Today in Lusaka, was the day, where the gloves are off and the reality sets in. It is not that people are opening up presents to early, as the Christmas morning is upon just yet. However, there is someone who got their glee and their grove on. That is Zambia’s own head honcho, their own Wonderboy and Gods Grace, Edgar Chagwa Lungu. Whose been allowed to run for a third term by the Constitutional Court.
That is a significant step, as 106(3) of the Constitution says: “A person who has held office as President is not eligible for election as a third term”. Another person and fellow dictator who did similar trick as Lungu, is Burundi’s Pierre Nkurunziza, who didn’t amend the Constitution before the election in 2015 after serving already two terms. Now, Lungu is doing the same trick. He thinks he is pulling the rabbit out of the hat, but instead he is showing his true aim. To rule for life.
On the same day, as he is allowed to run for a third term. Daily Nation reports that: “This week on Tuesday during a special interview on ZNBC, Mr Chanda directed Law Enforcement to arrest people using social media to report falsehoods about President Edgar Lungu’s health” (Daily Nation – ‘POLICE TO ACT ON STATE DIRECTIVE, 07.12.2018).
So, clearly the state is in high gear and ready, as anyone questioning and spreading rumors about the President might meet the law at some point. Just like activist and opposition politicians. Because the Patriotic Front isn’t playing around.
That is what the key part of their statement today said: “The Patriotic Front (PF) is delighted with the outcome of the landmark decision of the Constitutional Court that has cleared the path for Republican and PF President His Excellency Edgar Chagwa Lungu to contest the 2021 elections” (…) “We do not have time to waste in any meaningless debate in the aftermath of this court decision on the eligibility; but we are focused to deliver on development. That is what we were elected for. May I also take this opportunity to thank the ever increasing party membership across our nation for their zeal and spirit of brotherhood that permeates through the rank and file of the structures of the Patriotic Front” ( Hon. Davies Mwila – ‘PRESS STATEMENT ON THE LANDMARK DECISION OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT REGARDING THE ELIGIBILITY OF REPUBLICAN AND PF PRESIDENT- HIS EXCELLENCY EDGAR CHAGWA LUNGU TO CONTEST THE 2021 ELECTIONS’ 07.12.2018).
As seen by his own party, they were not playing games about it and gloating in the victory, as if it was a surprise that he would get another term. That was in the cards as there was no evidence of him stepping down or considering doing so. That is why they were so happy with the reasoning from the Constitutional Court which stated like this: “According to the concourt, President Edgar Lungu served for two years and not three years. “A term can only be considered for three years and not two years, President Lungu only served for two years. We therefore declare that he is eligible to contest the 2021 General election. “ stated the concourt” (Zambian Watch, 07.12.2018).
With that in mind, the first stepping stone, the first hurdle, the first giant leap towards Life Presidency has begun, as the President sealed his Third Term. The rest will be from now formalities. Now, we just have to await amendments and changes of the laws. To make him eligible again. As he cannot pull off the same trick to run again. Than, he has the whole time or the whole term.
We have seen this elsewhere and now we know, Lungu is in for the long-con, not the short-con. He is not leaving and anticipate to rule indefinitely. Nothing else seems unlikely. Especially today. Peace.
God’s time is the best and no man can change God’s calendar.A mango tree does not worry when the orange tree is producing fruits in it’s season.
We celebrate 20 years of UPND existence in our own way and God’s calendar in line with ‘People Power,Our Power,Our Land in the midst of economic and political struggle for a better Zambia.
God has been with us for these years to prevent and defend democracy from being buried by political vandals.
The party has grown and spread like fire to all parts of the country since the demise of the founding father the late Anderson Mazoka and may he rest in peace.
Had it not been for UPND to be in opposition under the wise leadership of President Hakainde Hichilema and his visionary team, there was not going to be a strong voice to speak for the voiceless and the down trodden.
Zambians could have been fearing to exercise their democratic right.
It is worthy to celebrate the party’s existence and with Mr Hichilema’s courageous and visionary leadership including members sustaining the party under difficult times.
Without UPND in opposition Zambia could have been reversed to a one party state a long time ago.
