Right To Reply: Kalima Nkonde Is Talking From Without

Right To Reply: Kalima Nkonde Is Talking From Without.

“I have … noticed … that … most of the leaders of the Opposition Parties have been quiet and not providing proper checks and balances to the ruling Party. The majority of the Opposition parties have not been making comments or analyzing the economy apart from the UPND and to some extent the FDD in order to provide necessary checks and balances to the ruling Party…. When did you last hear about General Miyanda, Eric Chanda, Nevers Mumba, Elias Chipimo, Dr Sondashi … talking or writing about the economy? It is very rare indeed. One can conclude that these parties lack depth to such an extent that the majority of the Opposition Party leaders do not understand the basics of the economy and are scared to expose their ignorance!”

Kalima Nkonde’s articles thus far have been well written, but his latest piece on 13th November 2015 (quoted above) leaves much to desired. Not only is his article patronizing by projecting himself as the smart one while talking down to opposition political parties, its contents reveal that his political analysis is naive and shallow.

Nkonde has inadvertently revealed that he is an “attack dog” for the UPND despite his attempts to portray himself as an independent analyst. I make this conclusion because of his claim that the UPND is the only major party (followed by FDD) offering good policy positions, which is completely false because UPND are actually quite shallow when it comes to analysis, compared to my party the MMD.

As a member of the MMD National Executive Committee and MMD Media Team, I know that we have done a lot more research and analysis than Nkonde can imagine and we have posted many statements on our website (mmdzambia.org) and Facebook page (facebook.com/mmdzambia).

We have also held press briefings to advise the ruling PF. The last one held by our President Dr Nevers Sekwila Mumba went into great detail discussing the economic problems we are facing and the practical solutions. There is a video of it posted on our YouTube channel (youtube.com/mmdzambia) and it was published by Lusaka Times.

We were the first and only party that pointed out that the PF are going to waste $1 billion on Zamtel and we therefore advocate for Zamtel to be given back to LAPGreenN. Nationalization of private companies is not compatible with a free market economy. We released on 5th January 2015 our “Ten Point Master Plan” in which we have committed to reduce Corporation Tax in Zambia from 35% (fifth highest in the World) to the African average of 29%. We are the only ones saying this.

Among many of our unique policy positions, we have promised to give a referendum to Barotseland and respect whatever decision they make, although of course our strong preference is that they remain part of Zambia. We have also said we shall build Peter Matoka University in North-Western Province (after hearing the cries of the North-Westerners) and we shall reform the Zambian legal system to greatly increase the number of lawyers thereby reducing legal costs and the cost of doing business.

We have also committed to outsourcing to the private sector such functions as border processing, tax collection and garbage collection in our plan. No other party has produced such a comprehensive master plan with a rich depth of analysis that can be used by any reasonable government.

I find it hardly believable that Nkonde could have missed all these many policy statements when they were published by many media houses such as Lusaka Times, Zambian Watchdog, The Post Newspaper, Mwebantu New Media, etc. They have been covered by Muvi TV, Radio Phoenix, 5FM, Hot FM, and many other radio and TV stations all over Zambia.

It therefore appears to me that Nkonde is not being truthful and is just here to push the UPND agenda. If he was a serious analyst as he proclaims to be, he would have checked out the websites and Facebook pages of the opposition parties he is attacking and he would have found our powerful policy statements on our website.

The most plausible explanation of Nkonde’s rantings is that UPND have become so desperate to win they will go to great lengths, including enlisting his services. But of course UPND cannot match the MMD as we are the best party in Zambia with the best policies. UPND is just another big experiment which Zambians will do well to stay away from.

Their President Hakainde Hichilema has promised to legalize an illegal market in Choma that is sitting on Zambia Railways land and for which there is a court order to evict the squatters. He has also promised to reduce mealie-meal prices within two weeks of forming government which of course is totally absurd, unless he wants to bring back price controls like the PF are threatening to do.

Nkonde has made the incredible claim that opposition political parties do not carry out research to find out the actual needs and concerns of voters on the ground leading to superficial statements. This is another false statement. How can he possibly know that we do not research?

Nkonde has advised the smaller parties to merge with the bigger ones because remaining alone means they are selfish and egotistical. This is the most nonsensical statement in his article. If late President Michael Sata had followed this advice, he would never have been president of Zambia.

The history of Zambian politics shows that alliances and mergers never work because politicians are too dishonest. We have experienced attempted alliances with both PF and UPND and they double-crossed us by poaching our members while pretending to be having talks with us.

Our advice to Kalima Nkonde is that he should keep his misguided opinions about the MMD to himself. We are not interested in hearing his advice to opposition parties on how to win. He is conceited and a political amateur. He is better off sticking to writing about economics or how much the PF are messing up. To use his own words, he is a disgrace to political analysis.

Lengwe Bwalya
MMD National Youth Treasurer and MMD Media Team Member