OPINION: Lessons from Chibamba Kanyama Rash IMF Tweet



By Sunday Chilufya Chanda

Over the last few hours social media activity has been in frenzy reminiscent of Brownian motion.

Feverish discussions in cyber space and elsewhere have been agitated by Mr Chibamba Kanyama’s alarming tweet to the effect that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has “withdrawn” its representative in Zambia, and “does not plan to have a replacement anytime soon”.  He went on to paint a gloomy picture putting Zambia in the same category with countries that were in dire economic straits.

Given his academic background and professional standing, Mr Kanyama’s tweet was taken by many in the cyber public and elsewhere, as the infallible gospel truth. As it turns out, our brother is flesh and blood and is consequently prone to error from time to time; by design or by default.

Mr Kanyama is a man of considerable letters- at first degree level having double Majors in Economics and Mass Communication and other respectable post graduate qualifications and Masters Degrees.

He is also immensely experienced in handling corporate affairs having held various top level portfolios in the private and quasi-government sectors as well the IMF.

It is therefore baffling that a man of such a renowned pedigree would make such rudimentary errors and be the vector of such contagious and grievous hearsay laced with a subtle tinge of malevolence. The sad irony is that the contagion has the potential to harm Chibamba’s credibility more than anybody else. One cannot help but question the whys and wherefores of his rashness.

It is good that he has retracted his earlier position but his mild “retraction” is not commensurate with the extent of the malignant nature of the malady.

His indiscretion comes barely hours after the Central Bank Governor Dr Denny Kalyalya cautioned the opposition and economic doomsayers against issuing reckless remarks that have the potential to misrepresent the status-quo and discourage investment in Zambia, consequently harming the economy.

We all need to practice responsible patriotism which says ZAMBIA FIRST!

Aristotle said something like” A citizen is a citizen because he has a certain duty to undertake in society and that constitutes his right to be a citizen”

We need to be Patriotic. Being in opposition doesn’t entail opposing everything and anything including those things that benefit the ordinary man and are good for posterity.

Being in opposition also doesn’t mean wishing ill for the country with the intent of making the ruling party look bad.

Our Head of State His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu is President for all; he has noble intentions. He is on the right path and ought to be supported by all.

There must be no reverse patriotism. The opposition is a vital necessity for the proposition of alternative ideas besides providing checks and balances.

We may not always agree, but we always need to stand as one under the green, red, black and orange flag with the eagle flying high.

Patriotism is love of country. You cannot love your country by wishing ill of those the people have chosen to put at the wheel.

Their fate is your fate. We don’t always have to agree, but we must find the common ground, we must build bridges across our differences to pursue the common good.

You cannot be patriotic without a conscience. When we lose our conscience; we lose our souls and then we lose our nation.

We give our brother Chibamba the benefit of the doubt as we doubt that he would wish economic ruin upon his country.

Let this be a learning curve for him. As he tries to share his knowledge and expertise, we call upon him to always exercise the social and economic wisdom he has become famous for. Let him be reminded Knowledge without wisdom can tarnish the reputation of even the most eminent just as it can unwittingly turn patriots into dogmatists.

To whom much is given; much is expected.


The Author is PF Media Director

At the Patriotic Front  Secretariat



  1. Vinz

    Does it mean patriotism should hinder citizens from airing their views especially on matters that hinge directly on their lives eg the economy. We are not blind to the fact that the economy is collapsing and inspite of the fear that assertions made might scare away potential investors, constructive criticism should not be substituted all in the name of patriotism. We have the right to talk when things go wrong. I can’t wait to hear the lie the minister of finance will say when Mr chinyama’s assertions are confirmed to be true in no time.

  2. ECL

    How would you call some one Noble with good intent when he or she wants to harm the standard of living for his people??
    Pay road TAX n toll fee
    pay airtime VAT n 30n
    get a big Loan and make it hard to pay back
    Make teachers pay a fee twice in a year
    his he noble, why dosent he think for us Zambians??

  3. Mpombo

    Investigate Chibamba’s ethnicity and tribe before you get surprised at his loyalty towards country. His is to tribe before country. These’re characters that are picked to stand in Lusaka after hoodwinking the public that they have intergrated in Zambian society only to discover the DNA is still Dundumwezi

    • Zebron

      Mpombo belongs to the woods, we don’t expect wisdom from a mpombo

    • Zebron Chivunga

      Mpombo belongs to the woods, we don’t expect wisdom from a mpombo

  4. Marker

    It’s only a dependant or a child from another person can start scandalising the parents ,even on thing he/she can discuss with his parents thinking he will lose nothing.

  5. abilima

    Vinz – Yes, but not with malice. Why is Mr. Kanyama so fast to tread on negativity before he gets the full picture?

    • Joseph.mwape

      Change your attitude stop stealing. Chibamba is Right.

