These Elections and Us, by Gabriel C Banda



These Elections and Us,


Gabriel C Banda

ZAMBIA’S current elections of mayors and councillors in by-elections and new positions give us thoughts on elections, governance systems, and practices. Violence and campaign rallies concern us.

This July, it is pleasing that PF and UPND officials a few days ago sat together to sign pledge about their party members not to be engaged in violence.

At the signing ceremony and other functions later, PF youth chairperson Stephen Kampyongo and UPND’s Deputy National Youth Chairperson, Habeenzu Munji, spoke with sincerity about renouncing political and elections-linked violence from wherever it came.

And Namakau Kabwiku, UPND Chairperson for Women’s Affairs, has given the very deep human aspect of the effects of political violence.

In the background, the Electoral Commission of Zambia, ECZ, has done well in encouraging political parties to meet to condemn a culture of violence in politics and elections.

Violence not only affects combatants, mostly young persons, from the competing parties, but also the participation of voters. As Mama Namakau Kabwiku observed, political violence and elections-linked violence intimidate some members of the public from involvement in political processes and elections.

Many women keep away from violent electoral environments. Sadly, those parties that know this sometimes may cause violence so that some voters keep away and leave the field for political party members.

Violence among political party members contributed to Zambia becoming a One Party state. Inter-party political violence was by large put in check with the coming of the One Party Democracy time.

It is to be hoped that the recent anti-violence stance by the big political parties will stay long term. There is need to make the interactions constant. They must be nourished. Cadres must see that their leaders are constantly meeting to discuss issues of violence and peace.  The leaders must often be seen together at public functions.

It is important to consider what factors and entities drive violence in politics. Systems must be designed and implemented to deal with the violence. Codes of conduct must be introduced and enforced in each political party and across parties.

The frontline militants and cadres must realise that many officials of parties use political parties as vehicles. The officials can move from one party to another, even to and from those they previously condemned.

The party officials must also realise that cadres that are sent by leaders to implement violence can later act against you when you have moved from their party. Officials must be considerate and feel for other people’s sons and daughters who may end up being victims of political violence.

And for a long time, many of us have appealed for public places like market places and bus stations to be politically neutral places that are not run by political party cadres. It is pleasing that recently PF and UPND officials have started discussing this and talked about “depoliticising” the places.



Now, besides issues of violence, Zambia’s current mayoral and ward by-elections and elections provide us thoughts on some basics around campaigns and rallies.

Firstly, we note that, at least in our Lusaka city, political parties are very active and very public in their campaigns. However, unlike during the August 2016 combined presidential, parliamentary, and local government elections, this time we find little publicity directed to voters to turn up.

Some voters may be considering the mayoral elections as internal matters of councils and their political party ward councillors. This was the way things were before the new Constitution. But now mayors are to be voted for by everyone, not just councillors.

Our concern is that as it appears the field is being left to the political parties, many among those of us who are ordinary members of the public may not be involved in voting.

Disconnect and apathy towards council elections and local government may develop, thus distancing the general public from public issues that they should be actively involved in. With cadres in dominance, the current appearance is that the mayoral elections belong to political parties and many in public are mere spectators.

It appears that in practice, in the environment of the new Constitution, the mayors are being moved from being civic leaders to being representatives of their political parties that seek to run councils.

The dominance of political cadre campaigns may find many registered voters stay at home and leave the council field to political parties. But local government should involve the active participation of all persons, with or without political parties.

I think that just after Zambia’s independence, local government elections were about residents, not political parties. These residents included even those that were not national citizens but were permanent residents of the town and country.

Presidents and Campaign

Another aspect that concerns us are who is involved in campaigns during mayoral elections. From the re-introduction of the multi-party system in December 1990, some of us have argued that the president of the country should not be involved in campaigning at by-elections.

From the administrations of Frederick Chiluba, Levy Mwanawasa, and Rupiah Banda, to Michael Sata and now Edgar Lungu, some of us have been concerned about the president appearing on the side of their party at parliamentary by-election rallies.

I believe that the president should be spared the stress of campaigning for their own party or against other parties, the opposition. I believe there should be official rules about the president not campaigning at by-elections.

A president campaigning may drive some citizens away from that president. We believe that party officials should do the campaigns without the president – and preferably without ministers, who are also holding state offices for all.

The president is for all and should not be subjected to taking sides during by-elections of MPs and mayors.  A president’s participation in campaigns during by-elections may lead to hostility towards the president.

If the candidate the president publicly supports does not win, it does not go well with the president having campaigned. It becomes some referendum on the president’s rule. If the president’s party candidate takes the seat, voters of other political parties may not be supportive of the president.

The president should after election be always associated with belonging to all, of all backgrounds. A president needs to be for all, whatever party they come from. I believe that a president should not be involved in partisan campaigns during by-elections of MPs and mayors.

Full-time Mayors

There has been high tension over the July 26, 2018 by-elections and elections for new districts. Political party cadres have been very active. Some cities and towns are hot areas.

Election as fulltime and executive mayor in some big cities may provide exposure and ladder to those who are interested in future public positions such as national president.

When there is voter apathy and elections are dominated by political party members, persons of rough character may slip through and be voted in.


The PF-UPND Covenant of July 2018 is some landmark. There should be Zero Tolerance on violence. The members of political parties should not only avoid violent behaviour but end violence altogether.

Party youth groups, sadly, may act as militias, sometimes very aggressive and even violent. Violence is sometimes promoted by officials while at times the militant cadres act on their own interest and lead to dynamics that affect the wider political environment.

Sometimes officials lose command of cadres, with some cadres acting as freelancers in the scheme of violence.

Party officials must actively discourage and dismantle cultures of violence within their parties. Officials must make sure violent cadres in their own party are firmly dealt with.

The factors, instruments, and drivers that enable and nourish violence should be identified and defused.

Many times there are strong grudges against other cadres – for something that is happening now or happened before – and these must be healed. We must also recognise that some cadres seek gains such as those advantages that accrue with controlling public spaces like bus stations and market places.

Discipline and obedience are important in running big groupings. Groups should have fairness for their members and other persons. They should follow a discipline based on core human values of respect and dignity for all.

Basic human rights must be respected by all – within the party and in behaving towards other parties.

Attitudes and practices of violence must be unlearnt. Cultures of tolerance and peace-building must be activated and consistently practised.

And after the election results, those who are declared winners must not humiliate those who have not won seats.  Victors should not mock, laugh at, down-sing, and otherwise humiliate those candidates and parties not declared winners.

Nourished should be systems, structures, and practices that help a non-violent political and elections environment.

So, the current mayoral and local government elections will contribute towards what will be dominant future practices. As have PF and UPND officials recently done in their covenant of July 2018, it is important to continue to practically act against political violence.

It is also important to consider issues around campaigns, including the effect of a president participating for their party in public election campaign rallies.

Besides wide publicity to encourage voter turnout, we also would be interested in ECZ thinking about the election day timing. The July 26, 2018 polls date has now been made public holiday. It may be helpful for ECZ to be selecting dates that may be on weekends.

Of course, there may be many factors involved and the date setting may be quite complex, but the date must be closely considered. There are times it might even be possible to think of election hours been longer than closing at 18.00 Hrs. And then, another complex situation, we may need to think about government pronouncing holidays only in those places doing elections.

