It was the great Greek philosopher, Socrates, who felt that it was necessary to create mental tensions, so that individuals could rise from bondage of political myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative and objective analysis. And I also believe that the authenticity of one’s political and social life must be promoted by his ability to understand, at least, the falseness of the political conditions in which he lives, so that he can rise from the bondage of falsehood to the majestic heights of understanding.
I have written because I have felt that we have been let down by our intellectuals who are supposed to be the conscience of our nation since about eighty percent of educated Zambians, of whatever level call themselves geniuses, intellectuals, philosophers etc.
I also want to expose those Zambians on foreign payrolls who have continuously been misleading the nation and more particularly on the useless failed Constitution which was originated by their paymasters and which nearly brought our country into bloodshed and we are still in total chaos because of different and confusing rulings by the judges on similar issues. And sadly this is the document for which the NGOs were demanding a referendum for so that it could be embalmed or sealed!
Calls for Re-Drafting of the Constitution
It is general knowledge that any manufactured product has got the manufacturers’ manual to which the purchaser must refer in order to utilize such a product to the maximum efficiency. But if the useless Constitution was indeed ‘’people-driven,’’ why have we as the manufacturers totally and absolutely failed to de-code and interpret the contents of our own product?
The EU observer team that monitored the 2016 general elections recommended that a detailed review of the electoral legal framework and re-drafting of any constitutional provisions that are unclear, ambiguous and conflicting need to be done immediately (Daily Nation 11th November 2016).
Charles Musonda reported that the motion to amend the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act number 2 of 2016 was moved by Mwansabombwe MP Rodgers Mwewa (PF) and urged Government to amend the Constitution to provide for membership of MPs in local councils and remove lacunas.’’(New Vision 11th November 2016).
The sequence of the development of our country’s laws follows that the Members of Parliament (sometimes referred to as law-makers) enact laws which are interpreted by the courts and enforced by the police. But the most unfortunate dilemma has happened where judges and lawyers have lamentably failed to interpret the Constitution and have consequently thrown the entire nation into the worst type of uncertainty.
What Confucius, the Chinese sage, said has not lost one iota of importance after 25 centuries:
‘’if language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant; if what is said is not meant, then what ought to be done remains undone; if this remain undone, morals and acts will deteriorate; if morals and acts deteriorate, justice will go astray; if justice goes astray, the people will stand about in helpless and confusion. Hence, there must be arbitrariness in what is said. This matters above everything.’’
And indeed our country as at now stands in total confusion.
I had all along been one of the strongest opponents to what I believed to be an imperialist-driven Constitution and I became an object of ridicule. A church minister in reference to me said, ‘’Easy-to-fool chiefs.’’ And when I raised my concerns about the Constitution at the SADC workshop of chiefs, a prominent Judge simply dismissed my concerns by stating, ‘’I am a walking encyclopedia.’’
Why have I found myself in this situation? These ‘’ghost wars’’ stem from the protracted struggle to accept the status of cultural leaders by the so-called educated sophisticates can be viewed as a conflict of generations. By and large, the tribal society has been gerontological and this means that the high status and the tribal political power have been the prerogative of the aged i.e., the knowledge of the soil; of the magic to protect oneself in high office against the manifestation of one rivals; of the esoteric and mysteries of chieftaincy and of the village etc., mostly came largely with advance of age. And this means that the Institution of Chiefs is deemed to be monopolized by old fashioned, primitive and un-educated madalas totally immersed in the secrets and mysteries of their long-dead ancestors.
A third-rate Zambia Daily Mail reporter, Nigel Mulenga did not mince words when Members of the House of Chiefs asked the government for car loan facilities: ‘’……a man who can barely write, let alone sing the National Anthem to drive a posh car!’’ And that is why to most bloggers it is far beyond their comprehension that a simple chief from a village could write anything in English other than in his own native language and have been saying that there is some lawyer somewhere who writes the articles for me.
However, Professor Michelo Hansungule, who personally knows me and whom I often consult on various critical issues, commented on my last article, The collapse of the Legal System in Zambia: “Paramount King, sincere congratulations on your well researched, focused and so articulated argued article! Royal Highness, you have debunked the false notion that traditional leaders cannot be intellectuals. You are a giant among them. And judging from the numerous responses your article has triggered, it is an instant success…’’
I had stated and re-stated over and over again that the foreign-engineered Mung’omba Draft Constitution could at best be described as
‘’the most deceitful document that has ever been produced in Zambia’s history of deceit.’’
