Levy was clever – he fixed the elections date
 by Mazuba Mwiinga

Levy was such a clever President and sharp lawyer. Don’t you think so? Intelligently he told Magande to fix the period when the National Budget should be presented in Parliament. And the set up believe me you; dictate that general elections must always be held before October of an election year.

Wonder shouldn’t be at your neck. According to the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act No. 20 of 2009, Article 117 (1) states that, “The Minister responsible for finance shall, subject to clause (2), cause to be prepared and laid before the National Assembly, not later than the second Friday of October, before the commencement of the next financial year, estimates of revenue and expenditure of the Government for the financial year”;

It simply means that by the second week of October, Government must present its budget for the following year in Parliament every year.

Clause (2) of the same Article gives time for this process in case a new government in comes during an election year. It states, “In any year where a general election takes place and the estimates of revenue and expenditure of the Government for the next financial year cannot be prepared and laid before the National Assembly as specified under clause (1), the Minister responsible for finance shall cause to be prepared and laid before the National Assembly, within ninety days of the swearing in of the President, estimates of revenue and expenditure of the Government for that financial year”.

The Article gives a new government 3 months to prepare the budget; and the question that may arise is that can therefore elections be held at any time in an election year since clause 2 doesn’t specify? The answer is no.

Clause 2 is a blanket clause that gives a lee way to a new government to relax and get prepared. But Clause 3 of Article 117 is the focal point on which an election period stands. It restricts the rules of this game. It states that, “The National Assembly shall, subject to clause (2), approve the budget not later than the thirty first day of December”.

This means that by December 31 of an election year, Parliament must have approved the new budget, whether it’s a new government or not for this is the Constitutional deadline.

Mathematically in case of a new government to achieve this Parliament must convene at least 3 months before December, that’s October meaning an election must happen at least 4 months before December in order for the deadline to be met successfully; bringing in an anchor that, whatever happens elections in Zambia can only be held before October and holding them after October would be un constitutional and illegal.

That’s why President Rupiah Banda had no choice but to bring the election date to September 20, 2011 in order to meet constitutional provisions of submitting the budget to Parliament by whichever government is ushered in on this date.

This is how Levy’s shrewdness has been. He indirectly set the period of having elections in Zambia, unlike in the past when the seating president would have a leverage of announcing the date at any time in the year mostly in the rainy season when it would be so hard for the opposition to reach some impassable places due to logistical problems.

Someone may be so hurt by this Levy innovation because it puts the political playing field much flatter than we have experienced before. This is the direct befits of having good leaders in power who put good laws that protect the nation and its people rather than specific individuals. Very few knew this until now and when Constitutional Amendments are made in the future, caution must be taken to make sure such clauses are not repealed by selfish and scared Presidents.

This is a land mark Constitutional law for our democracy. 

read also on: https://sites.google.com/site/mattersarising2011/updates

Journalists and FOI – need to read

 By Mazuba Mwiinga

Knowledge is always presumed to be kept in journalists. Where the public doubts, journalists are at all times expected to provide the right answer through the right information. Where a journalist is caught red handed in the act telling a lie, in the eyes of the public its un forgivable sin, because the public cannot have the right to right information if the conduit of that information is damn unreliable.

And that’s why it pissed my head off its electrified connection when I heard journalists biting their tongues in an effort to appear knowledgeable over the Freedom Of Information Bill (FOI) during a forum at Capital Theatre in Livingstone on a topic: Role of the media in a democracy.

Defensively the journalists, who appeared at the forum, went round the bush speaking totally of a thing no one needed to doubt them, and in as a matter of fact, ended up just pleading for the public’s help in the fight so that FOI gets a Presidential assent so that their work becomes easier. Lie!!

This was a clear show that some of our journalists, despite their good skills in reporting and news writing, lack the skills of taking time to know what they are talking about.

The FOI Bill that has been a very controversial piece of legislature between the media and Government is not a document that is created just for journalists. Do you think the Government is such a coward of the media? This battle has come this far just because the Bill enhances the citizens’’ right to information when they need it. The Bill actually reduces the job of a journalist of informing the public on what the Government may have been hiding because, it gives powers to the public to directly seek that information on their own.

The preamble to the Bill states, “An Act to establish the Public Information Commission and define its functions; to provide for the right of access to information; to set out the scope of public information under the control of public authorities to be made available to the public in order to facilitate more effective participation in the good governance of Zambia; to promote transparency and accountability of public officers; and to provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing”.

