12 indicators that Zambia is at the tip of breaking down and what President HH must do to prevent future ethnic conflicts, sectarian unrests and ‘cold war chaos’- Chris Zumani

Chris Zumani
Zumani Zimba

12 indicators that Zambia is at the tip of breaking down and what President HH must do to prevent future ethnic conflicts, sectarian unrests and ‘cold war chaos’

By Dr. Chris Zumani Zimba

.…Under HH, Zambia is a pure anocracy- neither a democracy nor autocracy and thereby at very high risk of political instability and violence across multiple sectors based on standard parameters of early triggers to civil unrests….

In Hebrews 14:12, the Bible says: “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord”. Here, Christians are commanded to live in peace with everyone. This entails that Christians must not live under civil unrest or war. What is important for modern states is to be alert and timely respond to early warning signs for political instability and civil unrests.

1. So, what are the early signs of war or civil unrest and how can modern states prevent them from happening? According to Barbara Walter, a U.S. based Political Scientist who is specialist in international civil conflicts with over 20 years, the vital early signs of civil unrest in most countries are mainly two (1) democratic backslide and (2) political extremism.

2. As we speak, Zambia falls into both categories and all early warnings for political instability are ripe unless President Hakainde Hichilema (HH) takes urgent policy actions to contain and prevent it. When things are falling apart and national divisions as well sectarian tensions multiply, the president is the only person who can take political measures and exercise leadership wisdom to reverse and prevent any form of civil unrest before it happens.

3. There is a collective agreement from different stakeholders that president HH and UPND run the worst tribal and regional discriminatory government ever in the history of Zambia mainly dominated by three regions against the remaining seven. In 1994, the Rwanda genocide started with similar incidents and complaints of political tribalism and ethnic nationalism by one group against the other. Today, stakeholders are complaining that “hate speech” is now a crime against “Tonga people only” while similar injuries against other ethnic groups like Bembas, Nyanja, etc are merely ignored. This is a catalyst for ethnic hatred and physical violence!

4. The mainly Hutu Rwandan ruling politicians ignored all early warnings of civil disobedience until Kigali saw bloody massacres of rival citizens and ethnic groups in horrific atrocities. Professor Barbara Walter warns that “once a political parties or governments are mostly grouped around race, ethnicity, religion or regionalism, they pose immediate triggers to political instability and civil unrests”. This is where Zambia is sitting today under the President HH and the UPND government in the eyes of many stakeholders.

5. In 2006 when a group of Tonga elders declared that “only a Tonga can succeed a Tonga” in referring to HH and Anderson Mazoka, UPND made tribalism their party policy and many of us perceive them that way now that they in power. In 1994, within 100 days, over 200,000 Hutus participated in the genocide killing of over 800,000 Tutsi civilians and moderate Hutu because of political tribalism and regionalism. Tribalism is bad politics anywhere and president HH must kill it aggressively and openly eradicate it in the UPND government. Otherwise, it constitutes early warning to political instability for Zambia.

6. When some Barotseland activists get courage to openly denounce President HH or even propose to block him from entering “their country”, it is a sign that national unity is broken and the political legitimacy of the sitting president is compromised. When Cuundu Chaitwa, Barotseland activists, Umodzi Kumawa, Kola foundation, Lamba traditionalists, Luapula United, etc ethic groups start to make news headlines regularly, HH must sense political danger and start taking reconciliatory and uniting measures.

7. President HH must sense political danger for Zambia ahead if key stakeholders are agreeing that he has weaponized law enforcement agencies, judiciary and parliament to “steal and block” ECL and PF through Miles Sampa in order to create a one party state. Given that PF is the largest opposition party with MPs, councilors, mayors and members across the country, this tyrannical gesture of HH has both undermined democracy as well as triggers danger to political stability if not well handled to restore the situation.

8. When income inequality and cost of living is too high among citizens and you see Zambians booing a sitting president in a stadium, their own Bally who was voted by the majority 2.8 million voters few years ago, then we must be more worried about this pattern politically. We must be concerned about HH’s reaction too. Either way, this is an early warning signal for political instability ahead if President HH himself takes things for granted. Anywhere, hungry citizens are angry people! And power belongs to the people.

9. When Zambia police are brought to a level of being perceived as partisan political tools of UPND and State House to oppress, harass and torment the Sixth President, opposition leaders and those who disagree with government, then we have a big problem because citizens are closely watching. Professor Barbara Walter empirically points out that “anocracy ( a country that is neither a democracy nor an autocracy) is the first early warning to political instability and civil war in many countries”. By killing democracy, HH is directly killing political stability and peace!

