By Elias Munshya

I am unsure what Mr Samuel Mukupa meant precisely when he said that Zambians should learn to replace bread with some Kandolo to beat the ever-escalating bread prices. If that indeed matters at this point, the truth of the matter is that bread is expensive and out of the reach of many Zambians because prices for everything have gone up in Zambia. What the great gentleman was trying to say has been lost in translation and is now a fodder of all sorts of jokes in the media. Mr Mukupa is now Mr Kandolo, and he truly deserves that new name. However, when you come to think of it, the reasoning behind Mr Kandolo’s assertions is weak for several reasons.

What is affecting the prices of bread is also affecting the prices of everything else in Zambia. You cannot solve food shortages by suggesting that people can look at having alternative food. Bread is expensive because food in Zambia is expensive. And indeed, if bread becomes expensive – this reality alone would have the natural effect of driving prices of other foodstuffs. And so, Mr Kandolo Mukupa was labouring under the false kandolo economics that Kandolo becomes cheaper when the bread prices go up!

When a government fails to govern people, it first begins by shifting the blame onto others, and when it runs out of others to blame, it begins to blame things. In this case, they have failed to control bread prices – and naturally, they are diverting attention to kandolo. According to the Patriotic Front – let us all take Kandolo, and everything will be alright.

Mr Samuel Mukupa’s sentiments, this close to the general election, have one positive effect – comic relief. Social media, including my page of Elias Munshya on Facebook, has had a great laugh at the Kandolo dynamics. Who knew that instead of crying over the so many deaths in Zambia, we would be at least laughing at the comic relief provided by Kandolo? Some are taking Mr Mukupa himself to be the new Mr Kandolo. Indeed, the word Kandolo can now be used to replace nearly anything you do not want in Zambia. Or if something becomes too expensive, just call upon Kandolo, and it will be the perfect alternative. In this vein, then – we have ZNBC Kandolo, NAPSA Kandolo, Development Bank of Kandolo, and UNZA School of Natural Kandolo. As far as sports is concerned, you can replace the sports team with Kandolo – Nkana Football Kandolo, or Kandolo Dynamos, the two rivals of Kitwe. What about in Zambian soap opera imaginations? Well, what about having ZUBA Kandolo, MPALI Kandolo, or Kandolo Kabanana. As far as the President’s close officers, we have the Principal Private Kondolo in the President’s office or yet still the Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Kandolo. This shows just how versatile the word Kandolo can be used in various things we do not like. And for all this comic imagination – we should have Mr Samuel Mukupa to thank.

Instead of shifting blame, deflecting, and confusing the people, the government of President Lungu should be courageous to provide the leadership needed for our people. And instead of imposing fiscal discipline on our finances, the government has become a government of “cha opena” where anything and everything goes. Lacking essential seriousness, the government has become an akabwambe government that lacks control, direction, and common sense.

Zambians have a clear choice, though. Next month there is a chance for a new beginning, and I hope our people will jump on this new occasion and reject the PF, which has directed bread, kandolo and now common sense.

The author, Elias Munshya, can be reached at elias@munshyalaw.com


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