By James Sibeleki
The greatest measure of a man is not where he stands in a moment of comfort or convenience, but where he stands in a moment of controversy.
Before delving into where Lusaka province minister Bowman Lusambo stands in moments of controversy that have beleaguered our football, allow me to highlight Barrister Solomon Dalung’s profile and why I reckon he is cut from the same cloth as his cabinet minister counterpart in the Republic of Zambia.
Barrister Solomon Dalung is said to be the worst Nigeria’s minister of Youth and Sports ever in the history of the West African country. Each time he opens his mouth or post something on Twitter the world gets worried.
Under Barrister Dalung’s tenure as Nigeria’s Youth and Sports minister; maladministration, infighting in federations and cameo performances by various sports disciplines is the order of the day.
Dalung’s untiring and vicious vitriol towards the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President Amaju Pinnick and his bias towards the Chris Giwa’s faction; therein lies the juxtaposition with Bowman Lusambo; notwithstanding the dichotomy of the two serving in different ministerial portfolios.
Much like the NFF president Amaju Pinnick has endured incessant vitriol from Barrister Dalung, FAZ President Andrew Kamanga also has continued to bite the bullets of diatribes from the Lusaka Province minister.
I find the latest comments by the honorable minister over who should be given the FAZ recommendation letter to view for the vacant CAF Executive Committee Member seat in Cosafa region – to be unwarranted, divisive and uninformed – and cannot be let go unchallenged and unmitigated.
Disguised or clothed as a fan’s perspective, the honorable minister says it is more beneficial if Kalusha Bwalya continues to serve as CAF Exco member than Kamanga. He further states that, coupling as both the FAZ helmsman and CAF EXCO member would make Kamanga neglect his homestead duties.
For heaven sake, Andrew Kamanga would not be the first seating FA Boss to be a member of the African football governing body’s executive committee. Danny Jordan, Amaju Pinnick, Moses Magogo, Isha Johansen, Hany Abou rida and whatnot are currently serving as their federation presidents – coupling as CAF Executive Committee members.
What the honorable minister is not cognizant of, is that it can be beneficial to have a seating FAZ President scaling up in CAF’s decision making echelons as he would be protecting FAZ interests.
We thank God the honorable minister was not appointed as Youth and Sports minister. Otherwise, football, which is unmatched by far, in terms of popularity in the country – would be plunged in quandary.
LUSAMBO BIAS TOWARDS KALUSHA
The honorable minister’s bias towards the Soccer Icon Kalusha Bwalya defies government’s position in the prevailing feud between Andrew Kamanga and his predecessor.
State house is neutral on who should contest the CAF EXCO seat between the feuding factions. But Lusambo has decided to take sides with Kalusha. What is he telling us? That he is dissenting government’s position; of which he is part of it?
We can gauge what a man the honorable minister is from where he stands. A neutral stand for him would be good PR over government’s relationship with FAZ.
Lusambo should stop hiding behind the fan’s perspective. He is a cabinet minister; thus his careless comments will always be PR disaster and have far ramification on the government of the day.
All cabinet ministers are football fans. The head of state is also a football fandom; in fact he is referred as the number one soccer fan. If all cabinet ministers were to take different sides with either Kamanga or Kalusha, just like Lusambo has done – the country would be torn apart.
Hence I think, it is imperative that Lusambo give so much thoughts, as well as do a self introspection over his standing vis-à-vis squabbles in Zambian football.
Otherwise, just like Barrister Solomon Dalung is the worst Youth and Sports minister in the history of the federal state of Nigeria, Bowman Lusambo would make the worst Youth and Sports minister of the Republican of Zambia. They are both cut from the same cloth.
[The Author is a PanAfrican Scribe with bias in football governance, domiciled in Livingstone Zambia]