Was it a genuine apology?

We feel duty bound to ask this in connection with the apology made recently by the Zesco Board chairman, Mr Vickson Ncube to President Hakainde Hichilema and the nation.

He apologised that he had misled the President.

Mr Ncube’s apology was made against a backdrop of the crippling load shedding that was implemented by the state-owned power utility firm, Zesco Limited.

The load shedding was due to the low water levels at the Kariba Dam which Zesco said, could not sustain normal electricity generation.

Zambians were naturally angry especially that President Hichilema had not very long ago declared that load shedding was a thing of the past as the new dawn administration had put measures in place to improve electricity supply in the country.

At the height of the load shedding, which was initially for 12 hours and has been reducing gradually, in stepped Mr Ncube to apologise that Zesco had given wrong information to President Hichilema.

But we are surprised that Energy Minister Peter Kapala has stated that President Hichilema was not misled, that he was in fact given correct information on load shedding.

Mr Kapala said it is unfortunate that Mr Ncube decided to apologise to Zambians and President Hichilema over load shedding because the head of State was given accurate information about the load shedding the country has been experiencing.

Mr Kapala, featuring on Hot FM radio on Friday insisted that Mr Ncube’s statement that President Hichilema was misled was inaccurate.

“The President (Hichilema) was not misled and he was told the facts that the country produces over 3, 000 megawatts but 80 percent of this is hydro generated. 

This means that we depend on water. It is unfortunate that the Zesco board chairman (Victor Ncube) apologised because the President was not misled. 

He (President Hichilema) was given correct information on which he had based his assurance to Zambians that load shedding had ended,” Mr Kapala said.

On what basis then did Mr Ncube apologise?

Was he trying to take the blame on behalf of the President who was being harangued for having declared that load shedding had ended without looking at the facts?

If anything, Mr Kapala’s revelation brings into question the calibre of people appointed to head quasi-government organisations.

What we do not know, and hope Mr Kapala could clarify, was whether Mr Ncube even briefed the Zesco management that he was to issue a public apology.  

As it is, it brings into question Mr Ncube’s fitness to be chairman of the Zesco Board when the appointing authority question his judgement over such a serious issue as load shedding.

The nation should also ask how many Mr Ncube’s are out there who would “blindly” take the blame for something that is neither here nor there.

And will he inspire confidence among the Zesco employes, board members and the public that he is the right person to lead them?

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