This is article 5 of 6 in the series ‘ A Critical Analysis of the Imperialist Driven Constitution by Chief Chitimukulu ‘
- A Critical analysis of the Imperialist Driven Constitution Part 1- The Preamble
- A Critical analysis of the Imperialist Driven Constitution Part 2- One Man,One Vote
- A Critical Analysis of the Imperialist Driven Constitution Part 3 – The Consequences of Nationalisation
- A Critical Analysis of the Imperialist Driven Constitution Part 4 – The Art of State Craft
- A Critical Analysis of the Imperialist Driven Constitution Part 5 -NGOs: Leaders in the Constitution-Making Process
By Henry Kanyanta Sosala-Chitimukulu
NGOs: Leaders in the Constitution-Making Process
Zambians,destitutes in the midst of abundance
Why do we spend all our energies on discussing irrelevant issues like the constitution when there are more pressing matters like poverty eradication? Mr. Sikota Wina wrote:
‘’We inflate little things and pretend they are big…..our complaints and our controversies, our commotions and our causes have grown ridiculous and we have all of us, become specialists in transforming the trivial into momental. Even deeply personal matters have become public debate, even President Mwanawasa’s baptism can cause political controversies.’’ (The Post 15th March 2005).
The then Germany Ambassador Mr. Erich Kristof said:
‘’The discussion has been on the illusion that the constitution will bring to each and every Zambian, a nice house, clean water etc., without effort, sorry, that is an illusion because a new constitution is just a paper, it doesn’t change the situation in the country.’’ (Sunday Post 10th July 2005)
Former French ambassador, His Excellency, Jean Paul Monchau said:
‘’Poverty of the Zambian people is mostly unexplained if one considers the country’s riches and without going into details, I do not understand why emphasis was not put on agriculture, the basis of any development strategy.’’ (Sunday Post 10th April 2005).
I believe the Zambian gospel singer Nathan Nyirenda has summarized what Ambassador Monchau talked about by vividly painting the grim picture of the bankruptcy of Zambia’s enterprising intellectualism in his Bemba masterpiece, Mwe Makufi. He pleads with God to come to the nation’s rescue because our country lies in economic ruins, poverty, misery and intolerable hardships pour down like rain and all these are deeply and clearly engraved on the tormented faces of the old and young people including domestic animals.
He laments that Zambians are destitutes in the midst of abundance ____ rivers are full of fish; we trample upon very fertile and rich soil; our forests are filled with timber and all sorts of animal species; we have huge deposits of different kinds of minerals and we have manpower. Nyirenda questions the value of education that produces dormant and idle intellectuals who merely keep a track record of our natural resources on paper. ’’
Is the situation due skin pigmentation or just lack of enterprising intellectualism?’’ He asks.
And he concluded, ‘’My knees, do not get tired of worshipping the Almighty God and I shall earnestly pray and fast; for sure evil shall never conquer the Living God.’’
I suppose this was why John Phiri sarcastically asked?
‘’…which universities did these educated fools go to where they were given out degrees, masters and PhDs on how to plunder a nation’s funds? Zambia is now a rotten society because of such educated fools.’’(Education Post 10th July 2005).
How we are controlled by the capitalist-exploiter
Let me now take you back in order to clearly understand what I am talking about. In 2003, President Mwanawasa initiated the national ‘’indaba’’ in order to try and gauge the general consensus on national issues from the supposed top cream in our society. And according to Gazette No. 587 of 2003, the majority of the participants were drawn from the NGO groups. However, a lawyer in attendance summed it up in these frightening words:
‘’What we saw in the ‘indaba’ was that decisions were made through mob psychology. Those who shouted the loudest carried the day.’
It was amazing that the ‘’clever’’ who had lamentably failed to come up with an ‘’economic road map’’ at the national ‘’indaba’’, eventually received the ‘’constitution road map,’’ from their sponsors and embarked on blind sloganeering: ‘’people driven constitution’’; ‘’Zambia’s back-bone’’ and these were backed up by well-calculated mob psychological propaganda materials like, ‘’Mwanawasa must respect the will of the people’’; ‘’the people have spoken’’ etc.
