Sata’s 90 days of trial and error

The constitution of Zambia states very clearly that a person who is elected president of Zambia will be given five years to rule unless he or she resigns, is impeached or kicks the bucket.

The constitution also says a candidate for presidency shall be literate or something to that effect. We assume therefore that all the individuals who sought election on September 20th 2011, knew that if they won, they would have five years to implement their ideas and skills.

But Michael Sata, who won the election, promised that he will develop Zambia within 90 days of being sworn in.

No one told Sata to make this pledge. He started it himself and it became one of the three loudest slogans of his campaigns. The two others were ‘more money in your pockets’ and ‘don’t kubeba.’

Most sober people challenged Sata and his party on this kind of cheap politicking and blatant lying. His response was that he is a man of action and that he built Lusaka, Chongwe and other towns.

But now 90 days have passed and what has Sata got to show?

Let us start with the simplest one. Is it true that Zambians have more money in their pockets now than they did on September 19 or before that? Or let us ask the question this way, how often do you hear Sata and his minions talk about more money in our pockets these days?

Is it true honestly that fewer Zambians went to bed hungry last night than on September 20, 2011?

The truth is that, after 90 days, Sata looks confused and does not know what to do. It is true that Sata is in a confused state. You can see how he has been trying to hide behind Kenneth Kaunda. He has become so obsessed with KK that he wishes he could be co-president.

His apologists, who are liars like him, are trying to tell the nation that he didn’t promise to develop the country in 90 days.

Apart from being an insult to us, it is an admission of failure.

Their argument now is that they promised to set the right framework for the country to develop.

If that was the case, they would have started with the supreme law of the land, the constitution. They would have enacted the Mungomba draft constitution within 90 days instead of engaging in the money and time wasting jokes of appointing experts. The Mungomba draft constitution is a perfect document that just needs to be enacted the way it is.

Sata promised to reduce the size of cabinet in order to save money. Yes, when Sata came to power he reduced the number of cabinet ministers just by two. But what about deputy-ministers? How many are there?  Was he not swearing some more two days before his 90th day in office? Deputy minsters are paid almost the same perks as full ministers.

He also moved around some ministers from Lusaka to Southern and so forth? Yet this is the man who says he will reduce the cost of running business. Did he or anyone close to him consider the administrative cost of changing ministers?

Does he know that tax payers lost millions of Kwacha by replacing Miles Sampa’s business cards with that of the weak soldier Gerry Chanda?

Sata, in his usual populist manner, cheated us that he wanted to use a minibus from Livingstone airport to town as a way of saving money. That was serious nonsense. Why didn’t he go by bus from Lusaka?

This is the man who is encouraging and condoning wastage of money through unnecessary bye-elections. A few weeks ago he was celebrating the resignation of Joseph Lungu as MP for Msanzala. Sata knew this would be costly to tax payers but he said Lungu has a constitutional right to resign and that there is money in the budget for bye-elections.

Is that the change he brought in 90 days? Was not that we rejected in the MMD?

90 days in Sata’s presidency, the country has no clear foreign policy. Everything, from Chinese cookies to USA cancer money is done by trial and error.

Apart from those of Yamfwa Mukanga, Emmanuel Mwamba, Inutu Suba and other chaps who are given direct jobs which Sata found already in place, how many jobs has he created so far?

If you fire Chileshe and give the job to Mundia, have you created employment?

It seems all Sata has been doing is firing and hiring thus fitting people in the same job opportunities he found.

Does Sata think that by allowing his friends the street vendors to take over the street he is empowering them with jobs? Does he know that the local authorities have been deprived of a vital source of income which they normally get from registered shop owners whose premises have now been blocked by vendors?

Have any of Sata’s female relatives ever been insulted by call boys when they are passing innocently in town?

Guy Scott says when he is passing people are shouting. But yes, what do you expect from streets full of call-boys? After urinating on bank walls they feel relieved enough to start shouting. To Scott, that is achievement.

Sata promised to restore the Barotseland agreement within 90 days, but up to now, Roger Chongwe is still doctoring the clear submissions of the people of that area. He wants to find something that will please his master. Something that will blame his immediate predecessor but nothing beneficial to the people of Western province will come out.

Sata promised to distribute Zambia’s wealth from the mines and we all understood that to mean that he will re-introduce windfall tax or find a better way to make sure the profits from the mines comes to us. But alas, he makes that stupid three per cent adjustment in mineral royalties. Is this the kind of changes Zambians really voted for?

He promised a free press but went ahead to completely control the public media by appointing editors without calling for applications from suited and qualified journalists.

And the poor chaps, who have been thus appointed, in shame, are the ones telling us daily how independent they are. Please, we can see for ourselves what is happening. You are political appointees and like most political appointees, you have no job security. So you depend on licking the shoes of your appointing authority. You may think you are cheating people but you are just cheating yourselves. Those jobs should have been advertised. As it is, you are not there on merit but political patronage.

Within 90 days, Sata has managed to divide Zambia into tribal zones. This he has done by appointing a family, rainy forest as cabinet. Zambians are now more ethnically sensitive than at any other time of the country’s history. Sata is the first president ever to be told by chiefs that he is a tribalist. And the chiefs are 100 per cent correct; Sata is a shameless tribalist who risks the unity of this nation.

The other thing Sata talked about is corruption. Now corruption is something real that needs to be uprooted from Zambia. But so far as we can see, Sata is using a good cause to fight political opponents. Like in everything else Sata does, he is not sincere. There must be something else that motivates him apart from public interest.

Everyone knows that policemen and civil servants in Zambia are very corrupt. Infact there was report a few weeks ago which said police officers and other civil servants are the most corrupt public officials. If that is the case, why is it that we don’t see these policemen and civil servants being arrested? Why do we only hear names of politicians? Yes, corrupt politicians need to be jailed but what about the people who are practicing corruption every day?

With these 90 days, we are now able to judge how Sata’s performance will be in the next five years. Having failed on all fronts and gone back on all promises he made, we can safely say, again, that we expect nothing from Sata.

He has just been making careless and unsearched statements on various issues.

We expect more hot air and empty announcements but nothing concrete on the ground.

We however wish him luck and hope that maybe by God’s grace; he will be able to achieve something before he leaves office otherwise he will also leave in shame like someone we know.

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