Opinion: Zambia Gains Nothing by Insulting South Africa

Jacob-ZumaThe latest diplomatic spat between South African President Jacob Zuma and Zambian leader Michael Sata is not only unnecessary, but extremely unhealthy and dangerous to our country and its good neighbourliness.

The incident in question stems from President Sata’s crusade to seek revenge against former President Rupiah Banda, which has not gone over well with neighboring governments. Apparently former President Banda made a visit to the High Commission of South Africa yesterday – something that Sata himself would do regularly as an opposition leader – and the perceived audacity of this visit provoked the fury of the state.

The Post Newspaper, widely acknowledged as President Sata’s personal mouthpiece, published a salacious article highlighting former President Banda’s meeting, followed by a very harsh personal attack against President Zuma and the South African people by editor Fred M’membe, which simply would not have been possible without the personal approval of State House.

It seems President Sata is ready to sacrifice the strong and firm diplomatic foundation Zambia has for a long time cultivated with its neighours for the sole purposes of satisfying his ego and furthering the agenda of a corrupt cartel led by Fred M’membe and his former business partner, the Director of Public Prosecutions Mutembo Nchito, who are seeking to wipe out the opposition and install the deeply unpopular Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba as president.

Clearly, M’membe – the Post Newspaper owner – has traded what was left of his journalistic reputation to become a big businessman and engage in shadow politics. M’membe is determined to do anything and convict fourth Zambian president Rupiah Banda for crimes only himself and his minions believe in, which, according to number of sources close to the investigation, are not backed by any evidence.

The damage caused to Zambia’s relations with arguably the most important government on the continent – not to mention the deeply personal insults to President Zuma – are a humiliation to the nation. And what was the perceived benefit of such a reckless smear? What do we gain from angering our friends? Unfortunately for M’membe, his mission to isolate and taint Rupiah’s long-standing credible image both at home and abroad is not working. As a result, he now wants to put the country on a collision course with its neigbours.

Acting as the communications figurehead of the Patriotic Front, M’membe’s false courage is deceiving his conscience, and today he had the audacity to expose it through threats and childish taunts. It is the behaviour of a government, and indeed a cartel, that knows full well that they are breaking the law, and are preparing to escape any sort of international accountability – which is very similar to how Robert Mugabe built his rotten state.

“We value our place in SADC but we have not surrendered our sovereignty to any of our highly respected neighbours, including South Africa,” M’membe writes, clearly acknowledging that Zambia is preparing itself to become a discredited, isolated, pariah state. “We, therefore, appeal to all the foreign missions in Zambia to be careful with the way they deal with Rupiah and the situation he finds himself in. They shouldn’t deceive themselves that they will be allowed to place the interests of Rupiah above those of the Zambian people.”

This venom targetted at foreign mission is as a result of frustrations that the persecution of Rupiah engineered by M’membe’s partner Nchito is not getting the support he once thought it would command. Donors, who lavishly funded the anti-corrpution drive and prosectution of second Replican president Fredereick Chiluba, are not willing to play into these games anymore.

And when Rupiah visited the South African embassy, M’membe found an opportunity to pilk in the face of the Zambian public at the expense of the country’s peace. In his usual cunning and dishonest manner, he claims the information about Rupiah was from embassy staff.

Undoubtedly, Sata is jittery that he has not recieved overwhelming support from his neigbours on the persecution of Rupiah and he is monitoring every one of his moves. This is why the intelligence system was present to captuare Rupiah’s meeting at the South African High Commission in Lusaka, which as it stands, represents a serious breach of diplomatic protocol by attempting to spy on another nation’s embassy.

What was truly astonishing – and likely the reason behind President Zuma’s angry phone call putting President Sata in his place – was that M’membe sought to accuse Zuma of corruption. This, coming from the guy who has orchestrated an illegal judicial review panel designed to fire any judge that rules on a case requiring him and Nchito to repay a $4 million loan to the Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ). If this is not the most naked case of corruption ever performed before our eyes, I don’t know what is.

