The Commonwealth is a respectful institution. It respects the fact that Edgar Lungu wears the Presidency Jacket in Zambia.
Other than that, the Commonwealth is led by an intelligent woman, Barrister Patricia Scotland, who is the institution’s Secretary General.
She is intelligent, knowing that wearing a PRESIDENTIAL JACKET is not a big deal. However, she is fully aware that what matters about it all is how that PRESIDENTIAL JACKET was woven. She is interested in the threads in the cloth that made that Jacket.
This is why when she visited Zambia Barrister Scotland brokered a truce between our two leaders, President Edgar Lungu and opposition UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema.
She was even deliberate when she engaged the two leaders asking them to forget about the 2016 elections, and yet called for them to engage in meaningful dialogue.
The two leaders agreed to a process of dialogue which was to be facilitated through the office of the Commonwealth Secretary General, whereby a roadmap of reforms pursuant to Commonwealth principles of good practice, governance and the rule of law, can be undertaken in preparation for the 2021 elections.
Now it is this truce brokered by the Commonwealth, to be done under the guide of its peace envoy, Ibrahim Gambari, which has become troubling to the ruling Patriotic Front leadership—President Lungu and his minders.
But why is it so?
The first thing is this, the dialogue process is coming to correct the past wrongs that happened about our democracy and its pinnacle, the 2016 election.
Barrister Scotland is fully aware of this and did not want to miss a point on this fact.
She said: “I believe Zambians can rely on these leaders to wholeheartedly engage in this process and to craft a democratic, sustainable pathway which will lead the country not just to successful elections in 2021, but beyond.”
Therefore this dialogue is a process of reconciliation of the country’s political activities that have lost the values of democracy.
It is well known that reconciliation cannot happen without referring back to the issues that got parties to defer or caused differences. Dialogue is meant to clear the decks about “what did we do wrong”, “why did we do wrong” and “how can we do better next time”.
The Patriotic Front knows that if the Commonwealth through its peace envoy Gambari moderating the dialogue, the parties to the dialogue will look at, more than just other governance issues, the 2016 election shall not escape close scrutiny. It is that scrutiny that will question how the PRESIDENTIAL JACKET Edgar Lungu is wearing was made.
The Patriotic Front leaders know that the election was fraud. And that election is the cloth from which the PRESIDENTIAL JACKET that Lungu wears today was made. Obvious, the illegitimate threads in that cloth—all the wrongs that were committed in favour of Lungu during the election—will be pulled out one by one during dialogue, until the PRESIDENTIAL JACKET is threadbare.
Once such happen, the Patriotic Front leadership knows that President Lungu’s back will be embarrassingly exposed in the face of the Commonwealth. Electoral Commission of Zambia will be convicted as a tailor that made an illegitimate PRESIDENTIAL JACKET.
The Patriotic Front leadership also fears a report of recommendations on Zambia’s broad governance reforms from the dialogue process being credited to a body of international pedigree such as the Commonwealth that has means and influence to hold Governments accountable.
That is why the Patriotic Front do not want the Commonwealth to be at the centre of the political dialogue in this country—fearing to expose an illegitimate PRESIDENTIAL JACKET.