Thursday, April 04, 2013

We all go into govt to eat - Munkombwe
By Moses Kuwema
Thu 04 Apr. 2013, 14:00 CAT

NEWLY-appointed Southern Province minister Daniel Munkombwe says he will continue serving in government even at the age of 90 as long as God gives him life and wisdom to explain and interpret things. And Munkombwe says he has continued to serve in all governments because he is rated as an old useful man.

Meanwhile, Munkombwe says everybody is now adopting his philosophy of politics of benefits. In an interview, Munkombwe said if he could convince people at 90 years, he would continue to offer his services.

"Since we cannot say who is dying when, because it is only God who determines when to take, it is not an individual. Those individuals who wish us ill may go earlier than us. It is wrong to wish or expect an old man to die earlier because those who wish others to die early may die early instead," said 81-year-old Munkombwe when asked how long he intends to serve in government.

Asked if politics of benefits were at play following his appointment in government, Munkombwe responded: "There is nobody who is not using my philosophy of politics of benefits. There is nobody who goes into Parliament naked, we go to Parliament because of allowances. There is no more patriotism. Patriotism was only there when we were fighting colonialists, so everybody is adopting my philosophy of politics of benefits. I know people will say Munkombwe has gone into government because he wants to eat but who does not want to eat?"

On November 13, 2005, Munkombwe who was then Southern Province MMD chairman told the late Levy Mwanawasa in Mamba that politics of patriotism were over because what was at play then were politics of benefits.

And asked what the youths could learn from his success of having served in all governments, Munkombwe said discipline was cardinal.

"If you are an indisciplined person, you don't go anywhere. If you are hopeless, you are indisciplined in your home, in society, nothing can really be good to you. I have gone through all these stages and I have had no major problems," he said.

Munkombwe said well-meaning Zambians appreciated his contributions in society and thanked God for that.

He said the appointing authority had seen stability, consistency and the vision of interpreting their various manifestoes.

"If you are going to be appointed to any position in a political government, it means that you are genuinely… like for now, I am genuinely trying as humanly possible to interpret the PF manifesto. PF is a strong party even without me," he said.

Munkombwe also attributed his appointments to his continued responsibility whenever he was appointed.

"I was responsible in the African National Congress so when I left to join UNIP, because I was responsible where I came from, I continued to be responsible. I continued doing so even when UNIP seemed to be exhausted. I went to MMD and still continued to be strong and influential in MMD and now it is PF," he said.

Munkombwe said he hoped to follow the PF system diligently and deliver development to the people of Southern Province.

Asked about the public perception that it was too much of old people getting involved in governance issues at the expense of the youths, Munkombwe responded:

"Is it too much of Michael Sata who is five years younger than me? You know progress, contribution and influence is not limited to old men. It also can be limited to young people. You know there are useless old men in the country and they are there in any society, but there are useful old men in a country. There are also absolutely useless young people in our society and yet there are extremely useful young people in a society. In any grouping, you find very extremely useful people."

Munkombwe said he was rated as one of the useful old men adding that what was important was how to use any position given to achieve development on behalf of the people.

"What is important is your role in society. What is your contribution as a youth? What is your contribution as an old man of 81 years in society? If a society still needs men of 81 years, I think that the society should be free to use that old man, just as society will still be free to use very young youths in our society. What matters is how you handle yourself in society. There are useful people in every stage of our society. We have people like Brian Hapunda who is very useful and the sky will be the limit for him. He is not the only one, there are many people who I am finding in the PF to be useful. We must carry them on our back, teach them how to understand how they can serve five other presidents who will come as I have done," said Munkombwe.

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