The tremor caused by the Harry Kalaba resignation from government should cause some reason for concern by the political leadership. Others may argue the resignation has caused an earthquake in the Patriotic Front government.
While others may dismiss it as being of no political consequence. Whatever the interpretation, the resignation is a harbinger of something gone wrong in the Patriotic Front. Kalaba alongside the likes of Dr Chitalu Chilufya, Felix Mutati, Lucky Mulusa, Vincent Mwale and vice president Inonge Wina have been among the few cabinet ministers whose standing has been generally above political affiliation.
Their standing has been such that ordinary Zambians could stand proud of them without having to wear political lenses. Kalaba has been high on the list of ministers that have carried their head above shoulders with a sober mind. The Bahati lawmaker has been above the mindless tribal and divisive political talk that is at the centre of Zambian politics currently. Any sober minded person would also attest to the competence of Kalaba in the portfolio of Foreign Affairs where he served with reasonable success.
When someone so settled and emblematic of the Patriotic Front DNA jumps ship what is the public to read? What has gone so dramatically wrong for Kalaba to ditch government? Is Kalaba just another ego chasing politician harbouring Presidential ambitions? Is Kalaba offering himself on the altar of political sacrifice for a greater political cause? Did he not cite corruption in the Patriotic Front government? Is he headed to the National Democratic Focus (NDC) noisy side of political business where Chishimba Kambwili is the lead vocalist?
Whatever his destination Kalaba should think carefully about his next move as many before him have struggled to strike a political masterpiece with their well-intended resignations. While the Levy Mwanawasa case stands tall in our history books there have been disastrous departures as happened with Mike Mulongoti, George Mpombo and Lameck Mangani.