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By Ndangwa Noyoo

Published:Nov 16, 2008

On Obama:

Africans have a penchant for passing the buck and expecting prosperity to fall from heaven whenever issues of national development come to the fore. What does this assertion have to do with the Obama victory?

Well, for starters it points to the very nature of ineptitude that continues to shape our people’s psyche and their misguided belief that Africa’s woes will be solved by some miraculous intervention by some super being.

However, to the contrary the pitfalls of Africa’s development can only be rectified by Africans themselves. Therefore, Africans should not expect Obama to come to their rescue after they have failed to put their houses in order due to corruption, mal-governance, tribalism, nepotism, mediocrity and national paralysis shaped by myopic leaderships.No one but the Africans can free themselves from this on-going socio-economic and political malaise. Africans have to redeem themselves and not expect anyone to realize this noble ideal. Yes, it is good to see a mixed-race individual (Obama is neither black nor White, but a blend of the two.

However, Africans claim him more for obvious reasons), becoming president of the most powerful nation on earth. Indeed, it is gratifying to note that the twenty-first century has debunked the myths of a racist America whereby talent and hard-work has now prevailed over bigotry and half-truths.This is the lesson that Zambians should draw from the Obama campaign and eventual rout of the Republicans. That with the hard-work, talent and fortitude, a person can be credited on merit to either become president of Zambia or hold public office.

It should not be based on one’s “connections”, tribe or brown-nosing. Also, we should recognize the fact that education absolutely matters. Zambia, like all African nations is a modern state. It is part of a fast-paced technological and economically advancing global community.

It is not a small village. Therefore, the acumen to lead such an entity is first and foremost dependent on inta alia, education. Obviously, there are also other personal attributes such as honesty, humility, care for those who are disadvantaged, etc.Conversely, the electorate also needs to be educated and enlightened. An illiterate and uninformed electorate will not be able to choose the caliber of leadership that will speak to policy options for national development, but rather, will be mesmerized by demagogues, ideologues, populists or alarmists.

Until the day that Zambia (and Africa in general) is led by sober, competent and visionary leaders, the ordinary people will continue to wallow in their poverty and misery.

Copyright © 2008 Ndangwa Noyoo.  All rights reserved.

Disclaimer: Author is a freelance writer, therefore opinions and ideas shared in the above article may not necessarily be those of the staff and management of the Zambian Chronicle.  The original text has been modified to fit Zambian Chronicle content and multi-media structure.

Copyrights © 2008 Zambian Chronicle. All rights reserved. Zambian Chronicle content may not be stored except for personal, non-commercial use. Republication and redissemination of Zambian Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Zambian Chronicle. Zambian Chronicle shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, interruptions or delays in connection with the Zambian Chronicle content or from any damages arising therefrom. 

Zambian Chronicle is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microplus Holdings International, Inc.

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Meet Hakainde – His Profile

 

Hakainde Thinks Public Service Is A Noble Enterprise – Thus The Decision To Enter Politics

 

Hakainde On The Economy

 

Hakainde On Investments

 

Show Me The Money – Hakainde Excogitates

 

Hakainde On Education

 

Hakainde on Infrastructure Development & Constitution Making

 

Hakainde Talks About Media & Press Freedom

 

Hakainde On Transparency & International Relations

 

Luapula Women Sing – Hakainde Muchele Nowa Mukene Akatobela …

(Hakainde Is Salt Even If You Once Denied It, You Would Dip Into It Nevertheless …)

Disclaimer: Zambian Chronicle looked for clips for other Presidential Candidates but found none, thus the only interview posted is that of Hakainde Hichilema. It is for this reason that we have asked our audience to furnish us with info to the contrary and we are willing to pay for such publication(s) so other candidates would be accorded equal airtime.

