NGOCC backs debate to limit number of times individuals can contest elections

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The template of the presidential ballot paper for the August 11, 2016 elections
The template of the presidential ballot paper for the August 11, 2016 elections

The call by a young politician, Prince Ndoyi for young people to ‘genuinely discuss the issue of individuals over contesting presidential elections’ has received backing from the NGOCC who have said the debate should include other political positions.

Ndoyi, the former ZANASU Vice President last week said that there should be a limit to the number of times an individual appears on the Presidential Ballot so as to create opportunities for young people and women to raise in leadership positions in political parties.

He also noted that due to individuals holding to the Presidency of their parties other positions were also rotating among the same individuals there by creating less opportunities for the marginalised as well as affecting the credibility of the checks and balances being offered by the various political parties to government.

NGOCC Executive Director Engwase Mwale said the call by the young politician was a welcome idea but that the interrogation and debate should also include other positions in the political arena.

Mwale said the country should put up a legal frame work that should create opportunities for women and young people without discrimination.

“For me the issue of whether it is Presidential, Members of Parliament and Councillors I think this is something that requires a national consultation so that all political positions are discussed is something that will be legally acceptable by the Zambia people aside from just looking at one position I think that democracy requires that we look at all positions in the political arena to ensure that opportunities are created equally for everyone but without shooting ourselves in the foot with regards to the democratic rights that everyone has in terms of participation at all levels in the political arena.”

Mwale said in as much as it is a democratic right for one to contest as many times as individuals want the country should have a legal frame work that creates opportunities for others.

Ndoyi wants parliament to limit the number of times individuals are allowed to be on a presidential ballot claiming that youths and women will continue to escort others and remain spectators even when they are in the majority adding it is unhealthy to decide the fate of the majority without including them.

Below is Ndoyi’s full post

Let’s Limit How Many Times An Individual Appears On A Presidential Ballot Paper

A youth political activist has called on young people to start engaging in the debate on how many times a leader of a political party should be allowed to be on a ballot paper if their chances of increasing their political space in the country’s democracy is to be increased

Prince Ndoyi, the former Mulungushi University President has observed the need for genuine conversation on presidential candidates so as to curtail what has become common for leaders to hang on to their presidency.

Ndoyi who is now a member of the former ruling party, the MMD, said there are dangers in allowing individuals to continuously contest elections despite them losing because it limits the chances of young people rising to influential positions in their parties.

He notes that since 2001 general elections the country has seen the same individuals appearing on the presidential ballot papers something he said is an impediment to the growth of youth and women leadership in political parties as positions continue to rotate among the same individuals.

“If young people are to see the light of political space in our democracy, we must prudently indulge ourselves into interrogating the dangers of the same faces appearing on ballot papers election year after election. The moral question of whether they have the democratic legitimacy to do so.

“Its almost appalling that from 2001 to the 2016 elections, almost the same faces have been appearing at every presidential race. This in literal sense means someone would have been a leader of a political party for 17years. What does that entail on the ordinary membership, and leadership opportunities within the party?”

He said young people being the king makers should now start to interrogate not only the democratic principles but question the monopoly of political power by those in senior positions of their parties.

“What are we interrogating here; it is the democratic principles, it is intra party democracy, it is the morality in political monopoly, it is the question of competition over democracy, it is the classical phenomenon of how dictators come to power in a democracy, it’s the hypocrisy of a democracy behind bars.

“Normally state democracy precedes party intra democracy, with the assumption that it’s only after a country consolidates state democracy that intra party democracy becomes possible. With this freedom and democratization it must push civil society to encourage ordinary party members to challenge party leaders against the monopoly of party power and functions. We agreed as a people that we shall be governed through democracy but what we perhaps didn’t foresee is this emanating problem,” he said.

Ndoyi said young people should now start looking at the dangers of individuals over contesting elections as well as the selfishness of individual political party leaders who continue to hold on to parties despite being rejected by Zambians on several occasions.

He said the debate should interrogate the reason as to why perpetual candidature of individuals should be stopped as losing continuously stops just being a loss but a humiliation hence turns leaders into “monsters” against their own institutions.

“What are the dangers of over contesting elections? Why are some party presidents so intimately in love with contesting elections? Why the love affair and selfishness with the hold on to power? What is it in elections that makes leaders turn into monsters against their own institutions? Some perpetual presidential candidates claim they lose money in every passing election, why then don’t they give chance to others? What are the reasons why they get richer and richer election after election? Why the greed and wealth accumulation in electioneering?