The capitalist has an instinct or genius for colonizing. His unequalled energy, his indomitable perseverance and his personal independence makes him a pioneer. The capitalist-exploiter is a great strategist and he is as well blessed with the gift of wit and he leads with truth but never to truth. He had taken care of the fact that Indeco, which used to employ Zambian graduates from the University of Zambia was no more and the skeleton of private companies bring their own senior staff. And so our professionals who cannot manage to find jobs outside the country are either employed by foreign NGOs or they form their own NGOs in order to sustain themselves. And according to finance minister, Ng’andu Magande, the money given to NGOs was not properly accounted for and the donors don’t ask how and where it had been taken. (Zambia Daily Mail 21st June 2007).
some of the individuals in the civil society groups have the best brains, but they have to follow instructions
Admittedly, some of the individuals in the civil society groups have the best brains, but they have to follow instructions. The truth is that the civil society groups are given programmes by their sponsors on strategies _____ they are boxed in a coffin-like narrowness of vision and thereby suffocate their creative imaginations. And hence there is loss of sovereignty over self; loss of power, dignity, morality and debility.
The Oasis Forum comprised of the Council Churches in Zambia (CCZ); Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ); The Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC); the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) and the Non-Governmental Organization Coordinating Council (NGOCC). The enthusiasm that was created when the Oasis Forum managed to attract a large group of intellectuals and successfully helped to campaign against Chiluba’s third term bid created two things:
- The first was that it triggered political ambitions into the hearts of the Oasis Forum leaders.
- The second was from the capitalist-exploiter who detected insurmountable political potential in both the intellectuals who had supported the Oasis Forum as well as the church leaders. And of course, the combination of which if he played his cards correctly, he could exploit to his greatest advantage. And that was why to that effect, they were told to ‘’divinize’’ the movement (i.e.,it was being referred to as ‘’Church-led Oasis Forum’’), so that they could create a great impact on the Christians’ minds.
The weekly newspaper, Monitor & Digest of 20th July 2007 came out with the headline: ’’Oasis Forum political Party Coming.’’ Francis Maingaila reported that some named individuals with political ambitions were secretly pushing for the transformation of the Oasis Forum into a political party that would challenge the existing political parties in 2011. ‘’The individuals with media, law and religious backgrounds are said to be unhappy with the performance of the current crop of politicians in the country, hence the argument that Zambia lacks credible leaders…..But when contacted for a comment, Oasis Forum spokesperson, Musa Mwenya brushed aside assertions that the organization would be turned into a political party..’’
The capitalist-exploiter was very much aware that though those political aspirants could have sound financial support, they unlike the political activists lacked the crude aggressiveness that Zambian politics demands. Professor Michelo Hansungule also crudely put it in this way:
‘’The people that in most cases win elections are those that Darwin called ‘closer to their primitive ancestry’.’’
And in view of this their sponsors had to find alternative avenues to avoid direct entry into the political arena. They threaded their way and subtly transferred the National Assembly’s supreme powers of decision-making to the civil society groups.
His Excellency, the former Germany envoy, Erich Kristof pointed this out when he was leaving the country that the National Assembly was his major disappointment and he went on to state that since his arrival in the country, it was strange to observe that the National Assembly didn’t play a major role in many national matters despite of being elected representatives of the people.
”I wish the National Assembly being elected representatives of the people can be proactive when dealing with national matters instead of the civil society. The civil society is not elected….the chiefs should also play a major role in areas where government is not present.” (Sunday Post 10th July 2005).
On the other hand, according to the Final Draft Constitution, 114 (1) cabinet ministers and 115 (1) provincial ministers would be appointed outside Parliament and 116 (1) parliamentary secretaries would be appointed from amongst Members of Parliament. This renders the people’s representatives in Parliament irrelevant. What shame!
