Rainbow Party General Secretary Wynter Kabimba says it is ridiculous for Bishop Ed Chomba to claim that Oxford University cannot give out information about students posing with fake credentials based on principles of anonymity.
And Kabimba has challenged President Edgar Lungu to dismiss Bishop Chomba from his position and hand him over to the police for investigations.
Last week, an investigation conducted by News Diggers! revealed that Bishop Chomba, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection, has never been a double PhD holder from Oxford University (Trinity College) and Princeton University (Woodrow Wilson) as he claims to have on his government-endorsed biography.
Though Bishop Chomba dismissed the investigations after being informed that he had been disowned by the institutions, he claimed to have attended on the argument that the institutions he went to would never give out any information about his credentials based on principles of anonymity, Kabimba argued that Oxford University cannot risk it’s international reputation just to protect one individual.
But in an interview, Kabimba mocked Bishop Chomba’s English saying it definitely wasn’t from Oxford.
“I read the story that you carried that Oxford University has disowned Ed Chomba over that qualification, I also read his reaction which was to the effect that it is not in the norm of Oxford University to disclose qualifications of their students, but it was ridiculous! There is no way that Oxford University, which has conferred a degree on you can fail to tell the world that, ‘yes that degree is from that institution.’ But further than that, even when you just listen to Bishop Chomba speaking English; that is not English from Oxford University! I have taken time to listen to him, he wants to use big words, sometimes which he just misplaces in terms of context in the statement and he wants to adopt an accent. So, you can tell that this is a man who is just [a] fraud in the academic world,” Kabimba said, Tuesday.
He said President Lungu had cost the country’s reputation and made it a laughing stock to the outside world by appointing unqualified people to serve in his government.
“Ed Chomba has found his status in the PF government where the people that should be nowhere near some of those positions are being perceived to be the cream of the government, and this is the problem that President Edgar Lungu has caused to the government and to the country at large. The position of Permanent Secretary in the civil service is very senior position; a PS is a chief administrator of the Ministry. He’s not an inspector of roads like we have seen in the past; he’s not an inspector of water facilities and energy facilities like we have seen as a culture today. But because these guys don’t have qualifications, they have to find something to do to appear that they are working. And in the process, they have to give an impression to this country that they are educated and, therefore, deserving of the positions which they hold,” Kabimba explained.
“What is happening now is that we are becoming a laughing stock to the world, we are looking like fools to the outside world and the genesis of all that is the appointments that Edgar Lungu is making, which have no regard to the interests of the country as far as I am concerned. You can’t make appointments purely based on patronage; by allocating jobs to people that do not have even the minimum qualifications for that job. And that is what is going on. So for me, I am a very disappointed citizen that Edgar Lungu as educated as he is can fall into this trap of political patronage, which has become so embarrassing to the country. And when you listen to these guys talk and they have to put a prefix of ‘Dr’ something, then you just laugh to yourself as a person who is watching. People who know the purpose and the philosophy of honorary degrees, they just think that we are a country of jokers and that’s what we have turned ourselves into.”
Kabimba, who doubted the police’s capacity to successfully investigate Bishop Chomba’s case for a number of reasons, called on President Lungu to save the country from further shame by dismissing Bishop Chomba.
“But when I read ‘the police can investigate that matter thoroughly’, whether or not they have the capacity to investigate that matter to determine whether or not Bishop Chomba’s degree is genuine, I don’t know because they will have to travel to the Oxford University and they will give them a roll. Just like if you went to UNZA they would give you a roll consisting of the date when I enrolled and the date when I graduated from UNZA. Can President Lungu please save us from this embarrassment, it is becoming a big embarrassment for the country,” he appealed.
“I don’t think that he’s short of qualified Zambians to appoint, but he’s playing patronage in a very serious manner. If it is established, which I am sure can easily be established, that the PhD which Bishop Chomba is claiming is a fraud, if I were President Lungu, if I were the President myself, I would dismiss Bishop Chomba immediately and hand him to the police to set an example to the rest.”
He further disclosed that it was not only Bishop Chomba who had allegedly been employed with fake qualifications in PF, but that there were many others whom he could not mention.
“This is not just about Bishop Chomba, it happened even in the 2016 elections…I don’t think the 28 people that ECZ (Electoral Commission of Zambia) said had fake Grade 12 qualifications are the only fraudsters. There are many of them in PF, there are many PF members whom we knew and even if you looked at the 2011 Parliamentary handbook, some didn’t go beyond grade nine and yet they had applied to be adopted as MPs, some of them were adopted and some of them were even allowed to contest elections. So there are many, but this (Bishop Chomba’s case) is just a broader scam, it’s a national scam,” said Kabimba.
“So if I were President Lungu, and it is discovered that those qualifications are fake, which am sure that they will be able to discover…because Oxford has a reputation to protect. That university is not like these small universities in Lusaka that are mushrooming at every corner; Oxford is over 300 years (plus) old and their reputation is international. You can’t allow a citizen who can put an international reputation like that in disrepute to continue serving in government. So, if I were President myself, Bishop Chomba would be showed the door immediately!”