It is necessary to adjust some rules and practices if things are to be harmonious in future mayoral and local government elections and administrations.  The building and nourishing of non-violence should be continuous, beyond particular election times.

GCB, June-July 2018, LUSAKA

Based in Lusaka, the author is involved in the writing and the arts, social development, and observation of conflict and peace issues.


Thailand Cave Rescue and Us, a view from Africa, by Gabriel C Banda


Thailand Cave Rescue and Us,

a View from Africa


Gabriel C Banda

THE cave rescue efforts currently taking place in Chiang Rai, Thailand, provide key lessons to many of us, all over the world.

Since they went missing on Saturday, June 23, 2018, efforts to locate and rescue the members of a soccer team, of twelve youths and coach Ake, have involved goodwill and action by people all over the world.

It is a challenge of difficult natural conditions as well as a celebration of human goodwill and togetherness. It is a lesson on how people and institutions working in teamwork can overcome deep challenges.

This is humanity putting huge support and resources together to achieve a good thing.  The same dedication can be applied to many other challenges we find in situations small and big.

Shown by the urgency of flooding and Monsoon rains threatening to pour big, Chiang Rai has been about how you put together many factors as you approach a big task.

It is about determination, resilience, and proper methods while we remain calm and in control of ourselves. It is about not giving up on ourselves and on others. It has been about connecting with our other parts who are elsewhere.

Immediately, the missing of the youth soccer team was of great concern. From many places of the world, many followed, on television and media, Thailand’s Chiang Rai events.

And from many places of the world, many came to help the soccer team members. They joined the Thai workers in the search. Some were employees sent by institutions while some were experienced persons that were volunteering.

In the bowels of Tham Luang Nang Non mountain cave, the gathered team of humanity searched. These, the Chiang Rai soccer team members, are our brothers.



The rescue effort, using various skills and methods, was steady and getting closer. On Monday, July 2, there was great relief when rescuers on the frontline encountered the team and it was known all team members were alive and active.

Among others from Thailand and various parts of the world, the cave diving team from Britain had included Rick William Stanton, John Volanthen, and Robert Charlie Harper. They had explored Tham Luang Nang Non cave before.

Of course, the rescuer that television shows in first contact and talk was just on the frontline in a team supported by many others, working together at the same time, and in various places.

It may not be accurate to say the team was discovered by the shown rescuer from Britain. We do not surely know. This may be inaccuracy from media reporting rather than the rescuer’s fault.


But through his approach, we learn from that frontline contact rescuer from Britain, the combination of skill, calmness, timing, and human relations in difficult situations. He was calm and deeply sympathetic, trying to feel with them and be reassuring. There was deep humanity. The voice was gentle, polite, and reassuring.

The contact was a great example from a person that is anchored, mature, considerate, and deeply reaching out to another in soul to soul.  We realise that goodwill from participants was deeply evident, thus moving the rescue towards success.

Release and Families

The rescue team kept reaching, supporting, and nourishing the soccer team members in various ways. Both rescuers and soccer team members made extensive preparation for evacuation.

Sadly, in the process of supporting the team, on July 5 there was the death of volunteer worker Samarn Poonan. He died in noble action.

The rescue team calmly kept on learning and planning. And through that careful planning and teamwork, on Sunday, July 8, four boys were brought out of the cave. Many in the world prayed that with continuous learning by the rescuers and authorities, the rest of the operation should succeed.

When some of the boys have been rescued and evacuated out, they seem embargoed. Authorities have not released them to their families but confined them to hospitals, initially without physical contact with their families.  It was later explained that authorities did not want to risk infections from conditions got from the caves.

Yes, but of course, there could have been other considerations, such as the fact that immediately releasing the boys to their separate families could not only have affected team work in the boys and families but that the authorities and teams needed to concentrate on completing the rescue.

There was also risk that boys released early to their families could have led to a situation of confused information and even panic as the boys and families could have been giving some narrations that may have greatly affected some things.

And, of course, being an older mentor and like the captain of a ship, the coach, if in good health, is expected to be the last team member to be evacuated.

Teamwork, as International Space Station Zarya

There has been great teamwork within the rescue team, within the soccer team, and across various persons and teams. This was an international effort. It was about humanity first.

The Thailand rescue mission reminds us of the International Space Station, “Zarya,” which I like to watch as it passes our space over Lusaka, Zambia. The space station has persons in it. They are citizens of various governments, including those of Russia, USA, Canada, Japan, and Europe.

So while there may be tension involving the establishments of USA, UK, and others against Russia, since 1998, in space, their citizens have been cooperating in driving the space station and doing experiments and observations.

When we move away from narrow and closed nationalisms such as components of “America First,” Brexit, and other human isolations and exclusions and instead embrace our common humanity that is a basis of life, we can deeply achieve. As the Thailand cave rescue mission has shown, let us have Humanity First, and, deeper still, Life First.

Learning and Classroom

Chiang Rai has been about understanding a situation and its challenges and then using opportunities and windows available. It was about thorough planning and preparation. It was about team work. It was about leadership and guidance.

The exercise was about connecting to other humans and effectively working together for the Common Good.

Learning and classrooms are everywhere and all the time. Capacity building is continuous. An army is always training so that it is always ready for various challenges that may emerge.

All fields of life should have persons training in them and building expertise. These will come in handy at some point, near or far, home or abroad, now or in future. A society must always be prepared and alert in all fields.


Persons dealing with rescue service, the military, disaster relief, psychology and counselling in crisis, and other fields, should study the Thailand cave rescue event. They should study it both in Thailand and in their own groups at home.

My prayer has been that people from Africa and other parts of the world should rush to Thailand to witness and study the rescue. They may go there now or even later, for the lessons do not end and still need to be studied.

For example, Zambia’s government could send a team that includes experts and instructors from rescue services, military commando unit, mines department, medicine and health, communications, psychology and counselling, cultures, and disaster management.

They can go to Thailand not only to learn about rescue approaches but to also contribute to the effort. Amongst other experiences, Zambia has built much capacity in drilling and rescue over mining incidents.

The team members could then come back and work with their sectors and together on various issues of rescue and emergencies. The Chiang Rai experience is good learning for everyone.

The 2018 Thailand Chiang Rai international cave operation should remain a major lesson in humanitarian rescue.


GCB, June/July 2018, by Monday, July 09th, 2018, LUSAKA


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Korea Kim-Trump Talks Concerns, by Gabriel C Banda


Korea Kim-Trump Talks Concerns,


Gabriel C Banda

OF course, effect of Tweeting on issues may be one of the concerns we may have about the coming Korea talks involving Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un.

The talks on Korea will have many issues of contention and concern. The issues will be about process, content, and outcome of the discussion.

A concern will be that the parties may affect the discussion and spirit of the meeting by the way they want to appear to be the ones controlling the meeting or its outcome.


The parties may be keen to tell their home audiences and the world that they are the ones deciding and influencing the direction of the talks. Thus parties must be careful with the official and unofficial statements being issued by the leaders and their team members.

As happened in recent days, remarks considered unfavourable by others involved almost derailed the Singapore talks on Korea. This was worsened by junior officials of the American and Korean governments attacking the other’s head of state.

