By Isaac Mwanza
There is a temptation most Presidents have to deal with when they take over office: dealing with loyal colleagues.
LEVY MWANAWASA had a long time, a loyal, and very competent driver from the days of running a law firm. His name was a Mr. Phiri. The thought that he was going to State House and leave him behind kept haunting him. The good staff within the establishment had to find him a driving job to do within the State House pool vehicles although he couldn’t drive the President. We have very competent security men, specifically trained to do that task with utmost security consideration.
One day, Mwanawasa was traveling to London and his advance team had arrived in London days much earlier but what Mr Mwanawasa did not know was that Mr Phiri was in that advance party entourage until he met him in the corridors at a Hotel in London. He was shocked and just asked, “naimwe a Phiri mupezeka kuno?” When he returned he told his Private Secretary that he disapproved of putting people on the list just for the sake of it. No matter how much closer Mwanawasa was Mr. Phiri, he was clear that Mr. Phiri had no business to do on that presidential trip.
MICHAEL SATA had a very loyal bodyguard by the name of Judge Ngoma. Judge Ngoma was strong and looked out for every best interest of Sata. When Sata became President, most of us felt Judge Ngoma was going to continue being the loyal aide to President Sata. However, Sata knew that the State has specific people entrusted to protect the Presidency. Sata looked after Judge Ngoma well. Even when Judge Ngoma started working for ZESCO, he never complained and fitted very well at ZESCO.
The reason those who become Presidents make these decisions is basically to ensure that State operatives who have the requisite skills and training are allowed to do their job. Taking away loyal cadres from and entrusting state security officers to do their job actually helps to avoid the confusion in handling the most important office in the land.