“As young people we continue to ask when will some of these perpetual candidates bury their selfish ambition for the sake of the others considering the abysmal performance at every election. They thrust into riding on a mandate of the people on the unholy altar of patronage. The truth is they will continue to contest tenaciously in every election period, notwithstanding their frayed abysmal performance.

“The psychological problems for perpetual losing is that losing ceases to be a loss but it becomes a humiliation. These perpetual candidates during another electioneering period, become sacrosanct and vanquished. They must be a source of everyone’s concern. They are wolves in a sheep clothing. There is no guarantee, that they can adhere to a two term system enshrined in our constitution. In reality, the abuse of the electoral process is a recipe for radicalization and extremism and we must guard against it,” he said.

He challenged young people and women to challenge the growing undemocratic tendency within political parties adding that the challenge also goes to other stakeholders to stop burying their heads in the sand and ensure that these dangers are stopped.

He said young people and women cannot cry for opportunities while at the same time not creating space for themselves.

“We challenge civil society and our cooperating partners not to bury their heads in the sand against this evil and it’s dangers. They have a moral responsibility to ask the uncomfortable questions. We must make aggressive but honest effort to halt the growing trend in monopolistic political invocation. Merit, capacity to deliver and one’s glowing credentials should not be the only overriding consideration in electing leaders, but how many times one contests aswell must be an important benchmark at every election.

“We cannot continue to cry for opportunities to lead when infact as youths we must bare the blame. We have allowed ourselves to be used in perpetuating the same political elite around our political class thereby preventing an eminent generational political takeover. Truly some political parties have transformed into UNIP where the party president stood against a frog or no one at all,” he said.

Ndoyi has since called on Zambians through Parliament to find practical means of preventing selfish individuals as it is a way of creating institutions which will offer the much needed checks and balances

“Finally there is need for us to define this through our laws in our Parliament, to find a more practical way to prevent this. We can achieve it when we sincerely and fundamentally lower the flag of hero worshiping and patronage. Only then shall we see enhanced and robust democratic institutions casting the net wider on leadership identification and recruitment. We desperately need credible checks and balances.”

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38 COMMENTS

    • What’s the limit of sex before your wife get pregnant?
      Or should we ask Ms. Ngwase if her husband should give up and give chance to younger diick of Nyoni?

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    • Bad idea at national level because it limits the ability to get the best candidate at any given time. Just because I lost 5 times does not mean I am a bad candidate, someone was just a better choice or better still just ran a better campaign.

      Democracy by nature is about competition and competing ideas. It is what allows us to choice the best among us regardless of age, race, political affiliation, etc. To put term limits at national level would lead to mediocrity but individual parties should be encouraged to be democratic as well.

      Given the above, freedoms that come with a democratic dispensation dictate that all parties should be the arbiter as well as custodians of those freedoms.

      Bad idea indeed … may the best win, only the best among us not those chosen by affirmative…

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    • Continued …

      Bad idea indeed … may the best candidate win, only the best among us not those chosen by affirmative action. The smart people of the Zambian Enterprise can not afford to be led by mediocre candidates just because the best ones are barred by artificial barriers.

      Nice try my fellow Prince but this time your idea is not good enough, you are still young so keep thinking outside the box and pretty soon you will come up with something more brilliant … Zambia Is Greater Than Any Single One Of Us ~ B R Mumba, Sr.

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    • Meant to say … It is what allows us to “choose” the best among us regardless of age, race, political affiliation, etc.

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    • Let say three times and apply it retrospectively then PF should not be in power because Sata got in on the fifth attempt. NGOCC naimwe nimwe ba Koswe!

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    • Does the law bar any younger politician to stand in an election? This idea of targeting certain individuals in enacting laws belongs to the stone age. Remember Chiluba targeted KK and Yeta, how successful was his stupidity?

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    • The number of attempts at presidential elections does not matter. Let people who have never been presidents exercise their rights. In France, François Mitterrand participated in every presidential election from 1965 until he was elected President in the May 1981 presidential election.

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  1. Just look at how corrupt some young leaders heading political parties are. They keep on fighting each other and abandon their political parties because of dirty money.

