Bankruptcy awaits Nawakwi’s $3m lies


Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) life president Edith Nawakwi has been quacking over issues of privatisation in a manner never seen before.

Nawakwi’s quacking could be one way of saving what remains of her plummeting political career.

It could also be a not-too-intelligent strategy politicking merely for financial survival.

Either way, Nawakwi’s fortunes now hang on a very thin political thread which, more than ever before, looks certain to snap and bring her 30-year political life to a terrible and embarrassing end.

Like one who had just awoken from a long comatose, Nawakwi has, over the last two weeks, been making wild allegations against United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema.

She has accused HH of dishonesty in the privatisation of state-owned enterprises, a programme that took place over her watch as minister of finance in the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) government in the 1990s.

Nawakwi did not mince her words when she vehemently claimed on a Hot FM radio programme that HH had gained undue advantage when he allegedly sold himself a house on Serval Road, Kabulonga, which, according to her wild imagination, belonged to the liquidated Lima Bank.
She also alleged that HH had been the liquidator of Lima Bank.

Further, with a malicious attempt to smear and link HH to the suffering of the miners who were retrenched from the liquidated RAMCOZ, Nawakwi claimed that HH had been involved in the liquidation of the mine.

This was another deliberately-calculated attempt to ignite anger among the retrenched miners and their families against HH as the country prepares for next year’s elections.

For these and other allegations, Nawakwi received quite some media space, much to the excitement of the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) officials.

It is widely believed Nawakwi has been promised the position of PF presidential running mate in next year’s elections if she can successfully manage to destroy HH’s reputation in the eyes of the right-thinking electorate.

So, her excitement is understandable.

In that regard, to prove her relevance to the political equation, she has gone all-out to poison the PF’s strongest political competitor without taking due care about the authenticity of the information she has fed the nation on.

With the valour associated with her, Nawakwi did manage to drag along the entire PF government system into believing that, as former minister of finance during the privatisation programme, she was in pole position to crush HH’s political aspirations for the republican presidency.

Her persistent attacks on HH, thereby, gained currency among the PF and its surrogate political parties and civil society groups.

But before Nawakwi’s child-like excitement could pollute the minds of the Zambian people, HH did the right thing by addressing the nation and displaying the documents related to the purchase of the Kabulonga house.
Had it not been for HH’s quick thinking, the Zambian people could still be thinking that he was the liquidator of Lima Bank.

Secondly, not everyone would have known that the Kabulonga house had belonged to the Tobacco Board of Zambia and not Lima Bank as alleged by Nawakwi.

HH also provided evidence showing that Grant Thornton, a company for which he was a managing partner, only got involved with RAMCOZ when the Binani Group, the new owners of the mine, failed to service a loan they contracted with the Zambia National Commercial Bank.

The bank actually hired the services of Grant Thornton to recover the money owed by the Binani Group.

Even in that case, it was Christopher Mulenga, and not HH, who was appointed liquidator.

HH’s well-meant attempt to correct the impression was spiked by the self-styled “iron lady” on other media platforms.

When HH made a demand for an apology and retraction of Nawakwi’s malicious statements, the callous FDD leader, with unguided arrogance and disrespect for our judicial system, responded that she would not relent on her attacks as she was not scared of committing contempt of court.

A person who does not respect our judiciary wants to be Zambia’s vice-president on the PF ticket.

Is this not a joke?

So, suing Nawakwi for defamation of character was the best decision HH could make, considering that her diarrhoeal mouth was not ready to cease the PF-sponsored slander propaganda.

Going by the authenticity of the ownership documents the UPND leader displayed as he addressed the nation recently, he is, without a doubt, going to prove Nawakwi’s shameless lies.

And that could only mean one thing; the venomous Nawakwi preparing for bankruptcy, for there is no way, given her dire financial position, she would raise the US$3 million Hichilema is claiming in damages.

As if Nawakwi’s problems with the law were not enough, there is a simmering revolt within the FDD membership demanding for her to step down in respect of Article 42 of the party constitution which only allows the party president two consecutive five-year terms.

Nawakwi took over the FDD presidency from Lieutenant-General Christon Tembo in 2005, which makes her the third-longest-serving party president in Zambian history.

Only United National Independence Party’s founding president Kenneth Kaunda and Brigadier-General Godfrey Miyanda of the Heritage Party have served longer than her.

And this is the woman asking why HH, who only came into active politics 14 years ago, is yet to become Zambian president!

Yet, Nawakwi has been in politics for 30 years.
Perhaps, this is a topic for another day if she survives the misdemeanour she is currently embroiled in.

Let us all agree that Nawakwi, a graduate of economics from the University of Zambia, is not a fool and she is probably already calculating how to extricate herself from the self-created political and legal quagmire.

If a competent and independent court of law sends her to prison for defamation of character or contempt of court, she will not only play the victim button but also expect to receive both local and international attention and support.

Although Nawakwi appears- as she claims– as one out to ensure accountability by those involved in the handling of the privatisation process under the MMD government, the route she has taken is self-destructive.

And what accountability can she talk about when she is alleged to have used her position as finance minister to buy three state farms?

Clearly, Nawakwi has been harbouring so much hatred for HH that she was ready to concoct any lies against the man.

Former livestock and fisheries deputy minister Lackson Kazabu had warned that Nawakwi’s ‘pregnancy’ with so much hatred for HH could lead to dangerous revelations that might not sit well with her as one of the key players in the privatisation process.
Perhaps, the question remains.

With the mess she has put herself in, exposing herself as a shameless liar and clueless former finance minister, how does she spin her character to remain relevant in the country’s political dispensation?

While Nawakwi is deluded by self-importance, her political fortunes now hang on a very thin thread as bankruptcy awaits her.

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