Of Presidents and their roots…….

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President Edgar Lungu with former presidents DR Kenneth Kaunda and Rupiah Banda singing hymn during the funeral church service of former freedom fighter Salome Kapwepwe in Chinsali district. Picture by SUNDAY BWALYA / ZANIS.
President Edgar Lungu with former presidents DR Kenneth Kaunda and Rupiah Banda singing hymn during the funeral church service of former freedom fighter Salome Kapwepwe in Chinsali district. Picture by SUNDAY BWALYA / ZANIS.

When the fresh wind of change blowing across the African continent in the early 1990s finally hit our shores, President Kenneth Kaunda knew there was no way he could forestall the political Tsunami. His days were numbered,the writing was palpable on the wall. Students, union leaders, political leaders, church leaders, business executives and indeed ordinary citizens alike had cast their ideological differences aside and closed ranks. Their common agenda? To extract KK from State House and dump him in the political bin of history once and for all.

With the nation writhing in pain resulting from hemorrhage of a crumbling economy, shortage of drugs and essential commodities, dilapidated infrastructure, mass unemployment etc. the founding Republican President knew the odds were stuck against him. But he had to take a gamble he just had to.

He decided to forego his firm grip on power and called for early elections in 1991. But wait a minute……….? Folks in this part of the world had already made up their minds. “Abash KK! Abash UNIP! Abash humanism!” ecstatic and frenzied crowds would respond to slogans at political rallies. This was a nation clearly fed up of decades of economic stagnation and tyrannical rule by the man with a snow white handkerchief. At the helm of this revolutionary movement would be a man with a diminutive figure and flowery language that he would use to mesmerize the crowds – the late Dr. Frederick Titus Chiluba!

This former trade unionist turned politician would go onto win the elections with a landslide margin! “I didn’t know that this seat was so sweet…….” Chiluba would quip as he majestically settled in his mahogany chair to address the nation as republican President. To the disappointment of many political observers though, Chiluba would immediately institute investigations into the nationalities of prominent opposition leaders instead of concentrating on fulfilling many of his campaign promises.

Chiluba’s government would subsequently turn its attention to Kaunda who was flirting with the idea of launching a political comeback at the time. If history serves us right, Kaunda was born in Zambia to parents from what was then known as Nyasaland – Malawi. In 1995 the government announced plans to deport Kaunda as an illegal alien, but he fought the decision in the courts. Not to be deterred in its desire to fix the former President, in early 1996, the MMD government changed the constitution to the effect that both parents of presidential candidates be Zambian by birth or descent. A knockout punch was thus effectively delivered to Kaunda, he was no longer eligible to run in the elections to be held later that year.

Unbeknownst to him, Chiluba would be made to taste the dosage of his own bitter medicine! Just before the 1996 elections, several opposition parties petitioned the courts alleging that Chiluba was born in the Congo and was therefore not eligible to be president. Although Chiluba wasn’t barred from participating in the elections, his image was left soiled in the eyes of the right thinking members of the public amidst a cloud of apparent inconsistencies in his actual names and questions about his paternity.

When Chiluba attempted to run for the botched third term in 2001, some senior members of his government including Vice President Christon Tembo left in protest. They went on to form breakaway political parties, prominent among them the Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) led by no other than Gen. Christon Tembo. The government would immediately wage a high-profile campaign questioning the citizenship of Tembo. In the run-up to elections, rumors also circulated about the nationality of MMD presidential candidate, Levy P. Mwanawasa, the eventual winner of the elections. As misfortune would have it, Mwanawasa would succumb to the cold hand of death in France during his second term.

When campaigning to succeed Mwanawasa, Rupiah Bwezani Banda would often be denigrated and have aspersions cast on him over his nationality by the likes of Michael Chilufya Sata, leader of opposition the Patriotic Front. Apparently, Banda was born in the town of Miko, Gwanda, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) to Zambian migrant workers.
Ironically, the former police constable in the colonial era who would later become 5th republican President would also be vilified as Tanzanian although information in the public domain clearly suggests that he was born and brought up in Mpika in 1937.

Right now, there are certain people that seem to question the nationality of President Edgar Chagwa Lungu who is said to have been born on November 11, 1956 at Ndola Central Hospital. This is the man who has been practicing law at Andre Masiye and Company in Lusaka all along after graduating from UNZA with a LL.B in 1981.
Why should certain individuals cease to be our citizens once they want to or become President? Fellow citizens let us discuss………….

Bill M. Kapinga
Freelance writer

41 COMMENTS

    • Kikikiki Zambians, busy attacking the messenger, Thanks Bill, appreciate the Article, makes us know where our Leaders came from. It is ironic how others want to claim to be more Zambian than others. The hate I see in these Fake PF cadres is alarming, actual founders of PF are really disappointed because it’s all MMD back in the Offices.
      Now Breakdown of our Presidents: Kaunda Zambian by Birth, Chiluba was Congolese and was not supposed to be our president, Biggest thief ever, Mwanawasa Zambia, RB Zimbabwean by birth. Sata was Mwachusa from Tanzanian, EL Zambian. 6 = 3 Zambians + 3 Foreigners

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    • Nothing wrong in trying to establish roots of our leaders, in fact that should be encouraged.

