Fred M’membe’s editorials

If you have previously read editorial comments in The Post newspaper predominately written either by the owner Fred M’membe or Director of Public Prosecutions Mutembo Nchito, you’ll have an idea or would understand the venom with which they target their opponents.Of interest in most of the write-ups is the maxim that “those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.” This wise saying has aptly been used when things favour M’membe against his perceived enemies.But reading the editorial titled “Opposition doesn’t engender confidence” in The Post on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 makes one realize that the same words, the same analysis, the same wise saying used on others apply to our own behaviour and character.Increasingly isolated, misinformed, and removed from the unpleasant reality that the rest of us are living, M’membe’s editorial column has come to represent a private inner monologue that is more suited to a psychiatrist’s sofa. It’s a great pity that the main newspaper of our country, for better or worse, has become a source of such profound disinformation both to our citizens, and worse, to the international community. But for M’membe, life on ‘Planet Fred’ is almost always serene, peaceful, and blessed the moral justice of self-certainty.

In his comment, M’membe used opposition Alliance for Democracy and Development president Charles Milupi’s remarks to get at United Party for National Development leader Hakainde Hichilema for his unwavering support of fourth Republican president Rupiah Banda. President Banda is being persecuted by Mutembo and M’membe, the cartel behind President Sata, for what they believed was his role in the collapse of their poorly managed airline – Zambian Airways. That is why he is before court facing those extremely weak charges.

To cunningly disparage Hichilema, M’membe asks; “Look at an opposition leader like Hakainde Hichilema and ask yourself: what does he stand for? What does he believe in? What is it that he’s looking for in politics?”

Before anyone answers M’membe’s problems, he offers the response saying, “Clearly, Hakainde stands for nothing. What matters to Hakainde is whether you support him or not. If you support Hakainde, you can be anything, you can do anything, he will have no problems with you. Look at William Banda! How can a serious politician, a politician of honour and integrity, take William for a political advisor and right hand man?”

Unless M’membe knows otherwise, Hichilema’s position on corruption has not changed irrespective of who is involved, and unless M’membe appointed William Banda as special advisor to Hichilema, the UPND has made it very clear the former Lusaka Province MMD chairman remains an ordinary member of the party.

Instead of discussing the presence of convicted thugs in charge of President Michael Sata’s special advisory security team that are terrorrising citizens such as Judge Ngoma, M’membe chooses to target Hichilema for accommodating William Banda.

Analysing M’membe’s line of argument confirms that indeed ‘evil sometimes seem good to a man whose mind a god leads to destruction.’ This perfectly describes M’membe and the cartel he leads that holds President Sata hostage. If there is a person in Zambian politics that has shifted goal-posts more than anything or anyone, M’membe stands out.

In 2006, this Sata being praised today by M’membe was called all sorts of names. He was corrupt, a tribalist and far from a saviour. Today, M’membe parades Sata as the best thing ever to happen to Zambia. What has changed? Nothing. Sata is still the same if not worse now that age is taking its toll on him.

What M’membe should be concerned with is the management of the country’s affairs which are degenerating to embarrassing levels instead of continuously showing paranoia of a possible Presidency by Hichilema.

For all their promises, the PF has lamentably failed to deliver and these are things M’membe and Mutembo Nchito should be addressing, should be worrying over, not Hichilema. A new constitution was promised within 90 days. It’s not ready, it may not be ready this year and we don’t know when it will be ready. This should worry M’membe and the cartel if they are genuinely concerned with social justice.

The Barotseland Agreement, according to M’membe, Sata and Mutembo, was to be honoured within 90 days of assuming power. This promise, the Lozis that were used in the campaign against the MMD, are patiently waiting to see become a reality. The 90 days has passed, what next? M’membe should offer answers, not targeting Hichilema.

Instead of bribing the Litunga, the same people who claim to be fighting corruption, the Lozis want to know how they will be honoured through their Barotseland Agreement for rendering Sata the support he needed in 2011.

The country’s international reputation has drastically dropped, going from a good and exemplary democracy to something of an autocratic or dictatorial regime and this is what should be concerning President Sata, or his machinery led by M’membe, Nchito and Kabimba.

It is actually hard to know who to blame for the current failure of governance in Zambia: President Sata, or the M’membe cartel. But the fact is both are responsible for the rapid dissolution of public service and the damage to Zambia’s international reputation.

Clearly, before destruction, M’membe could being going mad considering the clueless articles his PF mouthpiece – The Post – is discharging.

In thinking that he is telling off Hichilema, any right thinking Zambian knows that’s exactly what he is. A man with no principles, as long as you massage his ego, give him unlimited access to state machinery he will call the devil a saint. M’membe befits the man who stands for nothing, not Hichilema.

All Zambians are aware and are able to see what sort of an opposition the country has, one that is able to stand the cruelty of a group of evil men plotting disaster against their own country.

Even where they are in charge, in their own political party, there is no single or unitary PF but rather a collection of competing factions. There is Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba commonly known as GBM, Alexander Chikwanda on one side, Given Lubinda on the other, Chishimba Kambwili and Kabimba all pulling in different directions to topple the ailing Sata.

Look at Kabimba, the man does not have his own party’s support, and many PF members are deeply embarrassed and offended by what M’membe has done and continues to do to the nation. The newspaper man is totally scared that the moment Sata, who is unwell and may not continue after 2016, steps aside he may be in big trouble. He certainly will have a lot to answer.

M’membe knows that he can’t fight corruption because he is himself corrupt and a product of corruption but has woven it in a package to fight others.

It is not Hichilema or any opposition member who told us about GBM and the tender at Zesco involving pole. It is not the opposition that surrendered Kabimba to ACC on kickbacks from Trafigura.

But the same M’membe can’t competently see anything corrupt and find a logical conclusion to these investigations. Everyone knows it is because he has to protect his interest by not pursuing that investigations. Isn’t that corruption? These are corruption cases any media can pursue and deliver proper updates without any political interest.

Today, he is relying on Charles Milupi to get at Hichilema. But this is the same M’membe who has previously told us Milupi is not a serious politician such that even in his own area – Western Province – he can only manage one MP. But because what Milupi says suits M’membe, he is a man whose advise the opposition must heed. Wait until Milupi calls M’membe to come to equity with clean hands and see what sort of opposition garbage Milupi will turn out to be in the eyes of the M’membe. Is that what M’membe thinks is consistency, principles and a man who stands for something?

Just look at how PF and its managers are scrumbling for Eurobond funds at the Zambia Railways.

Professor Clive Chirwa is M’membe’s friend and appointee. The dissolved Zambia Railways board chairman Mark Chona is also M’membe’s friend. And they are both accusing each other of corruption. What happened to the birds of the same feather? All of M’membe’s friends are tainted with impropriety. What does this say about him?

Fortunately, Zambians are not gullible, across all sectors, including those kaponyas, taxi drivers, marketers and street vendors, they are all able to see that the PF government has proven itself woefully incompetent, and now only among the opposition can they find talented, fresh, accomplished figures in both the UPND and MMD with real ideas to help move Zambia forward.


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