Even the masters of the puppet are now getting frustrated with the puppet- Dr Canisius Banda

Canisius Banda

[The Clear Case of Mismanagement, Incompetence, Corruption and Failure]

Zambia’s health sector under the United Party for National Development [UPND], the current ruling party, requires admission to a Governance Intensive Restorative Care Unit.

It is gravely unwell and its condition is getting alarmingly worse, hurtling towards the comatose, the moribund.

The lives of citizens are now in increased perilous danger.

What aggravates this frightening state of the nation is the ever skyrocketing cost of living which has dealt a mortal blow to the social determinants of health namely water and sanitation, food, income, employment, marriage and housing.

Cholera, a disease of filth that had once been brought under control, is back in business, and it has already claimed Zambia’s lives.

Poverty has increased, the CSO [Central Statistics Office] attests.

And poverty, as is known, spawns other vices.

For now, let us look at the following sins which the UPND has committed, sins for which this political party must be sent to a political purgatory for atonement, sins which have led many citizens to an early grave or that have terribly maimed the quality of lives of many others:

1. The wrecking of Zambia’s supply chain of medical and surgical supplies through the ilI-advised cancellation of functional long-term framework contracts which existed when they assumed State power. Critical and perennial shortages of essential medical and surgical supplies have dogged our public health facilities ever since as a consequence.

2. The knee-jerk and emotional firing of competent and professional procurement officers inspired merely by malice, unsubstantiated suspicions and political vindictiveness. And merely as a example, quantification capacity, as noted by the Parliamentary Committee on Health, was lost.

3. Failure to leverage Zambia’s mineral resources to increase the national resource envelope for purposes of increasing Zambia’s own procurement capacity and security. Instead, the UPND opted to defraud citizens through subsidising foreign mining corporates via questionable and fiscally foolish tax incentives. As a consequence, Zambia’s Bank of Zambia is now crippled as it is running out of money, and might now impose a hidden tax on citizens through quantitative easing. The quantitative tightening currently going on is not sustainable.

4. The corrupt practice of single-sourcing, which the UPND in opposition once opposed and condemned, but now so much loves to do as illustrated in the recent procurement of tainted health centre kits from Mission Pharma. For the procurement-naive, single-sourcing or direct bidding is the most preferred method by corrupt public service workers as it yields the highest kickbacks and is the most convenient way of pleasing cronies or scratching another’s back.

5. Further, instead of quarantining all the tainted kits since they constitute a matter for arbitration and litigation, and perhaps settling for reparations and compensation, the UPND questionably opted only to remove the defective commodity from the kits and distribute the rest.

6. Under the UPND, ZAMRA [Zambia Medicines Regulatory Agency] and ZAMMSA [Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency] both government departments, are NOT working harmoniously together. Though understandable but still questionable, ZAMMSA seems to be on the side of the suppliers and ZAMRA is firmly protective of citizens. The eyebrow-raising curious case of the buyer defending the supplier. The perils of single-sourcing, you see.

7. It is through the statutory pre-distribution commodity analyses that ZAMRA discovered the defective drug. But ZAMMSA, as if a branch of Mission Pharma, instead of relying on ZAMRA’s findings, went with Mission Pharma’s insistence that the commodity was fine and that another lab abroad should analyse the drug. Now results from this other lab have come. And as if a lesson that we must have confidence in our own public institutions, the results are in agreement with ZAMRA’s findings. The UPND government now has egg on its face and is now looking for ways on how to spin this. Presently uncharacteristically mute, they are still looking for the right words to use to manage the public.

8. Zambia’s state-of-the-art, model and flagship cancer hospital, the CDH, is now on its knees. A facility which used to attend to referred patients from other countries, and was a forex earner for Zambia, is now referring patients abroad. It has now become a forex drain. All this has happened because it can now no longer do radiotherapy because its machines have broken down, itself a consequence of the UPND’s failure to honour existing service contracts.

9. As all this health sector farce continues to play out, another defective drug, this time for hypertension, was being prescribed and dispensed to unsuspecting citizens by public health facilities. Thank God, it has now been recalled. But still, many citizens, who ought to litigate for the harm that they might have suffered as a consequence, who took the drug and thought that their BP troubles would resolve but didn’t, still do not know about this governance injustice. Osaulula, somebody is whispering.

10. And now the latest sin. As if such a thing as a government to government procurement ever existed, the UPND has now received health commodities from Egypt. Fifteen percent of the total consignment is now in Zambia. The scandalous thing about this shipment to Zambia is that none of the health commodities brought into the country is registered in Zambia. The UPND is now stuck. To unstuck themselves, they are now putting undue pressure on ZAMRA to issue a waiver so that Zambian citizens can begin to consume these unregistered things. The case for ensuring that all procurements must be professional and follow laid-down procedures is hereby made. But as now everyone knows, the UPND does not like, respect nor follow the rule of law.

