TEDDY KUYELA, Lusaka
HE MAY be new to politics but his approach is different and desirable of all those elected to represent the people at the National Assembly level.
Brian Mushimba, 42, is the newly elected member of Parliament (MP) for Kankoyo Constituency in Mufulira district, where he is already affirming his presence. He is quickly adapting to politics despite being a â€˜freshmanâ€™.
Mr Mushimba was last year appointed Minister of Transport and Communication by President Lungu.
However, he is not new to Zambia. His roots run deep into the rich heritage of Zambia and this has made him the man he is today.
The Kankoyo law-maker, who has been married to Brenda for 19 years, has two children Brian Mushimba junior, 17, and Braxton, who is 12 years.
He is the ninth in a family of 16 and comes from a humble home. Family values, trust, honesty and hard work were instilled in him from the time he was young.
Mr Mushimba is a Christian and staunch Catholic and usually goes to his former church whenever he is in the constituency.
â€œI and my family are Catholics and when I am in the Constituency I donâ€™t change the church but I go to the catholic church,â€ he said.
Mr Mushimba says he was inspired to join politics by late President Michael Sata because of his pro-poor politics. He said he has offered himself to the people of Kankoyo, who are suffering because of the employment they lost in the mine.
â€œI joined politics because I want to offer myself to the people of Kankoyo. I was inspired to join politics by late President Michael Chilufya Sata, so I joined the Michael Chilufya Sata School of politics. So the entire 2008, I used to go to Mr Sataâ€™s office to learn about politics. He used to teach me how to go about politics of pro-poor.
â€œI used to be at Mr Sataâ€™s office for an hour or two everyday learning how to speak for the voiceless. This was for the possible by-election because at that time Mr Sata had kicked out some â€˜rebelâ€™ MPs who sat at the National Constitution Conference and Kankoyo MP Percy Chanda was one of them. So I wanted to stand if there was going to be a by-election. Until the case went to court and that is how the by-elections never took place,â€ he said.
Mr Mushimba said he joined politics because when he was young his mother used to leave him at the market to help sell dry kapenta.
â€œWhen I knocked off from school, my mother used to take me to Kwacha Market to sell dry kapenta and all the ladies and women liked me because sometimes I used to sell kapenta all day at the market. I grew up in Kankoyo and I saw the need to offer myself to the people of Kankoyo,â€ Mr Mushimba said.
His vision for the constituency
Mr Mushimba says he will implement projects that will uplift the living standards of people in Kankoyo.
He is geared to work hard and ensure there is improved sanitation and water reticulation in the area.
He feels Konkoyo needs a leader such as him to help drive infrastructure development over the next several years and that he wants to serve the people in the constituency for more than one term.
â€œI want to upgrade schools and clinics and it is sad that at the moment the clinics which we have in Kankoyo close at 17:00 hours and donâ€™t operate on weekends.
â€œIt is sad also that the drainage system has collapsed and the people of Kankoyo are poorly educated. This is why I donâ€™t want to be an absent MP. I will work hard and ensure that all the facilities are improved in my constituency,â€ he said.
The Kankoyo Parliamentarian started his primary school in his home town and later went to the prestigious Mpelembe Secondary School, where he completed his Grade 12. Thereafter, , Mr Mushimba went to the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines School (ZCCM) academic scholarship programme, where he did his A-levels.
He is a holder of a Bachelorâ€™s of Science Degree (BSc) in Mining Engineering from the University of Arizona in the United States of America (USA), a Masterâ€™s Degree in Engineering Management and a Masterâ€™s Degree in Business Administration (MBA), both from Salem International University in the USA.
It is not deniable that Mr Mushimba has gone into politics with rich academic Curriculum Vitae.
The Kankoyo law-maker is also a PHD candidate in Environmental Engineering at the University of Zambia (UNZA) and he is a member of the Engineering Institute of Zambia.
Mr Mushimba also holds an Executive Leadership Certificate from Strathmore Business School in Kenya.
Mr Mushimba has worked for Siemens in USA as an Electrical Instrumentation and Controls Engineer, Design Engineer and Project Manager. While at Siemens, he commissioned roughly 10,000 Megawatts of new capacity onto the USA national power grid as the lead commissioning engineer on those projects.
He has also worked at Lafarge Cement in the USA as Engineering Manager and had a three-year stint at the Lafarge Zambian branch in Chilanga, where he also worked as Engineering and Maintenance Manager.
Mr Mushimbaâ€™s work experience also includes years of service at Pratt and Whitney power systems in the USA as the Aeroderivative Gas Turbine Product Line manager in-charge of power plant asset base and fleet management.
The Kankoyo law-maker also worked at Eskom in South Africa firstly as the Technical Director for three years and later as acting chief executive officer of the Eskom subsidiary in Uganda.
TEDDY KUYELA, Lusaka