  6. Truth man

    You don’t need to be an expert to express an opinion on the economy of the country.Do not mislead people by mixing economics with politics.The people who make policies are politicians and in most cases these are the policies which land us in problems such as the current situation we are in today. This economy was so good before the MMD left power , but all of a sudden things went bad. All campaign promises are almost at a stand still.The old politics of trying to shut people up went with UNIP. I don’t think Chibamba Kanyama is an opposition member. He is just a professional who like any citizen has the right to express an opinion.Writing jaw breakers won’t help this country. Let us learn to call a spade a spade.Being on the defensive is good ,because i know that everyone knows which side of his slice of bread has butter.However let fairness prevail.

  7. EDogg

    Chibamba is entitled to his well informed opinion. The problem with political minions and cadres is that they do not believe in accepting other people’s opinions. We should accept to co-exist despite having differing political affiliations. Acting like demi-gods when we are in power will not take us anywhere as a nation. Peace!

  8. Razor

    Monday Chanda you are also prone to error and judgement but you never admit it.

  9. Hebk

    Chibamba belongs to some ethninity who up to now doesnt believe ECL n pf are in power. They are there to disgrace the govt at any given opportunity.So sad my zambia. It has now become how big tribes are to rule. Kaaayaaa….

    • Vinz

      This has nothing to do with Mr kanyama’s ethnicity or not recognizing EL or PF as rulers. Our economy is pathetic and citizens have the right to voice their views.

  10. FGM

    Zambia has brilliant economists in the likes of Ng’andu Magande, H H, Chibamba Kanyama , Yusuf Dodia, Windu Matoka and a few others that if given chance to plan our economic road map Zambia can quickly develop like the Tiger Nations. Unfortunately our political system has sidelined them. And trial and error has stagnated our national economic growth to where we are today.

    • Vinz

      FGM- our leaders are so full of themselves such that any thought of seeking the services of economic gurus like magande would seem like shooting themselves in the head. We will see if IMF will send another envoy.

  11. Leon


  12. FGM

    Thanks Vinz, but they should be patriotic enough. Their trial and error tactics have failed us enough.

    • Vinz

      You are welcome FGM. As long as we continue to have leaders who are after fattening their already fat bank accounts, our economy will go down the Zimbabwe way or worse.

  13. Stephen

    Lets work as a team

  14. Mukwita Mingochi

    Sunday How good you see a spot in your freind’s eye and fail to see the log in your eye.Just help yourself .Pick the Sunday yo u knew after first highschool graduation,where you refer to Kannyama,refer to that Sunday.See what this will remind you.

  15. Mikaeli Raja

    With or without IMF Zambia and all Africa are doomed to fail economically. This is bcz most of us led a life of poverty as colonised people.Our mindset DNA is so engraved in being poor that when the chance to see big money comes our way we stumble and crave to make up for our past miserable life by pocketing as much as we can.This is what caused many African leaders fail their fellow citizens.It’s a malaise that has no cure.It’s a seed planted by our colonial masters purposely. Cry Africa.

  16. Mikaeli Raja

    Look around and see how many African lottery winners lived longer or are still alive today.Why?Unexpected lot of money moved them into a fast forward life,trying to make for lost time : buy cars,houses,drinks ,girls and women in their excitement only to accelerate their untimely demise.Patriotism died a death blow a long time ago.It’s a moribond ploy used to milk the naive.Cisse of Senegal, Lukaku of DRC etc….changed into French,Belgian nationals etc…in order to represent those countries in football.Where is their patriotism?Money?By the way for how long had Charles Musonda abscond from foot national duties? Ask Africans leaders if stealing from their own citizens is patriotism.Eating.

  17. Truth man

    Can you see how big Zambia is?You can run but you can’t hide from the obvious truth.

  18. Mock

    Comment I tend to agree with a Ugandan preacher who appeared on CAMNET TV that patriotic Zambians should always. talk positive and visualise positive future of Zambia.

    • Lyn

      Visualising a positive future for Zambia should not be done at the expense of truth.

  19. FK

    Why is everyone so pre occupied all weekend by a tweet made by an independent free citizen? By the way, what is untruthful about his tweet? Even Government has confirmed the fact; Alfredo Baldini has been recalled before end of tour of duty. Chibamba remains the most bona fide independent minded Zanzibar whom government should embrace. The people of Zambia trust his statements far more than they trust statements of government. I do not see harm he has created unless you tell me Government equally lied. Let us sober up for once; attacking a man of integrity boomerangs; you are now the ones hurting the country. God bless Chibamba Kanyama, true son of the soil; objective, fair and sincere at heart and in conduct.

  20. FK

    Zambian not Zanzibar

  21. Chichi

    What is the fuss all about? If Sunday Chanda had remained quiet, sobered up, thisnisue would have died. Now you have proved for yourselves how powerful Chibamba Kanyama is; he enjoys an incredible following. I do not think you anticipated this outcome from the public. My advice to Chibamba- keep trusting your God. He is using your enemies to exalt you; to place you at a higher platform that’s imagined. All things work together for good to those that love God, those who are called according to His purpose. May God’s purpose be revealed to you.

