Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Zambia’s Democratic Governance Deteriorating

Zambian President, Michael Sata

Sata has no numbers in parliament and his fear is that his unpopular choices that commit public spending to programmes that subtract value from the core goals of public policy may not get approval if set before parliament

By Nyalubinge Ngwende
The more things change, the more they remain the same, so goes the old adage. Unfortunately, when Zambia changed government in September, 2011 things did not just remain the same, they have deteriorated. We are at our worst at present because President Sata has refused to work with an opposition dominated parliament, choosing to marshal his major decisions without the recourse of the elected national assembly. Electorates have slid into amnesia, the constitution has loose ends and cannot restrain him and the opposition leaders lack clout to exert pressure since they are sidelined by mainstream media. 
This could be laughable, meaning easy policy victories for the ruling party, but it is scaring the consolidation of Zambia’s blossoming democracy. It has rendered our representative democracy useless and it is happening with an authoritarian depth and extent that has not been seen since the country returned to multiparty democracy 22 years ago. 

Monday, 25 February 2013

Plunder Under National Interest Guise

By Nyalubinge Ngwende

The Patriotic Front seems to read from a very queer book of organizing as a political party and, consequently, it is managing to use legitimate means to achieve wrong ends that strengthen its partisan interests.

The PF is using public finances for its party functions. But worse to this truth is that all this is happening under a guise that Zambians cannot unravel as political corruption masquerading as national interest.

This is because President Michael Sata and his friends crafted a PF manifesto over 10 years of being in opposition on wrong fundamentals of patriotism. The manifesto created wrong impressions that Zambia could only develop if it is run by the patriots of the PF. To this effect, it enshrined in its manifesto a clause that says that all positions of decision making in government—the civil service, commissions, authorities and commercial ventures—would be a preserve for party patriots.

It is difficult to tell whether Zambians who went to vote for the PF on September 20, 2011 elections fully understood the implications of provisions in the then opposition party’s manifesto.