When renowned lawyer, Levy P. Mwanawasa SC, may his soul rest in peace, assumed the mantle of leadership, he wasted no time in pledging to an otherwise expectant nation that one of his legacies would be deodorizing government of the endemic nauseating stench of corruption. This would immediately see the birth of the “taskforce on corruption” and a concerted hunt-down of suspected corrupt individuals would begin in earnest.
A coterie of individuals – civil servants, senior cabinet ministers including a former Republican President would be smoked out of their hiding and hauled before the courts of law to answer charges of corruption ranging from looting to plunder of state resources. By sheer coincidence, most of these suspects would hail from a certain region of the country.
Amidst the fray, a new party, aptly named Patriotic Front (PF), would be born……..albeit with the proverbial teeth in the mouth. Its founding leader the late Micheal Sata, popularly known as King Cobra, would cry blue murder and claim the President hated Bemba speaking people hence being targets for arbitrary arrests. This would obviously endear him to people from northern parts of the country and PF would score big time in those territories when elections were called! Whether this is the trump card the veteran politician needed to win the hearts of people in those regions remains a matter of speculation.
By now, news of the expulsion of the outspoken former Information Minister and chief government spokesman Hon. Chishimba Kambwili alongside his colleague Hon. Mwenya Musenge, the immediate past Chimwemwe Member of Parliament has reached any interested party. Does this mark the end of Kambwili’s fairytale? Imagining himself relaxing in the family room at Plot 1 Independence Avenue enjoying a cup of tea and freshly baked cookies? It would be utterly naïve to assume so. We are talking about a person heavily pregnant with grandiose ambitions – someone who has never shied away from making known his Presidential ambitions!
Interesting information emerged during the Central Committee meeting that met last Saturday to decide his fate. Luapula Province Minister Hon. Nickson Chilangwa reported that in the recent past Hon. Kambwili has been to three places to distribute money and criticize the party leadership. Further the meeting heard that Hon. Musenge went into Luapula Province allegedly carrying K110, 000 given to him by Hon Kambwili to destabilize the Party and had just returned from the Province less than 24 hours before the Central Committee meeting. Why Luapula of all the provinces?
We shudder at the thought of individuals using the tribal card in their quest to go to State House once again. If a person desires to become our President, let us endeavour to challenge them to unveil their manifestos other than the misguided belief that they belong to this tribe and therefore deserve to be President!
Are we likely to see the junior cobra as Kambwili prides himself emulating his hero, the King Cobra, playing the tribal card to advance his political ambitions? Only time will tell.
By Bill M. Kapinga