 

Copyrights © 2008 Zambian Chronicle. All rights reserved. Zambian Chronicle content may not be stored except for personal, non-commercial use. Republication and redissemination of Zambian Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Zambian Chronicle. Zambian Chronicle shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, interruptions or delays in connection with the Zambian Chronicle content or from any damages arising therefrom. 

Zambian Chronicle is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microplus Holdings International, Inc.

Copyrights © 2008 Microplus Holdings Int., Inc.

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The old adage “practice makes perfect” holds true to every locale in the human enterprise  and or in everyone’s life. The upcoming presidential by-election will usher in a 4th president for the Zambian Enterprise, democratically elected in a peaceful transfer of power.

 

While others may want to just take this for granted, we at the Zambian Chronicle realize its importance and significance that we just had to write home about it. On a continent filled with rage and at best incumbents’ desire for lifelong presidencies, the Zambian Enterprise leads the pack in many ways.

 

In fact, other than ours in the Sub-Saharan region, Botswana is the only country that boosts of holding the longest record in peaceful transfer of power with democratically elected presidents and its economic stability speaks volumes of its own.

 

All things being equal, democracies have the ability to bring out the best among the collective; the people and not the system(s) become the means through which society chooses for itself what its desired posterity should be.

 

No one single person becomes more powerful than the sum of the all and by so doing it (a democratic system) creates checks and balances for the mutual benefit(s) of both the system and its peoples. Of all other latent issues, democracy tends to create a system of correcting wrongs with the greatest of ease.

 

Take the emergence of multiple party politics in 1991, for instance. The Kaunda era though vibrant at first could not stand the test of time. This is because it was built on flawed communistic policies and no amount of humanism preaching by KK or even Archangel Gabriel could improve anything otherwise at all.

 

The fact is simply that communism does not work, however perfectly envisioned even in a perfect world. Man is impenitently self-interested and when there is nothing for him/her but for the collective he/she tends to be ineffective at best.

 

It is no wonder every body during the latter Kaunda era developed a “Niva Boma” attitude. One was not obligated to anything and “Waco ni waco” (nepotism) swelled and huge misappropriation of all resources led to corruption and other graft devices.

 

When FTJ came on the scene, he really did not have any message at all but the smart people of the Zambian Enterprise gave him a chance all because they were ready for change. They were promised privatization, and without asking for accountability they went along because they had hope the time for “Niva Boma and Waco in Waco” had come to an end.When they matched through the streets chanting “The Hour, The Hour, The Hour Has Come”, to many others it did not matter whether or not that hour had come for them to be unemployed, that hour had come for them to be without medical coverage, free hospitals and free education; it mattered dimly squat what that “hour that had come” meant.

 

Most smarts even mistook democracy for privatization I often remark … but the system worked. This is not to say, there was no corruption, this is not to say peoples’ perception about “Niva Boma and Waco ni Waco” changed, in most cases these were actually amplified.

 

The Chiluba regime proved that too much power bestowed in the presidency was erroneous and corrective measures were taken, it also proved that zeal without knowledge is murderously dangerous for any enterprise and we started replacing rhetoric with execution starting with Levy P Mwanawasa, SC.

 

We learnt that government works better when it is accountable to the electorate and not the other way round. We learnt that there is still a lot of international goodwill out there as long as a nation is willing to do the right things, by taking the right steps, every time, all the time …

 

And overall, as every one adhered to good governance, bad apples were being identified and exposed, culprits brought to book including FTJ himself and the system got perfected day by day, thanks a trillion in great part to Levism (MHSRIP).

 

Levy had his share of mistakes too but we will leave those for others to comment at the present moment. But we know that he did his best to turn the economy, the work culture and posterity around; at each and every stage, he had the best interest of our Enterprise at heart …

 

After next week, the smart people of the Zambian Enterprise are heading to the polls again, in part to prove the system works but overall, to perfect it even further.

 

Oh yes, practice makes perfect and we encourage all the eligible smart people of the Zambian Enterprise to go the polls en masse, it’s our God given right, make use of it …

 

We once said here that not much would be expected out of this by-election because it is more of a care-taker presidency until the Tripartite General Election in 2011.

