“We all go into government to eat, patriotism was only there when we were fighting patriotism” – Munkombwe Barely a day after honorable Munkombwe’s swearing in ceremony at State House, one of the daily tabloids carried a rather vexing headline attributed to him: “We all go into government to eat, patriotism was only there when we were fighting patriotism”.
As though it was not enough, he went on to say that every one should emulate his politics of benefits and as such every one was in government for politics of benefits.
As I sat to listen to people’s submissions on these remarks, it was apparent that senior citizen Munkombwe appalled many. If one went round town that day, they would have no doubt been treated to scathing reactions to the fore-going remarks.
It is with no doubt that any inconsiderate utterance from any citizen negates one’s integrity and morals and this holds true even Munkombwe. It is for this reason that citizens did not hesitate to perform a postmortem of his statement.
Speaking in an interview with the Lusaka Star, a Lusaka based business man, Aggripa Chihunu, said that Mr. Munkombwe’s statement is reprehensible as it does not give hope to voters who are already expecting a lot from the government and that such selfish ambitions make sad reading.
He said Mr. Munkombwe was uninspiring even to young people that have political ambitions as he is not leading by example.
Meanwhile, a Matero Constituency Patriotic Front Youth, Harrison Munkonge, said that it is sad that those remarks were coming from a person who has been perceived as an elderly statesman. He noted that politics and public offices are purely meant for service to the people and nothing else.
“Those remarks are saddening because we expect wise counsel from an elderly statesman like him on how to run public offices in order to serve our people better and not to enrich ourselves” Munkonge said.
Meanwhile, a 22 year old NIPA student, Tabitha Mwaba, said that Mr.Munkombwe’s statement was callous and inconsiderate of the sufferings of many Zambians and that patriotism should be put as first priority by public office holders.
She wondered what values the so called veteran politicians would instill in upcoming politicians if they discarded the concept of oneness and development in the country.
“What culture of politics are we going to learn from elderly politicians if patriotism, which is the engine for a nations development, is put aside?” she asked.
She however noted that Mr.Munkombwe's sentiments were a painful truth and that people should have others at heart and that they should not have wild reasons for ascending to political offices if Zambia is to develop.
The 81 year old Daniel Munkombwe has so far served in all previous governments since independence. He has recently been appointed as Southern province Minister.