And UPND has remained strong when other political parties within a space of one year died while others just continue existing on paper.
We have planted a strong political foundation for opposition political parties to survive.
Once in government; we shall provide condusive environment for any opposition political party to freely offer checks and balances as oppose to Patriotic Front who are always oppressing the opposition.
The slow movement of a lion doesn’t show weakness or being tired but calculated steps to get it’s prey.
We never went to the streets to fight our stolen victory but sought legal intervention because we respect the rule of law and trusting God to see us through.
It is not how fast one builds a house but how firm and strong it will be when the storm comes.
Happy 20 years of experience in opposition and now it’s time to run government with a vast experience of leadership from the opposition.
People Power,Our Power,Our Land!!
UPND Deputy Spokesperson
With age and time, you can see how a government returns with same empty promises and pledges. It is like President Yoweri Kaguta Musveni and his allies comes every time after a disaster. However, they are not planning to do anything. They are talking of making differences, that is why they had made a District Development Plan in April 2011. Where the district planned both tree-planting and building the road, which was promised the year before. Also, in National Policy for Disaster Preparedness and Management in 2010, which stated who had responsibilities concerning landslide. Therefore, the state has worked on plans and securing the area, but they have not acted upon it.
Today, I am just compiling a few promises over the years to the district, to prove the lack of act and lack of following up on promises. If this was a district the government cared about, they would have acknowledge the dangers and the landslides. As the death-toll is happening nearly yearly after the rainfall and the knowledge of this common. It is not like this is new problem. The state could have built the roads and could have ensured the earth erosion wouldn’t worsen, but never cared for doing so. Therefore, I have listed the promises since 2010 until today.
Promised a road in 2010:
“President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has directed for the immediate construction of a road leading up to Nametsi village in Bududa, the scene of the landslide disaster which claimed more than 300 people last week. The Lack of access roads to Nametsi village has severely affected the rescue efforts as earth moving equipments can not be transported to the disaster scene. The village which is located on Mt. Elgon can only be reached on foot as vehicles stop more than ten kilometers away” (Joseph Elunya – ‘President Museveni Orders for Construction of Road to Landslide Scene in Bududa’ 08.03.2010, link: https://ugandaradionetwork.com/story/president-museveni-orders-for-construction-of-road-to-landslide-scene-in-bududa).
Presidential Directive in 2012:
“The directive by President Yoweri Museveni to have survivors of Monday’s landslides in Bududa district relocated to other places within the country has drawn mixed reactions among the locals in the area. President Museveni through a message by Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi, on Wednesday directed that all those living in high risk slopes of Mount Elgon should be unconditionally relocated. The President suggested that the government could also construct urban settlements within the district to have them settled there. The directive followed the June 25 landslides that buried at least two villages in Bulucheke Sub County, Bududa district. It is still not clear how many people have died, with government putting the figure at about 18 while local leaders saying the dead could be over 100. Some of the survivors welcome the idea of having urban centers constructed within the district, but many equally say they would not move to any place outside Bududa” (Michael Wambi – ‘Mixed Reactions to Museveni’s Bududa Directive’ 29.07.2012, link: https://ugandaradionetwork.com/a/story.php?s=43316).
Promise of a road in 2015:
“The President announced that the road from Magodesi to Lwakhakha will be tarmac and adding that the work is slated to begin in February 2016. He also said that Manafwa road will be extended to Bududa but called for patience as the government implements these projects in phases according to the availability of financial resources. “Money is not like the sun. We do government work step by step because not all programmes can be undertaken at the same time,” he explained” (Uganda Media Centre – ‘“Mass Industrialization to Solve Youth Unemployment”- President Museveni’ 27.08.2015, link: http://www.mediacentre.go.ug/press-release/%E2%80%9Cmass-industrialization-solve-youth-unemployment%E2%80%9D-president-museveni).
