THE PATRIOTIC FRONT YOUTH LEADER ENCOURAGES POLITICALLY INCLINED NGO’S TO COME OUT IN THE OPEN AND REGISTER AS POLITICAL PARTIES
Lusaka, Zambia 5th May 2017 – A few days ago, Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) Executive Director Wesley Chibamba issued a childish statement that had the UPND written all over it. Zambians remember the TIZ of late Professor Alfred Chanda and compare it with what has become of the organization. TIZ has failed to advise Opposition UPND and its leader Hakainde Hichilema that Zambia has a duly-elected President. It has failed to guide UPND that is style of politics agitating for lawlessness and anarchy, confirmed by a spate of fires is criminalised under Zambian laws. Yet TIZ was quick to answer to a statement directed at the UPND in the most irresponsible manner. At the very least, TIZ should have provided a counterview. We are therefore left wondering whether we missed the memo, when did TIZ become a PR wing for the UPND?
Zambia has had a robust civil society that over the years has been offering sound technical support and strategic advice to Governments by contributing towards the realizing Zambia’s social development agenda. Most these NGO’s have made positive and necessary contributions to the Zambian people and to governments, yet there are a few that have become irrelevant.
While as a Party we continue to promote a free political dispensation where people and various organizations are free to responsibly express their political opinions, Zambians have however noticed the growing trend in the number of NGO’s which are slowly beginning to operate like political parties. It is only logical for members of the public to suspect that some NGO’s are in fact conduits through which enemies of Zambia have been funding misguided political elements and foreign agendas.
It is embarrassing to have an NGO that occupied high moral standing before now masquerading as a PR wing for a political party. We wonder whether it is lack of funding or sheer opportunism by individuals which is making some these NGO’s to begin political posturing perhaps in the hope that they may get noticed or is it purely time exposing them for who they really are?
It is evident that TIZ has been hijacked by UPND sympathisers and if not rescued, it has lost compass and shooting in the dark. Wesley Chibamba is not different from MacDonald Chipenzi who was hiding behind the veil of a civil society organization but was a fully-fledged UPND zealot. We ask Chibamba not to drown TIZ by championing myopic partisan politics informed by regionalism. He is not the first disillusioned UPND mouthpieces which the Zambia people pay very little attention to. TIZ under Chibamba and its Board should announce that they have merged with the UPND, and members of the public would be interested to know the name of the alliance or could it be that someone within TIZ is preparing to take over as the new UPND leader given the obvious vacuum that now exists?
Non-Governmental Organizations should take a non-partisan stand so that the various political players can appreciate their observations on the political scene. If an NGO takes a hard-line bias, as in the case of TIZ, that NGO losses its essence and should be considered as hostile political opponent which will get political responses.
It is sad to note that while the TIZ of Goodwell Lungu focussed on the core mandate – governance and corruption, the TIZ of Lee Habasonda and Wesley Chibamba cherishes playing partisan politics and we welcome them to the political battleground.
Both Habasonda and Chibamba are UPND sympathizers abusing a noble platform to champion a known political agenda. The duo is clearly making and finishing TIZ to be a political organisation different from the professional TIZ we have known in the past. It’s unacceptable that TIZ should fall for political regionalism. This is a clarion call for TIZ to rescue the organization before it can suffer the damage FODEP suffered under MacDonald Chipenzi.
Maybe it’s high time TIZ was asking to state its position on UPND’s irresponsible position which refuses to recognise the President. Otherwise Zambians must conclude that TIZ’s position is exactly that of the UPND.
Long live relevant Civil Society!
Signed: Kennedy Kamba
PF Provincial Youth Chairperson, Lusaka Province