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Kalaba is passing through what I passed

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HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF IN ZAMBIAN POLITICS: The case of Harry Kalaba

By Miles B. Sampa, MP

The resignation of my brother President Harry Kalaba about a week ago from his own party Democratic Party (DP) reminds me of me in 2016

Towards and after the Kabwe general conference debacle, my brother Harry was amongst those in the forefront calling me and Guy Scott all mother of abusive words. I ended up forming my own party and called it the Democratic Front (DF) as to say PF was ‘not Democratic’.

DF took off on a supersonic trajectory and well received within and outside PF. Influential seniors and youths were joining us on a daily basis. After I invested in so much money and my goodwill, suddenly the office bearers were making headlines denouncing and ‘expelling’ me. Even those I woke up while they were snoring (no lulenda lulepona) to come join us got bought off.

It was trips to and from the court on a weekly basis to claim ownership of a party ‘ I launched’ or brought to the public attention.

Despite me getting some of the best Lawyers in town namely Keith Mweemba and Gilbert Phiri to regain full control of my party DF, the invisible hand was too strong. The then Solicitor General Abraham Mwansa found himself in the case claiming DF sounded like PF and it should be deregistered. The then Home Affairs Minister Davies Mwila actually did get the DF deregistered. Probably only party in the history of Zambian politics to have been deregistered within a month of being launched.

Close associates became witnesses against me and all preliminary Court Judgment on DF tended to be against me. Just as Harry has done, I then declared ‘ I am forming another party’ and called it United Democratic Front- UDF). Big mistake. It was daily trips to the registrar of societies and with same response “ we still doing due dilligency on the party office bearers you proposed”.

The inner circle even coined ‘ Miles is not a factor ‘ line but I kept wondering why they were spending too much money, time and energy to obliterate me from exercising my Democratic right to participate in elections via a club of my choice.

Running out of time and from ‘ichifukushi’ of why my own brothers and sisters were abusing me, I opted to stay out of the elections and backed the then opposition UPND namely Tom Michello for Matero constituency and HH for President. The rest is history.

Essentially the then system movers and shakers (Harry inclusive) stopped me from having my name on the ballot in the 2016 elections.

As soon as ‘Internal’ wrangles started in DP after the 2021 general elections, I posted on Harry’s page that I hoped he would not end up as I did on 2016. He posted back “thank you my brother”. Well my hope was hopeless. He has replicated my path. The only difference is I never got any of my female party officials imply ‘things’ against me or other male top leaders. Incidentally the current DP leader Judith Kabemba (a sister in politics) was briefly associated with my party DF (UDF) and indirectly so was the current Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Hon Mulenga Chipoka from the ‘alliance’ we had at the time with NAREP and its then leader Elias Chipimo.

Regardless, I wish my brother Harry well as he visits the registrar of societies to register another of his ‘own’ party. I failed to get one when I needed it most in 2016. The Home Affairs Minister (Davis Mwila) then just did not allow it. Hopefully Hon Jack Mwiimbu will be different end get you party papers processed and avail you the certificate.

It’s not karma. Just not being selfish with a story that have now come to witness twice and upcoming politicians can learn a thing or two.

Incidentally I was also the first to resign from the ECL government (reasons stated at the time ) and a year or two later Harry became the second to resign. First to have a party I registered deregistered and hope Harry won’t be the second. He is a brother from the ‘Sata school of politics’ and I continue to wish him well. I however hope that is as far as fate will replicate his political disposition to mine because It’s not one I would wish on anyone human.

It’s been rather odd and very rough. Kwali ukukosa. As the saying goes..no situation is permanent.

What can I say to my brother Harry other than…”onalebo Koseni”

MBS01.08.2022

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