Promise of a road in 2017:
““There are very many stones on this mountain waiting to kill you people, but instead of these stones being a problem, we are going to blast them to make good tarmac roads,” he said, adding that government has also for funds to tarmac the Mbale-Sironko road” (…) “In September, this year, at least 10 people were reportedly buried alive after the mudslide occurred in Sironko and several houses were also left buried in Bududa district” (Max Patrick Ocaido – ‘President Museveni Visits Landslide Victims’ 22.11.2017, link: https://kampalapost.com/content/news/president-museveni-visits-landslide-victims).
“On government’s behalf I apologize for the delayed resettlement of those living in landslide-prone areas to safer places, and commit that this process will be fast-tracked to avoid any further casualities. I was let down by my people. I apologize on their behalf. A plan was made and the people had agreed to move but it seems there was lack of coordination in government. I apologise for this, we are now going to move very fast” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 14.10.2018).
We can really see how the President promises and doesn’t keep them. That is why the Bududa District Plan of 2010 wasn’t even followed, neither the National Policy for Disaster Preparedness and Management of 2011, both wasn’t followed. That shows the contempt of the district and their needs.
That is why it is special that the President comes with the same promise after a landslide in 2018, as he did in 2012 and until last year he promised a road to help out the area. Clearly, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) are not prioritizing the needs or the costs of lives that is happening here. As it is happening yearly and still the state doesn’t act upon it.
That is time to stop and actually follow up on the pledges, the promises and the needs of the District. That he also have visited several times of AK 47 and military fatigue, shows how he acts concerning the pains of the citizens. He didn’t do that today, but has done that in the past.
When, he promise quick progress and apologize for lateness, that is at least 6 years ago since he written a directive on relocation that the state haven’t been able to follow upon or allocate the funds. Peace.
There has been a real tragedy again befallen on the Mount Elgon Region, as the Budabuda District was hit with another landslide. This is a district that is known for this and has had fatal landslides in the past, as the rain of October and November can create landslide in the eroded land and in the slopes of the hills, where people reside and have their small farms. Therefore, this isn’t a new problem. There are reports on the matter, but still this week was hit with it again and new losses of lives. Which is such a tragedy. In 2010, there was estimated 100 dead in Namesti Village in the district. By today, in the district the Red Cross says the number of dead is up to 42. All of which is a lot, as there are supposed to be safeguards and warning systems, also funds to secure help as the disaster happens.
After the last big landslide, the district MP Olive Wonekha wrote this: “Putting a system in place to cater for all the emergencies has not been easy. The Government of Uganda together with many well-wishers including the Red Cross Society which is at the forefront of the humanitarian aid, Development Partners are grappling with the medium and long-term solution to the issue” (AAH Uganda, 02.04.2010).
As we have sadly seen from this week, that haven’t really been put in place and in order. As the government nor the stakeholders has taken charge, as they all know this. What is special is that the Bududa District even made a Development Plan in April 2011, which stated this:
“Factors responsible for this phenomenon include; Human activities (steep slope cultivation, cultivation on river banks, deforestation) and excessive rains” (Bududa District – ‘Five-Year District Development Plan’ 27.04.2011). In the same plan, they have a plan for adding more forest and trees in slopes to stop erosion in the soil, we can wonder if they ever got the one road they needed and the seedlings to do so. That they could do one thing to secure the slopes and hills. As the rain pour is steady and known about in the region.
We understand why the Local Government and District has little say in the matter of disaster, as the Office of Prime Minister says they are number 12 on the list of responsible in 2010, but a technical note from 2015, says it is local government who is legal obligation. Its not strange, that their will confusion and uncertainty who has the final say and who should step into action.
OPM report on ‘THE NATIONAL POLICY FOR DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AND MANAGEMENT’ from 2010 states: “Community settlement on steep slopes and other uncontrolled land use practices increase the likelihood of landslides and mudslides prevalence. The areas mostly affected by Landslides are Mt. Elgon region, Ruwenzori region and Kigezi”. Than later it says who is the responsible institutions: “i. National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) (lead Institution)
ii. Ministry of Water and Environment
iii. Department of Geological and Mine Survey
iv. National Forest Authority (NFA)
v. Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA)
vi. Makerere University, Geography Dept.
vii. Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries
viii. Ministry of Lands and Housing and Urban Development
ix. Ministry of Local Government
x. Ministry of Works and Transport
xi. Office of the Prime Minister – Department of Disaster Preparedness and Management
xii. District Local Governments
xiii. NARO and other Research Institutions
xiv. Community and Private Sector
xv. Ministry of Defence and other Rescue Agencies
xvi. UN Agencies and NGOs
xvii. Ministry of Health” (OPM – ‘THE NATIONAL POLICY FOR DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AND MANAGEMENT’ 2010).
