The excitement created by the requirement of the minimum of a grade 12 certificate to contest the August 11, 2016 Parliamentary elections betrays all reason. That many MPs don’t even hold grade 12 certificates explains our current economic and political mess—I mean the real mess. If we require security guards, cab drivers, bamalukula and bakaboyi to be grade 12 certificate holders, why should it be the minimum qualification for MPs?
Patriotic Front deputy spokesman Frank Bwalya told the nation that former PF MP and cabinet Minister GBM does not even hold a grade 12 certificate. I don’t understand the PF logic in undressing GBM that way. If GBM does not even hold a grade 12 certificate, how did he make it into the PF Cabinet? Bwalya should be ashamed of his own Party’s lack of seriousness in managing national affairs. GBM is now UPND vice President and if by divine intervention HH becomes Zambian President in August 2016, GBM will surely be included in the next Cabinet.
That said, the ignorance among politicians needs confronting. Don’t get me wrong—I am not against our politicians or promoting elitism in the nation. Nonetheless, the ignorance that parades our parliamentary and cabinet buildings is behind our economic and political problems. We have a cadre driven government – the situation that has led to what I have termed, “a cadre political syndrome.” As GBM, Vera Chiluba, Chishimba Kambwili and now Frank Bwalya show, shouting party slogans “the loudest” qualifies one to a cabinet position – offices meant to formulate and direct national policies. The same can be said about countless cabinet ministers, deputy ministers, permanent secretaries, and those who parade our embassies across the globe. Unless cabinet ministers are nominated by the president, and then confirmed by informed lawmakers, under the cadre political syndrome, unwavering loyalty to the “Big Man” secures one’s job—just as Frank Bwalya or disgraced and self-confessed bad leader Wynter Kabimba.
By Kapya John Kaoma
Center for Global Christianity and Mission
Boston University School of Theology