10. Numbers don’t lie- the Law Association of Zambia, Zambia Human Rights Commission, EU, USA, Swedish, Zambia Catholic Bishops, OCIDA, former President Edgar Lungu, Mast Newspaper, Diggers Newspaper, Daily Nations, Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu, Dr. Fred M’membe, Harry Kalaba, Edith Nawakwi, Saboi Imboela, Dr. Sishuwa Sishuwa, Winter Kabimba, KBF, Sean Tembo, Jackson Silavwe, Chishala Kateka, Apostle Dan Pule, Chilufya Tayali, Peter Sikamba, NGO leaders, many church leaders and scholars are all complaining that HH has shrunk democratic spaces and human rights violations are too high in Zambia.

11. Today, the UPND government is seen as the first regime that hates the Catholic Church and openly disrespects Catholic bishops, priests and other religious leaders by either using police call outs, bagging into their church offices or calling them derogatory names like “the Lucifers of Zambia”. The UPND is the first government that has openly sustained “a Cold War” with the Catholic Church with political pump, malice and violence. All these are early signs of political instability which president HH must deliberately and personally confront and manage.

12. This morning, a mob of UPND members stormed Kabwata police station to report and demand that Former President, Edgar Lungu be arrested. Zambia Daily Nations, Koswe, Zambian Watchdog, etc have all declared Lungu as ‘a violent politician, a true snake who must be arrested or given house confinement’. This is not politically health or necessary! Look. Even at the heart of the 1994 Rwanda genocide, propaganda media houses fuels more citizen anger, bitterness, violence and massacres. These are crucial lessons for HH to learn from and avoid Zambia falling into the same trap.

Policy Recommendations for President HH at hand to contain the political storm:

1. Where we are today in Zambia, all the early warnings of civil unrest and political instability are ripe and evident. It is only one person now who can turn this political tide into both political calmness, sovereign grace and national unity we all need and pray for as a nation. President HH himself!

2. President HH must urgently call for a “National Reconciliation and Healing Commission or Dialogue” for all key governance stakeholders to discuss and seek national love, unity, reconciliation as a nation and country. This is urgent!

3. No one is taking about a government of national unity, but a national forum for reconciliation and unity. It is not too late, HH is our leader, and HH has all legal powers to bring every knee of political-economic confusion to bow and every tongue confess “One Zambia, One Nation” in love, peace and unity.

This is the best starting point and everything will fall in place politically. We need a United and peaceful Zambia than the current tide of anger, bitterness, tensions and hostility in the sky!

Dr Chris ZUMANI Zimba is a Political Scientist, Researcher, Author & Consultant specialized in Comparative Global Governance and Democratic Theories. He holds a PhD, MA, BA and Cert in Political Science. Zimba was President Lungu’s Political Advisor from December 2019 to August 2021. By philosophical approach, Dr. Zimba is a Pan Africanist as well as Afro-Christian by religion.


  1. Chikala Chris, I can give you 12 indicators that you are a son of a shot gun. A result of a damaged condom

    • Very good observation Buddy, Zumani a few weeks back his Articles were full of “…this snake and that snake…” but now he has conveniently avoided mentioning snakes. What eka slithering and slippery Salamander, aka kamuntu!!!

  2. Chris you have really nailed, yesterday I similarly echoed what you have smartly and clearly articulated on issues affecting our country could be detailed with. Look at Obama, when ever he was confronted with difficult and complex pressing issues, will call for people specialised in those areas to get their perspectives and advice. He will take time to go through each advice and calmly respond with a well measured approach and response. No wonder he was he called. Smart president and an excellent listener. The problem we have is HH is surrounded by his own tribal men whose drive, motivation , preoccupation and ambitions are far from driving this country to a place where each tribe is seen as he equal and can contribute to the success of this great nation to it’s potential. Advisors are almost drive by retributions, hatred, anarchism, tribalism, insecurity, insensitivity and morally bankrupt mentality of past experiences even those who had good jobs or positions in previous governments have come to lie the retired or left because they were Tongas. Today we have the police force because retirees have given higher positions and their sense of duty to the people of Zambia does not exist.
    The biggest failure is HH because he does not want to listen to anyone from other backgrounds or tribes but only Tongas. This is why we are here. The police be mindful, cadres can come and report but If you arrest Lungu by responding to emotionally charged cadres you have a long way to fight masses and you will be swallowed by your reactive actions than proactive actions

  3. “….the current tide of anger, bitterness, tensions and hostility in the sky!…..”, so says Mr Zumani Zimba. Really, in all honesty and objectively, between the Opposition and UPND, which of the two is formenting these negative vices?

  4. Chris is a very practical political scientist. His analysis of political issues is very intelligent, logical and usually makes a lot of sense.

    • True. Except his analysis is always affected by his belly. Remember, before he was appointed by ECL , his analysis of the PF government and political issues were, quoting your words ” very intelligent, logical and usually made a lot of sense”( end of quite). What happened when he was appointed? He erased all those comments from his FB, Twitter etc


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