Battles in the ruling party have reached irreconcilable extent. Every day the battles will be fought in the national press and every passing day cadres from the A-TEAM and B-TEAM will kick and panga hell out of each other. The imbroglio puts Sata’s chaotic leadership of divide and rule into the limelight.
By Nyalubinge Ngwende
There is a saying ‘do not trust a politician and ask him for a favour, he will want to control you forever’. It is true because those who win the trust of politicians also lose their liberty and get shackled. But those who want to keep their liberty by choosing to do what is right never stick so long around the circles of politicians, especially the authoritarian type—they get kicked out from appointments.
As someone who has been around politicians for some time, this, Emmanuel Mwamba would have known about President Michael Sata. Mwamba was fired from the position of permanent secretary at cabinet office in a most chaotic way, just hours after he was transferred from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
The day he was transferred from Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Emmanuel Mwamba suffered the anger and rebuke of authority that reigns so powerful in the mouths of President Sata’s type than the jovial jester which comes with the moments of swearing in of appointees.
Sata castigated Mwamba, like a master chides a garden boy, during a recent pre-cabinet meeting. “Do not use his ministry to fight his political battles. Go outside, stand on a platform and we can meet you on the ground,” he told Mwamba.
He also castigated Mwamba for ‘issuing’ national wide licenses to QFM and Phoenix the two privately owned radio broadcasters.
Looked from the deeper eye, in both accusations, Mwamba is just a victim of a political party and government that believes less and less in itself. He is a scapegoat of a leadership that does want to accept its shortcomings and chaos, but seek to blame others.
Trying to blame Mwamba or rebuke him over his chaotic sacking from government by President Sata will not help to end the chaos that continue to engulf the Patriotic Front. The chaos is due to Sata’s own mediocre leadership. It will not take away the failures of leadership in the ruling Patriotic Front, not even end the primitive bloodletting between cadres belonging to the Wynter Kabimba camp and the Godfrey Mwamba camp.
The accusation that Mwamba was using the Ministry of Information to fight personal political battles emanates from the factions that have emerged among the Patriotic Front top leadership over the endorsement of President Sata as sole party candidate for 2016 national elections.
Those who were advancing President Sata’s endorsement include Defence minister Godfrey Mwamba, Community Development, Mother and Child Health deputy minister Jean Kapata, Willie Nsanda and Samuel Mukupa—all senior members of the ruling party.
This group has been enjoying public media coverage of their attacks on Wynter Kabimba, who has been against the endorsement, which Sata has also agreed is not necessary.
Wynter Kabimba, on the other hand, enjoys the positive coverage of The Post Newspaper and the paper’s editorials all point at sympathising with him even in the midst of making terrible outbursts, accusing those opposed to him as being tribal and corrupt elements.
The Patriotic Party is seriously divided that with or without Mwamba at the information ministry.
Instead of accusing Mwamba of allowing this, President was supposed to tell the two groups never to give any information concerning the other to the newspapers, whether private or public. Like that the two groups were going to stop fighting each other and bringing the ruling party’s image in disrepute as the most unruly political organisation in the country.
Sata must come to know that what is happening now in the ruling party is the camps emerging and wrestling for favours from his office and for power about who is supposed to be close to him as president for the possible takeover.
Sata has shown greater inclination to Wynter Kabimba in all the infighting taking place in the Patriotic Front, but has come short of telling off Godfrey Mwamba that he is not his favourite. Wynter might have worked hard with the President to mobilise support for the 2008 and 2011 national elections, but Godfrey Mwamba bankrolled the Patriotic Front.
Some political pundits believe that this gives Sata a nightmare to openly tell Godfrey Mwamba that he is not his next heir. So to scare off Godfrey Mwamba and his likes, Sata cut the neck of Emmanuel Mwamba and spilled the blood in front of everyone, instilling fear that should they continue getting to Kabimba they will be the next.
Wynter openly called those who want him out of the ruling party as a tribal and corrupt clique. He has been asked on several occasions to apologise, but arrogantly repeated the claims indicating that he has evidence.
Unfortunately Sata has failed to castigate Wynter Kabimba for his utterances, a sign that confirms Sata’s divide and rule leadership style.
Making the issuance of the national licenses to private radio operators, Phoenix and QFM, as a reason to fire Emmanuel Mwamba is self indictment against the Patriotic Front as a government that little believes in itself.
“The private radio stations are used by opposition political parties...why didn’t you ask the previous governments why they did not issue national wide licenses to private radio stations other than those operated by Christian institutions,” Sata was quoted chiding Mwamba.
A government that believes and has confidence that it is on the right course and doing what the electorates aspire for cannot fear the voice of opposition being heard with the same coverage and frequency those in government use to get to the masses.
Sata’s move to ask for the revocation of the national wide licenses to Phoenix and QFM shows that his government is not strong on the fundamentals of policy delivery and fears that “if small media start telling the people where government policies are wrong, the people will become more curious and arrogant that they will never be keen to vote for the Patriotic Front in 2016”.
But the worst that Zambian people will not tolerate is a violent political party that has cadres who can mercilessly spill each other’s blood over matters that were supposed to be democratically sorted out.