Already, some members of wide media are in coverage not reporting accurately or fairly. There is prejudice and bias, lack of understanding, and there seems desire to influence the direction and result of talks. This affects people’s attitudes towards the activities and outcome of the Kim-Trump first direct talks.

Trump may be going in as ruler of a superpower, something that will not help relations. (We have argued in our other writings that there can be no Superpower on earth and that the Superpower concept is a myth).

First Contact

The parties must go in at a human level and they will find there is some common humanity they can build on. As we have suggested before when Trump was implying an immediate agreement to denuclearise at first meeting, the Kim-Trump talks should be considered a first contact meeting that will enable the two to go past the dehumanisation that US and North Korea government propaganda has for some seven decades made of the other.

When they are humane with each other, they will find respect of the other as a member of our common human family. With respect for each other, tension will decline. It is then easy to put aside the cleavages of past militarism towards each other.

The Singapore meeting could be better considered a meeting that enables knowing one another and the building of relationships.  It should be some process that enables all parties to get to understand each other and deeply deal with appreciating their key situations and concerns.

When you get close to another and interact, prejudices are reduced and you appreciate the other as a person, as human also. Then it is easier to work together with the person.

When friendship begins, the tension will lessen. With less fear and tension, and one being at ease, one does not build huge military arsenals against those that are becoming their friends. North Korea and the United States then need not spend hugely on the military.


Some concern will involve the content of the discussion, which is based on current and past contested issues.  There are some key contested issues to settle. The issue of “denuclearisation” by North Korea will need deep discussion.

For decades, the various North Korea administrations tried to develop nuclear capacity as defensive mechanism against USA nuclear and non-nuclear weapon threats.

Just after the Second World War, where the US government had within days used atomic weapons against Japan’s Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Korea War led to the deaths, by USA forces’ use of unethical military attacks, of millions of Koreans. The USA even threatened with use of atomic weapons in Korea. Thousands of American, British, and allied troops died. Like other wars, it was a war of no-winners.

The 1950 – 1953 Korea war, like the effects of the Japanese invasion of Korea and China, has remained part of bitter memories that make the North Korea governments be on guard and unyielding towards USA or Japan military threats. The war also affected troops and families in the western world. The war was not officially settled and stopped. Korea continued being divided into North and South.

The publicised immediate “denuclearisation” goal as Trump’s main one in the planned talks was not realistic. It was too early. A relationship first needs to be built. The Trump side seems to think they will even supervise the dismantling of the missile and nuclear facilities.

 Key Issues 

On Korea, there are some key issues eventually to be settled. One is on nuclear weapons. Another military issue is the presence of the USA forces in the region. Their presence threatens North Korea, which in turn has tried to arm itself, to extent of nuclear weapons, to avoid being destroyed by USA wrath.

The issues involve many parties. There is North Korea and South Korea, formerly one nation, divided by Russia and American forces. There is the North Korea-USA tense relationship. There is also China in the picture, China being concerned with the presence of the USA forces in the area. There is also Russia in the picture.

And then there are US allies like Japan, who are in some military alliance with USA over North Korea.

In some ways, much of the tension between North Korea and the USA helps the USA to put troops and forces in the area, officially to mark North Korea but mainly to be there to check China.

North Korea does not threaten the United States save to defend itself against threats of military attack and regime change. Left to itself, North Korea has no reason to attack the USA. Thus, for a settlement, the need for the USA to move away from demonising and threatening the North Korea administration.

Within North and South Korea, they dream about their people being free to move within the united territory. There are families that have been divided and want to reconnect. The two governments of Korea think about officially settling the Korean war with ceasefire. They also need to nourish economic relations.

The meetings of North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and South Korea’s Moon Jae-in showed that much advance is possible, with Moon from the beginning of his presidency having been pro-peace with the North.

What often prevents the two Koreas from making advances are strong external forces with various interests in the area. Sometimes some interests of those external forces are not supported by the Koreans.

The long tension between US and North Korea governments is not necessary. It has been long because of external interests. Left to themselves, North and South Korea could have found some way of living together without excessive tension.

One reason the United States may in recent years not have attacked North Korea is that attacking the North would lead to war between North and South.  USA ally Japan would also be drawn in through being attacked. That deters possible US attacks for regime change. There would be many casualties in Korea North and South, and even Japan, while the USA rulers may be far away and safe.



 President Donald Trump seems to imply that denuclearisation is about disarming North Korea.   It is unclear what the USA is offering to do to reduce its part contributing to tension.

Insistence on immediate and complete denuclearisation at this time might work to disturb the reaching of some agreement now and later. For now, the two forces can start with some issues they can easily come to agreement with. These will enable them build a relationship that will lead to later dealing with more complex issues like denuclearisation and adjustment of military presences.

The issue of “denuclearisation” of North Korea is complex and will not be immediately fully settled. From past USA examples over Japan, Iraq, and the Libya model, North Korea is unlikely to immediately dismantle what it has for decades built and used as deterrence against possible USA aggression and regime change.

The USA will not be easily trusted not to attack militarily or use other sanctions to bring down North Korea’s government. Saddam in Iraq, in 2003, and Qaddafi in Libya, 2011, were examples of United Nations instruments being used to dismantle military capacity and then the USA and allies going in to attack and eventually kill the rulers, leading to instability that has affected the whole world.

Moral Authority

Another problem is that the US does not have the moral authority to disarm another government of weapons which the USA itself has in large quantity. Genuine denuclearisation requires that the USA itself de-nukes, at least in the Korean peninsula.

But with the nature of technology, which includes far away missile platforms on land, sea, and air, the North Koreans will still feel threatened by the USA even when there are no ships and aircraft near the Korea borders.

It is also unfair for the USA negotiators to expect Kim to yield quickly to disarmament when the USA and allies have recently been involved in controversial military exercises that have for decades threatened North Korea.

The USA administration should have shown some step towards goodwill and peace by a favourable response to North Korea’s recent actions of, as Kim had promised, dismantling some of its missile and nuclear testing apparatus.

One expects Kim Jong-un to ask Trump to dismantle the presence of American forces in the Korea peninsula. As a way of going forward in the talks and relations, a USA military down-adjustment or withdrawal, complete or partial, will be key issues proposed.

Leaving or reducing military presence in the Korea peninsula will have some effects on US and Korea military economies. In the Singapore talks, a USA’s decline in reducing or removing their military arsenal will affect discussions about North Korea’s denuclearisation.


Not the United Nations

Another factor is that the United States government is not the United Nations. Already, they are a party to the Korea conflict and a more neutral party would have been easier to facilitate a meeting where the USA and North Korea, and even South Korea, would have been the key parties seeking to solve the conflict.


Regime Change pattern

North Korea may fear regime change efforts by external authorities. The pattern behind justifying and preparing for attacks against some opponents includes: declare that a ruler is a dictator, ruthless, has committed crimes against humanity against their own people and others, is armed with weapons of mass destruction, supports terrorism, and threatens the USA and allies.

The ruler will also be shown as isolated, a “recluse,” a vagabond without companions. While the USA and allies will be called “the international community,” they will label those governing by the unfavourable term “regime.” The ruler is portrayed as worthy to be destroyed.

Then the United Nations system or some other system or alliance set up has been used to cripple the opponent’s economy and disarm the military. Then the disarmed ruler and regime is attacked. And the ruler is killed, using legal or non-legal instruments.