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  1. Bill M. Kapinga, a former artisan auto electrical mechanic at KCM Plc, Nchanga open pits and a staunch UPND cadre. He once worked in my section. And he was indeed a very lazy mechanic for that matter. Now political advisor for HH. We know him very much.

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    • I know who this coward is, no wonder you are hiding behind a fake name! You work for Kansanshi or Lumwana and you apply skin bleaching cosmetics. I hope those pimples are gone, Darwin is your name right?Who told you I am UPND cadre, if I was is it wrong? You are very childish indeed!

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    • @Prince, we all know this Kaping’a wrote his article with ill intention so as to discredit our beloved president HECL that he is not Zambian. He is actually a 100% UPND failed professional cadre uyu makanika wa fimbayambya.

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    • No, ba Boss, KCM Plc Kwisa??? It was then ZCCM Ltd in 2000. Bill Kaping’a never crossed into KCM Plc Anglo as he was retrenched long in preparation for Anglo finally taking over the running of the mines.

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  2. Yes, i do remember this young man Bill M. Kapinga auto mechanic at Nchanga open pits, Caterillar w/shop. It is true, the chap was very lazy and he had to quite employment to start politics. He is a son-in law to the late Mukonkela family of Chingola and he is Lunda from Northwestern province. He is a strong HH and UPND cadre and a big time tribalist. He hates our dear president Edgar Changwa Lungu with passion and was a constant critic of the late Micheal Sata.

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    • Evans Phiri…….name rings a bell. If you’re having difficulties preparing your technical reports you can always call on me for assistance. Unfortunately, there’s nothing I can do about poor spoken English….maybe you can try enrolling in pre-school.

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    • What technical reports can you teach a German trained engineer, iwe, makanikala wapa Don Bosco, Chingola?

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  3. Okay, this is Bill Kaping’a HER mechanic, caterpillar workshop Nchanga open pits working with the late Levison Mankubwa mhsrip, kashishinte, Mumba Wakeni and abena Noah Chongo. Na kafwaka sana uyu guy, ka!

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  4. @ Jilowa and @ Evans K Phiri you have shown that actually Kapinga is more smarter than you. Firstly he worked in your section at KCM and you still kept him as “lazy” as he was. Secondly Kapinga has brought up an issue and the two of you are discussing his personality (past) instead of the issue he has put on the table. You are very lazy and dull you two. With your thinking I can not go any further to find out why KCM is not doing well.

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  5. It is sad that Bill M Kapinga does not know that Chiluba paid or worked hard to have all debt defered, cancelled or paid. This is the debt that KK had accumulated. All world bank schools (those with curves asbetos dome roofs) were paid for by Chiluba. KK had abandoned WB and IMF when the loans were due.

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    • He pretends not to know as he is a big time tribalist. He even tried to swindle his in-laws money but he was not allowed.

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    • Please forgive him, he is a mechanic wa fimbayambaya by trade and actually from Chingola’s Craw Hammer School near Kamba township Nchanga North t/ship.

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  6. Bill Kaping’a a UPND political cadre…! My former work mate then at Nchanga open pits, Chingola. Amawaala uyu cinyamata fye! Awee sure! Comments reserved

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    • Bill Kapinga is auto-electric mechanic by trade from Chingola’s Don Bosco and not Craw Hammer. Don Bosco is by Kasompe turn off. He had poor grades in Mathematics and Science to enter NORTEC. We worked together at Cat w/shop, Nchanga Open Pits.

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  7. Ooh, could this is the one? I thought Bill Kaping’a died long time ago? Are you sure he is the one, Joseph?

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    • Is he really the one? I remember he tried every business on the copperb-belt but lamentably failed. Now, i hear he is a professional political cadre somewhere on the copper-belt in Chamboli, Kitwe where he is now renting a house. Ok

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    • He is my ba buukwe and he is the one. He left Nchanga some years back and went into business. But i hear things did not go well and now he is in opposition politics full time whilst hiding as a freelance writer.

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  8. Ala tuuka ba Kateka ba ecl sana uyu. Yes, he is a big time UPND cadre. And he has no respect for our pf leaders.

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  9. Bill Kaping’a at Nchanga Open pits Cat w/shop na ma spectacles so? He was in constant trouble with Efren Semilla because of his laziness and politicking at workplace. if he is the one, then he was just retreached and he did enter KCM Anglo in 2001. But i doubt if all he is the one because i hear him died in 2004 in Lufwanyama farm block.

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    • Where is Mr. Darwin Chapuswike? His he still at Illovo Sugar or he still in the country, bushe? But i thought this guy is outside Zambia? He was such a great leader and am sure he is missed there. These are few bosses who always strive to bring positive changes whenever they go and has a excellent managerial skills. How i wished Zambia had more of such professionals. I last saw him 7 years ago then in Durban KwaZulu Natal Illovo Sugar Head office Gateway area where he was operating from. But since then, i have neither seen nor heard about him till now from my old peer, Bill Kapinga. So,anyone with his mobile line or contact email number, please?

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  10. Well……well…..well, am enjoying this discourse and all the intelligent contributions from you learned colleagues.

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    • But where are you, bululu? Wish you all the best in your politics, bwana! I am told you are now some counselor in Mutenda, Kalulushi? I have been living in Botswana since i left Nchanga Open, KCM Plc. I was wondering whether it was you, Bill? Are you are now a journalist from heavy duty mechanics?

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