M’membe and Sata are very much aware that the path on which they are driving Zambia is very dangerous. Zambia has no capacity to wage either an economic or any form of war with South Africa or any of its neigbours. From a security perspective, Zambia is extremely ill-prepared to deal with poor relations with neighbors, with a dilapidated Air Force, insufficient border security, and vulnerability to neighboring conflicts. Our security is based upon positive diplomacy and healthy proactive engagement in the Southern Africa region.

It is therefore extremely irresponsible for Sata, who should spend more time seeking treatment and concentrating on his poor state of health, rather than insulting such an important partner as South Africa using M’membe as his barking dog.

In their determination to falsely vilify Rupiah Banda and sideline both Nevers Mumba and Hakainde Hichilema, Sata and M’membe are driving Zambia towards international isolation and a rapid loss of credibility as a government. Never before in our history have we lost so many friends so quickly, and now after lobbing attacks at Zuma, the PF will find itself even more lonely in their construction of their one-party state.


  1. Levy

    Wapya Munzi. Zambia has gone to the dogs

  2. Iyeee...

    Chanda Chimba III warned us of this vernomous pact.

  3. Ba Kolwe

    You’ve twisted the information you bargas.
    It’s you who is trying to create enmity btn Zed and SA.
    Stop publishing such articles or also…

    • Realist

      You are a useful idiot, this article is serving the majority of Zambians who do not agree wth Mmembe’s article.

    • Miodon

      As an independent minded person what I see in this article is THE TRUTH. Sata and his PF are leading Zambia down the path to disaster due to his stupidity and ignorance.

      If you are too blind or prejudiced to see facts in front of your eyes sorry for you. You will suffer the consequences when the economy collapses and your kids are starving!

    • Ricardo

      Just read M’membe’s editorial in his Friday 29 March,2013 Edition of the Post Newspaper.You will then see that an apology from the Zambian Government to President Zuma will be more appropriate.

  4. Evans Mbulo

    Ka mmembe is just a conceited faggot who overvalues his importance. Whats wrong with Rupiah visiting the South African High Commission? If he is guilty of the charges against him it is not the South African Government who will decide but the Zambian courts of law, so why the anger when Rupiah visits the South Africans. Let him visit who ever he wants!

  5. Mphangwe

    It is shameful that both Mmembe and Sata have been exposed as the greatest LIARS this region has ever known. This newly acquired Mmembe-Sata alliance carries serious repercussions for the two conspirators. Both Mmembe and Sata, including members of Sata’s family and genuine PF supporters, must take note of the following concerns:

    The life-span of the PF govt will never extend beyond 2016, even if the ailing Sata miraculously remains alive to degenerate into a Chainama inmate by then.

    No African Government – including Zimbabwe and Malawi – will ever trust Zambian official pronouncements under the PF regime. In this regard, Security systems in African states will place their intelligence personnel on full alert to analyse the movements and utterances of the two conspirators. This will effectively impair the operations of professional Zambian Intelligence Officers who will be forced to fold their arms and file away their data in dispair. This will then force Sata to rely on his Sangomas for vital state security data.

    Zambia’s booming economy is closely intertwined with South Africa, among the five BRICS developing states in the world. But the governments of Botswana, China, Cuba, India, Korea, Malawi and Zimbabwe, that are seemingly friendly to Sata will have no option but to be realistic and adjust their strategies so that their thriving economies are in good books with the rest of the world. This will effectively isolate Zambia.

    Sata and his wife are alive today because Presidents Mwanawasa and Rupiah Banda facilitated their evacuation to get the best medication in South Africa. Many Zambians seek medical care in South Africa too. Hence the clique headed by Mmembe, Mutembo Nchito, and Kabimba, are endangering Sata’s life by attacking the ANC Govt in South Africa which has the best medical facilities in southern Africa.

    In the event of a serious life-threatening emergency, the PF Govt will find it difficult to evacuate Sata for medical treatment to South Africa because of the strained relations created by economic rascals comprised of Mmembe, Nchito, Kabimba, Mahthani, including such appendages as Sakeni, Silvia Masebo, Dr. Matibini, Mumba Malila, Musa Mwenye, Lombe Chibesakunda, Namugala, Kachingwe, Daniel Munkhombwe, etc as we know them.