Each country has its own problems which could best be handled by its citizens
Professor Muna Ndulo, a US-based constitution lawyer said that external actors should not impose their ideas on Zambians through the current draft Constitution. He said he was disturbed by the attitude of external actors that their ideas were always the best for Africa. ‘’each country has its own problems which could best be handled by its citizens.’’
Professor Ndulo went on to say that a few days before, a diplomat accredited to Zambia sought with him and asked him to support the peace-meal amendments proposed by the government. The diplomat had asked him to support their view to have peace-meal amendments of the Constitution rather than having nothing at all. He rejected the scheme, saying he could not propagate ideas that he did not believe in. He said that foreign ideas could not work in every country because of cultural, political and geographical differences.
‘’I think the constitution-making process in any country should be owned by the people of that country. The Constitution is context-driven; you cannot take the American Constitution, the British Constitution and whatever and say it can work in Zambia. It is not like a fridge which you can take from here and say because it operates on electricity it can work in Afghanistan or wherever. No, it has to be context-driven. We are dealing with our specific problems and we have to address those. And I am also very troubled by the fact that often, external actors have this attitude that whatever they think of is good enough for Africa. I believe we deserve the best and we shouldn’t accept that people think they can advocate things which in their own countries they would never accept…. The key to success is always the people themselves to chart their own course; the crucial issue of ownership would never really be underestimated.’’
He said that he expected UN agencies to be more active in ensuring that the process succeeds.
‘’And in fact, I argue that if organizations like the UNDP had been more focused on this kind of approach when our process started, we wouldn’t have gotten into the problem that we have because, I think, they could have used leverage to insist on a process that is structured along the legal framework and could have actually protected the people…. So in my view external actors should focus on the process and not on the substance. They don’t understand the substance. The fact that you are an external actor doesn’t make you an expert in any process in any country. And I believe that it would be good for them to focus on the process; to ensure the process is inclusive and that the process is transparent.’’
And he went on: ‘’In a recent article, Henry Kanyanta Sosala, the Chitimukulu of the Bemba-speaking people stated that foreign sponsors were pitting the rich minority against the poor majority through sponsorship of the constitution-making process. He further noted that the imperialist-driven constitution was tailored for the capitalist-exploiter to check and control the ambivalent movements by which the government would function, once their stooges would be in control.
‘’ The Chitimukulu went on: ‘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. It is a terrible sin to be robbing a people of their own livelihood as already stated in the Social Watch Report 2002 that Zambia’s poverty is a deliberate policy and then to begin to cheat them of their political birthright to be a part of the process of choosing cabinet ministers. We are as it were, now fixed, frozen 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.’ Stated the Chitimukulu in his article that reviewed Zambia’s constitution-making process. (The Post 25th August 2015).
And indeed future has proved me right because it is really a foreign-driven Constitution that is why we have totally and absolutely failed to de-code it.
Development of Constitutionalism in Zambia
Basically, the Constitution is an instrument for the administration of government. It defines government and sets out its limits in relation to the rights and freedoms of people. It is in the Constitution that the form of government for the country is defined.
Professor Michelo Hansungule wrote in his Keynote Paper: Constitutionalism and Constitutional Development:
‘’A Constitution is not something new to Africa. It is certainly not something that is totally alien to the African environment. Both elementary and complex societies consist of certain norms of behavior recognized in those societies as being fundamental to the well-being and perpetuation of the members of the communities. Constitutions are universal i.e., they exist in all human societies.
‘’In fact, evidence shows that pre-colonial African societies did have some of the most advanced Constitutions. Whereas modern Constitutions may appear to be superior, their superiority is for the majority of them only on paper. It is clear from the way Africa has been misgoverned ever since colonization that part of the problem is that indigenous concepts of governance and constitutionalism have been ignored in favour of western concepts in African constitutional making processes. In fact, Africa has a rich background in constitutionalism largely drawn from its own experiences and traditional heritage.’’
