By Chanda Phiri (Ex-LT Microblogger)
It is amazing how the calls by the so called democratic masses to all
political party in Zambia to hold convention are intensifying. The ruling MMD earlier last year showed signs of not holding the convention and all sorts of mud was thrown at them. Now that the MMD has decided to hold the convention, after succumbing to public pressure, it looks like they are now treated as the most democratic party. How ridiculous!
The MMD, particularly its leadership, has even the audacity of calling on other political parties to hold a convention. They feel more holy. They feel more democratic. But really is the MMD democratic? Does the mere holding of a convention make a party democratic? How can those calling for convention sink so low as to think this public spectacle is democracy?
Anyway let me unpack the convention process of ALL political parties, in case some of you don’t know.
First note that the president of any political party in Zambia is the most important person in that party and is above reproach.
The way a party runs the so called national convention is to first select people that will attend the convention.
Not just any Jim and Jack attends these political national conventions. The selection of these delegates is not a democratic process, but a corrupt process otherwise known as “bootlicking”. Seats at the conventions are limited and those who make it as delegates are those who are perceived to be aligned or have consistently boot licked the president and his cohorts of supporters.
So the delegates that get to attend these conventions are already hand picked by the incumbent party president’s machinery. Only Chief Bootlickers make the cut.So, the convention is just a mirage and a total public spectacle meant to just make a joke of real democracy. And this applies to ALL political parties in Zambia today.
So the election of party presidency is truly not democratic in all the political parties in Zambia today. The conventions are just an expensive way to endorse the incumbent president and I would bet my house with anyone that RB and Sata will emerge as leaders at their conventions, fraught with corruption.
Maybe and a big Maybe for that matter: the only truly democratically elected officials are those who hold other useless portfolios in the party.
I can’t end this rant of mine without therefore suggesting a truly democratic way of electing party presidents.
First problem to fix is to make parties organised around a powerful committee, like a board and not around an incumbent powerful party president. The committee’s duty should be to fairly conduct the electoral process for the leader or the CEO of their party.
Once the committee is in place its mandate will be to conduct elections across the country in all constituencies and allow only those voter’s card carrying members of the public to vote in these elections. I repeat: These elections should be open to all members of the public as long as they have voters card, regardless of which party they belong to. The candidate who amasses the most votes
across all the constituencies should be the one to lead the party as president into a general election. Only after a tie which is most unlikely, should then corrupted party delegates be brought in to decide.
Yes, this process will be expensive. But who said democracy is cheap? If you think democracy is expensive, try dictatorship? Evidence abound on how dictatorship has impoverished the masses and robbed people of any dignity to live decent lives.
Well as long as this process I have outlined above is not followed, all parties in Zambia will remain corrupt, undemocratic and just built around an individual. We shall happily vote them in power only for them to turn around and rape us the way the MMD has done since it came into power.
Lastly I call upon all Zambians to really see what a joke these current
conventions are and demand for a party with truly democratically elected leadership.
Not what is being imposed on us by the corrupt delegates in all parties
Let the debate begin. Let the search for a truly democratic party begin. Let the search for a truly elected democratic president begin. Aren’t you tired of all these self styled dictators imposed on as as democratically elected leaders?