Lusaka Province Minister Honourable Bowman Lusambo says he is the President of Lusaka, and all Cabinet Ministers are not allowed to conduct any activities in the Province without first informing him. He further declares himself a mini-president on the basis that his office has the same structure as that of the Republican President because it has the “Office of the President” letterhead, and they both have Commissioners of Police and the intelligence wings under their jurisdictions.
“Let me put the record straight. First of all, I am a minister of the Province and my responsibility goes beyond government institutions. I want to tell the people of Zambia that I operate like the President in the province. Sometimes you can call us small presidents; because the structure which the President has, that is the structure that I have at provincial administration. We are the owners of Lusaka Province, we go beyond the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Tourism. What I am saying is that at the provincial administration, I have representatives from all ministries and they fall under me. Ministry of Health, Agriculture, Education, all of them they are under me in Lusaka Province,” bragged Honourable Lusambo.
“Here in Lusaka, it is somehow dynamic because the ministry portfolio sits in this province. Ordinarily, what they are supposed to do, if they want to visit Chongwe, they are supposed to inform me that ‘we are going to Chongwe’, because it is my province. If they are going to Rufunsa, they are supposed to notify me, ‘we are going to Rufunsa, are you coming with us?’ And I want to salute Minister of Health Dr Chitalu Chilufya who has been so consistent when it comes to Lusaka Province. He has never conducted any business in Lusaka without informing me. My letterhead, when you receive a letter from me, you won’t see anything like Ministry of what, you will see ‘Office of the President’. That is the heading of our headed paper. So we draw our powers from the office of the President. When you come to my office, I have a Commissioner of Police, I have Provincial Intelligence Officer.”
Ordinarily, we would be arguing against this exaggerated sense of self importance from the Kabushi member of parliament, because we don’t think he understands what he is talking about. But on second thought, this is the Patriotic Front where the structure of State Power in inverted. Those who should be at the top and in charge of the country are right at the bottom, taking orders from hooligans who should be nowhere near the reigns of power. This is what happens when a country has been surrendered to political cadres who know nothing about governance.
In Zambia, it is not a rumour but a declared fact, approved by State House, that the secretary general of the ruling party is only two notches behind the Republican President, separated by the Vice-President in the government hierarchy. Cabinet ministers, the Speaker of the National Assembly, the Chief Justice and even all the Commanders of the armed forces are subordinate to the party chief executive, meaning not only do they have to obey his orders, but he can also get them fired.
That’s why in a system where a cadre is more powerful than a Cabinet minister, we should not be surprised to hear a provincial minister equate himself to the Head of State and demanding to be addressed as the president. Who knows, maybe president Lusambo is actually the one ruling Zambia and we didn’t know. Maybe after a thorough and satisfying bootlicking service, Mr Lungu decided to sublet the presidency to his number one bootlicker. Maybe the president of Lusaka was allowed to step in when the boss was sleeping. This would explain why the entire Health Minister would be singled out as the most submissive Cabinet minister bowing to president Lusambo, since we know that the Mansa MP desperately wants the running mate deal.
If that’s the case, then president Lusambo may do well to actually move to State House and take charge considering that his appointing authority has no time to govern. When president Lusambo becomes the Great Leader of this Great Country, the collapse of the rule of law will stop being so annoying because we will accept that we are being ruled by the very least of human intellect. We would have no basis for complaining that we are being governed badly. When a demented person assaults you, you can’t claim justice or compensation. Mad people are allowed to do mad things because they are mad.
What is annoying and frustrating about the state of Zambia currently is that there is a person of sound mind in State House, posing as a lawyer, awarding himself a selfie doctorate for good governance in a year when Zambia saw the worst economic performance in decades. Intellectuals don’t rule the way bamudala ba kasaka ka ndalama is ruling Zambia.
So just give all the power to president Lusambo and we will suffer in piece without any complaints. Kaili ati boma ni Bowman!