forensic probe.

It is this same frustration that made Scotland Yard to refuse to come and help the Zambian government to resolve the murder of Paul Tembo in 2001.

Next the Brutal Journal will look at the assassination of Ronald Penza on November 6. Also have a look at a list of other unresolved political assassinations that occurred between 1993 and 2000 in the country.