Today’s letters to the editor

Election through the court

Dear Editor,

This should be the last time that we have to wait for so long before we know the winner of an election. This has never tour country before and should never happen in the future.

What is most infuriating is the fact that any logical analysis of the facts on the ground will show that Edgar Lungu won by a popular vote cast by a majority of people who voted on merit and not tribe or other consideration.

Anybody who wins Lusaka and the Copperbelt will do so not because of preponderance of tribe but superiority of argumentation and presentation.

Nobody doubts that Edgar won the election both in terms of the figures and by moral persuasion. I cannot understand why HH would master moral courage to challenge the election when his vote was clearly regional.

The seven Provinces gave him a vote and in some cases he won a sit or two and yet in the three provinces that gave him the most votes, the turn ouit was above the 52 percent national average. They were averaging 80 percent. Any student of statistics will show that this level is abnormal; it does not tally with normal human behavior. We have to look for answers outside the vote itself.

One of the clearest attributes favoring Edgar was his disdain for the cartel. This group of men and women who have now hijacked the Law Association of Zambia are loathed with a passion among many Zambians who hate injustice and abuse of power.

For as long as HH has embraced the cartel, he can be rest assured of a negative vote from most educated Zambians who believe in good governance and accountability.

Zambians will never forget the manner in which three high court justices were unceremoniously removed from office at the bidding of the cartel because they wanted to hide the Development Bank of Zambia loan.

They are now fighting Edgar because he has exposed them even more. This is why most people in Lusaka decided on a man who would fight to create a just and accountable Government, a man who had no qualms to dismiss one of his aides at this very crucial time when he needs all the support.

Next time let us gop back to one past the post. We should also task thew Electoral Commission of Zambia to undertake a very thorough examination of the factors and conditions that gave rise to this very unbalanced voting pattern.

We must safeguard democracy jealously. Wellington Mwendapole


Plans to create the ministry of religion

Dear Editor,

As International Institute for Democracy and Conflict Resolutions (IIDCR), we welcome plans by President Edgar Lungu to create a stand alone Ministry of Religion.

Though there are other faiths like Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism etc, we feel the creation of this ministry will enhance the declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation.

We say this knowing that Christianity has been very much at the heart of Zambia since the European colonial explorations into the interior of Africa in the mid 19th century.

The spirit of God has always been on this region since David Livingstone who contributed to evangelical expansion set foot on this land.

The rise in missionary zeal was heightened with the expansion of European empires, opening up unknown territories and bringing other cultures to the attention of the newly formed mission societies.

The creation of the Ministry of Religion will also give the much-needed guidance to ecclesiastical representative bodies like The Episcopal Conference of Zambia (ECZ), the Christian Council of Zambia (CCZ) and the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ).

The declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation by the second republican president Frederick Chiluba has already borne fruition by God giving us God-fearing leader like President Edgar Lungu.

Zambia is a blessed country as evidenced by the peace that has prevailed in the country defying all principalities of darkness.

The Ministry of Religion would further cement the fact that Christianity is the official religion in Zambia according to the 1996 constitution since the vast majority of Zambians are Christians.

However, we feel this declaration would further be entrenched by making the faith more visible by effecting several measures among them:

1.Making religious education compulsory from nursery to tertiary levels of education.

2.Naming some streets after Hebrew or Biblical names eg Shekinah road, Tehillah Boulevard or Shalom Street.

3.Criminalising capital punishment and granting prisoners the right to vote.

4.Having a giant billboard at Kenneth Kaunda International airport with a towering picture of Jesus Christ with words ‘welcome to Zambia, a Christian Nation.’

5.Re-branding the legal system to make it more biblical-centred.

6.Criminalising elements of ancestral worship from traditional ceremonies and changing the witchcraft Act to make it relevant to the declaration of Zambia as a Christian Nation.

7.Enhancing October 28 as a day for National Prayers.

All in all, we strongly welcome plans to have this important ministry that will cement the declaration of Zambia as a Christian Nation. Pastor John Mwape, IIDCR Secretary General

TAZARA’s fuel transportation


Dear Editor,

 I read with interest about the suggestion made by the Energy Forum Zambia chairperson Johnstone Chikwanda that the Zambia Tanzania Railway Authority (TAZARA) should diversify into fuel transportation by road and participate in the haulage of the 500 million litres which the Zambian government imports via Tanzania every year (“TAZARA should diversify to road fuel transportation” – Daily Nation, August 31, 2016).

It made me reflect on the haulage capacities of the fuel tanker trucks which range from 20,800 to 43,900 litres per tanker as opposed to the railway fuel wagon’s haulage capacity of 70,400 litres per fuel tank wagon and the benefits or lack of them to TAZARA’s diversification into fuel haulage by road in order to support its arbitrage in rail business.

Common sense suggests that it makes more business sense for TAZARA to just beef its fleet of fuel tank wagons through the proposed lease or loan facility other than the procurement of fuel tanker trucks and have some of them be registered in Tanzania.

Our country is land-linked with most imports and exports having to be transported by road. However, this mode of transport has not been a blessing to the country in terms of wear and tear to the road network.

The mining of minerals, especially in North-Western Province, has also brought a curse to the sustainability of the Chingola – Solwezi road whose remedy lies in the speedy construction and completion of the Enoch Kavindele’s rail line between the two mining towns. Added to this, is the massive environmental degradation and consequent loss to bio-diversity brought about by ‘abnormal load’ consignments ferried by truckers to and from South Africa.

It is against this background that lessons should have been learnt by management at both TAZARA and Zambia Railways the need to have collaborated with the Road Development Agency (RDA)  to put in place mechanisms of limiting humongous cargo via road haulage to save the road network from any further battering from ‘abnormal load’ consignments by truckers.

The expectations of the majority of Zambians is that any consignment that would be deemed to be above the weight limit be it dead-weight or volumetric-weight such humongous cargo must be channeled to TAZARA or Zambia Railways for handling and transportation, this way our road network would be durable and last long. As a result, the two Zambian companies in rail business would effectively compete with the foreign truckers.

Besides, TAZARA recently signed deals to transport millions of litres of fuel for DR Congo and Malawi whose total consignment was in excess of 60 million litres.

Although the commercial viability of these deals is yet to be established, but they have brought huge expectations and hope in the railway sector, but will the notorious fuel-shortage-curse strike again when Indeni Petroleum Refinery in Ndola gets closed for its usual annual maintenance?

Hopefully not, when TAZARA gets involved into fuel transportation by rail – its core business – rather than by road.

Mubanga Luchembe,