The impending parliamentary and local government by-elections in some seats held by MMD must be condemned by every well meaning citizen as this won’t only be a nuisance but a sheer drain on our young economy. If I may be precise; to encourage by elections at a time when the country is still grappling with a myriad of socio-economic woes would be outright immoral and an affront to the majority of poor citizens!
The plight of one Jackson Mwape would perhaps suffice to illustrate my view. Mr. Mwape recently wrote a moving letter to one of the daily newspapers. Unless your heart is made out of stone, you would easily be moved to tears! In his letter,Mr. Mwape cried that he retired as a teacher on September 12, 2011 but hasn’t yet received the package he is entitled to. According to him,government still owes him K25, 124, 659.83 and K23, 367, 603.58 in arrears and leave terminal benefits respectively. Mr. Mwape concludes his letter by wondering when we as citizens shall have more money in our pockets so that we can execute our plans effectively. How many more people out there, especially in the rural areas, are trapped in such a dilemma?
[pullquote] if development can only come to a constituency if one belongs to a ruling party, then it’s as good as doing away with multi party politics[/pullquote]
PF secretary general Wynter Kabimba who is also Justice Minister insists that “democracy is expensive” while his counterpart at the Ministry of Information Kennedy Sakeni observes that there’s nothing wrong for serving MMD MPs or councillors to resign from their party and join PF because the constitution guarantees them the right to freedom of association. What sort of leaders are these? Are they not aware that there are still hundreds of retirees out there such as Mr. Mwape wallowing in poverty while their money remains stuck in government coffers?
Yes, democracy may be costly as Mr. Kabimba wants us to believe but some costs such as by-elections arising from unnecessary defections can be avoided. Why can’t we learn from countries such as South Africa whereby they go into what they call a “window period” after holding elections?During this time, MPs are at liberty to decide whether they want to remain with parties that sponsored them to parliament or cross the floor of the house to political parties of their choice without unnecessarily provoking by elections.
Can people like Richard Taima convince us that they want to join PF because they want to develop their constituencies? Taima was deputy minister during the MMD regime for a long time, what development did he initiate in his constituency? And if development can only come to a constituency if one belongs to a ruling party, then it’s as good as doing away with multi party politics. The biggest problem we have in this country is that we don’t have political ideologies; that’s why people like Taima and Masumba can easily jump from one political party to another.[pullquote]What happened to the spirit of 1991? Didn’t we unanimously reject dictatorship and embrace multi-party democracy? Why then should we allow Sata’s PF to drag us back to the one party state by letting him continue poaching opposition MPs?[/pullquote]
According to my Oxford Advanced Learners’ dictionary, ideology is a set of ideas or beliefs that form the basis of an economic or political theory or that are held by a particular group or person.These individuals are joining PF not because they believe in the PF ideology, if at all it has one, but because they want jobs or protect their businesses. And if say support for the PF started dwindling a few years from now, such individuals shall surely be the first to jump ship – what hypocrisy! One would of course rightly argue that the problem of poaching opposition MPs started with Levy Mwanawasa, but if we may be fair was this in order?
What was Mwanawasa’s motive for appointing opposition MPs as ministers, for instance? To deliberately obliterate opposition; and he almost succeeded in doing so! Under his tutelage, MMD robbed Gen. Godffrey Miyanda of all his MPs and also managed to snatch a few from Mazoka’s UPND such as the likes of Dr.Sipula Kabanje. Are we saying we should continue treading on this retrogressive path as a nation? What happened to the spirit of 1991? Didn’t we unanimously reject dictatorship and embrace multi-party democracy? Why then should we allow Sata’s PF to drag us back to the one party state by letting him continue poaching opposition MPs? Fellow citizens, until next time I rest my case.
By a disgusted citizen!