A technical report commissioned by the UNDP on behalf of the Office of the Prime Minister in August 2015 states this about landslides: “Herewith each district environment committee is responsible to take necessary measures to minimise the risk of environmental degradation of riverbanks and shores. Similarly section 38 highlights the identification of hilly and mountainous areas and also places a legal obligation on local government for the assessment of such areas in terms of environmental degradation. In light of the significant landslide risk within Uganda, this element should go along way in addressing landslide risk” (OPM – ‘Governance of disaster risk reduction and management in Uganda: A literature review’ 2015).
What I have been looking into is what the reports of old is saying. Not looking into the issue of Contingency Fund, but showing a final Press Statement from CSBAG to show the lack of care from the government concerning this:
“We want to applaud government’s proposal of allocating UGX 77bn to the contingency fund; this being the first time the provision of the PFMA of constituting a contingency fund is being implemented. However, the proposed allocation is below the 0.5% of the previous financial year’s budget as provided by Section 26 of the PMFA 2015 as amended, we pray that an additional UGX 66 bn be provided to fully implement the provision of the PFMA. We demand that Government respects the percentage towards Disaster response and management as required by the law under the Contingency Fund” (CSBAG – ‘UGANDA IS NOT FLOOD RESISTANT… IT’S TIME TO ACT’ 26.03.2018).
When we see it like this, the state is clearly not managing the disaster response or the funds for possibly coping with it. As the landslide this week is showing, is that the government of Uganda isn’t prepared and their citizens are paying. As well, as the local government doesn’t have the funds or ability to ensure their own 5 year development plan. Which was made a year after the biggest landslide in the recent decade. Therefore, the state knows about this, but still doesn’t act upon it.
We have to question the OPM and the other government institutions, not only the Local Government who hasn’t acted, but they might lack the budget and the expertise, that all the other responsible institutions in this manner.
What is sad is the loss of lives and the knowledge of plans and lack of inadequate funds… which could have saved lives and ensured a better disaster response. Something everyone deserves, as the government knows this region is hit with this, as the rains of September and October can make the land erosion. Therefore, time to push for the government to really act, so next time there be less loss of life and more action to ones in need when it do happen. Peace.
I know I am born in 1985, but I am tired of the year of 1986 and the year National Resistance Army (NRA). The now National Resistance Movement (NRM) and President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. The liberation movement that has run the republic since 1986. This war lasted from 1981 to 1986, the NRA went out of the Milton Obote II government after the illegitimate election of 1980s. Which from then on has been used as the scapegoat and the ones to put to blame for ever since.
The 1986 is the magical year that Museveni entered into supremacy. The Supreme kingpin and mastermind of all it. Sowing the mustard seed and creating a newer safer Republic. The one time the peasants was supposed to have their say in government and make the republic a democracy. The Republic of Uganda was going from strong-men and big-men to run the Republic. Instead, it has been now three decades with manufactured democracy in-line with the vision of Museveni.
President Museveni have used all techniques to fix election results, paying villagers and making new government forms to fit his paradigm. Instead of releasing his promises he has built elite around him that is loyal to his brown envelopes or public fearing his security organizations. This is a special coming from the man promises all the possible governance and government structures needed, if he got into power. Instead, he has done the opposite.
It was supposed to get into a middle-Income Country instead of the Less Developed Country, which is the state is in now. The LDC that Uganda now is because of the state of government that President Museveni has created around him. That can be seen with amounts of debt, the massive overspending on the State House and the pledges around the President. Government of Uganda, GoU have been built around Museveni, instead of institutions and procedures. Therefore, the state are following the orders of the President and his Presidential Handshakes.