Such events people like Kim Jong-un may be worry of and will try to avoid being victims of.  Thus the denuclearisation or disarmament talk will be complex and not solvable within a few days.


Economic Support

Now, as enticement, President Trump has put forward the reward of economic support and progress for North Korea if Kim denuclearises. Yet this is a complex thing. North Korea, as happened with Zimbabwe, has been affected by economic sanctions, led by the USA and allies.

So it is not necessary to reward the North with payments for Kim to find economic relief. Important is to let North Korea be freed from sanctions led by the USA.

When sanctions are lifted, North Korea will be free to trade and make many linkages. It is unlikely that the North Koreans will focus on the USA as their economic saviour. Freed from sanctions, North Korea is likely to go full strength with those they have trusted for long, those like China.

North Korea may avoid financial handouts from USA because they may bring vulnerability in times of issues like differences, with examples like Trump’s threat to withdraw American finance to Palestine.


Kim and Trump have inherited the tension of long ago and have nourished it.  Now is another chance to move from tension and work towards healing.

Due to propaganda by American and North Korean governments over the decades, there is some problem of generalising and stigmatising Americans and North Koreans.

For some explained or unexplained reasons, some persons do not like Kim Jong-un and North Korea.  Without aiming to understand the truth and context but following the prejudices and hostility of some opposing government rulers and others, some have portrayed Kim Jong-un and administration as harsh and inhuman.

But in terms of the walk towards the Singapore meeting, actually Kim Jong-un shows self-control, order, and organisation. He and Donald Trump are able to work together and produce a result for the Common Good.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump will need to keep his Tweeter addiction in check. It has affected local and external politics and even financial markets.

It must also be realised that, unlike what is portrayed, the stigmatisation and demonization of North Korea and its rulers is actually not world-wide. Over the years, North Korea has had good relations with some governments of Africa and other places.


Sufficient Achievement

Besides what we have discussed here, there are other issues that will be of concern at the Kim-Trump June 2018 summit in Singapore.

But, for now, both Kim and Trump must be commended for the courage to reach the other that had been, by propaganda of decades, portrayed negatively.

This Singapore meeting must be regarded as an important foundation step in helping to reduce, and eventually remove, unnecessary tension between them, a tension that has bearing on the whole of humanity. Other meetings will follow.

Even if there is no major announcement of solving a contentious issue such as nuclearisation, it will actually be sufficient achievement for Kim and Trump to just have met.

For now, it is important that some careless tweet from folks does not disturb the progress of the Kim-Trump first talks.


GCB,  May/June, 2018, LUSAKA.


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Based at Lusaka, Zambia, the author is involved in writing and the arts, social development, and observation of conflict and peace issues. Attended the MA Peace Studies programme at University of Bradford.








Why No Trump Nobel Prize, by Gabriel C Banda


Why No Trump Nobel Prize


Gabriel C Banda

IT is presently unlikely that Donald Trump will get a Nobel Prize for Peace. Even if, from the coming Singapore talks, some advances were to be made on settling some Korea issues, it will not be easy to give Donald Trump a Nobel Prize.

The reasons why Donald J Trump is unlikely to be offered a Nobel Peace prize are many and easy to understand. The Nobel Prize for peace is meant to honour a determined and deeply humane quality that acts to build peace where there is extreme disharmony.

There are many factors around Trump and a Nobel Prize. The award of a Nobel Prize is not just about opposing parties reaching some settlement. The method and process of reaching some settlement are very important.

Method Important 

Depth of Spirit and Method are what are rewarded for being examples of action towards high human achievement and dignity. The spirit and method must be in combination.

The method must show some peaceful approaches. The Nobel Peace prize suggests Non-Violence and Non-Aggression as its base. Important are the spirit and method through which a conflict is settled. It is about action that very positively transforms the family of humanity.

Some persons turn round from rough individual and group methods and practices to embody more non-aggressive, respectful, and harmonious attitudes and actions. They accept and embody the essential humanity and dignity of others.

The Donald Trump spirit’s approaches, in word and deed, will likely exclude him from honour of the Nobel magnitude.

Fire and Fury 

Installed president in January 2017, Trump has made himself an emperor, complete with ruling princes and princesses, that has decreed some policies and actions that have hurt humanity and the integrity of Creation.

Trump has some issues that are “disqualifying,” to borrow a term our Big Man Senator John McCain has said about other issues.

Donald Trump’s methods counter the spirit of the Nobel Prize for Peace. In local and international relations, he believes in, and practises, Fire and Fury, to quote his own words.  He bullies and pushes others around, issuing threats and strong-arm tactics to get others to yield to his position of advantage against them.

He insults others. He disrespects the humanity of others. He tries to bully citizens and rulers of other dominions. He is proud, boastful, of the aggressive style.

Trump has been consistent in his harsh attacks on others. His performance makes many uncomfortable. In his presidential election campaign, he displayed sparks of inner violence towards others.

In the Korea issue, Trump and Team have made “fire and fury” threats against North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. As incitement to stop North Korea’s nuclear weaponisation, Trump has offered economic benefits or else economic sanctions and even force.

Trump is seeking some surrender of Kim rather than an amicable settlement over differences involving North Korea, South Korea, and the United States. He was rushing for immediate “denuclearisation” instead of, as we suggested before, working towards first understanding Kim Jong-un and building some relationship and friendship that will help the parties reach amicable settlement of contentious issues.

“Denuclearisation” has become a term for some disarming of North Korea while the USA keeps its weapons arsenal and presence in the area.

There was some taunting of the other just like some boxers have done before matches. Some poor Trump and team remarks and approaches towards his Korean counterpart threatened the planned June 2018 Singapore meeting with Kim Jong-un from taking place. But Kim has not been scared by Trump and team.

Recently, in the same breath of denying such intention, Trump has openly asserted that the “Libya Model” or scheme of force as said by his National Security Advisor John Bolton can be visited upon Kim Jong-un if the North Korea ruler does not comply with Trump’s demands.

The Nobel Prize is not just some matter about reaching a settlement. The method you use is important. Otherwise persons would have been honoured for using force to make others surrender and thus stop a war.

Carrot and stick diplomacy does not seem consistent with the Nobel approach. The Fire and Fury doctrine or practice counters the spirit of Nobel peace. The method of threat prevents Trump from being honoured with the Nobel Prize.

Enemy of the Earth

Besides approaches in international negotiations, the Trump spirit has continued to act against the integrity and togetherness of humanity and creation itself.

He has put into place policies and laws that act against persons of some religions – Islam. Trump is still planning to put up physical walls to divide persons in their human variation.

The anti-immigration policies, with Mexicans as the immediate face of that deep prejudice, are creating disharmony in humanity. Trump has also created problems for families of migrants through his policies that divide parents and young ones.

And, also, Trump has pulled the USA out of the international agreement on Iran and nuclear technology.

And through effort to withdraw the USA government from the Paris Climate Accord, Donald Trump has acted against humanity’s collective efforts towards healing the earth and maintaining a sustainable environment in the present and future.

At home, the Trump spirit has worked against the earth and communities by encouraging industries and businesses to disturb the environment.