 

But we encourage even losers to understand that there is a lot of winning in losing and moving the nation forward after conceding – there can only be one president at a time.

 

Whoever becomes the next CEO of our Enterprise, we at the Zambian Chronicle will render our full moral support just like we did for Levy.

 

We will criticize him when we see mistakes made not because we want to be vocal for nothing by using our bully pulpit but because Zambia is greater than any single one of us.

 

Whatever the outcome, the real winner will be Levy P Mwanawasa, SC. who proved the system works and practice makes perfect, Long Live Levism!!!

 

Live Long & Prosper; that’s this week’s memo from us at the Zambian Chronicle … thanks a trillion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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To all my fellow Zambians:

Good luck with the Zambian elections in October 2008. I am sure we will pick the right candidate to continue where the late President Levy P Mwanawasa, SC. left from (MHSRIP).

For those of you that are endorsing HH, I hope he carries his nation at heart, and puts the Zambian people first before politics. I have no doubt that with his credentials he can take the Zambian Enterprise to the next level.

Here is a clip candidates should start watching closely, and if HH really wants to preach change, and take the Zambian Enterprise to the next level, he should know it takes people to seek change.

If the smart people of the Zambians Enterprise are looking for change, they need to support the Candidate for change, which in this case I can see most of you are endorsing HH. Take a close look at USA presidential elections.

Does this sound familiar?

Does it sound like Zambian economy? Well it’s happening in America. That is what happens when you put wrong people in office all the time.

Candidates need to lay down their plans in a meaningful, and practical way. Not waffling around same old policies. Ideas, Ideas, the key to success. Here is another example:

 

In Zambia we have had same candidates rotating from one position to another, they all descended from UNIP. We need another president like the late Mwanawasa to continue fighting corruption, and take our country to the next level.

A candidate who would put the Zambian interests first before his own, one who would empower his own people and create jobs. One who would allow foreign investment, but put Zambians that are innovative on top of the list.

I hope we all take time to know the candidates well. The ball is in our hands, people. Pay attention to what our candidates are saying. We need a president who will be able to understand our most needed issues within the Zambian Enterprise as a whole.

A candidate who understands the outside world as well and has foreign policy credentials. One who understands economics, because whether we like it or not, what ever goes on around the world has significant impacts our own economy.

Take time to screen candidates in and out before we cast votes. We need a candidate who is strong, dedicated, never gives up, honest, intelligent, humble, compassionate, innovative and creative. One who sees beyond his nose and makes right decisions at least ninety-nine percent of the time.

Here is another clip.

And for politically minded women, who are aspiring to stand for President in 2011, do not get discouraged, you can do it. Here is a role model for women.  I edge our Zambian men to stay open minded when it comes to women leadership. We women get things done. Hillary ran an incredible campaign …

… and the opposition picked this candidate for VP to overshadow Hillary’s historical campaign. Of course this one is not my choice, though I am sure some Zambian women would like her since she has five children youngest is only 4 months. She is a joke to me because she was handpicked. On a good and humorous note though, she is not afraid to take on a challenge!!!

Having said that, I would like to see women participating in Zambian presidential elections. I am calling upon intelligent Zambian women to take up the challenge in 2011.

I wonder why the Zambian constitution can’t open up for presidential candidates to pick their running mates before they are elected in office. This is an important point for us to seriously think about before the 2011 elections.

It is very crucial to have running mates screened at the same time with their presidential candidates. We have all seen what happens when a sitting president dies in office, the Vice President jumps in to act as president.

Wouldn’t be nice to have the VP get screened before hand? Transparency is very important …

Live Long & Prosper; that’s this week’s memo from us at the Zambian Chronicle … thanks a trillion. 

