The Zambian parliament recently ratified President Lungu’s
recommended candidate, Kapetwa Zacharia Phiri to head the Anti
corruption Commission amid allegations of corruption in the PF
administration, making observers wonder whether given that the
most powerful positions in Zambia are occupied by people from
the same region, is this mere coincidence or regional politics
are at play?
Phiri, who is a young man of 39 years, is heading one of the
most powerful institutions in Zambia. He may be qualified, but
independent observers are wondering why the most powerful
positions in terms of deciding the destiny of the country are
held by people from the same region.
There is an under current outcry that having the most
influential positions from the same region cannot be
coincidence and is not in the best interests of unifying the
Below is summary of people occupying the most powerful
positions in Zambia
First and foremost, the President, Edgar Chagwa Lungu, is from
the Eastern province and makes appointments and one would like
to believe in consultation with his mentor, former President
Secondly, Chief Justice Irene Chirwa Mambilima, despite having
a marriage name suggesting she is of Bemba extraction, is
actually an Easterner. Most observers suggest that any
questionable behavior of the judiciary may be construed that
she is not independent of the President given that they come
from the same area even if she may be a woman of integrity.
Thirdly, the Chairman of the Electoral Commission of Zambia,
Esau Chulu, who also happens to be a first cousin of former
President Rupiah Banda. The ECZ is a key institution in
determining who rules the country. In addition, one of the most
influential Commissioners of the Electoral Commission, Emily
Sikazwe is of Eastern extraction.
Fourthly, The Secretary to the Cabinet, Dr. Roland Msiska, is
an Easterner too.
Fifthly, the Director General of Zambia intelligence Service,
Samuel Nkhoma is also an Easterner. The importance of the Spy
Chief cannot be underestimated.
Sixth, Kapetwa Zacharia Phiri. In all honesty, can any one
expect this young man to fight the endemic corruption that is
obtaining in Zambia given that he has just been promoted after
being in an acting for some time!
Seventh, the most powerful man behind the scene in Zambian
politics and the King maker, the untouchable and a person some
critics refer as Co- President and who cannot be fired, the
Presidential political adviser, Kaizer Zulu.
Eighth is Dr. Simon Miti the state house Principle Private
Secretary is equally a very close ‘student’ of RB.
The DG of the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) Alita Mbaweh
completes the list at ninth position.
The above positions can determine whether the President stays
in power or not and it cannot be coincidence that they come
from the same region. It is well a known factor by Zambians,
including the writer, who happens to be Bemba speaking that
some of the most educated, experienced and able Zambians are
Lozis and Tongas for historical and cultural reasons. What begs
the question is: if merit is being followed in these
appointments , why don’t we have some of the them or other
tribes appointed to these powerful positions? The Presidential
Mentor’s invisible hand must surely be at play. This must be
put to a stop in order to unify the country.
These powerful people do not appear in papers but they pull the
strings behind the scene and will determine who wins elections,
wins contentious cases at court, not convicted of corruption
and how long a President can stay in power. It will be folly to
expect these occupants to be independent and act in the best
interests of the country.
When it comes to cabinet positions, the President has been
using arrogance of representation, arguing that he has no MPs
from these other regions and surely does he mean there aren’t
any qualified personnel from these regions to be considered for