By Prince Bill M. Kaping’a Political/Social Analyst
The nation would only start witnessing a sharp decline in national unity which our previous leaders had endeavoured to maintain when Michael Sata’s PF ascended to power. He would toss caution and restraint out of the window as he set forth on a destructive, and shameless path of rewarding his kith and kin with government, making the so-called family tree look like child’s play!
“I don’t balance tribes, I balance brains!” he would retort when challenged on his tribalism.
Apart from the son of Scottish immigrants, Guy Scot, who saw himself appointed as Vice president for “colouring purposes” as late veteran politician, Nakatindi Wina, would put it, every other appointee reeked of the strong stench of crass tribalism! Finance – Alexander Chikwanda (Northern); Defence – Godfrey Mwamba (Northern); Home Affairs – Edgar Lungu (Eastern); Mines & energy – Christopher Yaluma (Northern); Local Government & Housing – Nkandu Luo (Northern); Works, Transport, Supply & Communications – Yamfwa Mukanga (Northern); Foreign – Given Lubinda (Western); Health – Joseph Kasonde (Northern); Community Services, Mother & Child – Joseph Katema (Northern); Commerce & industry – Bob Sichinga (Northern); Information – Kennedy Sakeni (Luapula);Sport, Youth & Child Development – Chishimba Kambwili (Northern); Traditional & Chiefs Affairs – Emerrine Kabanshi (Northern); Secretary to the cabinet – Evans Chibiliti (Northern).
We keep reminding ourselves of the “One Zambia, One Nation” motto but how could someone honestly deliberately omit Southern and N/western provinces in his appointments, especially when the two regions contribute greatly to the national treasury in terms of tourism and mining?
As they say, history has a habit of repeating itself……the cold hand of death would strike yet again claiming the visibly ailing president. And just when keen observers of our politics hoped the new leader, Edgar Lungu, would somehow change the narrative and strive to enhance national unity; boom……he would apply fertilizer to the “Family Forest,” making it even more flourishing! Of course, Inonge Wina, a descendant of Barotseland, had to be somehow rewarded with the second top most job for helping hand him the presidency on a silver plate! The Northern regions alone boasted of a Lion’s share of 18 slots, with 5 going to kumawa, while the rest of the regions jostled for the remaining 7 paltry portfolios!
The positions were distributed as follows: Defence – Davies Chama (Northern); Finance – Bwalya Ng’andu (Northern); Home Affairs – Steven Kampyongo (Northern); National Development Planning – Alexander Chiteme (Copperbelt); Information – Dora Siliya (Eastern); Commerce – Christopher Yaluma (Northern); Health – Chitalu Chilufya (Northern); Mines & Minerals Development – Richard Musukwa (Eastern); Higher Education – Brian Mushimba (Northern); General Education – Dennis Wachinga (Northern) Community Development – Mulenga Kampamba (Northern); Tradition & Chiefs Affairs – Lawrance Sichalwe (Northern) Labour – Joyce Simukoko (Northern); Works & Supply – Sylvia Chalikosa (Northern); Housing & Infrastructure Development – Vincent Mwale (Eastern); Local Government – Charles Banda (Eastern); Youth & Sports – Emmanuel Mulenga (Northern) Religious Affairs – Godfridah Sumaili (Northern); Water Development – Raphael Nakachinda (Southern); Agriculture – Micheal Katambo (Copperbelt); Foreign Affairs – Joe Malanji (N/western); Presidential Affairs – Freedom Sikazwe (Northern); Energy Minister – Mathew Nkhuwa (Eastern); Livestock & Fisheries – Nkandu Luo (Northern); Justice – Given Lubinda (Western); Transport & Communication – Mutotwe Kafwaya (Northern) ; Tourism – Ronald Chitotela (Northern); Health – Jonas Chanda (Northern); Gender – Elizabeth Phiri (Eastern); Lands – Jean Kapata (N/western); Office of the Vice president – Olipa Mwansa (Northern).
Doesn’t this amount to a national scandal?
Anyway, by now we are all aware that President Hakainde was denied MPs in certain provinces. However, the man has been magnanimous enough to bring everyone on board as he attempts to reunite what was once a polarized country like a true statesman that he has so far demonstrated to be: Vice – Mutale Nalumango; Defence – Ambrose Lufuma (N/western); Finance – Situmbeko Musotwane (Western); Home Affairs – Jack Mwiimbu (Southern); Foreign – Stanley Kakubo (Central); Energy – Peter Kapala Northern); Water Development – Mike Mposha (Lusaka); Health – Sylvia Masebo (Lusaka); Education – Douglas Siakalima (Southern); Community Development – Doreen Mwamba Northern); Labour – Brenda Tambatamba (N/western); Local Government – Garry Nkombo (Southern); Tourism and Arts – Rodney Sikumba (Western); Small & Medium Enterprises – Elias Mubanga (Northern); Information – Chushi Kasanda (Central); Green Economy & Environment – Collins Nzovu (Central); Livestock & Fisheries – Makozo Chikote (Western) Mines & Minerals – Paul Kabuswe (Northern); Agriculture – Mutolo Phiri (Eastern); Commerce, Trade & Industry – Chipoka Mulenga (Northern); Youth &Sport – Elvis Nkandu (Northern); Lands – Elijah Muchima (N/western); Transport – Frank Tayali (Copperbelt); Justice – Mulambo Haimbe (Southern); Housing & Infrastructure – Charles Milupi (Western); Science & Technology – Felix Mutati (Northern).
Fellow citizens, your take on this……