PAN PAN to MAYDAY, the case of the Zambian economic pressure

[By Melvin Chisanga]

SINCE the PF laid its hands on the instruments of power in 2011, things have not been too good for our economy. The party in power has spent almost the entire decade searching for the working formulae to govern. Like a football team that had just been promoted from championship to topflight football, they showed promising signs under the tutelage of Mr Sata. Unfortunately, Mr Sata never lived to guide his fledgling team to his desired destination. He died halfway into his contract.

Whether or not Mr Sata was steering the economic wheel of this country in the correct direction, the place where his team has found itself on the economic log is very telling of the man who succeeded him. In all fairness folks, it would be somewhat inappropriate for one to begin analysing the performance of the departed who spent a considerable amount of his time struggling with his health. For this reason, I will cut him some slack, even as I ask you to allow me to restrict my analysis to the post-Sata PF.

Soon after his demise, Mr Sata’s team, which had earned itself a record-breaking promotion from the championship, began to experience some problems. Replacement of the charismatic gaffer himself was always going to be the first hurdle to surmount from two vantage points.

Like Man United replacing Ferguson at Old Trafford, Team Sata knew the impossibility of replacing Sata with another like him. Besides that, another challenge emanated from the number of individuals from his coaching staff that felt eligible to take over the reins.

Somehow, Team Sata came up with their own Moyes, though the process left many disgruntled. These were those that believed that they were more deserving to seize the mantle. Interestingly enough, as though to confirm the belief that for every person in the world, there is yet another or two that are exactly like them, the tactics employed by the Zambian Moyes variant followed suit of those employed by the England one.

Team Zambia has for the longer time been playing on the back foot in the economic field of play, scoring numerous own goals in the process. Typical of coaches, our own hasn’t also listened to advice to change his game plan, insisting that the game is still OK even though our economy hit the PAN PAN emergency call status long ago.
Most, if not all, economic variables do attest to this fact. What went wrong?

Could it be mere coincidence and sheer luck that some managers get it right at their first attempt, or could it be that they just have something going for them? Our economic Moyes may insist that losing games is part of the game, but not to the extent that we hit the bottom on the economic log when he took over mid-table team with all the resources at his disposal.

Out of shame that his contemporaries will laugh at him when he upgrades his distress call to MAYDAY, he has refused to declare the extent of his shortcomings, ascribing the nearest he would get to accepting that there’s indeed a problem, to climate change. You may refuse to make the appropriate distress call bwana but without any sign or hope of the economy bottoming out, the economic fundamentals are busy exposing your arrogance.

Same league, same playing grounds, same footballs, I want to hear Moyes say losing games is global when Liverpool (of which I’m a fan), have been winning games for fun. Anyway, Moyes only remains with slightly over a year on his contract with the Zambian people. They are willing to put up with his relegation zone performance just to see out his contract.


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