Zambia: Netizens Start Countdown to 90 Day Change Promise

Zambia’s new President, Michael Sata, has in the last three elections he has participated in promised to transform the nation in 90 days including putting more money into people's pockets. Now that he has finally been elected head of state, expectant netizens have started the countdown.

Some of Sata’s supporters on Facebook are convinced the countdown has started on a positive note while others say that expecting any meaningful transformation in 90 days is unrealistic.

In another development, a “90 Day Agenda” group has opened a Facebook page to push for it.

Zambians try to catch a glimpse of the new President at his inauguration ceremony in September 2011. Image by Commonwealth Secretariat Flickr page (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Zambians try to catch a glimpse of the new President at his inauguration ceremony in September 2011. Image by Commonwealth Secretariat Flickr page (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Henry Mando on The Zambian Peoples PACT observes:

The 90 days theory is already working..Chinese mines have offered 80 percent salary increases on the Copperbelt to their workers, while Sun International has began paying out the sales charge arrears that were previously withheld and this has been accompanied by a salary increase. So you can imagine what will happen when the tax rate is reduced and more and more money continues to pour in our pockets…

Whether this is a joke or not, Festus Daka adds a humourous twist to President Sata's promise and the people's expectations:

From the tym pf [ruling Patriotic Front] was anouced wina of polz [winner of the polls],i v sold more than 600 piece of cargo pants.reasons from the client is tht thy want cloths wit plenty of poket since its mo money in our pokets

One netizen, Hachi Beekay, quotes opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema asking youths to mark December 23, when the 90 days promise for more money in people’s pockets expires:

HH has challenged the PF to prioritize policy implementation as the time for political promises is over, adding that the ruling party’s 90days expires on December 23 and Zambians will appreciate all fulfilled promises as a Christmas gift.

Kaimfa Chandang’oma adds Hakainde Hichilema’s order to the youth to march to state house if the promise is not fulfilled:

HH [Hakainde Hichilema] has incited the youths of Mandevu that by 23rd December if there is no “more money in their pockets” they should match to state house and demand for their money . . .

Lissa Ngenda Mwenda defends President Sata:

Our president is hardly a week old and yet the doubting Thomases are so quick to query his lack of action. Truth is only the blind have not noticed change. Some of this change brought on even by ourselves because we know we are now being led by action. Let's not be quick to judge considering there is not much we can boast about under the previous government unless you were “fortunate” enough to be a relative or a mistress.

On the 90 Day Agenda Facebook page, Yewa Kumwenda identifies priority areas for government to work on within 90 days:

My humble suggestions of what the PF govt must start working on within 90 Days.Some were pronounced during campaigns, while others werent. Take a look&comment.

1.Constitutional Making Process(Mungomba Recommendations)

2.Reviewing of mine taxes

3.Repealing archaic labour laws

4.Spreading tax to informal sector&reducing PAYE

5.Cutting down on Cabinet positions/scrapping DC position

6.Giving upcoming Zambia businesses good incentives

7.A workable agric&agro forest policy

8.A pro education, pro health, pro agriculture, pro science&technology, pro diversification from mining budget for 2012

An article quoting the opposition politician Hakainde Hichilema asking the ruling party to focus on 90 day promise and not violence has attracted many comments. Katongo writes:

chines here in ndola have started to increase salaries for the workers !!!!

more money in the pockets what do you want to see in 90 days? labour laws will be followed starting from now . HH [Hakainde Hichilema] you showed the poeple hate to PF and so you are starting but just wait for a short 90 days then ask poeple working in the chinese companies and then you will see what the pesident meant un less you are still dalo [dull] as you were before elections.

what you need to do is to reflect on your failiers [failures] then re organise your party and then you may win elections in 2027

Dispelling accusations that HH is speaking out of bitterness, The Real Muntu wrote:

He is not speaking out of bitterness. How can a party that has won elections and has good leadership allow thugs to take law into their own hands? No one should celebrate over anarchy because next time it will catch you the celebrants. Watch out already unilateral decisions have started. Today the three airports have been renamed without a Cabinet in place. Isn’t this autocratic leadership? Instead of peddling insults on the internet, lets be sober and help our leadership. This euphoria will be short lived. Soon reality will dawn on every-ones face and loud cries will start from the very people who are celebrating big. Please be real. Violence will not help anyone and if this is the first action of the PF in the famous 90 days then it is regrettable.


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