Daughters and sons of the soil, you can see that through this useless draft constitution, the foreign-sponsored groups are taking Zambians for a dangerous ride, because this clearly means they are pitting the rich minority against the poor majority. It is a terrible sin to be robbing a people of their livelihood as already stated in the Social Watch Report 2002 that Zambia’s poverty is a deliberate policy and then begin to cheat them out of their political birthrights to be a part in the process of choosing cabinet ministers. We are as it were, now fixed, frozen as in an enormous block of ice. We are mentally immobile and at the mercy of any clique of exploiters that may appear on the horizon.
A ‘’political formula’’ is the expression in political terms of the characteristic pattern of social and political activity. And the political system can be internalized into cognitions, feelings and evaluations of its population. And Zambia’s political formula is based on Britain’s Westminster model and can be viewed as consequential upon the logic of cabinet concentration.
the powers of cabinet ministers and of the executive are generally without restrictions
The elections are seen as a sum-zero game, a winner takes all and the cabinet therefore emerges as the government summit. And a close look at Parliament and by means of scrutiny in Hansard reveals that our political formula is orientated to three-quarters other than Parliament. The powers of cabinet ministers and of the executive are generally without restrictions and the power of the political party caucus is untrammeled. And we certainly cannot surrender such powers to a bunch of political failures and foreign stooges to make final decisions on all important national issues.
These foreign-stooges would not be answerable to anybody and in fact article 114 (4) in the draft constitution states:
‘’A Minister shall attend the sittings of the National Assembly when required to do so by the Speaker or for a particular purpose, upon notice to the Speaker.’’
You can see that they had cleverly worked out a cunning scheme wherein these super human-beings would have nothing to do with ordinary people whom they are supposed to rule. One really wonders how this could have made a lot sense to the Commissioners and the technical team since people are the object materials of every government. Can’t you up to now, daughters and sons, of the soil detect the hand of the capitalist-exploiter in this useless document?
And here is their shortsightedness because when their sponsors told them to proclaim that the presidential candidate should have 50 plus 1 of the total votes, they have been shouting at the top of their voices. But on the other hand, they have been told that cabinet ministers should have zero votes and they have been shouting for this also. In the same way, there should be zero votes for provincial ministers who would also seat in cabinet, but universal suffrage for mayors and council chairpersons.
Let me digress to point out that there were general elections in the United Kingdom in May 2015 and the winning party obtained 36%, whereas President Lungu here obtained 48%. And we are being told to go for a re-run and just nod our heads like tree-frogs (popularly known as blue-head) without taking into account the cost of a re-run and our terrifying poverty levels. And we seem not to realize that to make such a re-run, we must go and beg for funding from elsewhere and in the end we become indebted to them.
And incidentally what criteria would the President use to pick cabinet ministers from the streets! Would this not only bring problems and confusions? I suppose the list of cabinet ministers will be coming from the capitalist-exploiter and the President would be promised more aid or otherwise withdraw of aid. And when MMD came into power some ministers resigned because they were not appointed to the portfolios they preferred and I think the ministries have already been distributed among the NGOs themselves.
How Zambia surrendered it’s sovereignty
In fact we were done for, when Chiluba and his visionless and corrupt technocrats surrendered Zambia’s sovereignty to the capitalist-exploiters. The University of Zambia Development Studies lecturer, Frederick Mutesa wrote:
‘’The cold war African leaders that succeeded the founding fathers surrendered sovereignty in national policy-making to the Bretton Woods Institutions…..whereas the Nyereres, Kaundas and the Machels resisted the repulsive encroachment of foreign forces on the nations’ sovereignty, the Chilubas that replaced them chose to kiss neo-liberal policies in the morning, afternoon and at night.’’ (The Post 24th April 2004).
