Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) presidential hopeful, Dr. Nevers Mumba, has denounced what he calls the “Bembalisation” of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government.
Speaking on University of Zambia (UNZA) Radio this morning, Dr. Mumba said the staffing of the PF government with people who are predominantly from the same ethnic grouping was “hurting”.
Asked if he would agree to work with President Michael Sata if he was asked, Dr. Mumba said, “I have never worked with Mr. Sata before on anything that has succeeded, and I do not think that our working together would succeeded. I do not agree with his Bembalisation of government. It hurts some of us from Northern Province. I think he should have been a little bit more generous”.
Dr. Mumba was making reference to widespread concerns that Sata has been appointing Bembas and other associates into government positions. The three church mother bodies (Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia, the Christian Council of Zambia and the Episcopal Conference of Zambia) have recently condemned nepotism in the Sata-led PF government.
One government institution that has come under the spotlight is the Ministry of Finance where the Minister, Alexendar Chikwanda, who is also the defacto Vice President, is Sata’s Uncle while his deputy, Miles Sampa is Sata’s Nephew. The Secretary to the Treasury, Fredson Yamba is Sata’s brother in-marriage. Sampa replaced Elfreda Kasembe Mwamba, who is Defence Minister, Geofrey Bwalya Mwamba’s sister in law and is said to be a relative to Sata himself.
Concerns have also been raised on appointments in other strategic public offices and institutions as well as in the diplomatic service where tribesmates and party cadres with no requisite qualifications have been appointed.
There is general concern from both the public and the international community that a family forest in government, particularly placed in strategic institutions and positions, could be a source of unbridled corruption.
“In fact, that is deep-rooted institutionalised corruption and unless Zambians and the international community wake up sooner than later, the country is headed for serious problems”, said a source in diplomatic circles.
Dr Mumba was confident that the MMD could bounce back in government, claiming that it was the only party that was credible.