Could the dismissal of Zambia Daily Mail Managing Director spell the dawn of a new era?



By Maurice Makalu

Many Zambians have received the instant dismissal of Anthony Mukwita as Zambia Daily Mail Managing Director as a correct and timely decision.

The Corporate Leadership, the board has demonstrated is indeed laudable.
And while the board cites the reason for the dismissal as “part of the re-organization of the management team of the company the Board has embarked on,” many of us know the editorial Mukwita did on GBM’s valentine present to his wife was a huge if not the only contributing factor.

It was so embarrassing to sink the Daily Mail to such a low level, where a husband’s valentine present to his wife becomes so important ahead of the many development challenges the country faces that it had to be the editorial.

If the Daily Mail were a private newspaper, may be one would understand. Private newspaper owners have a tendency of fighting personal enemies under the guise of “the public has a right to know.”

The ZDM board standing up and drawing a line in the sand, is a clear message that they will not allow ZDM employees, at any level, to bring the company’s name into disrepute. They will not allow the abuse of this public institution to fight personalities instead of pushing more important national agendas.

Could this be the dawn of a new era in the management of public media institutions?
Why should the country continue mourning forever about the politicization of public media when there are boards in those media institutions to hold the management to account?

I for one was supporting Mukwita. It is barely a week or two ago when I sent invitations to some of my FB friends to like his facebook page. This was because he had just posted pictures of him with McPherson Chanda, the Post Master General, a guy doing wonders at Zam Post.

I thought to myself, “Mukwita could be another progressive guy; he is hanging out with a very progressive guy.”

So I have received Mukwita’s dismissal with sadness. But I support the decision.
Companies, like society, are run by culture not people.

Every time there is an inkling of a bad culture developing in an organization, the people responsible must act and act quick to stop it. Otherwise it will take the organization down the wrong path.

The ZDM has done just that and they deserve commendation. I hope the message sinks down deep, not just in ZDM employees, but other parastatals also, both at employee and board levels.

As for Mukwita, all the best in your future endevours. When God grants you the opportunity to serve Zambians again, let this moment be the reason to aspire to greater levels of excellence and professionalism in your career.

Maurice Makalu  is an Author and Life Coach