 

Belliah K Theise

Chief Operating Officer – Zambian Chronicle 

Copyrights © 2008 Zambian Chronicle. All rights reserved. Zambian Chronicle content may not be stored except for personal, non-commercial use. Republication and redissemination of Zambian Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Zambian Chronicle. Zambian Chronicle shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, interruptions or delays in connection with the Zambian Chronicle content or from any damages arising therefrom.  

 

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By Times Reporter

ELECTORAL Commission of Zambia (ECZ) chairperson Florence Mumba has assured the nation that the commission will ensure that it delivers a credible presidential election to be held within 73 days.

Justice Mumba, however, said the forthcoming election was unprecedented and it was important that all stakeholders worked together.

Officiating at a workshop for council secretaries and town clerks in Kabwe yesterday, Justice Mumba said the remaining 73 days before the election could be held was a big challenge but she was convinced it would be fulfilled if stakeholders worked together.

She said following the death of President Levy Mwanawasa, the ECZ had realised that it needed a competent poll staff database that could be called on at short notice when the need for an election arose.

The ECZ would be required to train and supervise all electoral staff that included returning officers, presiding officers and polling assistants in the short time remaining before the election.

After the training, the ECZ would only pick on those that would demonstrate practical knowledge and competence of the electoral process.

She acknowledged that the presidential election would be a litmus test and would determine how the commission was capable of responding to a sudden challenge.

The ECZ had started preparing for the 2011 polls and had challenges in areas such as procurement and logistics but were now being compounded by the short notice in which the polls were to be held especially that Zambians expected nothing but the best polls.

Justice Mumba also cautioned civic leaders to be mindful of the sensitivity of their work by avoiding any behaviour that might compromise their standing in society.

“Remember that our stakeholders are watching and they do not expect any unprofessional conduct from us,” she said.

She made an undertaking for the ECZ to do its work in a transparent, impartial and efficient manner for the polls to meet the aspirations of the people.

Kabwe Town Clerk Vivian Chikoti hailed the ECZ for its decision to hold its first preparatory presidential election workshop in Kabwe, a town that was steadily regaining its economic glory.

In a vote of thanks, Kitwe Town Clerk Ali Simwinga said the training would assist the participants discharge their electoral duties in a diligent manner to warrant a free and fair election.

 

© 2005 Times Printpak Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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05 September 2008
 

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Two days after the late Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa was laid to rest, the National Executive Committee of the ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) meets Friday to choose its candidate in the forth-coming presidential by-election. The two top contenders are Vice President Rupiah Banda who is acting head of state and Finance Minister Ng’andu Magande.

Friday’s meeting also follows comments by former first lady Maureen Mwanawasa suggesting that her late husband preferred Magande as his successor. But Mwanawasa’s will, which was broadcast Thursday night on state radio and television made no reference to succession.

Mbita Chitala is a senior member of the ruling MMD. He told VOA that Zambia is a democracy and not a monarchy and the party will most likely choose Vice President Banda.

“I have been tapped by my party to advise as to who in my view should be a better candidate to represent us and let us win to retain the leadership of the country. And we have suggested that the current president Rupiah Banda who was the vice president for the last two years would be our best candidate,” he said.

Chitala said Vice President Banda, who is now acting president deserves to lead the party because of his many qualities.

“One of them is that we have the vice president of the country who is also senior trustee in our party and most qualified in terms of education and otherwise. We feel that he is truly would be the most representative of the country as well as the most experienced among those who may wish to vie,” Chitala said.

Former first lady Maureen Mwanawasa reportedly told a local newspaper last week that her late husband preferred Magande as his successor.

But Mwanawasa’s Will, which was broadcast Thursday night on state television and radio made no reference to succession. In stead the late president said he did his best to improve the standards of living for Zambians.

He talked about his strong belief in national development, good governance, the rule of law and democracy and his fight against corruption.

Mwanawasa expressed regrets in his will that in the process of fighting for the good of his country he may have forsaken himself.

