The first of our two part annual Zambian Economist (McLaughlin) Awards are in two parts (last years awards here and here) :
Biggest Winner of 2009
Frederick Chiluba - love him or hate we cannot deny that this year he was successfully restored following his acquittal.
Biggest Loser of 2009
Maxwell Nkole lost the trial of the decade that cost him his job. When all the chips were counted, it was found that under his watch the Task Force was corrupt and provided poor value for money. Cries of foul play did little to enhance his reputation. A man is supposed to raise his hand and say "I got it wrong".
George Mpombo - By far the most influential politician in 2009. Following his unexpected resignation from government, he has continued to be a thorn in the side of Mr Banda.
Ronnie Shikapwasha. His accusation that the Catholic Church was bent on causing genocide was one drop among many dangerous blunders.
Most Defining Political Moment
Undoubtedly, the defeat of MMD in Solwezi has turned out to be a huge moment in solidifying the strength of the Pact. We are now seeing real momentum building up.
Post Editorials. We love and fiercely defend the independence of the Post, but I have found many of their editorials too boring to read. In 2010 we look for a variety in their presentations.
The prosecution of Chansa Kabwela did irreparable damage to our international reputation. The nation became a laughing stock.
The Government decision to abolish the Task Force on Corruption was right and proper. It was poor value for money and existed only to enrich the lawyers involved.
William Banda as the Lusaka Province MMD Chairperson. On 25 October 1994, William Banda was deported to Malawi by the Fredrick Chiluba in a move condemned by international organisations including Amnesty International. Banda later told the Supreme Court that he was blindfolded and drugged, driven by Zambian Immigration Service and para-military police officers. He entered Malawi through Mchinji border post and later dumped at Lilongwe Police station.
Most Original Thinker
The JCTR have put out some important think pieces throughout the year ranging from politics to statistics. They continue to be head and shoulders above the rest.
Most Stagnant Thinker
Finance Minister Musokotwane. Since his appointment Hon Musokotwane has failed to articulate a coherent economic vision for Zambia beyond pandering to mining companies and other foreign conglomerates. It is not too difficult to see that economic policy is not set in his office, but in the palaces of our mining masters that appears to hold him to ransom or is it their pockets? It is true Zambia weathered the economic storm but for that we have Magande to thank for initiating a process of broad based economic growth.
Its gotta be Rupiah Banda with the State House Monkey.
Person Of The Year