Election lies – Please let there be peace

On your marks, get set, GO! Start telling lies now, its election time, the truth has no impact. Bad news travels like wild fire and good news travels slow!

And indeed, the lies have already started.

The lies that I have read on the internet and some online publications in the last few days remind me of the advice of two great African sons; Amilcar Cabral of Guinea and Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe of Zambia at the time the continent was fighting for independence and self determination.

Just a few months before he was killed by the Portuguese Army, Amilcar Cabral warned his fellow revolutionaries in his most famous quote:

“Hide nothing from the masses of our people. Tell no lies. Expose lies whenever they are told. Mask no difficulties, mistakes, failures. Claim no easy victories…”

Cabral then reminded the continent about the colonialists’ desire to always keep Africans under subjugation and enslavement.

“The colonists usually say that it was they who brought us into history: today we show that this is not so. They made us leave history, our history, to follow them, right at the back, to follow the progress of their history.”

In one of his frank speeches and in his book, Africa Kuti Twabelela Uluse Lelo Teti Tulabe (Africa We can Forgive But Cannot Forget) Simon Kapwepwe repeatedly warns about neocolonialism.

“Abasungu aba, chimo na makubi. Bushe mwalimonapo makubi yasha ichitumbi cha nama? Bakabwela ngatatuchenjele balifye ku miti balelolela (these whites are like vultures. Have you ever seen vultures abandoning a carcass? They will come back if we are not careful; they are just perched on the trees waiting for the opportune moment).”

Which opportune moment can open the way for the vultures to come back for the carcass? Do they come in military formations with guns blazing?

They cannot dare do that. Public opinion in their own countries will not allow them. They come in disguise like thieves in the night and work through surrogates and stooges.

Each time there is an election in Africa, they predict chaos and mayhem. They then choose sides and work tirelessly to bolster the campaigns of their preferred partners through very subtle means using their perceived authoritative knowledge and publications which by all means are just a fallacy.

The lies have thus started, the red flag has been raised, Zambia is on fire, there is going to be total war and the prediction has been made that one opposition leader is going to win the elections.

In its April 28, 2016 online publication, BMI Research, a Fitch Group Company, predicts that there is going to be hunger and social unrest in Zambia. Below is an extract of their report:

“The regional drought will continue to place pressure on the exports as demand ramps up for electricity and food imports. Overall business productivity will continue to be weighed down by power shortages over 2016 stemming from Zambia’s high reliance on hydropower. The country recorded a 1,000 MW power deficit in February as water levels in the Kariba Dam remain low. The dam is also set to undergo repairs in a joint venture between Zambia and Zimbabwe in Q117. The African Development Bank, European Union as well as the World Bank have provided USD294mn in order to assist. While Zambia turns to alternate forms of energy such as solar power, it will not be sufficient to meet the demand for electricity.

“Food imports will also rise stemming from low levels of maize output. Zambia implemented export restrictions on maize and the latest update is that the country only has enough stocks to last until August this year.”

This is a much skewed report indeed. The power deficit that Zambia is experiencing is a worldwide phenomenon which has been caused by climate change. It is not man made or caused by the PF government. The report completely avoids any reference to climate change in a bid to show that the government is to blame for the power shortage.

There is no reference made to the measures that the government is taking to deal with the power shortage. In addition to the solar power projects mentioned by the above skewed report by BMI Research, there are other power projects that are supposed to come on stream within the next two years. There is the Maamba Collieries Coal powered station, The Itezhi Tezhi Hydro Power station and the Kabompo Hydro Project.

The most laughable lie is that of food imports. Perhaps BMI Research got their information from the story which was started by the UPND leader stating that Zambia was importing maize which was eventually proven to be false.

The BMI Research indicates that there  will be food imports due to low levels of maize output. I have traveled extensively between Lusaka and Mazabuka from April to the end of May 2016 and all indications are that we shall have a bumper harvest. The rains may have come late, but thanks to the commitment of our farmers, we are definitely going to have a bumper harvest. So Zambia will not run our of maize by August 2016.

In its 12 May edition, BMI Research continues with the alarming reports stating that there will be social unrest between now and August 11, 2016.

“Zambia’s August presidential elections will be highly competitive, encouraging levels of social expenditure by the ruling Patriotic Front as well as increasing social unrest, as supporters of the government and opposition clash. We maintain our view that opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema will win, bolstering the investment environment over a multiyear time horizon.

They make this claim without explaining how Mr. Hichilema’s victory would bolster investment in Zambia and from which sources and in which sectors such investments would go. The question is Zambia not investor friendly? Which investors have complained about our policies?

According to BMI Research, Mr. Hichilema will be bolstered by substantial opposition support and the highly competitive election suggests increased scope for social unrest in the near term as supporters of the ruling Patriotic Front clash with UPND voters.

The BMI Research refers to electoral pacts signed between the Democratic Front of Miles Sampa and the Movement for Multiparty Democracy MMD and in their view this will help Hichilema to win in a second round run off. All the warnings and predictions are completely off target. I do not see Zambian voters from PF and UPND going for each other’s throats. There may be the usual skirmishes between hired cadres that are paid to cause trouble by some of the parties. All of us in this country know the parties and individuals who engage in such undemocratic acts.

Foreign entities would love such a situation because they are vultures waiting to descend on the carcass as Simon Kapwepwe warned. They will escalate their misinformation campaigns to cause tension in an African country so that they can benefit from the confusion. All our leaders and youths must be wary of the destabilizing tactics of these paid agents of neocolonialism.

The prediction by BMI Research that the opposition will bolster Mr. Hichilema has since been proven wrong. The only opposition leaders who have trekked to UPND are those that were left without parties. Their parties either ditched them or split and they had nowhere to go.

Statistics do matter in elections and the results from the January 2015 presidential contest will show that none of the then presidential hopefuls in that election had any substantive support which they can take to any party to swing the results.

Therefore the predictions by BMI Research have no basis and can only serve to heighten tensions. It is unfair for any organisation to start such speculations without conducting properly instituted research. They could only be campaigning for their preferred candidate. Any organization is free to support their chosen candidate as long as they openly declare and state their reasons for doing so.

It is against all professional ethics to make such predictions while pretending that your organization is an independent observer when you may just be an agent of someone who wants to install a stooge whom they would control while they reap from our country.

I love what the Kenyans did, despite all the vicious campaigns leveled against Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta and his running mate William Ruto, they voted for them during the last presidential elections in that country.

I hope that Zambians will not be hoodwinked by any propaganda from western establishments to support any of the nine presidential candidates over the others. These so called rating agencies have hidden agendas and are connected to business interests that gain from their campaigns and ratings.

Remember Zambians, it is our election, our future, our destiny; and as Amilcar Cabral warned; “Tell not lies and claim no easy victories.

“Always bear in mind that the people are not fighting for ideas, for the things in anyone’s head. They are fighting to win material benefits, to live better and in peace, to see their lives go forward, to guarantee the future of their children. . .”

The future of our children can only be guaranteed with better schools, better roads, better hospitals and peaceful co-existence.

ecchipalo@yahoo.co.uk / pentvision@gmail.com

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