It is primitive for TIZ to blindly support Post
Through your widely read newspaper allow me to say something about our famous Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) which appears to be throwing punches in the air for self-glory.
I cannot imagine that TIZ in all fairness can stand two feet taller to accuse President Lungu of trying to shut down the Post? That is cheap.
There is no doubt in my mind that TIZ is fully aware of events at the Post and I think it is TIZ which is more embryonic than anybody else.
For the likes of TIZ which will never see anything good in President Lungu’s Government, nobody including ZRA, wants to close the Post.
ZRA is merely chasing after its money which the newspaper owes to the people of Zambia. That is the naked truth.
Of course Zambians fully understand the position taken by TIZ president Lee Habasonda. It is all easy to see why he is directing his arsenals at a wrong target, President Lungu.
But I wish to remind Habasonda that if he has political ambitions, he should make his position totally clear and he will be respected, but to screw facts on the Post issue for whatever reason, I think it is tremendously cheap of him.
For me I would urge ZRA to take a firmer stand on the Post. People who consciously evade tax are immoral and the law should visit them.
As for illegal PAZA, I understand its frustration because it simply cannot bite the hand that feeds it. Poor souls!
In fact I am appealing to the Registrar of Societies to probe PAZA which has been doing its business illegally because no annual general meetings to elect office bearers have been held for more than a decade.
I also doubt if it has been submitting annual returns to the registrar.
This is where Habasonda should be having an interest instead of supporting wrong causes. You should probe PAZA.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) will have a field day if it went after PAZA because the organisation is rotten through and through and is blooming on venality.
Let Mr Andrew Sakala, the illegal president of PAZA, deny this.
Let’s close ranks as a people
We have entered a period in the life of our great nation when the true patriots must stand up. Our people need hope, not doomsday prophecies.
The easiest thing to do is point fingers but that will not cause the challenges facing the nation to go away. We have a choice, either to play the blame game or close ranks and collectively search for solutions that will pull our beloved nation from the brink of collapse.
This is no time to melt the hearts of the people with words of fear and trepidation. It is time to speak hope and life into the nation.
Arguments often only serve to dissipate the energies that we should otherwise be investing in problem-solving.
Our leaders must show courage and determination in searching for workable solutions. They must focus on what needs to be done. They must be in the forefront of self-sacrifice.
Leaders must sit and brainstorm together on how the kwacha can be rescued from further devaluation, how the mealie meal prices can be kept constant and how we can avoid an increase in fuel prices.
We all know what is wrong with our nation, tabulating our litany of challenges helps no one, for we are all experiencing the pain.
The debate should not be confined to politicians. It must involve every interest group in society.
Everyone with a good idea must come forward and be heard and the policy-makers should be ready to listen.
The labour movement, the Zambia Chamber of Mines, the Zambia Federation of Employers, the Zambia Association of Manufacturers, the Zambia National Farmers Union, the Zambia Cooperative Federation, the academics, the students, the marketeers, the church, literally everyone.
We don’t have to wait for Government to organize a national indaba. Sectorial indabas must be organized and resolutions made public. We are in the time when we should emulate John F. Kennedy and ask ourselves what we can do for our nation.
If we delay dialoguing amongst ourselves, we will have solutions imposed on us by outsiders, and what we don’t believe in we will only implement half-heartedly.
Politicians should not be left to themselves to conduct the debate.
All we will get from that quarter is scoring cheap political points and self-defence. Those in power must desist from electioneering and the opposition must be honest and avoid cheap political propaganda.
What is at stake is the welfare of our people and our destiny as a nation, not political careers. This must be understood by all. Zambia must enter into a social contract with herself.
This should be a set of measures that we all agree to as a minimum programme of action to rescue our economy and promote peace and political stability.
This should not be about negotiating for personal aggrandizement; rather it should be about putting together the best economic recovery programme to get Zambia out of its present rut.
One man that needs all our prayers is President Lungu. He carries the burden of the nation on his shoulders.
He should not let himself be side-tracked by negative criticism, but he must consult widely and listen to all stakeholders.
Thereafter he must lead with courage and inspiration. He must get everyone within his Government to sing from the same song-sheet and it must be a message of hope.
Personally, I remain optimistic that we shall overcome and Zambia will return to the path of positive economic growth and prosperity.
The crisis we are undergoing is an opportunity to restructure our economy to serve national interests better. Change is painful, but it must happen. What we can do is minimize the inevitable casualties.
I have confidence that if we all pull in the same direction, we shall overcome quickly. I also believe that our prayers for Zambia are not in vain. Things often get worse before they get better.
They did for the children of Israel just before their exodus from Egypt. It is the pattern of history. Don’t even our poets say it is darkest before dawn?
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Let’s close ranks Zambia and stand shoulder to shoulder.
Dr. Fred Mutesa
Zambians for Empowerment and Development (ZED)
Kabimba and his joke of the day
Rainbow Party general secretary Wynter Kabimba made my day because I nearly choked with laughter over his asking Zambians to rally behind Post newspaper which he claims has been the voice of the poor.
But it is the same poor people the newspaper is sending to their early graves because of not paying taxes to help Government look after its citizens.
Of course your support for the Post is well understood. You stand for the same goals but to ask Zambians to support a firm which has broken the law, I think it’s a bit outrageous. In fact it is a disgrace.
Mr Kabimba you are an educated man and you know the truth over the Post even better but you want to pretend that someone is after the Post. That is not true.
If the Post went under it will not be because of President Lungu or ZRA. The Post is on the self-destruction course. It is just a matter of time.
The Post can insult and play blame games, but that will not help and it knows this fact just too well. The problem is its failure to honour tax compulsions.
Once it pays its taxes all this will be a thing of the past. But until that is done, ZRA will be at liberty to pressurise the Post newspaper because it has legal powers to do so.