  22. Mufoi

    This text comes from a well positioned and fed PF cadre who thinks no further than his belly. Things are not okey for the nation and u want people to pretend that all is well. Let’s not wait until there is no where to turn to for is to act, its always unrealistic to be reactive wen we have a chance to use our brains, think for your children and their future at once.

  23. FGM

    Reasoning has been sacrificed by instincts of cadreism. Zambians are no longer realistic to their country. Most of them no longer care for our mother Zambia. May God quickly intervene or even the remaining little will be lost.

  24. Sean

    What do you expect from someone who almost destroyed znbc running for greener pasture that looked greener from afar only to reliase that he was better placed at znbc and the position can’t be offered back to him.
    This same man is coward he thinks he knows very thing wen they are more and better motivatonal speaker than him who are appreciating what is happening in zambia

  25. Albert chibuye

    What chibamba Kanyama should have done having worked with IMF before was to keep quite. Institutions and countries Recalling it’s personal is not new and this has not only happened in Zambia but in other countries as well. It’s not necessary to start painting your own white board black.
    By the way when you think of IMF giving out loans to its member countries, it’s not for charity. Countries pay back. The conditions attached to such loans are pathetic. The reason for conditions is not about the country improving it’s economic outlook but to ensure that the country remains up to date in paying it’s loan. Conditions such as wage freeze, freezing of recruiting of service servants broadening local tax base,reduction in cabinet ministers positions, telling government not to contract any more loans with other institutions and many more. Who gets affected by these measures? It’s the ordinary citizens. What IMF wants is that whatever money the country raises from Taxes goes to pay the loan and not to increase salaries or pay loans contracted with other multilateral institutions. My last question to this forum, which country ever assisted by IMF grew it’s economy and its citizens not living in poverty ? I want to learn…..

  26. Mkonto

    Thats why I hate a culture of Caderlism. They have no better way to make it in life than championing wrongs just to feed their bellies. So much has gone wrong in the Country, no one should mislead anybody. Why shouldn’t I believe what my own eyes are seeing and choose to believe another’s?

  27. Mambo

    Fairness is just to society. This should be true to ourselves as Zambia. Let the good economy if your pocket not deceive many of us.. Do you think everyone should be a politician to have daily bread? No, allow people’s views and learn as media persons for your political parties. Advise substantively with reason for posterity.

  28. Francid

    Chibamba kanyama has already retracted his rush tweet, wonder why pipo still want to justify his self confessed mess!

  29. Jonathan Simanda Kabanda

    I feel our comments must be issue besed than attacking each other on tribal basis it hates me as Zambian. We need to change and show love to one another and everyone is very important and has the right to air his or her views and they should be rrespected.

  30. Farmer

    Can you all shut up and instead start looking for farm inputs or even some borrowed land to cultivate and fill our grain basket. More sensible than trying to out tweet each other.

    • Albert chibuye

      Very correct Farmer…… It’s only and until we started to be productive that we shall economically redeem ourselves from poverty. Partisan politics has robbed us the wisdom such that we always look at the politician as having every solution to our situation…..

      • kash

        Sad that people are going on tribal lines simply just because of a tweet

        • Senior Engineer RTD

          Tribal politics have become tribal even in America where to Trump supporters he can do np wrong even when he pays prostitute money. Equally any perceived dirt on ECl is good news to ECL haters who have thrown objectivity to the winds. Someone was try ing show off how well connecte he is to the IMF by revealing what he thought was a scoop.

      • innocent

        It’s a pity that every Jim and Jack has become a politician.Being critical to the govt is no issue but how and at which level you are doing so.
        And we zambians have become lazy and only wanting bread to be put in our mouths.Lets help develop Zambia and not destroying it,

  31. bright mwansa

    Stop finger pointing and move forward as 1 team 1people and 1 tribe which is zambian, mr chibamba is a good man .

  32. kambwili

    Wake u Zambians. Some is telling you the truth, you behave like an ostrich. Ba Sunday Lesa bushe amibumbile pabushiku aletusha? Sunday ka cadre the bosses came with nothing now look how rich there are. They have destroyed our economy. Let’s be serious Zambians….. We will realise when it will be too late ninshi ba Kanyama tababapo.

  33. Hastings

    A soldier is vulnerable when at rest.Keep on embracing useless political caders and see how poor you will become as a country.Learn and know your rights Zambians forget these so called Manyandule.They know nothing. Upanfilwe eulwa ne chiibi.We are tired of evil governance. Zambians have suffered enough now!!

  34. Man rich

    We need to be positive!, in this world nothing is for free. Do you think IMF is father Christmas?. They will always give us conditions which will benefit themselves. And that’s why we have leaders to make decisions on our behalf. Indeed the kind of politics nowadays in Zambia have a lot to talk about.” If I was the one type “. Let’s change, criticize where it is due ,& advise where it is necessary.

  35. Zebron Chivunga

    Chibamba Kanyama is a man of integrity. He will remain highly respected by all responsible people even after all that Sunday Chanda has tried to say for the sake of his salary. Chibamba is not a bootlicker and so we want him to speak and we will listen. Sunday can keep quiet forever, we are not interested in his utterances.

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