Flashback: What Mwamba Luchembe did last time Zambia ran out of food

June 30, 1990|From Associated Press

LUSAKA, Zambia — A Zambian army lieutenant was captured by soldiers after he announced on state radio today that President Kenneth D. Kaunda had been toppled in a coup following five days of anti-government violence.

The announcer, who identified himself in repeated broadcasts as Lt. Mwamba Luchembe of the Signals Corps, was escorted from Radio Zambia’s studio on the outskirts of the capital about 90 minutes later.

A soldier who supervised his arrest at the Mass Media Complex was overheard by reporters to tell colleagues by walkie-talkie radio, “The situation is under control. All is normal.”

Ten armored personnel carriers and trucks bearing armed troops rushed to the complex after the broadcasts began at 5:30 a.m. It was not immediately clear how many broadcasts were made.

A man wearing the insignia and uniform of a Zambian lieutenant was seen by reporters being marched from the main doors of the radio station to one of the army vehicles.

“I wanted to take over the government but Kaunda’s puppets are stopping me,” he said, pointing to the soldiers surrounding him. “These are Kaunda’s puppets.”

The broadcast ended about the time he was seized.

The circumstances behind his capture were not immediately clear. It was also unclear whether he had operated alone and how he had gained access to the station.

The brief radio broadcasts said the military had taken power at 3:30 a.m. in this south-central African nation. The announcer said food price increases that triggered five days of violent unrest prompted what he said was a military action.

At least 23 people were slain during the week in clashes with paramilitary police and soldiers. It was Zambia’s worst urban violence since independence.

Residents in the capital, Lusaka, said they heard no shooting during the night. There had been earlier reports from Johannesburg that troops occupied government buildings and installations in Zambia.

The announcement said in full: “Following the rise in the price of foodstuffs which are the basic needs for Zambians, the army has taken over in Zambia with effect from (3:30 a.m.) Zambian time. All Zambians and foreigners are free to remain in the country. Announcing the military coup is Lt. Mwamba Luchembe.”

State radio’s 7 a.m. newscast was 17 minutes late, but made no mention of the earlier broadcasts. Shortly afterward, an announcer said there had been no coup attempt and that the broadcasts were made by a “confused person.”

On Friday, Kaunda announced that a national referendum on whether to restore multi-party government would be held Oct. 17.

Meanwhile, in the early hours of Friday, security forces closed the university, beat up students and forced about 5,000 of them off the campus, witnesses said.

About 34 students were detained for questioning about the protests, Kaunda said.

University officials said the campus would be shut for two weeks.

The student-led riots began Monday after the government more than doubled the price of cornmeal, Zambia’s staple food, from $2.79 for a 55-pound bag to $6.56.

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77 Responses to "Flashback: What Mwamba Luchembe did last time Zambia ran out of food"

  1. BK  March 22, 2013 at 13:49

    You are all not Zambians may be yu are Congolese or from the springs.At least we shall call France or the mighty west ,then coup plotters will be taken by drones.Dont think of coup inthis new era of science and technology .And make a difference between our respected , educated military and other African military who only know how to kill presidents or make uneconomic coup.Oppose by giving solutions,we have a puzzle here to resove-cornmael issue.My input is the government shud build a national state run milling co to compete with the private shareholding companies in case shareholders play political gymnastics and bring artificial shortages.What is yours.Think to assist and not bring wars.Give them time you had yours.

  2. Uncle Zambia  March 21, 2013 at 12:38

    Wat do u guys that insult gain?????? Do u have God in ur lives ???

  3. THE SAINT  March 21, 2013 at 12:21

    It is the Zambian people and not Chiluba who brought us multiparty democracy. Unfortunately, many of those who were ther in 1990 are gone. 1 million twats born after that time, were added to the electoral roll and they voted for this Pathetic Front of clueless politicians. We are now back to UNIP days where government is by threats. Minister threatens this and Minister threatens that! Masebo is barking like a female dog in heat. Give people what you promised and stop blaming the people who voted for you for lack of progress!

