KENNEDY Kamba has described late president Michael Sata as a man who never compromised on his values.
Sata died on October 28, 2014 in London’s King Edward VII Hospital, and this month marks exactly six years since his demise.
Remembering the PF founder, Kamba, the Lusaka Province PF secretary, passionately said he learnt a lot from the man.
“He was very clear in his language and a very courageous politician who used to call a spade, a spade. President Sata never compromised on his self-worth, his values and principles. So I knew him even before I met him personally,” he said. “This was a simple man when you meet him personally, very down to earth and hard working. All he wanted was a better Zambia for everyone. He is a person who had Zambia at heart and wanted to see this country developed. He grew up in the village so whenever we interacted with him, he always talked about the poor Zambians.”
Kamba explained some of the projects Sata would remind all PF members about once they formed government.
“He used to say our priority should be the interest of the majority Zambians, especially those in rural areas. So we were always coming up with pro-poor policies. Our manifesto as the PF is tailored in such a manner that the priority is the poor,” Kamba said. “I remember in the MMD days, he would leave his office whenever he heard that street vendors were being harassed by the council ‘police’ officers. And he used to yell at these council officers, telling them to leave the poor vendors alone. That’s the kind of president Sata we all knew; a man with a big heart.”
Kamba said “president Sata was a courageous, very brave man who stood for what he believed in.”
“He wanted to see a clean and prosperous Zambia. He was a focused politician who never gave up on his dreams. This is what we learnt from him as a human being. Even personal character, president Sata taught us humility as we serve humanity. If you have pride issues, egocentric character, you cannot be a friend of president Sata,” he explained. “The man loved this country to the core. He wanted to be president to demonstrate to each one of us what good governance is. And indeed when he became president, he worked hard to the best of his abilities. Today, Zambia is a huge construction site with development taking place in all sectors of governance because of president Sata’s robust programme of transforming Zambia into a prosperous nation.”
Kamba explained how much he still misses Sata and his love for humanity.
“The first thing is that we miss him and we love him even in death. He imparted values that we will never depart from. He taught us what real love for humanity is. President Sata above all was a committed Catholic Christian who loved God,” he said. “He taught us the importance of embracing God in all that we do and we loved him for that. If I had an opportunity to meet him again, I can tell him that, thank you for what he did for this country and its great people. I will tell him that his legacy lives on. I will tell him that President Edgar Lungu is doing everything possible to serve this country with diligence while embracing and honouring the values and principles that the late president and founding father of our party left us with.”
Kamba explained his first encounter with Sata when he was recruited into the Patriotic Front party.
“The first time I met Michael Sata was at his house at Number 3 Omelo Mumba [road, Rhodes Park]. I was taken there by his former driver Watson Phiri in the year 2005…When I decided to join the PF, Watson took me straight to Mr Sata’s house in Omelo Mumba here in Lusaka,” Kamba explained.
“… And so he asked Watson in the Bemba ‘Nga uyu waisa nao ni nani (Who is this person you have come with?).’ And that’s how Watson introduced me to late president Sata that his name is Kennedy Kamba. Immediately Mr Sata recognised me and he went like ‘You are the son to Amford Kamba right?’ Because Mr Sata knew people and indeed he knew my father because they worked together.”
Picking some lessons from Sata’s life, Kamba said “today we are reminded of a true patriot who loved Zambia and its people.”
“He loved this country to his last breath. We are reminded of a statesman who also embraced humility and high levels of tolerance…He was a rare breed of a politician,” said Kamba. “He was God-given to Zambia. His political career was out of passion and his desire to serve. And that’s what should drive all of us in politics regardless of political affiliation.”