Zambians have reacted sharply to the removal of Presidential Spokesperson Anthony Bwalya from State House.
President Hakainde Hichilema has transferred Mr. Bwalya from State House to Tanzania as Deputy High Commission at the Zambian Embassy in East Africa.
Secretary to the Cabinet Patrick Kangwa announced in a statement on Wednesday that the appointment of Mr. Bwalya into the Diplomatic service is with immediate effect.
Media specialist and diplomat Anthony Mukwita said the transfer of Mr. Bwalya from State House to Tanzania should not be celebrated.
The former Ambassador to Germany said he has observed an unfortunate growing culture of celebrating other people’s pitfalls and challenges in Zambia.
“The culture of jealousy and spite- the case of Anthony Bwalya at State House. I don’t know whether it’s just me, but I have observed an unfortunate growing culture of celebrating other people’s pitfalls and challenges in Zambia. In Deutsch it’s called ´Schadenfreude´ or malicious joy. When someone who once held a privileged position in Zambia is either reprieved of the position or transferred, a large majority of Zambians take to social media to celebrate. It’s almost like a poverty cult thing inked in hate and jealousy,” Ambassador Mukwita said.
Mr. Bwalya had served as Presidential Spokesperson at State House since 2021 until his appointment as Deputy High Commission to Tanzania.
“Take the case of Anthony Bwalya, the immediate past spokesperson of the President of Zambia Mr Hakainde Hichilema, now redeployed to Tanzania as deputy head of mission. Social media is gas-lit with ´celebrations´, which is such a low-down dirty shame because Anthony is not dead; he is alive and still has a job. At a spry 50, Anthony will thrive in Dar-es-Salaam and beyond, while those celebrating his move from State House shall remain in their bottomless pit of pettiness, jealous and abject poverty. My clarion call to you good folks, as we start a new year is, let’s get steeped in love and supporting one another as Zambians, ´rise and fall, not get stuck in the moment of base jealousy and envy, it’s cheap. Today it’s Anthony, tomorrow it’s you. The job Anthony has left is not coming to you,” Ambassador Mukwita said.
Meanwhile, former Copperbelt University Students Union (COBUSU) President Humphrey Mwenya has said the transfer of Mr. Bwalya from State House to Tanzania amounts to demotion.
Mr. Mwenya said Zambia should not kill the political vision of young people.
“Presidential aid is equivalent to a deputy secretary to the cabinet, who is more senior than a permanent secretary. Deputy high commissioner is a civil servant equivalent to Asst Director in a Ministry. We should not kill the political vision of young people. If Zambia can’t nurture leaders, nature itself will nurture its own leaders,” Mr. Mwenya commented.
Meanwhile, Mr. Bwalya’s close friend and outspoken good governance activist Gershom Phiri has claimed that he anticipated his colleague’s exit from State House.
Mr. Phiri said indicators were there that Mr. Bwalya was no longer wanted at State House.
“Some good months ago, I told one of my friends that if Anthony Mukuka Bwalya’s Footprints will not disappear from State House aletola nobwapona, when he tried to argue, I told him kuti wadabwa mu neighboring country or Deputy D.G in one of the GRZ organizations. The Red Lights got too Red like UPND regalia that the Guy was somehow an unwanted plant and those in various ranks and files showed signs to the effect that the guy was alone. For the past few Days I have been receiving information about the same from friends but I thought it will be later than now and had few doubts,” Mr. Phiri said in a facebook statement.
“The guy is and was very competent even better than the current Chief Government Spokesperson, Tony (Anthony) is an excellent person for his previous Job, but from the Time he was continuously being left by the President in most of the trips to the extent Zambians noticing that the same was unjustified, we used our Political Lenses while wearing our Jackets as Ninjas and to us we are not surprised, while we cannot congratulate Mr Anthony Mukuka Bwalya, we wish him all the Best in his new position. We also wonder how such a well positioned and best suited person like him in his previous position can be re-assigned when those who are not competent are not being re-assigned. Go well Ninja Tony Tanzania is close so we shall be coming like we used to come to Lusaka,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, UPND Deputy National Youth Information and Publicity Secretary David Chikwanda has supported Mr. Bwalya’s transfer to Tanzania.
Mr. Chikwanda has since congratulated Mr. Bwalya on his new appointment as Deputy High Commission at the Zambian Embassy in Tanzania.
“Tanzania is a strategic trade partner to Zambia and I believe his Excellency Ambassador Anthony Bwalya will make us proud in that regard. Some may look at it as a demotion but I think this position will open Anthony to bigger opportunities which might have been difficult to pursue due to the tight schedules of the state house. Congratulations Anthony on your new assignment,” Mr. Chikwanda said.