  4. waza  March 21, 2013 at 12:00

    Romans 13, I urge all of you to read this Bible verse

    • Distant Drums  March 21, 2013 at 12:49

      Is this a verse or a chapter?

  5. Ndangwa Noyoo  March 21, 2013 at 11:50

    About 34 students were detained for questioning about the protests, Kaunda said. University officials said the campus would be shut for two weeks. The student-led riots began Monday after the government more than doubled the price of cornmeal, Zambia’s staple food, from $2.79 for a 55-pound bag to $6.56…Actually, it was 32 students and whilst the coup was unfolding we were being interrogated at the infamous Chamber Valley Prison under heavy military guard. On the day of the coup, we did not know what was happening as we were cut off from the rest of the society. Even our parents and guardians were stonewalled by Kaunda’s regime and security forces. Our captors on the day of the so-called coup were extremely jittery and nervous. They were also very harsh with us. Even going to the toilet one had to be escorted by a paramilitary non-commissioned officer who pointed an AK47 assault rifle while you relieved yourself. There was no privacy or human decency at the time. I am highly convinced that if the coup had been successful we would have been summarily executed. These times were not a picnic. We rose up against the mighty and seemingly impregnable one-party state and its brutal security machinery. Zambians should know who fought for their freedom which is now being denuded by myopic politicians.

  6. Mwamba Luchembe  March 21, 2013 at 10:17

    Guys you are giving me ideas…..I am a retired soldier do you want me to be promoted to major now or simply to head of state………just leave me in peace to relax in my Kabwata suburb…………

  7. Ngilingindo  March 21, 2013 at 10:14

    hahahah..its coming even now since KK is ruling..

  8. WAZABANGA  March 21, 2013 at 10:11

    SARA YOU STARTED YOUR ARTICLE WELL BUT WHY SHOULD YOU WIND UP WITH BAD WORDS FOR SOLDIERS,HAVE THE SOLDIERS SAID ANYTHING OR YOU ARE JUST AGAINST THEM NOKO ICHINYO

    • Bubbles  March 21, 2013 at 13:09

      Oh pantu you ve a ka pot stomach? hahahhaa just lose it already ala! idiot.

  9. Solomon  March 21, 2013 at 09:41

    Sara you’ve got guts,girl. And you hubby is in good hands am sure.
    Are you really the wife or it is the husband disguised in wife?
    Whatever the case,I understand your thinking,but there is no guarantee that a coup,whatever name it carries,is a DICTATORSHIP,period!
    At least,Paya Farmer government,we willingly voted for them. We swallowed their lies,Hook,Line and Sinker! And we are paying for it.
    But we are now the more wiser!
    And GOD with us…that’s why you see fratricide in the PF,dog eat dog: 1st it was Given,now it is GBM next all UPND moles like Emmanuel Chenda,Luckson Kazabu,Fuckson Shamende,Efrida Kansembe…

  10. ghostdog  March 21, 2013 at 09:25

    stay on ya grind en maintain your hustle there is plent of dough in zambia

  11. ghostdog  March 21, 2013 at 09:22

    Bait article,If you think of humanity as one large body, then war is like suicide, or at best, self mutilation.Copy that all you weak individuals supporting this article,War is only a cowardly escape from the problems of peace.

  12. Simon  March 21, 2013 at 08:14

    Coup d’tat is the best thing to change the Govt quickly.

  13. AnTi SATAna  March 21, 2013 at 08:05

    this Mwamba Luchembe is now impoverished in kabwata.

  14. Minister Without Portfolio  March 21, 2013 at 07:59

    He was promoted to the rank of Captain by FTJ

  15. soulja  March 21, 2013 at 07:48

    coup over artificial shortages over bags of mealie meal? Get real. Vent your chifukushi into something productive.

