MMD National Youth Secretary, Bowman Lusambo opens up to LusakaVoice about his political career and personal life.
LusakaVoice: Is there anything else you do apart from politics
Bowman Lusambo : I am a graduate from Mulungushi University. I am a marketer by profession and I have worked before in this country in two companies. After that I decided to start my own company dealing with electronics. Politics for me is inborn, my father was a politician, they started MMD together with the late Presidents Michael Sata and Levy Mwanawasa. Growing up, most of the party meetings were held at our house in Ndola.
LusakaVoice: Does your family support your involvement in politics?
Bowman Lusambo: I am married with 3 children, 2 beautiful girls and a boy. My first daughter is very strong, I see her being a better politician than me.
My wife supports my career and most of the time when I am not at home she is the one taking care of children. She is also a graduate from Cavendish University.
LusakaVoice: So you are confident that you will win Kabushi seat in the next general election?
I am not a failure, for me leadership has not started now. I was a head boy at a grade 12 school by the time l was in grade 10 in Luapula province. At Mulungushi University I participated in a position for chairmanship and I came out victorious. So this election thing is not new to me, and Kabushi we are winning.
My aim is to become president of this country at one point because I have taken 2 presidents to state house.
LusakaVoice: Many people are saying you have taken a soft stance towards PF. What is your reaction to this?
Bowman Lusambo: PF and MMD share the same blood group as 75% of people in PF came from MMD. Some of our MPs are serving in Patriotic front in senior government positions like the Minister of education, the Sport Minister etc. We are not taking a soft stance but we are only saying that it is important for us as opposition to criticize the government where it is due. I am a very straight person, I call a spade a spade but I have seen most of our leaders in opposition commenting on non-issues like the president’s dress code, so if I say lets address challenges facing our people rather than attacking the President, it doesn’t mean I have taken a soft stance towards PF. There are a lot of issues out there, water and sanitation, the constitution, unemployment, electricity etc which we can all focus on.
LusakaVoice: Do you feel safe being in opposition?
Bowman Lusambo: Our lives are not safe, that is why we believe in GOD, not even the police. We faced a lot of challenges especially with the former President, for me at one time I ended up in Tanzania because the situation was very tense. It’s not easy being in opposition but I like opposition politics very much.
LusakaVoice: Why are youths mostly affected by the current economic situation?
Bowman Lusambo: The youths are mostly affected because the older generation use youths to succeed and neglect them once they achieve their goals. We have escorted a lot of leaders to state house but they immediately lock us out at the main gate. They will only remember us when its election time but it will not happen this time. This is our time, we have to make sure we participate in the governance of this country.
Honestly, the elder generation has no capacity to push any agenda without involving the youths. However, in the past years we have been so docile, thinking they will remember us, create employment, change the economy so that we can also have access to good health, jobs and education but they forget about us. They only take their children up.
LusakaVoice: How do you deal with political violence as a youth leader?
Bowman Lusambo: MMD leadership does not tolerate indiscipline. My president Dr Nevers Mumba is a man of God despite being a politician and doesn’t entertain any acts of violence. So for us as a party we do sensitize our youths that violence does not pay, we focus on real issues.
We are mother of all political parties which are in existence today in this country. the founder member of UPND was a member of MMD, even the late President Michael Sata was our national secretary. it is the only party with national structures. so looking at the preparations of 2016 general elections we are more than ready. The president of Mmd is ready to defend the party so that we emerge victorious.
LusakaVoice: Are you confident of winning the coming election, looking at the way you performed in the previous on?
Bowman Lusambo: The performance of last year’s election came up with different dynamics and a lot of challenges. MMD was divided into three. The biggest problem we had was the former president coming back to the political scene, which was a disaster. He had his own followers within MMD and outside MMD, so immediately he was defeated by the courts of law not to stand on MMD,he immediately came up with plan B to divide the party, which he succeed. So for Dr Mumba the past election was not a test for him.