It does not mention of journalists in particular but the public. And to insinuate that lack of this Bill as an Act hinders the journalists access to information in public institutions is just a mere act of scapegoat on the part of the journalists; because if others can, and has been accessing this information without this legislature, how then others fail?

It has to be known that, the work of a journalist is not that of hand-to-mouth kind of task. A journalist needs more than just a mere piece of legislation to get the information to the public. He has to work an extra mile to get this information, and get it right and deliver it to the right people. The only weapons a journalist has are ethics, a notebook/recorder and a pen, the rest are added unto him.

The perception that was being made in this forum that this Bill once it becomes law, will be making journalists work easier because they will be just walking into an office, demand for information and get it; is much more lying than what it stipulates.

Section 23 (1) of the Bill states that, “A request for access to information may be made orally or in writing and shall be addressed to the head of the public authority or any other authorised person: Provided that a person may request the Commission to obtain the information from a public authority on that person’s behalf”.

And the person who has requested for this information must wait for a maximum of 14 days for the information to be provided before he can take an action of complaining for non availability of this information.

Lacking all such pertinent data on this Bill by the Panellist journalists is clear indication of how un knowledgeable they were on the Bill they claimed was so important for them. Wonder is in me, as to how they would even use it if they don’t know how it operates.

Journalists are regarded as a data base of information; and need to research and read thoroughly on any information of public interest. They need to equip themselves before they transmit such to the public. Biting their tongues when they were asked to state what the Bill says was such an embarrassment to journalism!

Of journalists and Stomachs

 By Mazuba Mwiinga

If you put a crop of journalists and a politician to debate the role of the media in a democracy; who do you think would give you a far reasonable exegesis? No prizes for guessing right of course.

I have very little saliva to wet my mouth right now when I come to think of it. I have traded the journalism line for a couple of years, but never have I been so ashamed to listen to one so called journalist paint my trade with false colours.

The day was Friday July 22, 2011. Place was Capital Theatre in Livingstone City. The theme was: The Role of the media in a democracy. The panellists were 4 journalists; two from Zambezi Fm, one from Radio Mosi-o-tunya and one from Muvi Tv and the other was the Deputy Mayor for Livingstone City.

Wasn’t I shocked more so, worried with the calibre of journalists we have, if these represented the average rate of an average journalist in the City? I eat a humble pie if this pricks one’s skin with pain, but truth be told my friends had nothing to offer to the theme at hand. If they thought they were right; knowledge begs their time.

The presentations were either skewed towards the ‘types of media’ we have or it was blabbered on mis-carried concept of media ethics and media house rules or on the types of governments found in a democracy. It was saddening hearing wick-wacky thoughts coming from people who were supposed to know better than the average common man.

Kudos though, to the Deputy Mayor; He was straight and to the point; as distinct as the role of the media must be; and congratulations to him for frankly stating that most journalists nowadays are losing their status as a fourth estate; to inform truthfully, honestly and objectively; to entertain creatively and to educate intelligibly.

And here is where the shock of my night struck. One journalist from Zambezi Fm defends himself saying there is more to journalism than can see the eye; that where a journalist was supposed to think with his head, he now uses his stomach. Money! That a journalist has a family to look after therefore, where the money calls he goes, despite having a duty to report the truth to the people. What a callous shame?

Aren’t we today producing second hand journalists in the name of media diversity? Journalists are born and not made; if one wakes up today and says I want to become a journalist just because I like how Mazuba reports or because I want to be appearing on Tv, tell them to consider farming and not waste people’s time with their fancy nightmares.

Journalists are accountable to the people and not any power that may be. Giving an excuse that the journalism classroom is different from the industry is hiding behind the reality of who a journalist is. If you are a coward better choose to be a receptionist and not a journalist. Every media organisation must be founded on journalism ethics; and any media house rule that abrogates the universal journalism ethics, remain null and void; and a journalist must only follow that which he was taught and that which protects his integrity – ethics.

A journalist who doesn’t follow journalism ethics in the name of media house policy is not worthy the name of a journalist. One has to know that there are no ethics for private media journalists and another set of ethics for the public media journalist because journalism ethics are set for all journalists regardless of the media house they are working for.