They were so big on fixing things, these people.

We will fix it, they boisterously said.

As if desperate for power, they said many things. They even used markers and charts to illustrate their intelligence and competence.

Along the way, Catholic priests were even callously berated and advised to go back to school for their apparent dullness and failure to read graphs.

Buy today everything has unravelled. The emperor has no clothes after all.

Petrol isn’t K12 per litre.

Fertiliser isn’t K250 maximum per 50kg bag.

Mealie meal isn’t K50 per 25kg bag.

Property tax has not been abolished. Instead, wheelbarrow tax is coming.

RTSA is still a parastatal.

The presidential jet is still here, now rusty.

ECL is no longer kamwendo mjira. There is a new kid on the block now.

Tribalism is back, now more malignant.

The Kwacha is at its weakest since Sir Roy WELENSKY left Zambia. Ironically, his relatives, out of pity, are now giving us aid.

The debt remains unstructured. China is back in the picture.

Micro-management is the order of the day.

And nothing is being fixed. Well, truth be told, citizens are now the ones being fixed. They have been reduced to beggars.

Instead, things, even those that were once well and intact, are now falling apart. Just look at the National Assembly. It is now a circus, clowns and all.

And since there is a Lucifer of Zambia, surely there must exist a Lucifer of Rome. One wonders what he is thinking about this ranting and raving going on in this backwater country. I bet, in prayer for us, the Pope, doing the sign of the cross, just like Jesus did, he is also forgiving our trespasses.

Even the masters of the puppet are now getting frustrated with the puppet.

Evidently, some of their strings have snapped, aren’t working anymore.

Aikona, man, declare your assets, they now angrily demand. You promised that buggery would be fixed and normalised. Wenye, wetinyenga weo! Youths, where are you? They now ask. Come on, youths, arise, they incite!

Clearly, the self-proclaimed fixers are now themselves in a fix.

The saviour has become the devil, the messiah has become the villain.

What boggles the mind are the disturbing scenes that keep repeating themselves at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport [KKIA].

First, you see the head of State and his band hold a jamboree about non-existent debt restructuring.

Then at another time, Zambia’s Minister of Health and her band hold their own jamboree as they receive defective medicines.

You look and you scratch your head, wondering just what the hell is going on.

Then you realise that God is the one causing all this bedlam, all this irrational behaviour. You then see order in the chaos.

He allows all things, after all.

You realise that indeed He has gone ahead of Zambia.

It then dawns on you that the UPND’s reign is merely a product of time and chance, that it indeed is only a transient phenomenon, a passing political fixture, of illustrative value only for the lesson it possesses or represents to the Zambian people.

You then clearly see why He allowed them to rule also.

Then your heart settles.

A better Zambia beckons, it is on the horizon. You see it coming. This is only a phase. It too will pass.

Hope is. It remains.

Vitoria è certa!
Aluta continua!

The captives will indeed be set free.

For now though, we must fight on. We were born for times like these. Indeed, we are the breed for this hour.

Dr Canisius BANDA
Development Activist

25 November 2023


  1. Dr. Banda is only heard when there are bad things happening. He is talking of Cholera which first started in the neighboring Malawi. Is it UPND which brought it? As a medical Doctor he should know that Cholera has to do with non observance of hygienic rules and has nothing to do with the government or the high cost of living. Unless he wants to create his own theories. Anybody including Dr. Banda or President HH can contract Cholera if he fails to follow hygienic rules.

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  3. Witchdoctor Gunyu masala Canicious Banda can’t not even be factual but bombastic. You were fired from UPND for mungulu behaviour. Now you call yourself DEVELOPMENTAL ACTIVIST. What have yourself developed

    • You have nailed it ba Sense, and your sense of humor is classic. The only pieces missing in the Gigsaw Puzzle of his state of mind are that Rollerup Stuff DEC hotly pursues the Culprits for and also his Discharge Letter from that ka famous Place across the Stream adjacent to Levy Hospital
      Anyway, even without the two pieces of evidence, “the matter is settled without any reasonable doubt”, to borrow the phrase of the Learned Legal Counsels.

  4. Pilgrim signing off as development activist . What happened PF also rejected you? OMG imagine today you would have been living in government house, being driven in a VX with all the amenities such as free food, free fuel, free everything and power to change anything as Vice President of the country. But alas! It was not meant to be.


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