Trump has taken a position as an Enemy of the Earth. Meanwhile, the Nobel Committee has honoured those, like our Big Sister and Aunt Wangari Maathai in 2004, that worked strongly towards wide environmental health.

Besides actions against the health of our common environment, for the earth and environment are one and wholesome, Trump has disturbed world trading relations through imposing or threatening selfish economic tariffs and sanctions that will have negative effect upon many in the world, including Americans.

And Donald Trump, carrying along with him Britain’s Teresa May, and France’s Macron, in April 2018 attacked Syria even before the planned international investigation team on accusations of use of chemical weapons had done its work.  In some pattern, there had been another US attack in April 2017.

This was like George W Bush Jr, in Iraq, before him, and the fake Weapons of Mass Destruction charge against Saddam Hussein. George W Bush, Jr, had carried along Britain’s prime minister Tony Blair as accomplice. There has been no learning from the self-evident misdeeds of his predecessors.

Locally, in the USA, Donald Trump has put into place measures that will reverse Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act and lead to reduction of access to medical services by millions of Americans, as was before Obama.

Obama Legacy

It seems Donald Trump’s obsession and hatred around the legacy of the Barack Obama presidency prevent him from making his own achievements in some things.

Perhaps Trump’s hostility towards Obama is driven by envy of the younger President’s achievements. Where Trump has sought to build walls, Obama built bridges.

Barack Obama was in 2009 honoured by the Nobel Committee for his thoughts and actions towards making the world a more peaceful place. The award was for “efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”

On becoming USA president, Barack Obama had reached out to those previously demonised and considered pariahs in an “axis of evil.” They included North Korea and Iran. Obama began to work towards denuclearisation. His was not about disarming others while USA kept their nuclear weapons, which their opponents felt threatened by.

Locally, Obama, through the Affordable Care Act, worked on improving the situation of millions not having access to medical services.

Obama, through the 2012 DACA policy, showed compassion towards children and families found in illegal migration. Obama supported the worldwide effort towards a Climate Accord that leads to a healthier environment.

Obama Effects

Of course, Barack Obama’s rule had its negative effects upon the world. One Obama sin was to reluctantly, but inexcusably, joining France’s warlord Nicolas Sarkozy in raiding Libya, after misusing the United Nations sanctions system, an invasion that led to great suffering and disorder in humanity.

The world still has to recover from that Libya invasion. The effects of disorder have reached far, including the western world and nations that sponsored the evil action in Libya.

Another Obama sin was the committing of resources and other support to a rebellion to remove Syria’s Assad administration. Obama’s weakness has been to reluctantly go along with bullies even when aware of a destructive path he was enjoining himself to.

But things could even have been worse had he not declined to use force, as John McCain and others urged, on accusations of chemical weapons use by Assad’s forces. Another US president might have been more forceful and disruptive over Libya and Korea.

The burdens to Obama belonging to the Nobel peace team came up for his actions that happened after he was already honoured for actions making a positive difference in human relations. I do not think Barack Obama would have got a Nobel prize after the events of Libya and Syria.

Rulers and Laureates

As in Obama’s case, the combination of being government ruler and Nobel Peace Prize winner is delicate.

In South Africa, Frederik de Klerk, just before he became president, worked with Nelson Mandela, Zambia’s Kenneth Kaunda, and some in the worldwide anti-apartheid team to dismantle the evil racist system of Apartheid. In 1993, De Klerk and Nelson Mandela were awarded the Nobel for Peace.

Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos was in 2016 awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his great work and sincerity in working for resolution of a long FARC armed insurgency. He has continued to show sincerity in his belief and effort. It is not known how far the reconciliation process with reach.

Elsewhere, my Big Sister Aung San Suu Kyi got the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, after consistently, in a non-violent way, working for social and political change in some difficult situation found in Myanmar/Burma.  She showed deep humanity in the midst of harsh adversity.

Of course, after she took on state office after the social change in a complex situation of military and political authorities, there have been uncomfortable situations involving the sad situation of persons of some ethnic and religious groupings. But she got the Nobel Prize before she became a government official.

Trump’s Burdens

Now, with Donald Trump, his disqualifying burdens are current, before he has been listed for a Nobel prize. I believe that Trump’s burdens against peaceful human relations and creation itself will make it difficult for him to be a worthy recipient of the Nobel Peace prize.

In fighting Obama’s legacy, Trump has been fighting the very honourable actions for which the Nobel Committee honoured Obama. Trump should not hope to win a prize while doing things that work against the Nobel team’s appreciation of another candidate.

Trump sometimes unleashes things he cannot control, things that become problems for the world.

Nobel Peace holders in general have some deep dignity in their demeanour and actions. They show respect for other human beings and they are supposed to respect the earth and creation. They have shown determined action, following non-violent methods, towards peace or the integrity of creation.

Calming Fire and Fury

Nobel Peace Prize persons show that they are deep friends of humanity and creation, not enemies of the earth. Nobel Peace prizes are for those who calm and tame fire and fury in themselves and others.

Of course, over the decades, there are those persons that have been Nobel honoured and others doubt their efforts were sufficiently worthy. Of course, there are some, like the great pacifist Mahatma Gandhi himself, whose non-inclusion has continued to surprise many.

Sins of Rule

The sins of rule that Donald J Trump has committed prevent him from such high honour as the Nobel Peace prize. It is difficult to be honoured for settling tensions and problems you have willingly created or contributed to. By error or belief, Trump practises principles of threat and intimidation, from which “fire and fury” arises, adverse to Nobel Peace principles.

Trump and North Korea’s Kim, with his nuclear weapon tests that disturb the earth, are unlikely to get Nobel awards. But more likely suitable candidate can be the South Korea ruler, Moon Jae-in. Moon has shown good humanity and commitment.

Even before he became president, Moon Jae-in was already for peaceful co-existence with the North and good relations between North Korea and USA. He has been a facilitator able to reach both Kim and Trump, build a bridge, and move towards dialogue.


I have no authority over the final awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize. But I know that the awarding Committee is thorough in its consideration of candidates in relation to the purpose and basic principles of the Peace Award.

I knew a member of the Nobel Peace Committee. Cheerful Professor Ole Danbolt Mjos, of Norway, was a very thorough person with deep medical, academic, and public service credentials.  When we met in Norway and Zambia, he was always systematic and thorough in his discussions over various issues. Sadly, Ole Mjos passed away in 2013.

I believe other Peace Committee members that have carried on where he left are very objective and thorough. My comments on the suitability of Trump will not affect their views should someone offer Trump as a Nobel candidate.

I have merely tried to show that Trump’s methods and practices have been at variance with the spirit of the Nobel Peace Prize. His methods of negotiation have not been peaceful.

Using the antagonistic doctrine and practice of Fire and Fury will prevent Trump from being highly honoured.

He is using his presidency to implement policies and practises that are bringing disharmony to humanity and creation. The Trump spirit has heavy disqualifying issues.


GCB,  LUSAKA, May/June, 2018.


*                 *                   *


Based at Lusaka, Zambia, the author is involved in writing and the arts, social development, and observation of conflict and peace issues. Attended the MA Peace Studies programme at University of Bradford.