    Besides, African leaders in Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, have in their archives data to reveals that Sata was NEVER a freedom fighter but a STOOGE of the British Empire. In this regard SADC leaders have distanced themselves from the PF Govt. Sata is a loner with no regard for the future welfare of his own family.

  6. Mubanga

    Zambia under President Sata who is held at ransom by Mmembe and Nchito is on a cliff!
    Any time soon, you will hear the loudness of her fall!
    Unless we become less gullible, more vigilant and patriotic, our Zambia is destined for self-destruction.
    We cannot have a cartel of individuals keep raping our Mother Zambia while we look on! This adamancy and self induced orgasm by this ruling party will just land us into severe and irreparable damage!

  7. charles

    you idiots where are you getting the information from? Has HEMCS said anything on thr frivolous attempt by Bwezani to seek asylum fro SA?? Swines!!!

  8. Majaliwa

    in as much as I appreciate this website because of some latest news, I should as well state that I doubt the editor’s sanity whenever I read their opinion.

    • Rabid Dog

      Majaliwa, what about your sanity? The editor is spot on.

  9. JOMBO


    What happened yesterday at the South African High Commission in Lusaka raises a lot of questions.
    Staff of the High Commission were asked to leave the premises before 10:00 hours. And by 09:45 hours, all members of staff of the High Commission who had been asked to leave had left. All this was in preparation for Rupiah Banda’s visit to the High Commission. Indeed, around 10:00 hours Rupiah appeared at the High Commission in a Toyota Land Cruiser that was heavily tinted and its number plate removed.
    Acting on a tip from members of staff of the embassy, we positioned our journalists at the High Commission in time for Rupiah’s arrival. Our staff saw Rupiah in his heavily tinted Toyota Land Cruiser. And they recognised this Toyota Land Cruiser as one of the vehicles that is usually in his convoy. There was no mistake about Rupiah’s identity. Even the guard who appears in our front page picture saluting confirmed that the person he was saluting was Rupiah. This said, the question that arises is why did Rupiah have to appear at the South African High Commission in Lusaka under such high secrecy – staff of the High Commission sent away, Rupiah himself moving incognito in a heavily tinted motor vehicle and without the identifying number plate?
    There is definitely some element of mischief here on the part of the South African High Commission in Lusaka and on Rupiah’s part. Both didn’t want that visit to be known; both wanted it to be secret. But why should a visit to the South African High Commission by a former Zambian president be a matter of such high secrecy? What are they hiding? Who are they trying to hide from? And why should they hide?
    We hope the South African government of Jacob Zuma is not trying to interfere in the legitimate internal affairs of Zambia. Rupiah is facing legitimate criminal charges before our courts of law. Rupiah is not before a kangaroo court but before the courts he himself says he has confidence in. If Rupiah does not agree with his prosecution, he can seek legal redress within this same judiciary he has declared confidence in.
    Rupiah has challenged the removal of his presidential immunity in the High Court of Zambia. No one has stopped him from doing so. And Rupiah is before a court that he believes will accord him a fair and just hearing. This being the case, where is the problem? What wrong has the Zambian government committed?
    Is it wrong for the Zambian government to prosecute a former president who is believed to have committed a crime? The Constitution of Zambia and the laws of this country do provide procedures for bringing a former president to court to answer charges for the wrongs he did while in office. And if this is unlawfully done, the laws of this country do give adequate protection to Rupiah to seek legal redress, as he has done, through judicial review. Where is the problem? What is South Africa’s concern?
    Didn’t South Africa itself prosecute Zuma when he was deputy president for corruption? Didn’t the African National Congress terminate the presidency of Thabo Mbeki over these issues? Did the Zambian government protest that? Did the Zambian government interfere in their internal affairs? There are questions being raised about the expenditure on Zuma’s personal home; has the Zambian government or have the Zambian politicians raised any issues concerning this?
    Not very long ago, the South African police massacred defenceless miners in a manner that some of its own human rights activists are comparing to the apartheid Sharpeville massacre. No one in Zambia or indeed the whole SADC region raised any issue with Zuma or the South African government. This is a matter the South African authorities are dealing with internally.
    We know that when it comes to issues of corruption, South Africa is not a good example for the region. It is a country in which corruption seems to be taking root very fast. While we respect the courage and determination of the people of that heroic country to free themselves from apartheid and its evils, we do not look up to them in matters of fighting corruption. They have not shown exemplary behaviour. And our standards on the issue of corruption should not in any way be dictated by South African conduct. They have very little positive to show on this score. But it is not our duty to interfere with what formula they want to use to share the resources of that country. If corruption is their way of empowerment, we may have a problem with it, but we have no right to tell them what to do or what not to do. They are a sovereign country and a sovereign people, but so are we and our country. Here we have vowed not to allow our leaders to abuse their stewardship role to enrich themselves, their families and friends. We think there is a better and more honest way of empowering ourselves.
    If Rupiah feels victimised and believes he is being unfairly treated, our courts of law are open to him. Let him go there and seek redress as he is already doing. There is no redress over this matter that the South African High Commission or indeed the South African government will accord him. This is not a political matter for political lobbying; it is a legal matter that requires a legal defence. No amount of sneaking into and out of this and that embassy or high commission will save Rupiah from going to jail if he is found to be guilty of abusing his office and stealing public funds to enrich himself and his children.
    Rupiah, despite having held the office of president, is a citizen of this country, who is equal to all other citizens before the law. There is a rule of law in this country. And the rule of law is based on equality before the law, or equal protection of the law as it is often phrased. This is fundamental to any just and democratic society. Whether politically or financially powerful, all are entitled to equality before the law.
    The lifting of Rupiah’s immunity made him equal to other citizens before the law. Rupiah will be prosecuted in the same way any other citizen will be prosecuted for committing a crime. In fact, in Rupiah’s case, he is being treated with more respect or courtesy than an ordinary citizen. For this, he should be grateful.
    We, therefore, appeal to all the foreign missions in Zambia to be careful with the way they deal with Rupiah and the situation he finds himself in. They shouldn’t deceive themselves that they will be allowed to place the interests of Rupiah above those of the Zambian people. If Rupiah matters more to them than the Zambian people, they will soon realise that to us as a nation, the interests of the people take precedence over their commitment to Rupiah. They will also soon realise that Zambia, since independence in 1964, has never been recolonised by any other country. We value our place in SADC but we have not surrendered our sovereignty to any of our highly respected neighbours, including South Africa.
    The behaviour of the South African High Commissioner to Zambia is questionable and needs to be explained. It may be necessary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to summon him to come and explain his behaviour.