A journalist who thinks with his stomach and not with his brain is as useless as a sack full of holes and tasked to draw water using it.

It was such a disappointing forum on the part of the quality of knowledge these journalists had on the topic. Even accusing non availability of the Freedom of Information Act in the nation is a lame excuse that has no base because none of them could even articulate correctly what the FOI Bill contains!! The little information they have was wrong and dangerously incorrect because the FOI is not just a Bill for journalists alone, but the entire Zambian citizenry. I am more than sure none of them had taken time to peruse through this document to see what it contains.

Cracking my head on this, petrifies me even more; how on earth sure could one reduce himself to be a media bootlicker by losing his morals and ethics just for money and leave his job he was trained for? Journalists are accountable to the people and not to their bosses. Period! Those that think with their stomachs are parasites and weeds and need to be sprayed off and weeded out.

Five ways Facebook destroys relationships
by Elizabeth Ann Persimmons
Real Relationship Examiner
August 18, 2009

I was just talking to a friend who told me his theory:   that Facebook ruins relationships. While I was busy arguing with him that if someone is insecure enough to break up over a Facebook issue, I realized that ten minutes earlier I had gotten upset with my boyfriend for not looking at Facebook pictures from  my brother’s wedding this weekend (my defense: I looked very cute in a lot of them and hadn’t shown him any pictures yet. His defense: There were too many pictures).

But then I started thinking about it, and my friend is right—Facebook is good for staying in touch with family and friends, but bad for relationships. Does Facebook not want us to have successful relationships? Let’s take a look at the evidence:

1. You can filter, but it’s not really an option to filter your significant other.  I have three Facebook groups—Friends, Professional and Religious (I know a lot of very conservative people, so it’s a necessity). But people know if they can only see your updates, or only see your pictures, or not see pictures you are tagged in. As a result, filtering your significant other is sending the message “I will date you, but I have a lot to hide from you.” And that just leads to uncomfortable conversations about what you are hiding.

2. It is very easy for people to get jealous or weird on Facebook. I have a lot of examples for this, but a friend pointed out that if someone hypothetically commented on your page, and the hypothetical comment  was of a sexual nature, but leaned towards a private joke, and your hypothetical girlfriend got upset, that could ruin your relationship. Hypothetically. I am sure this never happened to him. I will personally run at the first sign of jealousy in a relationship, which is good, because someone posted to my Facebook last week “Thanks for the NUDE PICS, Lizzie!!!” My boyfriend either didn’t believe the comment, or didn’t care. We have a modern relationship. Some may even say post-modern. I never knew what that meant.

3. Facebook has a relationship status. And not just a relationship status. One that tells EVERYONE any time you change anything. This, of course, leads to all sorts of anxiety. At what point do you tell everyone, publicly, even your high school friend’s mom, that you are in a relationship? Do you list the person? If you are casually dating someone, do you put “It’s Complicated” or will that make you look like an ass? (It will.) Even just taking off the relationship option causes it to be posted that you have changed your relationship status, which can lead to uncomfortable conversations. ***

4. People post their relationship fights on Facebook. Now, if you have not witnessed this, it is because it is done covertly. Not everyone has a relationship column where they can air their contentions. ( Speaking of that, because of several questions I received, in the last column I spoke about a LAN party and a girlfriend telling about her boyfriend’s history of wetting-the-bed. That was not based on fact, it was just an example, and, as far as I know, my boyfriend doesn’t have a problem with bedtime urination. I just thought if you were going to spill something like that, a LAN party would probably be the only mildly socially acceptable place to do so, because if people were to spread that around they would also have to admit they were at a LAN party.)

But anyway. In continuing a relationship fight on Facebook, people usually pose the fight as a question. The question can be simple, like “Who thinks ANTM is awesome?” to extremely loaded, such as “Do you think it’s normal, in a relationship, for someone to not tell you when they’ve seen their ex-girlfriend and then act like it was no big deal?” to cryptic heartbreaking Facebook status changes that involve quoting song lyrics: “Runaway train, never coming back. Wrong way down a one way track.” Or they just complain, directly.  Either way, Facebook ensures that all it’s users have intimate knowledge of if you’re in a relationship or just sleeping with someone, and probably what your recent fights are, or if you just got dumped. And Facebook spreads that negativity around like a sad, bitter wildfire.

