President Charles Michael Katongo Mwango Chilufya Sata unknowingly fired his friend Charles Banda as Zambia’s High Commissioner to Malawi when he appointed his tribeswoman Solome Mwanashiku as the new High Commissioner to Malawi.
Sources said Mr. Sata, in a typical case of keeping up appearances, was forced to get out of bed and swear-in his tribesmen Mumba Kapumpa and Ms. Mwanashiku as diplomats to South Korea and Malawi respectively.
The event in which Mr. Sata murmured only 99 words, lasted less than 10 minutes and was merely meant to show that he is alive and working after a load of painkillers which doctors were forced to inject, as he is now refusing medication.
But despite suffering from dementia which, among other things results in memory lapses, Sata still remembered to swear-in his old tribesmen, but quickly forgot that there was already Mr. Charles Banda as High Commission to Malawi, unless the Malawian diplomatic mission will now be headed by two people.
Mr. Banda, a former Muchinga province minister who vigorously campaigned for Mr. Sata in 2011 in Eastern province, was only appointed to Head the Malawian Mission last year.
It is not clear what will now happen to him as he was ‘accidentally deleted from employment’, unless someone at Ministry of Foreign Affairs remembers him and possibly creates a vacancy for him somewhere.
As for Mumba Kapumba, he goes to South Korea to open a completely new mission as Zambia has had no embassy in that country.
This means Mr. Sata has to wake-up again and swear-in another relative as the deputy head of mission together with other relatives as embassy staff, despite the employment freeze in the civil service.
As expected, yesterday’s speech by Mr. Sata in a faint voice, straight from his hospital bed at State House, was very short and uncoordinated.
Below is the verbatim as monitored and recorded on radio:
“Mr. Kapumpa, I was the first Zambian to go to South Korea, the people you are going to deal with are very intelligent, extra intelligent people and I expect you to be sober according to the constitution.
“Mrs. Salome, you are going to Malawi, you have a very sensitive woman who is the President of Malawi, Joyce Banda, so as you have already, you see you are the one who has committed yourselves and not me that you are not revealing the constitution so if you are not revealing the constitution so which constitution are you people talking about?”
“Zambia has a constitution which you people are taking oath and then somebody is talking about the constitution which constitution are you talking about? So I wish you well, thank you very much.” Go now and pack your bags and go…