“I regret that in my zeal to facilitate this fight, I lost friendship with a number of some of my best friends and at many times my own life and those of my family members were threatened,” Mwanawasa said in his will.

Chitala said the late Mwanawasa could not have mentioned succession in his will because Zambia is a democracy and not a monarchy.

“As regards the alleged will of our former president, unfortunately our country is not a monarchy. We are a democracy, and the way the founders of our party enshrined the democratic principles of succession, there has to be election among the contending members. And President Mwanawasa was a very good friend of mine, and we used to discuss these matters and as far as I knew him, he could never depart from the doctrine of democracy and become the monarchy behavior person,” Chitala said.

He accused former first lady Maureen Mwanawasa of once having an interest in succeeding her husband.

“To the contrary, I think that has just been unfortunate politics by the former first lady who herself had shown interest of wanting to succeed her late husband. But of course our custom doesn’t allow such kind of behavior, and we advised her that if she wants she can go out for a while may be mourn the late husband for at least year before getting back in politics,” Chitala said.

The late President Mwanawasa was revered for growing Zambia’s economy. But Chitala said Finance Minister Magande is not the architect of the economic success under late President Mwanawasa.

“Magande was never the architect. In fact that was the policy of former President Frederick Chiluba, and you know in economics the gestation period of programs takes many years. But one thing you cannot take away from Mr. Mwanawasa is that he was very dedicated to good governance,” he said.

Chitala dismissed suggestion that Vice President Banda, who is 71 years old, maybe too old compared to Magande.

“That is not correct. Mr. Banda was made vice president and senior trustee of the party and makes him qualified to be the candidate for president. In respect to age, yes he’s 71, but of course this is a transition period between now 2011, and we think that he is the best person to give us this transition. He is very energetic as far as we are concerned and we think he will be the best person to give this transition. Mr. Magande himself I think he’s 62 or 63,” Chitala said.

Source: Voice of America

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LUSAKA (AFP) — Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai put aside their rivalry Wednesday to join African heads of state at the funeral of Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa.

The bitter rivals mingled with more than a dozen African heads of state and government, as well as envoys from the United States and Britain, among 5,000 mourners around the Baptist church in Lusaka.

Zimbabwe President Robert Robert Mugabe offers his condolences to Zambia's First Lady Maureen MwanawasaMugabe paid tribute to Mwanawasa — who once referred to Zimbabwe as a “sinking Titanic” — when he arrived in the Zambian capital.

Mwanawasa died aged 59 in a Paris hospital on August 19 after suffering a stroke.

“Mwanawasa was a very courageous leader. He was very frank and wanted to change not only his country but the entire southern African region. We will greatly miss him,” state radio quoted Mugabe as saying.

South African President Thabo Mbeki, chairman of the 15-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC), was to deliver a speech at the funeral.

The late Zambian president was SADC chairman before Mbeki took over last month at a summit in Johannesburg.

Among African leaders present were President Ian Khama of Botswana and Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi as well as Lesotho Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili.

Former colonial power Britain sent a delegation led by Foreign Office minister of state, Lord Malloch Brown, who has responsibility for African affairs. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer represented the United States.

The mourners were led by Mwanawasa’s wife Maureen and their six children.

Mwanawasa was to be buried at Embassy Park, near the presidential offices, following the service.

Copyright © 2008 AFP. All rights reserved.

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LUSAKA (Reuters) – Zambia’s first lady has expressed concern over possible divisions in the ruling party and said her late husband wanted Finance Minister Ng’andu Magande to succeed him, a local newspaper reported on Sunday.

Sixteen candidates are jostling to succeed President Levy Mwanawasa, who died in Paris on August19, ahead of a presidential vote in November.

 

Analysts have said the high number of presidential hopefuls may be a sign of deep divisions in the ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD).

The Post newspaper quoted Mwanawasa’s widow as saying that the late leader had told her shortly before he died that he preferred Magande to succeed him after his second and final five-year term in 2011, and that the cabinet was aware of his wishes.