That is why, every-time in a speech at any sort of occasion the President will mention 1986 and how the state used to be. As of today 1 out of 5 in the Republic or 21% are between 15 to 24 year old. And by 2016 there we’re only 2% who are older than 65 years old. Which means that the President are part of a minority age bracket. President Museveni 30 years old rule are older than many of the youths in the Republic. They should also wonder what is so special about the years they never we’re living and about governments they never lived under. There are big proportions of the population who cannot remember or has been apart of the first years of the NRA or the civil-war during the 1980s.
They would be like me, they would feel the same fatigue of the NRA and Museveni rule, the extension of the liberation from Obote and Amin. The ones that Museveni mention whenever he needs someone or somebody to blame. Certainly mention 1986. The 1986 that are the most important year since independence, therefore, the NRM Day, the 26th January 1986, liberation day. Instead of the Independence Day 9th October 1962. That one is not so often mentioned by the President, since he didn’t get them out of the British Empire and not be a British Protectorate anymore.
Still, the 9th October 1962 doesn’t seem to be important for Museveni, the 26th January 1986 is the most vital one. The one that sets the standard, the day that changed everything and gave him total access. Therefore, the celebration of 1986 is so key and be levied at any occasion, and at any speech. President Museveni praises his overthrow of Amin, Obote, Okello and Biniasa.
They all just had to be overthrown, he had to make coup d’etat and make folklore out of it. So his name can ring out and be praised. Let it be clear, the President sings 1986… 1986… 1986… like a jingle never stopping. Peace.
In Zambi,a as the scheduled treason trial of the Opposition leader Hichilema goes underway, the visit of South African Opposition leader Mmusi Maimane has caused lot of headache for the Patriotic Front and their President Edgar Lungu, certainly President Lungu is following tricks of others totalitarian leaders, like President Museveni. Who also has put key opposition figures on treason trials, but has not had the issue of opposition leaders from abroad visiting to argument for their release. Therefore, Lungu got pressure from South Africa and by that means expelled the DA leader. As of today the supposed visit and treason trial was about happen. The problematic visit of Maimane has clearly created a storm the Zambian regime didn’t plan. Take a look!
How Zambia Authorities perceive the expulsion:
“THE Zambia High Commission to South Africa has informed the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) that Opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane was turned away from Zambia as his presence was going to undermine the sanctity, integrity and independence of the Judiciary. During the meeting between DIRCO officials and His Excellency Mr. Emmanuel Mwamba, Zambia stated that the matters regarding Mr. Hichilema were in court and it was imperative that the due process of the law was respected without undue pressure or interference. Government was concerned with Mr. Maimane’s and the DA’s media statements prior to his visit to Zambia that stated that his party would pressure the Courts of the Law to release Zambia’s opposition leader, Mr. Hakainde Hichilema who is currently undergoing a treason trial. Mr. Maimane alleged that Mr. Hichilema was facing trumped up charges and therefore he would mobilize fellow regional opposition sister parties and leaders to pressure the Zambian courts to release Mr. Hichilema. The Zambian High Commission had earlier advised Mr. Maimane to reschedule his visit until this and other concerns were resolved but clearly turned down such an advise” (Mwebantu, 26.05.2017).
As explained by Open Zambia:
“LUSAKA Magistrate David Simusamba was today at 12:00 hours expected to rule on whether the treason case involving United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema (HH) and 5 other people should be referred to the High Court as per committal certificate issued by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to refer the treason case to the High Court” (Open Zambia, 26.05.2017).