Korea, the Danger of Trump Talk, by Gabriel C Banda


Korea, the Danger of Trump Talk


Gabriel  C  Banda

TRUMP Talk or Trump Speak is threat to discussions and settlements on Korea. Trump Speak and Trump style are potential threats to parties getting to reach settlement over conflict in Korea.

Trump Talk, coming from Donald Trump and team members, affects the possibility of direct dialogue taking place. And if dialogue does happen, they also can affect the content of the discussion. Trump Talk affects outcomes.

The April 27, 2018 historic meeting of Korea’s North and South rulers Kim Jong-un and  Moon Jae-in, was pleasing to many in the world. Taking place at Panmunjom, on the South Korea side, here was chance for North and South to improve relations of this area, which arises from one people divided in 1945 by the actions of external forces.  They are ethnically, historically, and geographically one people.

One People

Many of us in various parts of the world observed there was friendliness and goodwill between the two parties. Truly North and South were one divided people and they could still be one people, border or no border between them.  Moon Jae-in had recently, in 2017, won elections with an attitude of reaching out to North Korea. Now, they pledged to work together on Korea’s issues and move towards peace.

As demonstrated recently at the Panmunjom meeting, left to themselves, the Korean rulers, North and South, are able to come to some settlement. The presence of external forces are big shapers of Korean relations.

The result of the Panmunjom meeting was also a chance for North Korea and USA, which is allied to South Korea or is in some ways the South’s godparent, to deal with their tensions.

Perhaps through facilitation by Moon Jae-in, a historic meeting was  scheduled for USA and North Korea rulers, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un. Moon Jae-in has been a good facilitator. We do not know if Moon Jae-in has been influenced by the social teaching and anti-war stances of his Catholic faith following.

Knowing the Other

Our hope was that the planned Trump-Kim  meeting would first be about knowing each other at a personal level, actions which help to de-stigmatise the other parties. Such Know Your Opponent meeting need not immediately involve strong demands on the other. Such meeting, or series of meetings, should instead help build a relationship and confidence in each other.

The planned first Trump-Kim meeting that was welcomed by many in the world is now threatened by Trump Speak.  For many days now, one has been concerned that the Trump spirit may lead to disruption of process and progress over Korea.

One is concerned that some approaches that have had negative effects on others, even American citizens, may be used in delicate situations like that of Korea. We are concerned about Trump and team’s speeches and comments.

Trump Talk will affect the result and achievement of the attempt to meet parties in conflict over Korea. Trump Talk can affect the direction of relationships of parties involved over Korea.

Some aggressive, rude, insulting, intimidating, demeaning, insensitive, or harsh remarks by Trump and team members may evoke responses that will throw away the window that recently opened through the direct talks of North Korea and South Korea’s rulers.

Rough or tough talk that has come from the spirit of Trump, in Tweet or other platforms, will here be counter-productive. Trump has been belligerent in both tone of delivery and word content. Trump Speak vexes many at home and abroad, Americans and non-Americans.


Some remarks of his have been insensitive to others, under-rating others. He has taken actions whose effects on others, and him self, seem not to have been considered.

He seems not to realise or consider or care that some speeches, comments, and actions may have negative and profound effects on others and himself. He has unleashed things he cannot control. Yet these things unleashed, released, may destabilise the world and the integrity of life.

Through his speech and actions, Donald Trump has invoked actions that have unleashed negative results that are difficult to control and undo.

Trump sends messages that Force and Threat are currents to use. He may think about rough strategic moves rather than opening up to work with someone he must respect.


Over Korea, a key problem is that Trump and supporters are broadcasting that his method of toughness and threats have led to North Korea’s Kim accepting to go to the negotiating table.

That position, perhaps welcome to his fans, actually poses problems for potential talks. In fact, the reality may not have been that Trump’s tough or rough approach compelled Kim, but that Kim’s standing up to Trump through unrepentant missile and nuke tests, tests that damage our world, may have, using the law of the jungle, made Trump be careful about Kim and North Korea.

So, the reverse may have played a part, not that Kim feared Trump, but that Trump was influenced to negotiation by the challenge Kim made through nuclear technology development and missile tests.

In the jungle, the bully pushes around others it considers weak but yields to and leaves alone those who stand up to the bully.

Force and Violence

The use of threats and force creates many problems. Believing that they work, those who use them begin to make it a habit to do so. And those who are threatened begin to either yield to threats or instead build their capacities for force so that they reach a strong point where the bullies do not threaten them. As in the story of David and Goliath in scriptures, a bully cannot forever intimidate other human beings.

Often, aggression, force, and violence beget violence. Some persons respond well when the other party is polite and respecting and not bullying or disrespectful. Some persons may comply with being pushed around but will later, when strong, squarely face the bully. There is often reversed effect in the method of strong and aggressive approaches.

Some parties do not want to appear to have been forced into agreement. They want to get into dialogue and settlement of a situation through their own choice and commitment, not because they had been threatened.

Boasts, Threats

The more Trump and team give the impression that they are pushing Kim about the more it will be difficult to have the talks happen or, when they take place, reach a good result.

The boasts and threats of Trump and team may make others think that they should use threats and force to get others into agreement.

The method of threat and sanctions may not have worked on Kim. From evidence, Kim does not have fear of Donald Trump. While Trump may bully other rulers, and even fellow American citizens, Kim stands up to Trump.

As we have noted before, USA regimes’ actions for regime change over Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria have led to distrust of USA positions towards some rulers and administrations.

On Korea, there is also the painful experience of the killing, by American forces, of huge numbers of people during the Korea war of the early 1950s.

No Super Power

Now, the United Nations Organisation and international community, pledged to settling conflict, building peace, and avoiding war, have promoted dialogue based on respect and Goodwill towards fellow human beings, even when in conflict with them. It is inappropriate to treat some as lesser than others. Due to the nature of  life, there can not exist an eternal super-power in the world.

Perhaps Trump feels uneasy when things are about to harmonise, so he gets some compulsion to say or do something to disturb the emerging potential peace. Perhaps the Trump spirit finds mission in rough speak that disturbs the path towards settlement and peace. The spirit of Trump Speak can be threat to settling Korea.

It seems some habit of Donald Trump, and sometimes some members of his team,  to openly disrespect some persons.  Trump Speak often vexes other. His words can be demeaning and insulting to other persons and groups. Some people feel Trump is trampling on them.

With some local storms coming at him from many fronts and shaking his presidency, Donald Trump may turn and divert the attention towards external events like Korea.


There are cultural issues to be learnt. There are issues of the culture of negotiation itself. And the cultural backgrounds of parties involved may affect their attitudes and practices during negotiation and discussion. In some cultures, the one who shows tolerance, patience, and maturity comes out a respected person.

Like violence and force beget violence, threat begets tough responses. People respond well to those who respect them. In some cultures, many persons will do good business with those who show respect and politeness.

In some cultures, the one who threatens others gets declined credibility. One who appears not to be in control of them self is considered not well prepared. One who keeps cool is considered in control, respectable, and admirable.  You are respected for being very humane, not being bully.

In some cultures, threatening other parties is considered disrespectful. For good outcomes, there is need to understand the cultures of other parties and be very sensitive to them. There is need to understand the basic humanness that seeks, across all cultures, respect and dignity.