And the final way that Facebook hates relationships, the way that tops all others, is this:

5. They allow for cheesy, romantic posts. Now, I admit, I am one of those people who, if something romantic is said during sex, I will immediately burst out laughing, or do so on the inside. I can allow for an “I love you” or an “mmMMMmmm,” but straying into dirty talk that uses any type of metaphor to describe my body or involves anything that reminds me of romantic comedies or porn (“I want to be with you forever. Let’s never die.” Or “I want to FILL YOU UP.”), sends me into a fit of giggles.

So if I can’t handle this from a partner in an intimate setting, what makes you think I want to hear it from you, on a public forum, talking to someone else I know? And this covers anything, from talking about your wedding night (gah!)   to responding to a status update   to getting uncomfortably poetic/creepy
 The only thing worse than seeing your friends and casual acquaintances fight on Facebook is seeing them be happy in their relationship on Facebook. Why? Because it’s annoying, probably fake, and makes it awkward to look them in the eye the next time you see them.

Facebook is our stereotypical Jewish mother. We don’t need to bother about worrying whether we’re single, engaged, fighting or making up, because Facebook takes care of that for us. We don’t need to tell our significant other what’s going on in our life, they can just look at our Facebook status. Does Facebook hate relationships? Loyal Reader, I’ll let you decide. But it sure doesn’t make them any easier.

Liz knows a little about relationships and sex. She's been married, divorced, and contracted countless stories of failure and success while pursuring almost every avenue of dating. These experiences incited her to start a blog relaying her trials and tribulations to the reading public. And all before she was 27. For the real truth on love, life, and the pursuit of better sex (or hey, worse sex, we're not judging)


Facebook Not only Share Relationship Status, But Destroy It
 By Nancy H. Boler

On behalf of Law Office of Nancy H. Boler posted in Divorce on Friday, July 30, 2010

It's one of the first pieces of information that the estimated 400 million Facebook users enter into their Facebook profiles: relationship status. But maybe it is important for more users to pay better attention to their "married" or "in a relationship" statuses when they log in to the social-networking site.

If Ken Savage's story is any sign of a relationship trend, then too many Facebookers are forgetting (or ignoring) that they are in relationships and using the site to find romance outside of their marriage. Savage is currently separated from his wife after having discovered that she reconnected and began an affair with an old boyfriend on Facebook.

This trend has been verified by divorce attorneys throughout the U.S. who report that they have seen a tremendous increase in the use of evidence from social-networking sites in divorce and other family law disputes, including child custody.

While the numerous social-networking sites all provide evidence in divorce court, attorneys name Facebook as the most common site presented in court.

But does that mean that Facebook is causing people to cheat? A Facebook representative argues against that accusation and stands behind the site's positive contribution to its users who want to stay and get in touch with their friends and family.

Savage actually agrees with the Facebook rep and does not hold the site responsible for his wife's infidelity. He claims that the site merely made it "easier" for his wife to cheat and that she is ultimately responsible for her actions.

One warning Savage lends couples who are worried about protecting their relationships from the temptations presented by social networking: talk to your spouse about what they are reading or writing on Facebook. He looks back on how his wife's Facebook behavior went from sharing with him about friends and family in the beginning, to suspicious, "quiet" Facebook use toward the end.

Resource CNN.com: Facebook a 'tool' for cheating spouses, some say

Zambians are wearing the emperor’s new clothes
By Kachepa Mutumbi
THESE traditional healers wouldn’t be in business if we weren’t chewing their prescribed guava leaves to help us find a man to marry or a job at the UN. A reality of city living is that there’ll always be chaps willing to consult a traditional healer to solve all manner of problems.

Ours is a society that refuses to acknowledge that its people are all wearing the Emperor’s silk tights and polka-dot boxer shorts.

In our desperation to feed our vanity, we’ve made the Emperor’s new clothes Zambia’s national attire.

Yet you can’t entirely blame traditional healers. The thirst for success at any cost in Zambia has had us cutting corners to ensure that we, too, are seen pushing trolleys at Manda Hill or Woodlands Shopping Centre. Heck, we even enjoy getting fashionably stuck in traffic at lunchtime while we drive out to Siavonga with our Bayliner boats in tow.

To witness the excess and hypocrisy of modern Zambian society is to be an undertaker on his first day in the job.