Any human society of whatever level (even the most primitive tribes of eastern Zambia) requires organization and speaking of “organization,” I refer to the pattern of observable regularities of behavior by reference to which people are seen to order their social relationships among themselves. And this was how traditional leadership was birthed. Traditional authority refers to power that are associated with and emanate from the institution of chieftaincy. In African societies, traditional rulers derive their authority from customs and traditions that have existed since time immemorial. Traditional rulers are custodians and repositories of traditional customs and cultural heritage. Customs and norms provide a means whereby modes of behavior for each society are fixed. These provide a mechanism whereby young people cannot be brought up in a higgledy-piggledy manner.
In fact traditional leadership is inherently political. This is born out of history, custom and practice because before the present mode of governments in Africa, traditional kingship was the sole government. And each chiefdom was a “state” on its own under a traditional government with its own local language. And to this effect traditional rulers used to collect tax in the form of ivory, venison or forced labour in order to meet the charge of services tribal governments could provide such as defense against enemies.
And in his thesis, Multipartism and the Matrilineal Governance System of the Bemba-Speaking People of Zambia, Reverend Dr. Simon Muwowo wrote:
Africa in general, is caught up in a web of practicing systems that are unfounded within the ethos and governance of our traditional societies, ‘’Some government systems which Africa has copied gullibly from foreign nations may deserve overhauling in order to find their legitimacy or discard them all together’’ (Chuba, 2011). It has been proved in Zambia and in other African countries, elsewhere that it is no longer healthy and even ‘’dangerous to adopt them randomly in a belief that all African traditional forms of government are completely unsuitable or barbaric’’ (Chuba, 2011). Our search for an African identity in political governance should depend on the foundation of Africans and dispel ‘’the notion that only government systems from overseas are viable for Africa’’ (Chuba 2011).
The governance system of the Bemba-speaking people is one such example with an effective system when harnessed is another landmark contribution to the world. The Ashanti and the Akan tribes of Ghana as well as the Lozi of western Zambia among others in Africa have in the history of Africa recorded magnificent traditional systems of governance, which when put together could provide an agenda for an authentic political identity.
Sosala (2014) laments the failure of democracy and alludes to the fact that the failure is as a result of adopting a foreign model of governance other than developing an indigenous one that could simply be polished and produce an acceptable entity of good governance. He states: ‘
’We had hoped to see our country become a nation based on parliamentary constitutions or the Westminster model and enjoying responsible democratic government, but unfortunately we are at the tail-end of history, after fifty years of self-rule, having even gone through the so-called one-party participatory democracy and it is now very clear that the Westminster model as a model for Zambian democracy has absolutely and totally failed’’ (Sosala 2014).
This particular voice from Henry Kanyanta Sosala, the Paramount Chief of the Bemba people points us to re-evaluate the political system and to a higher extent make an authentic alternative system of governance for Zambia.
Since the attainment of our independence in 1964, Zambia has accumulated five Constitutions as follows:
- The 1964 Constitution (known as Independence Constitution)
- The 1973 One-Party Constitution (Mainza Chona Constitution)
- The 1990 Constitution (Patrick Mvunga Constitution)
- The 1996 Constitution (John Mwanakatwe Constitution)
- The 2015 constitution (Mung’omba Constitution)
Every Constitution has some hidden agendas to serve the powers-that-be. Here is Professor Michelo Hansungule again:
‘’The 1964 Constitution was basically an ‘independence constitution.’ It was the British and not the Africans who wrote the first Constitutions on independent Commonwealth Africans, making the whole exercise a mockery. The British were not concerned with the human rights of the people that they had colonized for so many years, but of what would happen to their investments since they had invested heavily in the copper mines and consequently they worried very much about what would happen to their huge investments once they were gone. To get round this problem, they came up with the idea of a Constitution, which they would write for the natives and in which they would seek to protect their interests.
‘’In order to discharge his functions effectively in this scheme, the President was handed perhaps the biggest stick of them all by the British – the emergency powers. He was empowered by the Constitution to govern by emergency which in practice means empowering him not to respect rights and freedoms if this is what it will take to ensure liberal good government – peace, law and order.’’