Patriotic Front statement on Maimane:
“We wish to place on record that UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema is not a political prisoner but a criminal suspect. Zambia has no political detainees and that will never happen under the Patriotic Front Government of His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu. Hichilema is a criminal suspect and not a political detainee. This is what is before the Courts. It is therefore unfortunate that South Africa’s “Nazi Party” Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane and his sponsors intend to make a political issue out of a criminal case. We shall not be lectured to by architects and beneficiaries of apartheid like Democratic Alliance. Zambia fought apartheid and even at this stage, we shall not relent in dealing with its agents like DA. Zambia is a sovereign country, with sovereign laws which must be respected by all. It is not a playground for every tom and dick, including agents of capital such as Maimane” (…) “We wish to place on record once more that if blocking a Presidential motorcade is political in South Africa, it is criminal in Zambia. Further we wish to say that it does not matter whether Zambians laws on treason are laughable to others, once someone crosses the line, they are triggered, unfortunately. If it is politics to just walk into a South Africa as an alien, it is law in Zambia that everyone is screened at the port of entry and entry can be denied without explanation” (…) “We have no apologies to make when Maimane is denied entry into Zambia. It was inevitable and he was correctly advised by the Zambian High Commission in South Africa. It must be said to Maimane that Zambia is a sovereign state and he has no right to enter Zambia as he ignorantly alleged in his interview. Entering a foreign state as an alien is the preserve of that Country’s immigration department and we think this is simple civics which a political front should grasp easily. Immigration at ports of entry do not exist for decorative purposes. They are meant to screen and send back or arrest characters with questionable agendas like Maimane” (Sunday Chanda Media Director, Patriotic Front, 26.05.2017).
DA’s own statement on the matter:
“The Zambian government clearly feels threatened by Mr Hichilema and his party, the UPND, who have been working tirelessly in their attempts to stop the decay of democracy in Zambia. As the sister party of the Democratic Alliance (DA), they too are committed to the advancement of vibrant, competitive, multiparty democracy, the rule of law and the entrenchment of human rights and free speech across Africa. Mr Hichilema is also a founding member of the Southern African Partnership for Democratic Change (SAPDC), a body of opposition parties from across Southern Africa who are committed to securing democracy across the region, and which I am the current Chairman of. It is for these reasons I decided to attend the trial of Mr Hichilema, in order to show solidarity with him and with the project of building and deepening democracy that we are engaged in across the continent. In respecting the Zambian government’s wishes, I honoured their call to refrain from visiting Mr Hichilema in prison, as the government claims there exists a court order preventing such visitation by members of the public. It should be noted that the Lungu administration even blocked Zambia’s founding father, President Kenneth Kaunda, from visiting Mr Hichilema in prison. It is a truly tragic collapse of a once stable democracy” (Democratic Alliance, 26.05.2017).
Therefore, the visit of solidarity were cut short, some say as short as an hour on the Zambian soil as the Opposition leader was not allowed to enter the Republic of Zambia. The certainty of the pressure arising of his presence must clearly been too profound for the judges and the authorities. Since they are clearly not powerful or seeing the strength of having foreigners questioning their trials and their justice system. I am sure the Zambian ruling regime and party would have wish the South African Opposition leader never planned his visit. Since they clearly has no problems with pinning Hichilema.
Certainly, people confess that South Africa has enough problems with the toll of a Zuma Administration, deep in a crisis of democratic deficit at this very moment. Still, the DA leader is obliged to visit and support fellow opposition leader. It shouldn’t be seen as vicious attempt or even trying to discredit the Zambian regime. That they have clearly been able to do on their own. As their words expressed through own party channels are vicious and blatant attempt of disrespecting the DA and Maimane. Seems like the Patriotic Front cannot get onlookers into their cases and have questions asked over their courts. If so, are they so democratic and right that the ruling regime of Zambia, cannot handle one-man travel into their country to be part of one trial?
That is how it will be perceived! That Maimane does to prove a point – sure, like no one else are trying to get political capital out of this. The only one losing right now is the Patriotic Front and their President Lungu. Who looks more like fools, than clever and sovereign? Not because they are not allowed to stop people from entering their borders and closing their gates. It is because they are already in an epic battle with forces beyond their shores. As the world is looking how they will act towards Hichilema.
Zambia has played the deck wrong and the cards are really stacking against them, as the political prisoner and opposition leader are under threat. That by the fear of losing control, as the Patriotic Front has to save their grace and attitude, as the ruling regime, clearly are losing their steps and cannot handle that a foreign leader question their courts. That is because their justice and their rule is overpowering. The Patriotic Front is ready by all means, expelling and trading shots. However, they do not win goodwill; neither does the current stalemate create possible positive leadership from the central government. Peace.