Just this week, a friend of mine mentioned how Zambia can never have a civil war because we kill each other every day anyway. Ours is the genocide of the poor being reminded that they are not rich. And even the poor like to torment the impoverished with a public roasting of beef in the township.

It is a common sight in the township to see the madam proudly cooking outside her house if she’s preparing beef. Those with kapenta (sardines) and two pin vegetables must attain refugee status in their own homes for them to survive the genocide-of-status raging outside.

And so to the lucrative business of giving false hope to aspirational Zambians by urging them to add cow dung to their body lotion in order to score a rich spouse. Okay, so I’m stretching it a bit about cow dung’s seduction prowess, but don’t all traditional healers find this a cheaper alternative to working hard like every other Zambian?

This city’s damsels are prone to extreme measures when all their friends are getting married while they bathe in the cold, lonely waters of spinsterhood. Urban blokes’ sensibilities are stretched to the limit as their friends swagger around in the best restaurants and cars that money can buy.

Among other gems, traditional healers claim they can cure impotence, gain you promotion at work, help you win back long-lost lovers and score big in the lottery. All the while they’re quoting some Fally Ipupa song they heard in the tavern last night and claiming it’s some dead ancestor giving their blessing for your new job at the Bank of Zambia.

For people that can help you win the lottery or marry a spouse from a wealthy family, the chaps sure could live in better conditions. Most traditional healers are living behind the thin curtains of their morals in townships dotted across the city.

Maybe they sell mashed chicken bones in the komboni because it is there that most Zambians would like to emerge from and improve their lives in the ‘suburbs. But as more affluent Zambians should know, life in the township isn’t what it used to be.

There’s now a strongly held belief that behind the walls of suburbia is where Zambians are really itching to keep up with appearances. In fact, it just might be that traditional healers’ clientele is drawn from once-affluent Zambians that would like to extend the good old days at whatever cost.

See, there’s an old tale about a vain Emperor who always loved to cut a dashing figure. The story is so enamoured of sartorial elegance was he that one day, two cunning young men decided to make a fool out of him … just like traditional healers do of Zambians.

I believe those you cannot trust with your secrets, you must deceive with your lies. The Emperor was told by the two men that they were in possession of the finest cloth known to man and that only the wise could see it. Being a vain politician, the clown agreed to have a bespoke suit made for him from material that even he could not see.

Eventually the Emperor elects to showcase his new outfit in public. His subjects, for fear of looking like they have holes where their brains should be, enthuse about their leader’s sartorial sophistication until an unimpressionable young boy points out that the chap is as naked as the way the Lord sees us through His digital camera.

The Emperor is truly an ancestor of modern-day Zambians and the bastard sits atop the family tree of this country’s citizens. With our misguided attempt to attain status, we’ve all tried on – at some point – a jacket or two from the Emperor’s salaula.

Courtesy of The Post online Sun 17 July 2011

Livingstone – City of drunkards and under-age drunks
by mazuba mwiinga

In February 26, 2006 The Post editorial branded Zambia a nation of drunkards; and I couldn’t agree more with them; the nation is degenerating into a generation of citizens who can’t do without alcohol.

Come think of it, a sad wrinkled face of a young but old-looking generation is day in and day out being re-born into liquor slaves. Worst still, under age patrons are increasing by the hour. In Livingstone, the trend is becoming an eye-sore. With the Tourism and Commercial Show kicking off this Friday, July 15, 2011, I can already feel my blood shack my veins with worry.

Numerous reasons have been given as to why more and more people are dating alcohol by a second and yet the poverty rate is so high. In Livingstone, beer is paging at an average price of Seven Thousand Kwacha per 375mls bottle yet no bar patron considers this an abnormal price especially that they can spend as much money as a million kwacha in three days just on alcohol per person.

The city bit by bit is becoming a capital of liquor consumption. Shockingly so, law enforcers ignore many breaches that have been committed by bar, restaurant and hotel owners. Take for instance on restaurants. CAP 167 of the Laws of Zambia (Liquor Licensing Act) section 10 states that; “A restaurant licence shall authorise the sale, on the licensed premises, of intoxicating liquor in any quantity to any person taking a meal in such premises at any hour of the day or night if such liquor is consumed at such meal”.

This means that a restaurant can only sale alcohol to a person having a meal, but the trend is bogus as restaurants have become bars making it easier even for under age children have access to such places because the law does not prohibit them to enter restaurants. One can walk into a restaurant, buy a bottle of liquor, seat there and imbibe without ordering any meal.