On the 1964 Constitution let me quote from Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika’s manuscript, Sower of the Independence: Case for Re-Decolonization of how the UNIP regime maneuvered to take total power to control and silence their political opponents.
‘’……in Zambia, lack of restraint on government is supported by the original independence Constitution’s presidentialism, which allows for one person to be the head of state, head of government, commander-in-chief of the armed forces and leader of the ruling party, with a legislature that is dominated by the executive branch. As if this is not enough, government leadership maneuvered through the 1969 ’Referendum to end all referenda.’
‘’Clearly, the 1969 referendum result was, and was intended to be, a licence for easily changing the Constitution, and everything else government wants, in the direction of further consolidating and concentrating power in the presidency, including imposing proscribing all opposition parties and imposing a one-party state and continuing with the colonial practice of detaining non-conformists. Indeed, before and since then, post-colonial governments have been ‘preoccupied with how to win and retain power, overriding the need for due sense of balanced and restraint.’ Thus, the post-colonial nation-state has not only been inappropriate, but also much abused, at the cost to civil and human rights and there have been no sacred cows.’’
The One-Party Constitution (or the Mainza Chona Constitution) became a reality in 1973 and Professor Hansungule wrote:
‘’Unbelievable as it may sound the One-Party State in Africa was actually instigated by the Europeans. It was the British political elite, for example, rather than the African politicians who first came up with the idea of introducing the One-Party States in Africa. Many people would find this theory hard to swallow, but as we have already pointed out, the British and other Europeans entertained real fears about the massive investments in Africa in their absence and what they were looking for was a strong system of state that would rest their fears.
‘’Article 4 of the One-Party Republican Constitution banned opposition political parties. It made UNIP the only legal party in the country. It is significant that this decision did not involve asking people whether they wanted a One-Party State or not. The government had already decided to convert the state to a One-Party State. When the Chona Commission was set up, its mandate did not include the cardinal question: whether or not Zambia should convert to the one party system. This question was decided by the leadership which confirms the view that that the people did not introduce the system but the leaders. Besides, even when the people decided within the terms of reference to recommend that the term of office of the President be limited to a maximum of two five-year terms, UNIP decided this would not affect the founding president.’’
The 1990 Mvunga Constitution reintroduced free political activity and Article 4 of the 1973 Constitution was deleted and the stage set for the reintroduction of the western-style democracy based on party politics. And following this, elections were held at which President Fredrick Chiluba’s MMD swept the polls beating the incumbent and founding President Kaunda by an unprecedented margin.
The 1996 Mwanakatwe Constitution. The Mwanakatwe Commission included opposition and civil society leaders including the Church even though in the end, it was the cabinet under President Chiluba which decided on what would be revised and not. Fearful of losing the presidency to former President Kaunda who had by then announced his return to politics, President Chiluba used the opportunity to insert a radical clause which disqualified President Kaunda from eligibility to contest the presidency on the grounds that his parents were not Zambians by birth and descent. Qualification to the presidency was limited to third generation Zambians. Also, he President Chiluba declared Zambia a Christian nation, thereby bringing to an end the historical separation between religion and the state.
The 2015 Constitution (Mung’omba Constitution). In fact what is at play in the Mung’omba Constitution is the question of ‘’power.’’ In terms of the issue of where ‘’power’’ lies has been simple in all the previous Constitutions, which recognized the people, irrespective of their stations in life as being sovereign, but the draft Constitution which was an instrument of the Black imperialists and under-written by the capitalist-exploiters looked in an entirely different direction. And it has been hailed as the apotheosis of emergent intellectual nationalism and the concept of equal political rights for every Zambian and more particularly the uneducated sub-human beings (better known in cultivated circles as the ‘’scum and garbage’’ of the nation) were shot down.
And this was clearly spelled out in Article 152 (1) of the Mung’omba Draft Constitution: ‘’Ministers shall be appointed by the President from among persons who are qualified to be elected as Members of the National Assembly, but are not Members of the National assembly.’’
Article 153(1) read: ‘’The President shall subject to ratification of the National Assembly, appoint not more than eighteen Deputy ministers.’’ Article 156 (1) read: ‘’The President shall subject to ratification of the National Assembly, appoint a Provincial Minister who is a cabinet Minister, for each province.’’
