By Prince Bill M. Kaping’a Political/Social Analyst
Before his sentencing to life imprisonment at his 1964 Rivonia trial, Nelson Mandela said, “During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
During the last decade of PF in power, our nation got polarized to alarming proportions! While consideration of individuals for important government positions was mainly reserved for those from certain tribes, any semblance of development we witnessed was lopsided – it largely went to certain regions at the expense of others! How on earth do you commence constructing 3 universities in one region at one goal?
Now that we have a Tonga-speaking individual in State House, it doesn’t mean that those of us who have been bitter opponents of subjugation of certain tribes by others should lose guard and allow the ugly head of tribalism to rear up its ugly head ever again! Just as Bemba tribalism is abhorrent, equally Tonga tribalism is disgusting!
However, we won’t allow the likes of Socialist party leader, Fred M’membe, to mislead the nation on this matter. If at all there’s any person who should be the last one to talk about tribalism, it’s Dr M’membe! During his helm at the defunct The Post Newspapers as Editor in Chief, the now self-proclaimed hardcore socialist never missed an opportunity to repeatedly bash UPND as “Bantustan,” a misnomer which made the general public actually believe indeed the party was tribal!
Featuring on Hot FM immediately after President Hakainde assembled his cabinet, M’membe observed that the president had endangered the unity of this country by tribal appointments. He further claimed that all the key ministries are from same the region. This is a wild and malicious accusation farthest from the truth! He continued to repeat the same allegations on Diamond TV the other night.
This article shall seek to demonstrate that Hakainde is a true statesman whose credentials are comparable to those of our forefathers. Despise him or not, the man has gone an extra mile to reunite what was once a divided nation.
In keeping with our much-touted “One Zambia, one nation” motto, first republican President Kenneth Kaunda always tried his best to balance his cabinet. This was the complexion of KK’s topmost cabinet ministers at independence: Vice President – Reuben Kamanga (Eastern); Finance – Arthur Wina (Western); Defence – Grey Zulu (Eastern); Home affairs – Aaron Milner(Minority); Foreign – Simon Kapwepwe (Northern); Legal affairs – Mainza Chona (Southern); Local Government & Housing – Sikota Wina (Western); Health – Kanoso (Luapula); Information – Peter Matoka (N/western); Commerce & Industry – Nalumino Mundia (Western). The secretary to the cabinet was, of course, Aaron Milner from the minority group.
You can see from the foregoing that KK’s cabinet represented a national character. And even if reshuffles would occur from time to time during his prolonged stay in office, KK would ensure every region was represented in government.