The Cholera Champion has failed- Amb. Emmanuel Mwamba

Amb. Emmanuel Mwamba

The Cholera Champion has failed

By Amb. Emmanuel Mwamba

In May 2022, President Hakainde Hichilema accepted the prestigious appointment as Global Cholera Control Championby the Global Task Force on Cholera Control -GTFCC.

Since his appointment he has done literally nothing to excite his role or combat the scourge of cholera.

Malawi and Zimbabwe have had the worst cholera outbreaks in living memory and the Global Champion did not visit or speak about it.

Back home there are no tangible measures his government or in his capacity as a global champion has done to fight for the cause to end cholera.

He has not caused the clearing of drainages, has not embarked on public awareness programmes on safe drinking water, water and sanitation, has not promoted any cholera preventive measures.

His Government abandoned the “Keep Zambia Clean Campaign”.

Hichilema’s appointment was at the backdrop of what the previous government had aggressively embarked on to end cholera in Zambia.

In 2018, consistent with the Global Task Force on Cholera Control (GTFCC) goal of ending cholera in endemic countries,
which is articulated in the Global Roadmap to 2030, Zambia sponsored a resolution to eliminate cholera globally a by 2030 at the 71st World Health Assembly.

Further to that, Zambia took a bold and ambitious step to
eliminate cholera in Zambia by 2025, ahead of the global target.

Zambia developed its first country
Multi-sectoral Cholera Elimination Plan 2019-2025 (MCEP).

The implementation of the plan appears to have been abandoned.

The overall aim of the plan was to reduce morbidity and mortality due to cholera, and eventually achieve cholera elimination in Zambia by 2025.


  1. Emma give over. You are the most jealous malicious horrid abnoxious human being I have ever come across. Tell us why your HATE FOR HH is so deep. What you are doing is not opposing but being malicious maybe you need to go to Tunduma to relax your brain.

  2. We have now come to know M’membe and Mwamba as over ambitious politicians who think that things are easily done than they are said. If you go to someone’s wife and begin to tell her that your husband has failed to care for you, even if you don’t say anything else, just by using common sense, the woman can easily know what you are up to. Even us, we already know what M’membe and Mwamba are up to if HH resigned today. Objectively and not just praise singing, I want to say that each year, some countries are hit by very devastating diseases like Ebola, Cholera, Covid 19, Dengue Fever etc. We saw the havoc which Ebola caused in three West African countries few years ago, we saw how Covid 19 devastated developed countries like Italy, UK, USA, Brazil, India and so on. If we talk of the health care system, these countries I have mentioned have some of the best health care systems in the world. Being the most hardly hit countries does not mean that their health care systems collapsed or their Presidents failed, no, and even if their presidents of those countries had resigned, it could have solved very little or nothing. When we talk of Cholera, it is one of the most simple or easiest disease to prevent and manage if one is already affected. Cholera gives us headache not only in Zambia but in the SADC region, first it was Zimbabwe, last year it was Malawi and probably that is where it spread from. I don’t have statistics for Zimbabwe but for Malawi. In Malawi, the eight most affected Districts in 2023, Lilongwe being the most affected, had a cumulated total of 42,607 Cholera cases and 1,292 deaths. If the President has to resign every time you have such an outbreak, Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Lazarus Chakwera could have resigned a long time ago. So cholera has nothing to do with the President or the Minister, although it needs money and logistics, it is not necessarily triggered by low or high budgetary allocation, Cholera is purely dependent on or is triggered by poor hygienic environment and lack of strict adherence to hygienic rules. Before the rain season, try to visit City market and walk through to Soweto market, you can be shocked with what you see there, you find that drainages are filled with all sorts of things ranging from empty plastic bottles to diapers. You would think, drainages are rubbish pits or waste bins. So how can they serve their purpose because in most cases they are blocked before even the rains come and before any water starts flowing there. We know that if drainages are blocked, automatically some of our residential areas will be flooded, pit latrines causing severe contamination and pollution to water from shallow wells, some of our homes, food outlets and markets. It is very easy for the President or the Minister to resign, but if the situation on the ground remains the same, nothing will change. In the National Budget, you can allocate as much money as possible but it will amount to nothing. As long as people don’t strictly follow the hygienic rules, they will be perpetual victims of Cholera. For example, if one fails to chlorinate or boil drinking water, fails to cover the food and flies land there and taste it for him before he starts eating, if one fails to warm the leftover food, what do think the President or the Minister can do? Or what do you want the President or Minister to do? Unless we change our mind set and start thinking hygienic, we shall remain the potential victims for Cholera.

    As a Global Cholera Control Champion, the President has not failed in anything because he is actively playing his role, for example, last year he sank a number of boreholes in various townships in Lusaka because; 1. He knows the value of the safe drinking water. 2. He knows the consequences of lacking safe drinking water and Cholera outbreak is one of them. Then through CDF, the President has directed that each school even in the remotest rural areas should have running water and flashed toilets. And now he has issued a directive to bury all shallow wells in compounds because they are likely to be the major sources of the problem. If all these goals are achieved, diseases like Cholera will be history in Zambia. Hence, instead of calling for his resignation, let us emulate and support the President, he means well for this country. Those who have resources, they can join him in sinking more boreholes while those who have no resources can join the health care workers in disseminating the information through health education. Alternatively, HH is not a stingy person as some people are trying to paint him. With this challenge at hand, if we approach him and ask for more boreholes, I have no doubt in my mind that the response from the President can be very swift even if it means using his own resources just as he has done before. In his recent press briefing, I heard M’membe calling for unity and telling people to work together. The call is more than welcome and in a situation like this one is where we need to work together as citizens because Cholera is not political, it does not choose, it affects everyone regardless of party affiliation. My last words are that, let us avoid playing politics in every issue because Cholera cannot be fought and defeated by the President, Minister or the health care system in place alone, it needs all our concerted efforts as Zambians, to fight and defeat Cholera. If the President has failed, then all of us have failed but I know he has not failed and we have not failed, we can do it because the solution is in our hands. United we stand, divided we fall.


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