This has become a common trend in the city to the extent where these restaurants have become sort of Night Clubs where patrons squeeze themselves to dance round tables. Bars open as early as 06:00hrs and close as late as 03:00hrs yet the Liquor Licence Act CAP 167 of the Laws of Zambia, Section 7 (2) states that “Intoxicating liquor may only be sold under a bar licence between the hours of ten o'clock in the morning and half-past ten o'clock in the evening.”

Annoyingly some of the owners of these places are councillors, local authority personnel and senior Police officers. How disgusting!! No one cares who drinks their alcohol as long as it is paid for. Young girls have found themselves in very an unstable situations after getting drunk, situations which have gone as far as committing crimes and exposed to having un protected sex and sexually abused by older patrons.

How then can we reduce the high rate of HIV infection the city has been associated with? Day in and day out all we hear from councils meetings are power struggle wrangles instead of service provision for the people of Livingstone.

Sata and The Post comradeship - Much Ado about Sinister
by mazuba mwiinga

Give me a pick, and I get smack-frozen with choice, especially if you sell me a freezer in a cold June day. Of course this may not make sense to you; and that’s how my rational reasoning flows over PF and The Post understanding.

Have you ever sat down and ask yourself critical and life saving questions as to how the marriage between The Post and PF rings a bell to you? Its shameful isn’t it, that after all is said and done you still cant comprehend why and how today The Post thinks Sata is your saviour or some damn Messiah for this country, when just three years ago Sata was a ‘demon’ in the eyes of The Post?

I have tried to pick a few shreds of sense here and there, but they ended up not matching at all. Some of us were there in late 1990; what we thought was so good for Zambia – FTJ, just because he chorused so sweet tunes like a morning bird in rainy season, ended up to be a man with a hood on his head and mask on his face. Of course the man had his own merits, though seemingly these merits were outwitted by his own ego. Sata is no difference; that I can assure you and I can bate my life on it.

Wasn’t it Sata who was at the helm of FTJ? The ‘chola’ boy who would kill for FTJ? The man who would never say any word that does not idolise the word FTJ? Or are our memories so short that we can even forget the Chilenje Merzaff Flats scandal? What of the Third Term bid for FTJ? Who was the last man standing beside FTJ? If FTJ had hand-picked Sata instead of Levy for MMD Presidency, do you think there would have been PF today? Do you think Sata would have sprayed his venoms on FTJ for allegedly betraying his loyalty? Despite being so close and loyal to FTJ why didn’t FTJ pick on Sata his right hand man? Was FTJ foolish on this? He knew Sata better than anyone else where the Presidency is concerned.

Its simple logic that Sata is so desperate to go to State House because his heart is full of vengeance; little does he know that no soldier wins a battle with a heart full of hate.

When UNIP was collapsing, this was a man described by the late ardent journalist Jowie Mwiinga, as “sitting on the fence”, to see which way served him better. Thank God he played his cards well as he always has been used to, and was fused him in the MMD. Every sane Zambian cannot be told the sinister works of Sata in FTJ administration. The archives are there to show.

What is happening in PF now is like a gang of frustrated opportunists, who surely know their political line is on the edge; and wants to vent its last kicks by consoling each other in a pack of jackasses’ style who behaves like a headless chicken let loose for death. Little do they know that, vengeance is the weak man’s song; as they say that revenge is the sword that wounds the one who wields it.

A rolling stone gathers no moss. And that’s how the clandestine marriage between PF and The Post is. A pure comedy of errors mustering Shakespeare’s comedy Much Ado About Nothing to the last prick of its vein. This is a play that has wit, twists, turns…; but hey, it’s a comedy with nothing but laughter and insidiousness. One character in this play says, "Our talk must only be of Benedick. When I do name him, let it be thy part. To praise him more than ever man did merit." And that’s exactly what The Post is doing. Giving merit where it’s not due. And they know pretty well, that their praise of Sata is just to deceive people.

In their editorial of Wednesday February 14, 2007, entitled ‘Sata - change your politics’, The Post said of these things about Sata, “…..It is absolutely ridiculous for Sata to insist on mayors who are members of his party not to take part in state functions….. Sata needs to urgently change his approach to politics. The political line he is pursuing now is not a positive one, it is a destructive one. There’s just too much cynicism on his part. But we know from experience that a nation cannot be built and developed on cynicism - cynics have never built and developed any community. They have instead hindered the prospects for the building and development of strong and prosperous communities….”