  16. miyanda A  March 21, 2013 at 07:44

    Well this situation doesn’t need to wait up to 2016 to be rectified. It needs to be corrected urgently by pf, if they don’t want want to do this themselves, we will do that for them and that will be either via a paid up Iraq style suicide bomber at statehouse during a cabinet meeting using a disgruntled minister or a pistolman at a rally but Sata isn’t coming out in public but we will find a solution soon.

    • shimwitwa  March 21, 2013 at 08:11

      Alternatively use the wife as a bomb, it is easier if he continues to avoid public appearance.

  17. vinch  March 21, 2013 at 07:15

    Just try and see

    • patriot  March 21, 2013 at 07:35

      ARE U AN ANIMAL?

  18. jonstoned  March 21, 2013 at 07:04

    When a people encounter obstacles to their development, they should consider all available options. This is only NATURAL, even animals do this.

  19. Fabrigus Fabrigus  March 21, 2013 at 06:56

    Where is Lt. Mwamba Lucembe?

    • Sup  March 21, 2013 at 07:05

      He is in Kabwata

      • GORE RA RE KUSIGIRA E MASIMBA A VANHU  March 21, 2013 at 10:52

        Is he still “confused”?

  20. Christian  March 21, 2013 at 06:44

    It would be a nice experience for our youth witness a couo

  21. UWALENGA  March 21, 2013 at 06:30

    CRY MY BELOVED COUNTRY

  22. Kaindye iyamwichinga  March 21, 2013 at 06:24

    Time wasters.

  23. TH  March 21, 2013 at 06:14

    U say Zambia does nt nid th nosense of a military coup but does Zambia nid th nosense of a dictatorship, u cannot say no to a coup wen at sametime u voted for a dictator thts contradicting yrself, a mov to put dictators in statehouse is step forward towrds military coup and th watchdog is certainly right to put up ths artcle. And thts y we kept saying only kaponyas wl vote fo sata, u r too blind to see beyond yr noses now crying u dnt want a coup! U cnt evn c tht this is proper solution now! To th mess u brot to ths countr

  24. blackbull  March 21, 2013 at 06:09

    this is a very good reminder dont let pipo start finding their solutions to their problems .

  25. Kapoli  March 21, 2013 at 05:38

    HH is a dog! We know he edits this site. Akabwa kapala umuntu ako!

    • TH  March 21, 2013 at 06:02

      Yr hatred of HH has no marked anywhere,why loading yrself wit valueless burdens? Yr ka post no market too n u com to our site bcos u find value in it

    • jonstoned  March 21, 2013 at 07:01

      Your poverty will kill you

    • Lasi  March 21, 2013 at 07:11

      If HH is a dog akabwa good for you check your self before you call someone akabwa.Ala ubututu bubi you think you are saying the best then sad for you. Even where it does not concern HH you are busy insulting him my friend your hate will not take you any where HH will remain HH for people.You never know may be you yourself you are a dog and not HH. God forbid learn to term your tongue.shame on you my friend.

    • Mwanarob  March 21, 2013 at 07:28

      Where does HH come in here, you little frightened man? For you and your minions, it seems like every shadow that passes by is HH. Causing you sleepless nights yes!

    • celo101  March 21, 2013 at 08:22

      cnt bliv u r that scared of hh…even when he is not related to the issue at hand,the pf kanponyas find sumthing 2say bout him.let the man be.worry bout yo life afta 2016 coz we are coming 4your dictators imunity…viva hh

  26. Pwele  March 21, 2013 at 05:38

    Ba Zambian Watch dog there is nothing nyc about a military govt. Leave us to enjoy our peace and don’t start giving our defense forces ideas. PF caders shud stop exporting maize period. They hav caused this shortage despite having recorded bumper harvests in Zambia.

  27. Czar  March 21, 2013 at 04:16

    No matter how bad things are in Zambia, I will not support the toppling of the PF government militarily. You cannot use a wrong to correct a wrong! Two wrongs don’t make a right!