“He (Mwanawasa) knew that he (Magande) had strengths and weaknesses, but the strengths outweighed the weaknesses,” she told the Post in an interview.

Magande and Vice president Rupiah Banda, who is now acting president, have emerged as the strongest contenders.

The MMD will select a candidate on September 5, two days after Mwanawasa’s funeral.

Mwanawasa had led Zambia since 2001 and was re-elected in 2006. His tough stance against corruption endeared him to donor countries and he was credited for turning the southern African nation into one of Africa’s economic success stories.

The MMD has been in power since 1991 when trade unionist Frederick Chiluba ousted Liberation hero Kenneth Kaunda. The party remains popular and has majority seats in parliament.

Main opposition Patriotic Front leader Michael Sata, and Hakainde Hichilema of the United Party for National Development, the third biggest party in parliament, will also contest the presidential vote.

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By Meluse Kapatamoyo

Lusaka. — The ruling Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) is headed for a major split following the death of Mwanawasa and the forth coming presidential by-elections. So far, it is unclear as to who the party will nominate for the presidency but opposition political parties have already announced their candidates. 

The MMD held its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting on August 21. The NEC resolved that since the nation will be holding presidential elections soon, it’s imperative that a presidential candidate be immediately picked without necessarily going to the national convention, the body mandated to elect party office bearers, including the president who in turn stands on its ticket. Suffice to say that even President Mwanawasa was not chosen through the laid down MMD electoral process but was merely chosen by the NEC when he contested the 2001 general elections.

The party has found itself in unfortunate circumstances where both the position of MMD President and Vice-President is vacant. These positions, in accordance with MMD constitution, can only be filled by its convention. The NEC has opted to pick only a presidential candidate for the November elections. The position of president and vice will remain vacant.By September 5, 2008, the party would have chosen a person who they think would carry on Levy Mwanawasa’s legacy. Several statements, arguments and suggestions are being made throughout the country and so far, Finance Minister Ngandu Magande, former Works and Supply Minister Ludwig Sondashi, Health Minister Brian Chituwo, Constitution Review Commision (CRC) former chairman, Willa Mungomba, and former Vice-President Enock Kavindele have filed in their documents for consideration. Others being speculated include the Acting President Rupiah Banda and the former First Lady Maureen Mwanawasa.

Former minister in Mwanawasa’s cabinet, Dipak Patel, told the media recently that Magande was more capable to carry on Mwanawasa’s vision and this seemed to swing the balance of power with more voices coming in to his support.

In the midst of this uncertainty, who has a greater chance of being the MMD presidential candidates?

Rupiah Banda, 70, Acting President.

RB, as he is fondly called, was called out of retirement by Mwanawasa. Banda is said to have delivered an electoral bequest of Eastern Province for Mwanawasa and the MMD. He was rewarded with the position of Vice-President after the 2006 elections. He has wide influence among chiefs in eastern province although he still has some connection with the United National Independence Party of the Kaunda era.

An experienced diplomat and businessman, time has found him where he ought to be. He has guided the nation during the illness and death of Mwanawasa and remains instrumental during the transitional period.

If he won the MMD presidency, he could be a strong candidate against PF leader Michael Sata. He is courting a seemingly political lightweight Bwalya Chiti, a royal from the Bemba Royal Establishment to be his vice.

Bwalya Chiti is said to be a vicious backroom that has resources at his disposal from ICT companies that he recently sold.

The combination is already being referred to as The Dream ticket. This ticket is aimed at creating a formidable force against the resilient Patriotic Front (PF) leader, Michael Sata who commands wide political support in Northern, Luapula, Copperbelt and Lusaka based on the 2006 general elections.

If selected by the NEC, Rupiah Banda can legally use extensive state resources such as ZAF helicopters, media coverage and government motor vehicles in the campaign, without repercussion, since he is Acting President.