The first clear anomaly was that cabinet ministers would not have been subjected to the ratification of the National Assembly. But who would really have ratified them? It would have been the capitalist-exploiters themselves. The list of cabinet ministers would have been drawn by our financiers and handed over to the President for his announcement to the nation.
But why did they pick up the cabinet ministers? In Zambia’s case, the political formula may be viewed as consequential upon the logic of cabinet concentration. 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 the Zambian Parliament and by means of scrutiny in the pages of Hansard reveals that our political formula is orientated to a quarter other than Parliament. The powers of ministers and of the executive, generally is without restrictions. So daughters and sons of the soil you can see the harm to the nation for which certain people were being paid for. Clearly it was to create a welfare state for the mice where the cats were to be in charge.
What is curious to note is that all the earlier Constitutions did not face the terrible challenges as compared to the so-called people-driven Mung’omba Constitution which was drawn up by the supposed intellectuals! It now amazes me when I look back and remember how some ‘’clever parrots’’ were presenting witty and articulate submissions which they had blindly swallowed from their paymasters.
And who can really argue with the former South African President, P.W. Botha who hit the nail on the head when he said that the white man would use the African’s love of money to destroy himself. ‘’Here is a creature who lacks foresight.’’
In fact that was why Hasham Nazor had warned us in Power of Third Kind: Western Attempt to colonize the Global Village:
‘’If the developing countries’ intellectuals do not soon wake up and challenge the colonizing operation, it will be too late. The process has been activated by the western powers using vast amounts of money, time and planning. Meanwhile, most people in developing nations might not even be aware of its complexity and magnitude. They certainly are not ready for a serious confrontation. Beneath the overwhelming western charm and the power to assimilate, some of the developing nations are already submitting too much….the power to target, penetrate, manipulate and consequently to alter human consciousness is the power of the third kind…..this stimulation of consciousness is the most effective means of global brainwashing.’’ (emphasis mine).
According to Irvin Babbitt, an imperialist “is the man who stands for nothing higher than the law of cunning and the law of force.’’ The capitalist-exploiter has an instinct or genius for colonizing. His unequalled energy, his indomitable perseverance and his personal independence makes him a pioneer.
None can overlook the fact that the western man has brought a lot of civilization to Africa, but it comes with a sly danger, because while celebrating the generous donor aid and such privileges as learning and enlightenment, it can easily blind us to who we really are and come to the fatal conclusion that the white is the measure of all things. This perversion of mentality has subverted the African personality like no other ideology.
We come to the fatal conclusion that the white is the measure of all things. This perversion of mentality has subverted the African personality like no other ideology.
It is important at this juncture to let you know the events that contributed to the 1991 regime change in Zambia. The 1965 Dudley Seers Report in part read: ‘’
…….In every town, there are Europeans enjoying in plain view vastly superior standards of living, housing etc. This minority population, has the best-paid jobs in the mines and the railways and own nearly all the financial wealth….and since the great majority of the population are impatient for economic and social change, this dichotomy could prove dangerous..’’
And consequently, in 1969, President Kaunda nationalized the mines and various companies. He emphasized that Zambian-registered companies should have a fifty per cent shareholding by indigenous people and this made Zambians citizenship a valuable asset. However, this did not go well with the capitalist-exploiters who began to chart the downfall of the Kaunda regime. And according to the career intelligence officer, the late Dr. Kamoyo Mwale, the coordinated intelligence exchanges between Zambia and South Africa at that time, the regime change in Zambia was initiated by the Americans and the British who didn’t want the future ANC government in South Africa to be influenced by UNIP and Dr. Kaunda. Dr. Chiluba and his colleagues were given US$ 600 million, which was deposited at some embassy in Pretoria, from where they drew their campaign funds.(Sunday Post 26th March 2006).
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, Mr. 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 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).
The Chiluba regime was obligated to its source of existence and put the entire country’s assets on grand sale. The English say, ‘’He who pays the piper calls for the tune.’’ Since then Zambia has undergone one of the most far-reaching liberation and privatization programmes in Africa and simultaneously Zambians have become poorer and poorer. Dr. Neo Simutanyi wrote:
‘’The new copper boom seems to confirm the resource curse paradigm which suggests that there is no relationship between resource and abundance, its boom and economic growth. The mine employment before MMD came into power in 1991 was 52,000 which declined to 22,000 during privatization in 2000. Then the mine later employed 31,575 and 11,000 were employed as casual labour. ‘’ (The Post 19th November 2007).
