Chibamba Kanyama


The dilemma of Presidents who just come to power is in the appointment of individuals who are not known by their supporters (cadres) into public office.

Cadres and other sympathizers generally know who was in the battle (while in opposition) and expect that these are the ones who should be appointed into public office.

But Presidents also know they may not have won an election if it was not for those behind-the-scenes dealbreakers, political snippers who delivered on key game-changing battlefields. Some of these ‘discrete’ individuals mobilized sponsors and only the top ranks in the party knew about.

At other times, only the President knew who financed the campaign that dressed up the cadres. When the President announces such names for appointment, there will be an expected protest and uproar.

Another dilemma for Presidents is that when it comes to appointments, they will seek professionals who were nowhere near the battle but are crucial for next wins when in power.

One former President told me, ‘I came to realise that the people who helped me win the election would not be the same people who will help me win re-election.’

I somewhat agreed. People who help you win the battle may not be the same ones who help you sustain the peace.

It is not an easy thing for any President to strike reasonable balance in appointments under such circumstances! What is your view?


  1. On this one I agree with you brother Kanyama. Fighting to reach the top is not the same fight to remain at the top. Fighting to win or form govt is not the same to win a re-election. In govt no matter how much you talk if people can’t see results you can’t win a re-election. In opposition is about talking and theoretically giving alternative. In govt it is practical. Yes some of those you fought with when in opposition may not necessary make you win re-election when in govt.

  2. Let’s not second-guess the President’ s motivations regarding appointments. We can only exercise our democratic right to air our views. Clearly a few appointments have evoked debate, but the majority have not ruffled any feathers. It’s the old 80-20 Rule. 80% of appointees should be drawn from a pool of well-known and capable members of the party. The rest could come from anonymous or discreet sources. Departure from this rule would be a source of tension and discontentment among party members. I’m sure the President and his advisors are well aware of this.


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