Today's letters to the editor

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 09:07:20 +0000

UPND and ICC not much to celebrate

Dear Editor,

On its decision to take Hakainde Hichilema’s presidential election petition to the International Criminal Court (ICC), the UPND doesn’t have much to celebrate.

If anything, it would prove to be not only laughable but judicial and political suicide (“UPND petition to ICC laughable, says Nakachinda”, Daily Nation, September 26, 2016).

Just after the post-election violence erupted in Southern, Western and North-Western provinces, a Zambian law firm Lewis Nathan Advocates officially wrote to the ICC on the grounds that domestic peace had been violated by UPND cadres in these three regions, and that the two big fish from UPND, Hakainde Hichilema and his deputy Geoffrey Bwalya

Mwamba (GBM) were behind these atrocities.

The ICC appeared to have acknowledged receipt of the complaint from Lewis Nathan Advocates, and most likely opened a docket to pursue all those cited UPND actors.

The ICC holds that the UPND was allegedly liable under the doctrine of responsibility for the human rights violations committed by its cadres.  By extension, Lewis Nathan Advocates could also outline UPND’s involvement with the systematic violations of the human rights of children – that would be the mainstay of the ICC’s case against the UPND in Southern, Western and North-Western provinces. To add salt to injury, the Zambian people would marvel at the apparent priorities of international justice.

But don’t mention it to Hakainde Hichilema and his UPND colleagues. They – apparently – have their own agenda. Mubanga Luchembe, LUSAKA


Hail Hakainde Hichilema!

Dear Editor,

Needless to say, the political mood in the UPND is one of  paranoia following the failed fifth attempt to become Zambia’s president by its leader Hakainde Hichilema.

“Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer”, Chinese General Sun Tzu, universally recognised as the greatest military strategist in history, once said.

Undoubtedly, it is advice that the UPND leader, who first attempted to become Zambia’s president 10 years ago, seems not to have taken on board.

Unlike many Zambian political leaders whose senior party officials share the spoils and immunity of leadership, everyone is a potential target in Hichilema’s autocratic outfit.

This has been illustrated recently after the UPND president’s close ally and vice-president for politics Canisius Banda was accused of gross misconduct and suspended from the party (“Convention costs Canisius”, Daily Nation, September 26, 2016).

The convention demand by the now suspended Canisius Banda may have come as a surprise to the UPND president, who was quite busy with a motley array of court applications and proceedings in connection with his election petition at the time, but it surprised few Zambians.

For them it was evidence that Hichilema’s 5-time serial election losses – had come back to haunt him.

Admittedly, the UPND president has made enemies of his friends and now does not know who to trust, making him increasingly paranoid and his inner circle increasingly jittery.

Yet it is those outside the UPND top leadership succession fray who are really suffering the consequences, and a subtle anxiety hangs in the air.

Terrified that Hichilema may act on rumour, UPND senior officials whisper their opinions about holding a national convention before the 2021 polls and try to live on the fringes of jostling for top leadership.

These developments could also spell another defeat for Hichilema at the next polls – as the suspension of Canisius Banda has cemented the fears of many of his allies that their party positions could disappear overnight.

If they want to stay in contention and leadership, they might decide to find a more saleable and charismatic top leader for the next elections.

From the look of things, UPND officials may be keeping up appearances for their supporters, but it is not certain for how long the party president would stave off another so-called gross misconduct – euphemism for demanding to hold the UPND national convention before the 2021 general elections.

Hichilema’s enemies are indeed very close, but are they close enough for him to foretell and forestall their next

move? Watch the space – Hail Hakainde Hichilema. LM, LUSAKA


That Mususu Kalenga building

Dear Editor,

I am duty bound as a Zambian and concerned citizen to comment on Mususu Kalenga Building.

This building is at the corner of Freedom Way and Katondo Street and it has remained in uncompleted state for a very long time, hence defeating the purpose of making Lusaka look beautiful.

Honestly speaking, this building is an eye sore especially that it is situated in the Central Business District.

Furthermore, it gives the wrong impression to the visitors, visiting the country for the first time.

Having said this, I feel the building should be turned into a hotel or a shopping mall for the sake of sanity.

The best thing to do is to undertake the exercise expeditiously. The building is also a death trap.

I recall vividly one incident in the early 90s in which a woman who was trading under this building died.

This occurred when an iron bar fell on the woman and she died instantly.

It is unfortunate that the owner of the building in question has done nothing in bettering it to modern standards.

Better still, Lusaka City Council should repossess it as a matter of fact.

My earnest appeal to the Lusaka Executive Mayor, Mr. Wilson Kalumba is that he should do something about it because it makes the city look ugly.

Lastly, I would like to understand why this building has been neglected for such a long period of time.

Elemiya Phiri Lusaka

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