The then International Conference of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), President, Fackson Shamenda said:
‘’……it seems multipartism has failed because leaders are acquiring wealth and ordinary persons are worse off than they were under one-party state.’’(The Post 13th July 2003).
And on the other hand, investors face no restrictions on the amount of interest, profit, dividends, management fees, technical fees and royalties that they are allowed to repatriate. Income earned by foreign nationals may also be externalized without difficulty.
The Capitalist-Exploiters’ New Political Strategy
There is currently the Chinese threat to monopolize the Zambian economy and some multinational company desperately wants to come to Zambia. And the great strategists later realized how ineffective the mere regime change as they had done with the MMD could sometimes be. But remember what I wrote on the Mungomba Constitution: ‘’In terms of the issue of where ‘’power’’ lies has been simple in all the previous Constitutions, which recognized the people, irrespective of their stations in life as being sovereign, but the draft Constitution which was an instrument of the Black imperialists and under-written by the capitalist-exploiters looked in an entirely different direction.’’ Here is where the strategy of the capitalist-exploiter lay.
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 the Industrial Development Corporation (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 the Central Statistical office of Zambia, NGOs and churches employed 37,519 people in 2012. 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).
The Oasis Forum comprised of the Council Churches in Zambia (CCZ); Evangelical Fellowship (EFZ); the Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC); the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) and the Non-Government 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 some 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 the situation to his greatest advantage. And that was why to that effect, they were told to ‘’divinize’’ the movement (i.e., it began to be referred to as ‘’The Church-led Oasis forum’’), so that they could create a great impact upon the Christians.
Let me digress to point out that our Lord Jesus Christ did not condemn political ambition in His disciples and this was made clear when the Zebedee brothers, James and John with their mother approached our Lord with a special request: ‘’Let us sit next to You when You set up Your government, one of us on Your right and the other on Your left’’ (Mark 10:37). The resentments only came from their fellow disciples.
The capitalist-exploiter’s hand in the Oasis Forum was clearly exposed when the Minister of Justice, Honourable George Kunda told Parliament that the donor community had refused to fund the constituent assembly. But the Church-led Oasis Forum Chairperson, Bishop Paul Mususu retorted:
’’……even those donors that have talked to us in confidence have put it across that if the decision of adopting the Constitution through a Constituent Assembly comes from Zambians, then they will have no choice but to support it.’’ (Zambia Daily Mail 28th January 2006)
It was curious to note that the funding of the Constituent Assembly was hidden from the government, but secretly disclosed to the Oasis Forum!
The weekly newspaper, Monitor and Digest of 20th July 2007 came out with the headline: ‘’Oasis Forum Political Party Coming.’’ Francis Mangaila 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 Mwenye brushed aside assertions that the organization would be turned into a political party.’’
However, the capitalist-exploiter was very much aware that though those political aspirants from NGOs could be sufficiently funded and were indeed intellectuals, but they unlike the political activists lacked the crude aggressiveness that Zambian politics demands as Professor Hansungule had crudely put it: ‘’the people that in most cases win elections are those that Darwin called, ‘closer to their primitive ancestry’.’’ And indeed, the culture within the political scenario is quite aggressive and close to the bone. 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. In fact all you need to engage in politics is to make your case appear the better when you get into an argument and the question of actual truth does not arise, since the opinion of each is true for him.
And in the exercise of this important art, unfounded beliefs are quite as important as sound ones. Nor the words that politicians use need be sincere or intelligible. This is because one of the most profound and important of exact psychological truths is that man in the mass does not think but only feels. Dr. Kaunda in A Letter To My Children wrote: ‘’If you study the life of any demagogue, it is clear that the mastery of words is part of a secret of his success. Words are used to articulate the desires and frustrations of the people in vivid and passionate convictions. Words are power. Inarticulateness is impotence and the ability to express oneself makes all the difference to one’s political success.’’
The Ideology of Statecraft.