For example, the freedom fighter knew that only political struggle would provide an opportunity to try to work out externally what had built up internally and therefore sought confrontations, for he saw them as providing him with the means of becoming who he really was. On the other hand, the so-called intellectual of today is very much aware of how unfair his western counterpart is, and yet he has no courage to shout this out, surrounded as he is by the fake signs of presumed equality. The difference here is between the struggle which forces the granting of recognition and liberation which is granted. In this respect, the Algerian philosopher, Fanon talked about the slave who had no memory of the struggle for liberty, or the anguish of liberty. Such a man is not capable of taking up the challenges at hand.
And what then is actually involved in the loss of a country’s sovereignty? Daniel Dnezer writing on
‘’Sovereignty For Sale’’ said: ‘’Today, many small countries voluntarily auction off their sovereignty to the highest bidder; reaping great rewards in the process. In some respects, it has never been so profitable to be a nation-state than in this non-nation-state world. Today, the rapid growth of buyers and sellers has increased the size of the global sovereignty market. The demand for certain elements of sovereignty has grown steadily as the supply. Powerful nation-states, of course, remain the key buyers, although increasingly influential private actors including corporations and international criminal groups have entered the sovereignty sweepstakes.
‘’Although sovereignty auctions can bring immediate gains in the form of capital flow, aid or access to technology, they hardly constitute a path of enduring economic development. Small nations that come to depend excessively on such proceeds must do well to remember that sovereignty ____ unlike agricultural production or tourism ____ is a non-renewable resource. Once sold, it is very hard to buy back.’’ (Foreign policy magazine September/October 2001) (Emphasis mine).
The Bible gives us a vivid picture of what ‘’disarming’’ the other nation or the loss of sovereignty means. When the Philistines defeated the Israelites, they destroyed all the foundries in order to make sure that no weapons could be manufactured in Israel.
‘’There were no blacksmiths in Israel because the Philistines were determined to keep the Hebrews from making swords and spears. The Israelites had to go to the Philistines to get their ploughs, hoes, axes and sickles sharpened. And so on the day of battle, none of the Israelites, except Saul and his son, Jonathan had swords and spears.’’ (1 Samuel 13:19-22)
the one who controls the gold, makes the rules and can effectively control people
Why did the nationalists create the Zambia National Commercial Bank immediately after we attained our independence? It was because they had learned one important lesson when they were fighting colonialism: that the one who controls the gold, makes the rules and can effectively control people. Nicholas Biddle and Mayer Rothschild had the charter to run America’s Central Bank. And the latter declared:
‘’Let me issue and control a nation’s money and I care not who writes the laws.’’ (The Creatures from Kekyll Island by Edward griffin p. 218).
And so the People’s Bank was meant to be a total government-enforced financial monopoly. The government should be in a position to control interest rates because otherwise foreigners might put the government on a hook, when it makes certain decisions in the interest of the nation, but which, on the other hand, might be to the foreigners’ disadvantage.
The first key nail into the coffin of Zambia’ sovereignty has been the Zambia National Commercial Bank and that was why IMF’s African Department Chief, David Andrews had even the audacity to declare that Zambia would only reach the HIPC Completion Point after she disposes of the People’s Bank.
Dr. Kaunda passionately appealed to the Mwanawasa administration,
‘’Please, don’t sell the Bank. How many governments in the West are without their economic institutions.’’ (The Post 22nd October 2002).
But it was too late because we had already sold our sovereignty and that was why Daniel Dnezer had warned small nations,
‘’Sovereignty is a non-renewable resource. Once sold, it is very hard to buy back.’’
The question is: why have we been forced to sell the Bank, if indeed we are an independent sovereign state?
Where the Draft constitution errs
And alluding to the Interim Report, the Commissioners shot down the submissions that suggested that cabinet ministers should be Members of Parliament: ‘’The petitioners argued that the ministers’ interaction with the constituencies adds value to their participation in cabinet decisions. Further the current arrangement presents the President with a reservoir of persons approved by the people for leadership positions.’’
The Commissioners rejected: ‘’The commission, is however, of the view that the demerits of a cabinet appointed from outside are mitigated by a number of factors. Ministers appointed would have requisite qualifications as opposed to political allegiance…. This would afford the President a large pool of competent and capable Zambians.’’ It is for the people to judge which one of the two is more reasonable and makes much more sense than the other.
