Opinion by Kelvin Sulungwe
Personally, I believe in informative and educating interviews, not really those aimed at embarrassing or creating social unrest. To me, a good reporter should be objective and guided by moral responsibility.
At this point, a month and some days into the Tonse Government, I take it as moral poverty for a journalist or journalists to start asking the president if he will contest in the next election. Such talk has no substance, but simply a way of initiating unrest between the president and his vice and their followers.
There are plenty of issues we need to bombard the president with. Let us know from him things like:
- When he talks of reducing powers, which powers in particular is he talking about and when exactly is he doing that and by reducing his power as the president, are there any considerations to increase the powers of the vice? Which powers does he need to reduce in his short and long term considerations?
- There is the issue of Covid-19, apart from daily reports of how many people have contracted or recovered or died, what exactly are the ministries (especially Ministry of Health) doing? Billions have been channelled to this fight, but nothing tangible to show for apart from fuel allowances by cabinet ministers.
- On the same, the administration has imposed compulsory wearing of masks in public. This is the time when the majority of people in the villages start going to farms. On top of social distancing, how are we explaining it to them that they should dig the ground while wearing masks? Think of Tsangano, Lizulu, Bembeke, how are you going to enforce the law?
- How are we going to tell a person who cant afford K500 mask that he needs to keep an emergency K10,000 to bail himself when caught not wearing a mask in public? Yes, there are those who cant afford this money, if you can afford it, be grateful.
- On the same, shouldn’t we be talking of decongesting our prisons to avoid the spread of the disease in prisons? Why are we looking to send more people to prison in the name of Covid-19 jail sentences for those caught without wearing a mask in public?
- People have been arrested and others re-arrested, how much has government spent towards that so far and how much have they managed to recover and when are we actually going to recover our money? What direction is there? Will they be freezing accounts? How about those with stolen money kept in foreign accounts?
- We hear most of the contracts of those in embassies expired last year, when are they coming back? Who is paying them now? How are they surviving? How much is government spending paying people whose contracts expired? On the same, we have issues of ghost workers, we also saw names of people who do not work for government but were on government payroll, what’s the direction?
I mean I could list a lot of issues here, with some of them being sensitive, but necessary to hear from him. I am just not impressed with questions our privileged journalists are asking when they meet the president. Za zisankho za 2025 is just not sitting well with me. I am not impressed. Mwina ndangokhala nfana wausilu chabe basi.