The new ideology of ‘’Statecraft’’ has now been created. It is a ‘’craft’’ precisely because it is both an art and a set of particular outcomes in which control over state power is cleverly taken away from both and above the heads of the poor to attain class objectives and domestic compradorial and parasitic elites under the tutelage, protection and for the ultimate benefit of the capitalist-exploiter. This is a concept and a practice that consciously aims to demobilize the people as a motive force for change and treats them as objects; citizens who obey class biased ‘’rule of law’’ and religiously follow directives from a vanguard leadership. This is the best way to provide enduring security, not for the ordinary people, but for the capitalist-exploiter. In fact the strategy of statecraft is to create a welfare state for the mice with cats in charge.
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. Admittedly, some of the individuals in the civil society groups have the best brains, but they have to follow instructions. And hence there is loss of sovereignty over self; loss of power, dignity, morality and debility since whoever controls the mind controls the man.
And in order to have a clear view of ‘’statecraft,’’ it is necessary to see how the intellectuals who had been ‘’bought’’ or employed by NGOs frustrated government efforts to plan the country’s economic strategy. In 2003, President Mwanawasa initiated the national indaba in order to try and gauge the general consensus on national issues so that the government could be helped to chart new economic roadmap 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.’’ (Zambia Daily Mail 9th December 2003).
On the other hand, the ‘’clever’’ who had lamentably failed to come up with an ‘’economic road map’’ at the national indaba, eventually received the ‘’constitution road map,’’ with well-coached blinding slogans like, ‘’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’’; ‘’the constituent assembly is a must.’’
The capitalist-exploiter has already made in-roads into the political system since the Members of the National Assembly and indeed the entire nation at large have surrendered their powers of decision to the civil society groups. The former Germany envoy, His Excellency, Erich Kristof pointed out 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).
The Bill of Rights
The discussions on the Constitution just became a circus because there seemed to be a deliberate ploy to mislead and confuse the people. And that was why the former German ambassador, His Excellency Erich Kristof had to step in since major issues were not being raised for discussion:
‘’….the discussion has only been on two things, the illusion that including the right to employment; to housing and health in the Bill of Rights will bring to each and every Zambian, employment, a nice house, clean water and electricity without effort, sorry, that is an illusion because a new constitution is just a piece of paper. It doesn’t change the situation in the country..’’ (Sunday Post 10th July 2005)
I still do not understand what prompted the PF to so urgently include the referendum on the Bill of Rights during the 2016 general elections. It is surprising because they had even to forego the attached condition of taking a census before the people could vote for referendum. But one thing is certain that there are moles within the inner circle of PF who are on a payroll of a certain multinational company that desperately wants to come to Zambia.
And to this effect, the civil rights activist Brebner Changala said: ‘
’A highly sophiscated and heavily financed scheme to oust President Lungu and the PF has been hatched…… it has become fashionable for Western governments to influence regime change in Zambia and other African countries to counter the Asian influence, particularly the Chinese dominance in Africa since they have felt betrayed by PF and the late President Sata’s failure to chase the Chinese, a campaign message that was used to dethrone the MMD.’’ (Daily Nation 11th January 2016).
On the Bill of Rights, President Mwanawasa wrote: ‘
’The Mung’omba Constitution Review Commission held that we should amend Part 111 so as to provide for the rights to employment; the right to food; the right to education; 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., 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)
And the first group that was targeted to de-stabilize the PF administration was to be the trained teachers since there were about 13,000 trained student teachers and the government had only 6,000 vacancies. And they would have incited and agitated the rest 7,000 to demand for job offers in respect of the Bill of Rights. And the next could have been trained nurses.
The problem is that our entire nation reads the same type of books and we are therefore on the same social and political-wave bands and we cannot therefore detect these anomalies. And this was easily identified by the General-Secretary of the South African Communist Party (SACP), Dr. Blade Nzimande when he met leaders of different political parties as well as the civil society groups at different meetings:
“What is disappointing in Zambia is the extent to which virtually all major political parties that will contest elections this year (i.e., 2006) are effectively committed to a path broadly similar to that of Chiluba.” (Sunday Post 9th April 2006).
By Henry Kanyanta Sosala
The Author is Chief Chitimukulu, the Paramount Chief of the Bemba Speaking People in Northern Province of Zambia