The leverage of the advantage of incumbency can widely benefit him. He has shown ability to deal with issues in an independent manner. Many are saying that UNIP trained its leaders well and Banda is such an example who promotes good, over blind loyalty and private agendas. Government spokesperson Mike Mulongoti, Mbita Chitala, former Zambian ambassodor to Libya and MMD spokesperson Benny Tetamashimba have since openly supported Banda and are said to have influence in the party.The First Republican Dr Kenneth Kaunda (KK) has allegedly been paying Banda regular “visits”. So are Banda’s former colleagues from UNIP. It is said that in the event that the MMD does not pick Banda as a candidate, UNIP or a new party will adopt him to ensure that Eastern province’s realistic chance at the presidency is sustained.

The MMD on the other hand regards RB as an outsider. He is yet to renounce his UNIP membership and some argue that he does not qualify to be an MMD presidential candidate.

He is termed as a UNIP member. He has no constituency since he was only nominated and his popularity remain untested. He was born in Gwanda, southern Zimbabwe , where his Zambian parents were migrant workers.

In one of his last meetings, Mwanawasa stated that he wanted a younger leader than himself to succeed him. This “disqualifies” Banda and 61-year old Magande against Mwanawasa’s wishes. Mwanawasa was 59 years.

Banda is a mere trustee in the party and his juniors in government are his party seniors. He seems to be reacting terribly slowly by remaining mute to events happening around the campaign from his opposing camps such as the First Lady, Maureen Mwanawasa, Magande and others.

Maureen Mwanawasa

Despite the odds pitted against her, Maureen seems resolute to contest the position though party spokesperson Benny Tetamashimba argues that the First Lady will not rescind her earlier position that she would not contest the elections. She seemingly wants to use a sympathy vote by claiming that she is best suited to take-over from her husband and complete the vision she shared with her husband. She is most likely going to put together Mwanawasa’s vision as “theirs”. A privately owned newspaper, The Post of 24 August, 2008 carried an editorial praising her and urging her

to respond to the call to honour her husband’s legacy by sharing what the late president envisaged for Zambia.

”If for a moment, she thinks that she is going to mourn, weep and cry like the rest of us and then attend to her husband’s legacy later, there will be no legacy…Maureen has no choice but to make herself available, whenever needed, to make clear what her husband’s legacy is,” The Post said.

Despite the tradition and culture sensitivity surrounding Maureen as widow, there is an attempt by some sections of the MMD to continue “milking” the Mwanawasa family, a common practice among cadres who do not believe that there is an end to everything. They see the First Lady as a saviour — nothing else.

Ngandu Peter Magande

He is seen as an establishment candidate with support from a wider section of the society especially the business sector. The finance minister and former Africa Carribean and Pacific countries (ACP) economist is credited with stabilising the exchange rate, bringing down inflation rate and has helped bring in foreign direct investments and shore up donor support to Zambia.

He has aligned well with his long-time colleague and friend from the UNIP government, Bank of Zambia Governor, Dr Caleb Fundanga, to manage the economy. Magande’s deputy and Mwanawasa’s nephew, Jonas Shakafuswa has publicly supported him.

Magande joined Mwanawasa as his Finance Minister, when Emmanuel Kasonde was fired. Magande was the late United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Anderson Mazoka’s economic advisor and has suffered the tag of “outsider”.

His constituency seat is in Chilanga, Lusaka , and it is doubted if he can bring an electoral win even to his area of origin– Southern Province.

His past attempts to stand as an MP in the Southern Province failed but his win of Chilanga seat in 2006 was strongly disputed by his opponents. Evidence of serious and glaring acts of rigging and fraud were cited. The Supreme Court has, however, recently ruled that Magande was duly elected.

It is feared that the support he received from Dipak Patel, a non-MMD member, but a very influential person especially among the business elite, merely represents a powerful but unelected clique known to control and shape policies of this country in the Mwanawasa presidency.