Fire and Fury disturb

Interstate relations should be influenced by what is fair and truth for all, not how big the weapon one has acquired and trailed on others.  Boasting about how big and destructive your weapon is is not honour. In some cultures and situations, fire and fury disturb dialogue. Fire and fury can burn many.

Some talk and actions may lead to instability that negatively affects all of us, members of the human family and the earth, all over the world, including the United States.

Although we belong to various states and jurisdictions, the essential fact that is paramount is that we are human beings belonging to a common life whose cooperation is beyond human-made borders. Trump is a member of the world and is not the judge and executioner of the world.

In talks, threat, toughness, and roughness may have reversed effect and disturb possible success. For progress, one must show respect to others before talks, during the talks, and after talks. It is possible for Trump and team to train themselves not to threaten others through the Trump kind of talk or tweet.

So, yes Folks, there are threats, there are potential dangers Folks, in the Trump spirit’s words and tweets.  Yes, Folks, Donald Trump’s talk can disturb the reaching of settlements and peace in conflicts like that in Korea.

*                    *                        *

The Author has been on the MA Peace Studies programme, University of Bradford.

  • GCB,  April/May 2018, LUSAKA.


**This piece was a general concern done many days before North Korea’s officials cancelled a planned session with the South Korea administration and before threats by US officials about a Libya Model.












Trump and the Korea tension, where is the United Nations? by Gabriel C Banda


Trump and the Korea tension, where is the United Nations?


Gabriel C Banda

WHERE has the United Nations been during high tension between  United States president Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un administration?

President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un have engaged in harsh verbal attacks that troubled many in the world and threatened to escalate into armed conflict.

Even with Trump’s threats of “fire and fury,” the North Korea administration was fearless and went ahead with controversial nuclear and missile tests. Not being feared by those he regarded as lower than him further annoyed Trump, who poured further threats, his Twitter a workshop of his foul words. Trump’s words invoked annoyance from Kim Jong Un.

Of course, nuclear tests are bad for the world as, besides tensions among governments, the tests affect us all, inhabitants of this earth, and threaten the harmony of the earth and environment. One part affected affects the whole earth, which is one and whole.

Governments should not be doing nuclear tests. Governments and any one else should not have atomic and nuclear weapons, whatever size they may be.


For decades, North Korea has felt threatened by the presence of USA forces targeting the North. There have also been the US-South Korea-Japan military exercises the North felt provoked, targeted, and uncomfortable about.

The recent North Korea Nuclear and missile tests and the effect they had on Trump became means the North Korea government wielded some strength for bargaining against possible negative actions against its government.

We must remember that Koreans have the painful memory of American forces 1950s attacks on North Korea, where many were killed by means considered against international laws and ethics of armed combat. That memory they would not like repeated, thus Kim standing up to Trump.

The Koreans and Chinese also have memories of war-time Japan’s treatment of their citizens.

Regime Change

We must also remember that recent military actions by US administrations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria have made some governments, such as the North Korea one, fear regime change and killing of their leaders.

Targeted and threatened administrations have lost faith in United States administrations not engaging in unilateral violent regime change on governments they have differences with. Some threatened governments have thus prepared to go down fighting rather than being lambs at slaughter.


The tensions involving Trump and Kim Jong Un have been of concern to many in the world. Many issues and lessons arise from the Trump and Kim Jong Un tension. Key is the role of the United Nations.

Also key is the continued aggression by United Nations members on governments they do not like. How are tensions and conflicts settled in the world? Who has authority to settle conflict? And what does the United Nations do when member states take it upon themselves to attack others and change regimes?

The United Nations was developed as humanity’s good action to not only stop wars, but put an end to the practice of inter-state wars. It is supposed to have mechanisms and institutions for settling inter-state conflict and other conflict that may lead to armed confrontation.

The United Nations would work at settling conflict that threatened to be armed. The savage practice of individual governments being judges and armed executioners in disputes they were involved in would end. Yet the unilateral actions by governments towards others have still continued. There were recent actions in Iraq, Libya, and Syria.

UN and  Libya

In Libya, the United Nations system was unfairly used, through some shaky resolutions, to impose some sanctions and other actions that provided the shield for the government of France and others to  do regime change against the Muammar Gaddafi government they were against.

In Libya, the United Nations system was abused. Nothing has happened to the France warlord Nicolas Sarkozy, who led the invasion of Libya and actions leading to the killing of ruler Muammar Gaddafi and genocidal actions against Black Africans in Libya.

Sometimes the United Nations systems and institutions are not even used.  Some UN members have tried to justify their arbitrary armed intervention and regime change by quoting need for dealing with a humanitarian situation people in a country have been facing.

They have painted and stigmatised other rulers as pariahs, dictators, “regime,” and ruthless. They have accused opponents of crimes against humanity or using, or having, weapons of mass destruction.  Using these brushes, they have tried to remove governments by force.

Humanitarian Interest, Attacks

We note that the excuse of humanitarian interest, as happened recently in the missile strikes against the Syria government by the US, UK, and France triad, does not excuse the need for applying Just War principles. The humanitarian factor is only one part of Just War principles we were reflecting on in our Peace Studies programme at University of Bradford.

The  United Nations organisation, or secretariat, has sometimes been observer when member states are abusing others and the principles of the United Nations itself.

Some member governments have used the United Nations system to impose unfair sanctions against states they are against.

In Libya, the United Nations organisation, through  proclaimed sanctions and resolutions, was used by opponents to disarm and attack the Gaddafi administration.

These are experiences that some governments, like that of North Korea and Syria, have tried to avoid. They have tried to be firm and also to defend themselves. Meanwhile, the United Nations watches as member states prepare war against other member states and even attack them.

The UN Secretary General,  Antonio Guterres, complained about the preparation of attack by USA, UK, and France regimes on Syria on accusation on use of chemical weapons. But the raids went ahead.

The international investigation on chemical weapons accusations were not even started before the three regimes launched their attack on points in Syria.   This was similar to what happened in Iraq in 2003, where the accusations of weapons of mass destruction were later known to be false or fake.

Sadly, I wondered what whether US forces would have gone ahead in bombing the Saddam Hussein administration if United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and his team had withdrawn their staff who were doing some checks.  I then believed that the USA would not have bombed Iraq had the UN not moved out of Iraq.

So the United Nations is abused and sidelined when some governments want to attack others they do not like.

                    Trump not UN

Donald Trump’s bullying leads to reversed effect. Donald Trump is not the United Nations. The Trump spirit has no authority to threaten and attack other states. Some persons may fear that Trump may take extreme action outside the United States when he is faced by pressure of storms around his personality and presidency.

The United Nations need to be firm and not allow members to disturb the purpose and principles of the United Nations.

Left to themselves, the governments of North Korean and South Korea, formerly one nation, are more accommodating of each other. They realise that armed conflict would be dangerous for both North and South.       External interests keep them apart and in conflict. Unlike Trump, South Korea’s Moon Jae-In is less hostile to Kim and North Korea. Moon seems friendly and understanding of the North Koreans.

The recent arrangement of a historical meeting, April 27 2018, of North and South rulers Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in, preceded by actions of cooperation towards each other, are example of what the United Nations should have been helping achieve in Korea relations.

If not threatened, North Korea has no benefit in attacking the United States. Kim reacts strongly because of the threats from Trump. It appears Kim has threatened attacking the USA if about to be attacked because the stance may guarantee him some shield against armed regime change.

