JACK Kalaba has told the opposition Democratic Party to engage in serious politics, unlike the “masanshi” (child’s play) it is doing.
Kalala says he has spoken well of DP leader Harry Kalaba in private but now “I’m losing confidence in him.”
He has laughed at the DP for asking ‘who is Jack Kalala?’
Kalala served as presidential aide in the administration of the late Levy Mwanawasa.
“Who doesn’t know Jack Kalala in Zambia? I have served the country; I served at State House, first as a principal secretary to the president, then as an advisor to the president (projects implementation and monitoring) and I even acted for one year as a special assistant to the President for press and public relations when Arthur Yoyo was on suspension,” Kalala explained in an interview.
Kalala was reacting to a Mast story where DP finance secretary Justin Nkonge on Friday berated him for accusing Kalaba of being ignorant about issues an aspiring Republican president should know.
“It is astonishing to hear Jack Kalala calling a very competent and very knowledgeable person to say he is ignorant. Who is Jack Kalala? He is lucky that he was picked by Mwanawasa. Were we even going to know about Jack Kalala? There is nothing about Jack Kalala…” said Nkonge.
“Harry Kalaba, our president, was a Minister of Environment; he knows a lot, compared to this Jack Kalala.”
But Kalala said: “there is no substance in what the DP has said, apart from being personal.”
He explained that those in the DP ought to know that before he joined government, he served in the private sector where he held supervisory positions.
“In 1992, I was appointed Consular General to Lubumbashi where I served up to 1999 and as Consular General there, I dealt with highly sensitive issues and I ably served my country, to the extent of even risking my life,” Kalala said, adding that officials in the DP did not even understand what an advisor to the President performed.
“You see, during the times of [Dr Kenneth] Kaunda, [Frederick] Chiluba and Mwanawasa, they didn’t pick riff-raffs to become advisors to the President. We were serious people and we did a lot of work at State House. But it’s like this DP is a party for children who are kumasanshi (at a child’s play) balebuta (they are into child’s play) – they don’t know what they are supposed to be doing.”
He added that as a Zambian, he had a right to criticise a probable Republican president, Kalaba.
“In the unlikely event that Kalaba became president of Zambia, his decisions and actions will affect me as a citizen. So if we let him to get away with murder, then what kind of a president are we going to have? It will be too late to complain [and] this is the situation that we have now,” he said.
“The people who are aspiring to become presidents should be screened now before they enter State House. Actually, I didn’t criticise Kalaba but just corrected him with what he said about Sun Hotels and even his fellow opposition leader Peter Sinkamba came out to say what I was saying.”
Kalala informed the DP leadership that his elder brother Jacob Kalala fought for Zambia’s independence.
Nkonge had said: “we expect a lot of wisdom from a person like Mr Kalala…. Most of your colleagues you were fighting for independence with are gone but we are seeing a remnant of a coward in you.”
“The uncle to my mother, Joseph Makoloni, did fight for independence. I was too young that time. But in 1990/91, I fully participated in the fight for the re-introduction of multipartism. We started as a cell in Ndola and I have witnesses who can testify to that. Chisunka, the one who is now in MMD [and] was DC (district commissioner) for Ndola and Luanshya, can confirm that,” he explained.
“So, when the DP says ‘who is Jack Kalala,’ they expressing ignorance. These DP don’t know what they are doing! What they should have done is to probably come and see me, talk to me. When these guys say ‘who is Jack Kalala,’ it’s laughable.”
Meanwhile, Kalala noted that: “I have spoken very well of Kalaba in private but now I’m losing confidence in him.”
“I thought he was a very intelligent young man but he seems bali kumasanshi (like they are into child’s play). I have advised them before that before they respond to anything, they should do a research,” said Kalala.