Saturday, December 07, 2013

Zambia: political differences

Political differences within the ruling PF have taken a new turn – the Bemba want Wynter Kabimba out of the PF. Tribalism still remains to be a deciding factor in Zambian politics.

Because the PF is wholly staffed with Bemba political cadres – it may seem disparaging to see political factions develop within the ruling hierarchy. More or less it has to do with political loyalties (fanaticism) measured against the political objectives.

It may seem that many recruits drafted into the PF by President Sala do not feel at ease with the political gravity of Wynter Kabimba (secretary-general and justice minister). Indeed, Mr. Kabimba as general-secretary of the PF seems to have overriding jurisdiction above everyone else. He is seen as the most powerful man in the government, second to Sala. Thus calls for the removal of Kabimba are spiced with careerism and opportunism. The political differences between Kabimba and Geoffrey Mwamba (Defence Minister) is jaundiced with political careerism – Mwamba is considered a political upstart. Mwamba is a wealthy businessman who only joined the MMD in 2011 and scooped the Kasama Central Parliamentary elections. Thus Mwamba is strongly supported by Bemba-speaking political cadres.

Wynter Kabimba is not a Bemba by tribe. He joined the PF in 2003 and became the first secretary-general. It is the case that Kabimba has moral grounds to tackle corruption from the PF. Why is it the case that when the former minister of foreign affairs Gwen Lubumba was slapped with a six-months suspension – people did not cry ‘foul!’. Lubumba is a Lozi by tribe, together with Kabimba and Guy Scott they are the well-known political trio of the PF whilst in opposition. But it is a tit-for-tat between Kabimba and from Mwamba supporters that have raised calls about tribalism.

Those who are calling for the dismissal of Kabimba do not know that political power has its own limits – and among these is tribalism, nepotism and corruption.

The strength of every political party is judged by a parliamentary majority. The PF has a large number of members in parliament when contrasted with the MMD and UPND.

Thus President Sala may find himself abusing political power even without knowing it.

By and large democracy is a heavy-handed word that is selectively used by Western capitalist nations to measure the degree of political freedoms and human rights that may obtain in any given country in Africa.


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