One thing that must be made clear is that there has never been any person in the world’s political history who has ever been identified as a competent politician. We only hear of shrewd politicians. And surprisingly the entire nation doesn’t seem to see anything wrong.
I have great respect for the competency of professionals in their lines of specialties. This is because mathematics and natural sciences are respected for their precise methods. Purely deductive reasoning seems to give us reliable – in fact indubitable knowledge, without an appeal to the senses or to empirical confirmation. Once one has proved a theorem, there’s no need to measure it. However, the lines of politics are not like the lines of mathematics and no lines can be laid down for political wisdom. Politics is a matter incapable of exact definition. The corollaries of politics are completely revolutionary because in the political process, there’s simply no way of controlling conditions — a control so necessary for the establishment of scientific conclusions.
Politics is involved in the interaction between the person and the situation. And so, different kinds of situations elicit different behaviour from people. Politicising is a skill that cannot be imparted by instruction, but can only be acquired by serving an apprenticeship in company of great masters. Politics is to grasp issues and think oneself into and through his opponents’ arguments, to criticize them and become aware of their shortcomings. And to expect that one will learn all of these sufficiently and satisfactorily from the perusal of books is thinking of boiled ice. This is because in politics, decisions do not depend upon straightforward logic, more often than not the mind is required to perform mental gymnastics of a kind in different situations, which cannot be contemplated in stereotype thought-lines.
Americans say: ‘’Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.’’ These are the same ‘’clever’’ people who in 1991 had boasted of their unquestionable political qualifications to effectively manage the affairs of this nation than the nationalists but began to run the government in academic terms as they had been taught in lecture halls and it wasn’t long before they themselves realized that their theories did not work out tidily on the ground when they hit all kinds of snags involved in finding answers about the unpredictable human material which is the object of all governments. All in all these are the very people who lamentably failed to run the government and have ruined the lives of the entire nation, but why daughters and sons are you being hypnotized to bring them back.
When the South African Communist Party Secretary-General, Dr. Blade Nzimande visited Zambia said:
‘’The one striking feature of Zambian society is the extent to which the structural adjustment policies pursued by the Chiluba presidency have rolled back many gains made during the first two decades of independence. We found, amongst many of those we met a re-emerging nostalgia for the Kaunda presidency and the advances made then in the fields of education, health and provision of other basic services. The Chiluba presidency privatized virtually all the state-owned enterprises, leading to massive job losses and the rolling back in the provision of education and health services in particular.’’ (Sunday Post 9th April 2006).
We have now become our neighbours’ laughing stock and former Zimbabwe’s Home Affairs Minister Dumiso Dabengwa said,
‘’We don’t want to end up with a person who will reverse the gains the country has made. Let’s avoid the ‘little Chiluba’ phenomenon. Those of you that have followed Zambian history will be sad if you went there…..’’ (The Post 14th March 2008)
The most surprising thing is that Zambians themselves are totally blind to the predicament into which the plunderers have put the nation and to them they are still heroes.
On the Bill of Rights, President Mwanawasa wrote:
‘’The Mung’omba Constitution Review Commission held that we should amend part III so as to provide for the right to employment; the right to food; the right to education; the right to food; the right to shelter; the right to good health and so forth as justifiable rights. I mentioned that nowhere in the world has any government provided 100% entitlement to these rights and when you make them justifiable in your constitution, it means every law-abiding President must offer to resign as failing to defend and uphold a constitution each time a citizen cried that he has no employment or that he has no education or that he has no shelter, etc, etc. This would result in government changing so frequently and the nation would be subjected to high expense of holding by-elections each time a government resigned.’’ (Zambia Daily Mail 4th June 2007)
the white man uses the African’s love of money to destroy him
the white man uses the African’s love of money to destroy him
I would describe the draft constitution in its current form as ‘’a flame drawing the moth to its own destruction; it’s a man’s most entrancing creation!’’