  28. Voice of Reason  March 21, 2013 at 00:54

    Responsible reporting is cardinal at all times. Stop putting ideas in the idle military boys. The timing of this caption is in ill test given that there is maize meal shortage at the moment in Zambia. So is the story recap trying to indicate that what happened those many years ago maybe a solution today? Get a grip and promote peace at all times.

  29. Nasilele  March 20, 2013 at 23:47

    Zoona Zambians you are cowards when it comes to issues to do with arms and war.just good at shooting using words.keep it up.

    • Czar  March 21, 2013 at 04:17

      Go and commit suicide muppet!

    • Kapoli  March 21, 2013 at 05:36

      You idiot what’s wrong with your father’s sperm?

      • jonstoned  March 21, 2013 at 07:00

        It stopped existing at fertilisation

  30. Mambala  March 20, 2013 at 22:52

    This is frightnening. There is no justification for Military rule. In any case, Zambia will be condemned to a pariah state; there is no support for military coups anymore in the world. This is not the 70s. In Zambia there is no office bearer who is spared the wrath of the citizens. So tell the leaders in no un cerain ways as opposed to what is being advocated.

  31. Virus  March 20, 2013 at 22:50

    Foolish army busy eating free food no zelu

  32. intellengence Source  March 20, 2013 at 22:39

    Good for young generation to understand history we were young and Dictatorship must know his days are numbered

  33. Chewe we Chinga  March 20, 2013 at 22:37

    This is just a timely reminder to the government to work hard guys, nothing suggested Pleeaaasssseeee!!

  34. Puungwa  March 20, 2013 at 21:23

    What is the reason for this post?

  35. Bishop Aringarosa  March 20, 2013 at 21:19

    What a day June 30 1990 was! Was at UNZA and We went round the surrounding Compounds to mobilise Citizens against the UNIP Dictatorship. We marched to Kalingalinga, Chelstone, Olympia etc. I remember performing the Leopards crawl when the Zebra Unit opened fired on us!

  36. Magna  March 20, 2013 at 21:16

    This is shit. We don’t need such nonsense anymore! There are better ways of sorting out issues!

    • jonstoned  March 21, 2013 at 06:59

      The civil way is failing to bring about democratic governance, so naturally it is good to consider other options

  37. Frustrated Gunner  March 20, 2013 at 21:05

    All I need is an asault rifle and bullets. The rest will take care of themselves and all the fuss around will come to rest.
    Thank you.

  38. Tom  March 20, 2013 at 20:52

    Yes with PF Zambia is going the wrong direction but to be real I don’t support this article.

    • Mwana  March 21, 2013 at 08:16

      It’s not a matter of supporting the article, it is mere history

  39. Bimbo  March 20, 2013 at 20:30

    You can fool some of the people, some of the time, with FAKE promises, but you can’t fool all of the people ALL the time!

    You liars and cheats, get out of state house before the people of Zambia take you out! It will not be pleasant and you will regret the day!

  40. Peter  March 20, 2013 at 20:29

    We pray against that in jesus’name

  41. Maila  March 20, 2013 at 20:19

    I don’t support Ukwa and his rotten pf,but again i don’t support this article and whoever is trying to remind us whatever it is.

  42. Besa  March 20, 2013 at 20:14

    Elo we need a coup where Sata is assassinated followed by M’membe, Nchito, Kabimba and Mahtani.

    Please guys in the uniform do something fast, bafikala ba PF batupa sana elo nokwiba sana!

    • dwi dwi  March 21, 2013 at 05:18

      Hahahahaha

    • Kapoli  March 21, 2013 at 05:38

      Your father’s sperm at the time of bearing you was rotten!

      • jonstoned  March 21, 2013 at 06:57

        It wouldnt have managed to fertilise the egg if that was the case, unfortunately

  43. Jangjawid  March 20, 2013 at 20:07

    I hope the army will be serious this time, they will do it with a grade six at defence ministry they wil make it.