In their editorial of Thursday November 01, 2007 entitled ‘Sata caught in a web of lies’, The Post said some of these, ‘….We did not expect Michael Sata to be ashamed of his questionable dealings with Taiwan, especially the dubious manner in which he asked for US $50,000 because the old man has no shame. Sata exaggerates his worthiness when the man is just a shameless liar…. As it is, Sata’s lies are crumbling in his face and he wants to divert attention from that. But we will not give him the space. We will ensure that he is exposed for what he is - a seasoned liar….. It’s all right for Sata to walk into our newsroom and demand that he be interviewed or accompanied wherever he wants to go by a journalist of his choice, but it’s not all right for other politicians – who don’t even burst into our newsroom - to be covered in our newspaper…….

When we cover other politicians in the manner that seems positive in Sata’s eyes, then we are sympathetic to their cause or we are converted…….. This is cheap propaganda. Is Sata saying that the MMD and ourselves are responsible for his mischief, for his monkey business? Is Sata suggesting that the MMD created that letter to the Taiwanese government in his name, asking for US $50,000 and then leaked it to us so he could be destroyed? Is Sata denying being the author of that letter to the government of Taiwan, asking for funding for him to continue his mission of discrediting China? Is Sata saying we cannot write any negative story about him and his party, that we should turn a blind eye to his misconduct and lies? Is Sata suggesting that we should be his constant praise singers and Levy’s constant critics?.......’

In their editorial of Saturday March 03, 2007, entitled, ‘No need for a showdown’, The Post said of PF in this way, ‘….Things don’t seem to be going well in the councils dominated by opposition Patriotic Front. It appears these councils have become a platform for a political contest between the Patriotic Front and the government. But there is a serious danger in this. If the Patriotic Front and those in government perceive councils as nothing more than a forum in which they can express their demands and execute their political agendas, then our councils won’t function effectively, efficiently and in an orderly manner……’

In their editorials of Tuesday August 07, 2007, entitled ‘Sata and FOI’ The Post said of Sata like this, ‘….Because some coward Patriotic Front member of parliament went on Yatsani Radio to castigate his dictatorial tendencies, real or perceived, without disclosing his names, Sata suddenly feels that journalists should be compelled by law to disclose their sources of information. In saying this, Sata is only guided by his personal interest in the matter. He is oblivious, unconscious or insensible to the ethical requirement that journalists should not disclose their sources of information when there is need to do so……

As a result of personal interest, Sata has forgotten that on a number of occasions, he has given us information off the record. Is he now saying that each time he gives us such information, it will be all right for anyone to use the law to compel us to disclose that it was in fact him who gave us the information? If it is normal that every source of information should be known, why does Sata sometimes prefer to speak off the record?...’

In their editorial of Thursday October 25, 2007, entitled ‘Sata, the hired gun’, The Post said, ‘….Not long ago, home affairs minister Lt Gen Ronnie Shikapwasha described Patriotic Front (PF) president Michael Sata as a shameless old man. Some people might have felt that Lt Gen Shikapwasha was being hard on the old man Sata. But things have to be called by their names. Sata is, in truth, a shameless old man. And he should be told that no amount of misinformation and propaganda will bury the truth….. Maybe this explains why Sata can’t leave active politics despite his advanced age. It seems he is using politics to keep him going. In justifying his US $50,000 request from the government of Taiwan, Sata says Taiwan was just one of the sponsors of his trip to the US because PF had asked for funding from a lot of institutions and organisations both locally and abroad. He said these institutions and organisations responded favourably. But did Sata really need to raise US $100,000 for a week’s trip to the United States? For him, this trip to the US was an opportunity to fundraise….’

These aren’t my thoughts. These are the thoughts of The Post which today is a brother King to Sata. If I may ask, what has made Sata a saint over a period of three years? Is there something I am failing to understand here between The Post and Sata?

This is our country and we need to remain steadfast and refuse to be deceived for nothing. Lets not take for granted what we hear and read; it’s all a fuss. Its all much ado about nothing in this PF and Post friendship we are seeing; what a callous way of hoodwinking the people!