By Prince Bill M. Kaping’a Political/Social Analyst
At a time when cabinet ministers are being ridiculed and accused of neglecting the very people that voted for them left, right and center, and not picking up calls; we’d like to single out one particular individual who doesn’t fall into this category – one Hon. Doreen Mwamba, the affable and boisterous Minister of Community Development & Social Welfare!
Hon. Mwamba hasn’t in any ways been influenced by the trappings of power, and therefore forgotten where she has come from. She’s definitely a perfect fit for the job – she’s passionate about her job and remains humble! We can give her a score of “total pa total” (100%); the president definitely made a wise decision to nominate her as MP, and subsequently appoint her as a cabinet minister.
Why are we saying all this?
When we endured a punishing 365 kilometers marathon walk from Kitwe to Lusaka early this year being pelted and drenched by heavy rains along the way, she excused herself from parliament and rushed to receive our petition. She didn’t simply dismiss us as these irritating scumbags who are constantly bombarding government offices asking for this or that favour. Readers may be keen to learn that we embarked on this mission in order to petition the government to call for a National Indaba on Street Kids following the escalation of this problem which has now evolved into Junkies who are wreaking havoc in different parts of the country. By the way, the symposium did take place and a panacea to this conundrum was identified, accordingly.
After recounting our ordeal and presenting the petition to her, she couldn’t hold back her tears. “I don’t deserve to be called a minister if these children continue being on the streets,” she cried. She congratulated us for the sacrifices we had made and “gifted” the 12 participants K1000 each from her own resources. How many of us would venture to such extremes? We are totally convinced that at the end of her tour of duty, she would have definitely helped deliver practical solutions to the problem of street kids.
We will give another practical example; recently, we lost a colleague whom we can safely refer to as a street adult. This is someone we have seen growing up on the streets after losing his parents. He actually participated in our marathon walk. When the minister learnt of his passing on via a text message we sent to her Sunday evening, she immediately called back to commiserate with us and went ahead to assure that her ministry would do everything possible to look into the welfare of the child he has left behind.
We expect our leaders to learn from this humble woman. It would be folly for cabinet ministers and members of parliament alike to detach themselves from the very people that bestowed the power they are enjoying on them. Leaders must be must be seen to mourn or rejoice with the ordinary masses at all the times, and not just hobnobbing with individuals pursuing government contracts or tenders at exclusive resorts. Remember, 2026 isn’t far away; it would be unwise for anyone to come back to the people in the shanty compounds and kneel before them pleading for their votes when all along they have been hiding vehicles with tinted windows and avoiding picking up the calls.
Keep it up Minister Mwamba; you are proper definition of the servant of the people. Keep on touching the hearts of those street kids!