The other presidential aspirants will certainly contest but it would be a difficult decision by the MMD to choose either of them other than the above.

The opposition

Michael Chilufya Sata

He remains the clear front-runner to win this election although his age, health and his foreign policy will deter him from winning the presidency.

His decision to reconcile with Mwanawasa, when he returned from South Africa from his medical treatment, has put him in good stead and as a leader with far sights.

Despite being popular in the urban setting of Lusaka and the Copperbelt, it remains unclear if he would win in Southern, Central, Western, Eastern and North-western provinces and for him to concentrate on the Copperbelt, Lusaka, Luapula and Northern provinces may not give him a clear victory.

On the foreign policy, after those alarming statements by his policies on China , Zimbabwe, Taiwan, and his other central policies seem to have received subtle revision. He has since dropped public rhetoric of “anti-Chinese and anti-Indian” approaches seemed to have gone under revision.

His harsh treatment of the 26 MPs that rebelled against him has earned wide criticism. Many wonder how he is capable of forgiving and reconciling with his arch-rival and arch-enemy, Mwanawasa and yet refuse to bring to the fold his own MPs, in the name of discipline. This has sent a chilling effect and reinforced the fear of dictatorial tendencies.

The 26 MPs have, however, no effect on the coming elections since no constituency is under election. This is a presidential election that can allow Sata to use party structures other than MPs.

His strong relationship with the Catholic is beneficial as he quickly picks the church social struggles and issues them as his. Sata, Mwanawasa and other leaders were the architects of the National Constitution Conference, but when the Catholic opposed it, he quickly joined in and rescinded his earlier position.

Zambia is currently in the process of enacting a new constitution that is expected to address important issues missing in the current document through a delegated body, acting through a piece of legslation, drawn from a wider selection of society.

With more than 400 members, the NCC will deliberate and formulate a draft constitution that will later be passed on to parliament for further debate and scrutiny before adoption.

Hakainde Hichilema

HH recently cooperated with Sata and held a joint and well attended public rally against salary increments for constitutional officers. They were joined by civil society groupings and trade unions. At this rally, Sata presented HH as his running mate and showed as though an electoral pact had been sealed. There was a wild cheer from the crowd. The alliance presented itself as sure winner with safe guards to beat and insulate against state riggings.

Many held their breath. Sata did not seem to treat HH as his colleague and partner. He kept on referring to HH as “calculator boy”, “computer boy”, “under five” combined with good praises for HH’s decision to join hands to defeat the MMD.

Many feared that the alliance would not hold. It wasn’t founded well like the Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD), UNIP, and UPND which formed United Democratic Alliance (UDA) in the 2006 elections. It was preceded by shallow discussions without depth and wide consultation. The alliance that never was, quickly collapsed.Many saw that this was the quickest way for HH to raise his profile and have a fair chance to be president some day.

With the demise of Mwanawasa, the UPND quickly announced that HH would contest the elections and so far campaigns by his party cadres have started. Many people think that HH is a reasonable leader who at one time Mwanawasa had invited to run government together but he declined. He is seen as a potential young leader who may just surprise many if the MMD disintegrates. There is absolutely no reason why he can’t be a good president but the stigma that surrounded his coming into politics, when Mazoka died still haunts his party, which is sometimes referred to as tribal.

Godfrey Miyanda

He is respectable politician whom most people hold in high esteem. However, because he has failed to run the Heritage party and also has not opened up to work with other politicians, he is seen as a loner. He, however, has a great chance of becoming a president if he worked with parties like the MMD and the UPND. He also has a following among Christians and teachers whom he associates with at different levels. He is also seen as a Mr Clean.

Although it would be too early to predict the outcome of the presidential by-elections, history is being rewritten in the Zambian political scenario. There is likely to be a surprise but looking at the past, one of the above candidates may scoop the post. We just have to wait and see.

Source: Southern Times

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