And China was being blamed by Trump for being soft on North Korea yet China, but Trump and Trump-speak, caused the tension and accelerated nuclear and missile tests.

Of course, there is the suspicion that America benefits from tension with North Korea as that enables the USA to have military forces in the region. The forces may not be to mark North Korea, but to mark China. China is against the US military presence in the area and may be sympathetic to the worries of North Korea.

Prevent United Nations

Some states prevent the United Nations from doing its work.  Whether it is US, Russia, France, UK, or  North Korea, the United Nations should openly and firmly speak on members that threaten other members and act against the principles of the United Nations.

Some crude remarks by Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the United Nations, have not helped  international relations on North Korea and Syria.

Also, the  American government is not in a position to force others to disarm their nukes because the USA itself has nuclear weapons and is not dismantling them. Neutral parties and systems are needed in helping to settle disputes like nuclear and others.

The United States is one of the parties in conflict in the Koreas and should not be expected to put international sanctions and arbitrarily apply armed force on others.

The United Nations should have been leading in dealing with conflict involving North Korea, South Korea, and the United States. The UN should have been leading on disputes in Syria.  The United Nations should be in the lead on settling international conflict and enabling member states work together on various activities for the common humanity.



GCB, LUSAKA, October 2017, April 2018
























Brother Chanda Chimba III and Us, by Gabriel C Banda


Brother Chanda Chimba III and Us,


 Gabriel C Banda


CHANDA Chimba III, who passed away in Lusaka on Friday, March 9, 2018, was close to many of us.

When we were growing up in Libala II, Lusaka, in the 1960s and 1980s, Chanda Chimba III and family’s house was along Lunthanya Street, behind ours, Mulilima Street. Our houses were not over eighty metres apart.

Pleasing Child

Chanda was younger than us so sometimes, when he was a toddler, we carried him. He was pleasing to be with. He was a very chubby, big, child, a heavy weight then, different from the slender person he became when an adult.

His Brother, Epidius Kangwa, was older and a playmate and constant teammate to us. Epidius Kangwa, who went to Munali Secondary School, later joined the Zambia National Defence Force through the Zambia Army.


When we were young, Epidius Kangwa was very disciplined, courageous, independent, yet at the same time concerned about the welfare of the team and its members. We got on very well, for some decades.

Chanda’s aunt, Chilowa Regina Chimba, was around our age and told very good folktales, some I still clearly remember and sing to.

                                              Our Mothers, Our Fathers

In those days of the 1960s and 1970s, and even into the 1980s, your friend’s brothers and sisters were also your close relatives. Your friend’s parents were also your Father and Mother. In turn, the elders treated you as their child, and would provide guidance and mentoring.

So when we came across them, we respected and greeted Chanda’s parents, who worked at the Ministry of Education. We still did that whenever we met them after they had left Libala II. To many, Chanda’s Mother was “Bana Chanda,” “Bamaibake Chanda.”

Of course, some referred to her as “Bana Priscilla,” after Chanda’s Sister Priscilla. And Chanda’s Father community name also carried his son Chanda’s link.

Media and ZNBC

Later, it was pleasing that young Chanda Chimba III went into media work and was at the state broadcaster ZNBC, mainly on television.

Chanda was very, very, confident. In fact, he walked with a very confident spring.  He was very assertive, independent minded.

Our Brother Chanda Chimba III was courageous. Chanda Chimba III was very direct, very frank. Some liked him for that while others may have felt shaken. Yet he was friendly to many, cheerful, and brought out much humour.

And when there was something he needed to do, Chanda Chimba III would start on it immediately or soon.

Solo Coup

Chanda and family members worked extremely hard to support Major Epidius Kangwa when undergoing trial linked to the Solo coup events of 1997. I would stand in respect as the police dark blue closed truck taking Kangwa and others to and from trial raised sirens and passed by me.

I visited Kangwa’s lawyer when he was on trial. And I had chance to visit our Brother Major Kangwa in hospital when he was under treatment. Even after Kangwa died, as a lay person, I still felt some aspects of his trial, or the charges and sentence, were not fair.

The support that Chanda Chimba III, his Mother, and family members provided Major Kangwa was with courage, exceptional, and moved many of us.

Even after he left ZNBC and was working independently with media and the social development sector, he continued to be his own person. He still sought details of something he was working on or dealing with.

Cobra, Battle Lines

And, in his courage, Chanda Chimba III took on “Cobra,” our Big Man Ba Michael Chilufya Sata, later Fifth President of Zambia, and himself a very fearless person.

Now, Michael Sata was known to shake other persons and was rarely himself destabilised by the actions of his opponents.

But, unusually, the actions of my Brother Chanda Chimba III seemed to shake and irk the Cobra. Battle lines were drawn between them.

Chanda and Fred M’membe

When my close colleague Chanda Chimba III and my close colleague, Post Newspaper’s Fred M’membe, another very courageous person, had battle lines drawn and went into combat against each other over different positions, I was just an observer.

(Years ago, I visited Fred in prison when, I believe, he was unfairly, and perhaps even illegally, confined by Parliamentary Speaker Robinson Nabulyato).

My Big Man

It is decades now after Chanda Chimba III and our family were together in Libala II.  Over the years, when we met, we kept each other abreast about our situations and that of our family members. Sometimes, when he was driving, he would pull over to speak with me. In recent times, he pulled over near Woodlands Stadium. He was with Wife Mrs Malisela Mwanza Chanda, whose parents’ home is nearby.

And as I have been independently involved in the creative arts, media, and social development field, we have sometimes met at some events.

Although he was slightly younger than us, I still, with love and respect, called Chanda Chimba III, “Big Man” and “Mudala” because he had been big when he was a child.


He sometimes lovingly called me “Conscript” because of some writing I had done of my military experience in the Zambia National Defence Force.

Our relationship continued over the decades. As before, your friend’s brother or sister was also your relation.

So, in the 21st Century, I am always pleased to meet Sister Priscilla Chimba and hear how my Big Man Chanda Chimba III, their Mother, and other family members have been doing. Or meet Chanda and ask how his Mother is doing, and about Priscilla. And how Chilowa Regina Chimba is doing.  She has been very active in the Lions clubs. And Chanda’s Mother we still regard as our Mother.


In recent years, when he received some diagnosis of prostate, Chanda Chimba III still faced it. He turned himself into doing something to improve the situation of those facing that cancer. He became an active activist. He would personally contact those he learnt had the prostate condition and have discussions with them.


His recent conviction for his media activities linked to the political public combat he had with our Big Man Michael Sata had Chanda Chimba III taken into prison to serve the state. Prison and health challenges like cancer are difficult to have together. Chanda was later pardoned by President Edgar Lungu and freed.

As a lay person, still respecting the presiding officer’s knowledge of the laws and sentences and factors involved, I still feel some aspects of Chanda’s trial and sentencing were not fair.

Chanda’s Lessons

Chanda’’s work, whether liked or disliked, approved or disapproved, will live on. Chanda Chimba III’s life provides all of us with lessons to help strengthen our selves on our journeys. Many of us appreciate that, in this life, we lived at the same time as my Big Man Chanda Chimba III.

– GCB,  March 10th, 2018, LUSAKA.