  44. chichi  March 20, 2013 at 20:06

    we will watch a repeat of that movie, manje manje so!

  45. mweene  March 20, 2013 at 19:49

    This cheap ad cowardice let’s wait for the Election I think u are running out of ideas.

    • wajimona  March 21, 2013 at 05:56

      How many bye elections have you won so far.Rigging will continue even in 2016.

  46. observer1  March 20, 2013 at 19:47

    Mealie meals shortages are back… high meal prices and KK is back in saddle at state house, though thru the back door.

  47. observer1  March 20, 2013 at 19:46

    kikiki we have KK back in the saddle… sadly again, and mealie shortages are rife and prices skyrocketing… a saviour would be needed, of course.

  48. Chris  March 20, 2013 at 19:44

    We are likely to witness that…

    • Mpongwe  March 20, 2013 at 20:05

      Zambia doesn’t need this nonsense. Things maybe bad at the moment, but we don’t need such postings. God we pray against such madness

      • Kunda  March 20, 2013 at 20:17

        Cool down big man, why are you so apprehensive? The madness in this nation is no longer bearable. Let Zambia army take over!

      • Sara  March 21, 2013 at 06:37

        Fear of a coup by some bloggers here reveals the typical characteristics of cockeyed citizens whose theoretical lenses see a coup as anti-democratic. This is an orthodox construction that considers military coups to be entirely anti-democratic and presupposes that all coups are performed by power-hungry military officers and soldiers seeking to depose sitting governments in order to rule their nations for an indefinite period. To hell with this old thinking and its underlying assumptions.

        Guys, we are leaving in modern time and we need to change our old beliefs. After reading this article I showed it to my husband who is a senior army officer and I was impressed with his philosophical perspective which I also buy into. He believes that, although all military coups have anti-democratic characteristics, some coups are plainly more democracy-promoting than others because they answer to popular opposition against dictatorial or tyrannical regimes like one we have now in Zambia under Sata.

        When a tyrannical regime is overthrown and the army helps to facilitate free and fair elections would you consider that evil? Not at all! Guys imwe think twice – no matter how bad the army leadership may be, it can still be better than Sata’s!

        Ine guys I support a ‘DEMOCRATIC COUP DETAT’ especially if it was to be executed by the Zambian Commandos from Mushili in Ndola. Those are really experts not these guys we see slashing infyani with tuma pot stomachs.

        I love my country but the current NOSENSE leaves me with one preference – a ‘DEMOCRATIC COUP DETAT’.

        • Chola  March 21, 2013 at 06:55

          Do not play with fire you little girl!

        • jonstoned  March 21, 2013 at 06:56

          This is great Sara, your husband is indeed previledged to have you as a wife

        • Ndangwa Noyoo  March 21, 2013 at 11:51

          Actually, it was 32 students and whilst the coup was unfolding we were being interrogated at the infamous Chamber Valley Prison under heavy military guard. On the day of the coup, we did not know what was happening as we were cut off from the rest of the society. Even our parents and guardians were stonewalled by Kaunda’s regime and security forces. Our captors on the day of the so-called coup were extremely jittery and nervous. They were also very harsh with us. Even going to the toilet one had to be escorted by a paramilitary non-commissioned officer who pointed an AK47 assault rifle while you relieved yourself. There was no privacy or human decency at the time. I am highly convinced that if the coup had been successful we would have been summarily executed. These times were not a picnic. We rose up against the mighty and seemingly impregnable one-party state and its brutal security machinery. Zambians should know who fought for their freedom which is now being denuded by myopic politicians.

  49. Crook  March 20, 2013 at 19:26

    Is this a reminder or what?

    To whom is this directed?

    • Sway  March 20, 2013 at 19:36

      To whom it may concern

  50. SOSA  March 20, 2013 at 19:19

    pray for Zambia

Comments are closed.