Political analyst Dr Alex Ng’oma has asked anyone criticizing President Edgar Lungu’s appointment of Chris Zumani Zimba as his new Political Advisor to give the man chance to work.
And Dr Ng’oma has regretted that the Patriotic Front and the UPND are not showing any remorse for having instigated political violence in the 2016 elections as revealed by the report of the Commission of Inquiry into Election Violence.
In an interview, Dr Ng’oma said he did not understand why people were still criticizing President Lungu’s decision to replace Kaizar Zulu with Zimba when they were the same people who were calling on the Head of State to drop Zulu.
“I think we must be sincere; they are the same ones who have been calling for the dismissal of Kaizar Zulu. So, if the President dismisses Kaizar Zulu, then he has to appoint another person in his place; now he has appointed Chris Zumani Zimba, but the same people are saying, ‘he has been appointed too late!’ It’s very difficult to understand if this is what they are going to start saying. But all in all, I feel that presidential appointments are solely a prerogative of the President; the President would settle for anyone he chooses for reasons best known to himself. So, all we can say as people of Zambia is that we welcome the appointment of Chris Zimba and we hope that he is going to defend the Presidency, he will add value to the Presidency and he is going to protect the integrity of the Presidency, that I think is important,” Dr Ng’oma said.
“I don’t think it’s fair that people begin to say all kinds of things about Chris Zimba on the first day of his job, that I think is not fair. The President has already made his choice, so what should the people do? They should just wait for Chris Zimba to perform because that office is very important and sensitive. I personally know Chris Zimba very well…he’s a political analyst who studied for his Bachelor’s (Degree) at UNZA…his Master’s (Degree) in Germany. So, when you talk about political science, I know that he’s not a stranger to the field because he’s got both his Bachelor’s and Master’s in that field.”
He added that people should not expect Zimba to be perfect.
“Perfection doesn’t exist anywhere, but if he performs to the expectations of the people, then we can say he’s worth the appointment. But if he doesn’t perform, then we will have other things to say about him. But we should never expect anyone to be perfect. Like I said, the President knows why he appoints certain people and there is no way for us to criticize such because we are not privy to the reasons why the man has been appointed out of many others,” Dr Ng’oma said.
And on political violence, he said it was regrettable that the PF and UPND were not showing willingness to fight it.
“These two major political parties have been cited in that report as having incited violence in 2016. One would expect them, therefore, to conduct some introspection to really look at themselves, to understand that they have been cited as culprits and they must actually be seen to do something about it rather than business as usual. It would be very unfortunate actually if they proceeded as business as usual in 2021. The country desires that political violence must come to an end. So, the perpetrators who have been cited in the report must take responsibility to do something to ensure that the violence of 2016 doesn’t repeat itself in 2021,” said Dr Ng’oma.