  10. CNP-4U

    we need leadership in Zambia..we have a crisis right now..no leadership!!


      No no no!
      The Cobra in hand is better than the hyna in Mapatizya!

  11. Mphangwe

    “CHINVINDINVINDI” you sound as a stray stupid idiot. You better migrate back to your worthless deceptive Post newspaper. You are polluting one of our most credible online media. Your President Sata is a BORN AGAIN KADANSA.

    Thank God education has sharpened my children’s mind-sets as they are now able to assess that the Presidency under Late Mwanawasa and former President Rupiah Banda was more respectable than the Presidency of Ukwa Sata. The youngest boy thinks he sees a GHOST whenever ZNBC TV flashes Sata’s image at their 19:00hrs news bulletin. .

    Since my children can no longer get credible civics lessons from ZNBC Radio and TV I have to buy the Daily Nation which is more informative on local and international news, sports and articles on life sciences.

    I suspect CHINVINDINVINDI is an escape from Chainama Hospital.

  12. pumulo

    I see no diplomacy in our president. The culture of attacks under the name of the cobra will never yield bilateral fruits. I urge our beloved president and his advisers to always take caution when it comes to the commenting….

  13. daniel Habazooka

    Rubbish!!!!You dogs will never get to state house.Sata for life!!

  14. Fenwick

    If I found a genie and he granted me three wishes, the first one would be to wish Mmembe dead..

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