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Kebby Sililo Kambu Musokotwane

Filed under: Politics,Special Comments |
Kebby Musokotwane

Kebby Musokotwane

By Sidique Abdullah Gondwe Geloo

The year was 1993. The political scenario was hot. The Party that Kenneth Kaunda had formed and subsequently ruled Zambia for 27 years was 2 years now as an opposition entity without government because Frederick Chiluba had defeated KK in the 1991 elections.

UNIP’s new leader, Kebby Musokotwane, had to contain disgruntled, angry and zealous UNIP young members that wanted Chiluba out of office. These young turks were so indignant of MMD that deep within the four walls of their party, whispers of taking on arms to remove Chiluba became louder and louder – so loud that even the Party President , Musokotwane, got wind of it. What if this plot failed? what if the government hears about it, wont they blame the UNIP leader of orchestrating it? We don’t really don’t know what precipitated Kebby to admit publicly that there was a plot against Chiluba, but that embroiled him into a controversy that haunted him until he died in 1996.

Kebby Musokotwane was born on May 5 1946. He went to Monze secondary school. he was a brilliant young man that attended Livingstone Teacher’s college and eventually University of Zambia. Serving as school teacher and college lecturer he met Muzya Regina Bulowa and married her in 1967. The vibrant young man impressed the then President of Zambia ,KK, asked him to stop teaching and appointed him Minister of Water and Natural resources. In 1979 he was moved to the Ministry of youth and sport. He quickly climbed up the ladder and was appointed Minister of finance from 1979 to 1983 but then demoted to education in 1983 to 1985.

Young Kebby had learnt so much in different departments that he gained favour with many of his team mates. KK decided to keep him closer to himself and made him Prime Minister from 1985 to 89, but like Chiluba would later do to gen Miyanda, KK demoted him back to education then decided to put him out of sight into the diaspora to become High Commissioner to Canada in 1990. While he was away, his boss and hero KK was humiliated in an election that threatened to throw all UNIP leaders into the sea of Oblivion. In 1991, MMD took over government and Kebby Musokotwane was recalled, without a job. But he remained supportive of his former boss, and gave him moral success and total loyalty. Just when we thought this was the end of ever hearing the name ‘Kebby,” UNIP decided there was only one man that could carry the party. And that was Kebby Musokotwane.

Many wonder how the dynamics would have played out if this great man was still around because in 1996 death took this man very suddenly. He didn’t serve long as party President. When KK came back from retirement, he aimed at taking back the Party Presidency which Musokotwane refused to give up. Of Course later, Musokotwane lost honourably and didn’t live long after that. Many speculations have been whispered concerning the cause of his death, including foul play, but all those remain mystic tips. Nevertheless, Zambia lost a hero, a real hero.Many things can be said about this man, yet one thing is definitely true, his place in the history of Zambian politics is forever secured. MHSRIP


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