Mid this year, I published an article in The Mast Newspapers and of course, several Social Media outlets entitled, “UPND Government Not Communicating Effectively.” Here’s an excerpt of part of the gist of my argument:
“With due respect, Information Minister Chushi Kasanda and her PS, my good friend Kennedy Kalunga have lamentably failed to weather the storm from the rabble-rousers masquerading as opposition political parties! Clearly, they can’t withstand mounting pressure from the likes of Antonio Mwanza, Chilufya Tayali, Emmanuel Mwamba, Raphael Nakachinda or Nixon Chilangwa. They can do better at the Ministry of Religious Affairs if at all such a ministry was to be resurrected or better still in the diplomatic service.”
In what would be seen as my prophecy coming to pass, I made the following suggestions, “Given the cantankerous and highly charged political atmosphere currently prevailing in the nation, government deserves indefatigable and fearlessness fellows ready to shoot from the hips such as a combined lethal team of Cornelius Mweetwa as Minister and Thabo Kawana as PS!”
Although it has frustratingly taken long to come; at least finally, the President has cracked the whip! Madam Kasanda and her Permanent Secretary, the soft spoken Kalunga have been given marching orders albeit long overdue. While the nation grappled with a few challenges here and there such as the offensive prices of mealie meal and fuel coupled with the energy crisis earlier in the year, madam Kasanda and Kalunga seemed lost at sea.
As narcissists and naysayers went on rampage trotting to each and every Radio and TV station as well as putting the Social Media to effective use to spew out anti-government propaganda, the duo carried on as if there weren’t burning issues begging their immediate attention. The only moment they would bother doing any damage control was when a lot of damage had already been done and the masses would have already jumped to wrong conclusions.
We expect nothing less of proactivity and vigilance from the new entrants in these critical positions. We’ve little doubt Cornelius and Thabo are equal to the tasks; they obviously possess the necessary attributes and credentials to put off or prevent any raging infernos from spreading and getting out of control to the extent of bringing the entire government into contempt and ridicule.
Now that the president has heed to our cries and taken the necessary steps to reinvigorate and revitalise the communication wing of his government, we would equally encourage him to shake-up the UPND Secretariat in Rhodespark which would in turn revive the inept UPND media team which is undoubtedly in comatose. Mr. Batuke Imenda is obviously a decent and honourable man; we have nothing against him. We understand he’s a good administrator; he can actually make a brilliant diplomat in one of the Western capitals. Unfortunately, the role of Secretary General isn’t a good fit for him…..he doesn’t strike us as someone willing to get his hands dirty by frequently making forays into the shanty compounds to whip up support for his party.
Let us not pretend, the 2026 general elections will be quite crucial as the financially well lubricated Socialist Party and the Patriotic Front, former ruling party, flex their muscles to try and unseat UPND from power. The ruling party is currently disconnected from the grassroots; the leadership must urgently identify someone with the caliber of Obvious Mwaliteta, the current UPND Lusaka provincial chairman to bring new energy and excitement to the Secretariat.
Mwaliteta is definitely a charismatic and down to earth fellow; he has no qualms palling around with the masses in the shanty compounds, and drinking or at least pretending to enjoy Chibuku or Chibwantu with them as he converses with them in Bemba or Nyanja. More over, he has got the youthful age to his advantage making it easier for him to relentlessly traverse the width and breadth of the nation mobilising support or interacting with the party structures as way of encouraging them and listening to some of their challenges.
Prince Bill M. Kaping’a