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  2. Ndoyi should aspire to be the president of his party MMD if he wants young people to lead parties. He already is a member of a political party. Does he need someone to make president? People aspire to be leaders. They are not simply given a position. Obama was not appointed president of the US; he had to contest elections in his own party. He had to find people who could support him politically, financially, etc. In fact, elections in the US are not like what we see in Zambia whereby people are elected by the so called convention consisting of very few people. For one to be a presidential candidate o a particular party, you need to get votes from all the 50 states, not from a few bought people from each province as is the case in Zambia. Remember what happens in Kabwe when Lungu was…

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  3. This is a very good move because people such as HH and Godfrey Miyanda have made appearing on a ballot paper an habit!!
    Let this issue go to parliament within 2018 so that MPs can vote on this issue!!SURELY HOW CAN ONE PERSON KEEP ON APPEARING ON A BALLOT PAPER FROM 2006?AM SURE ALL ZAMBIANS ARE TIRED OF SEEING THE SAME UGLY FACES OF LOSERS ON THE BALLOT PAPER SINCE EARLY 2000!!!in 2021 candidates such as Kainde,Miyanda,Edith Nawakwi must be banned from appearing on ballot papers!!LOOK,IF THIS LAW IS NOT PASSED,KAINDE,MIYANDA,NAWAKWI WILL CONTINUE APPEARING ON THE BALLOT UNTIL THEY DIE OR SOLDIERS REMOVE THEM FROM THERE LIKE ROBERT MUGABE WAS REMOVED IN ZIMBABWE IN 2017!!
    This is a very serious matter which all well meaning Zambians must support because when will us youths also appear…

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  4. Contesting in a election is a democratic right. You cannot stop people from exercising the democratic rights in a democracy. That is a contradiction in terms. If you are youth, and you fail to go through the primaries, and you still want to contest, you are free to contest as an independent. Or better still try your luck in another party, or indeed form your political party. After all, no political party fell from heaven like manna. For one reason or the other, someone somewhere, spent their money, time and sacrifice to form the political parties you see. Some parties have stood the test of time. Others have vanished along the way. More are yet to be born. That is how we get bye. No short-cuts.

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  5. Rubbish. Let’s talk about ways of combating cholera in Lusaka. I feel 3/4 of people in Lusaka don’t have what it takes to stay in a city. The law enforcement agencies should severely deal with Lusaka residents perpetuating indiscriminate disposal of waste. Lusaka is embarrassing the whole country

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  6. If you mean hh, there are no youths or women of any substance in upnd. Well even among the men, there is no material no balls, otherwise hh would have received a challenge three elections ago, as they do in normal parties even in the Uk. Yes, can you imagine the whole province there is not single material for president of upnd, the party will die with hh. Just look at what PF has produced, so many presidential aspirants the Kambwilis, the Sampas, the Kabimbas, the GBMs, and others who we dont know yet. Now that is my idea of democracy not what hh preaches or practices!!

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    • That’s your idea. Always talking about one ethnic group is all you know. Please neo-nazists and tribal bigots have no place in this world. If you don’t want people from other regions than yours, find your world.

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    • @10
      Lord How-How of Loony Monster Party has stood for Parliament in UK general elections and by-elections for past 40 years. He lost deposit every time.
      Do you know how political system in UK works?

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  7. No.8 Zambia in the sun, it is also a matter of morality if you dont give opportunities to others by not allowing elections in your party.
    If some people were to become kateka of zambia, imagine no elections of any kind after he is sworn in!!!

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  8. I support term limits for both Presidential and MPs. But every Party can field any Candidate they want however number of times. Every Party has a Constitution and if they want to limit the number of times someone aspire for Office, it’s an internal Party matter.

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  9. Has Ndoyi been to bed with NGOCC to plot such nonsense or they are doing this independently? Is it not enough to have a limit on the number presidential terms one can serve for? Are you trying to stop people from life long ambitions and aspirations? I thought people and children in particular should be encouraged to aspire. You are so Koswe and annoying.

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  10. It’s only parties like UPND who have sheep and youth with zero guts to challenge for top leadership positions due to patronage and cronyism.
    40 years ago,leaders were standing against frogs.
    Today,we see the same thing due to selfishness.

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    • Even today, we have seen people become leaders of some political parties through noise, violence, and acclamation. How did Lungu become PF leader in 2015? Whom did he compete with?

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  11. I agree with the young man, For example, some people have been MP’s for 20 years. Why can’t they give chances to others? It a career or service. Moreover, if people don’t want to serve them why bother or force?

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    • Challenge them instead of crying. I have seen a lot of young MPs in the major political parties in Zambia. Were they given those positions?

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  12. This NGOCC is a sham and its members know it. They are as useless as a broken condom. They are so corrupted by their lunitic president that they see no future without him running a crazy corrupt regime since 2016.

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  13. Extend this to the number of times an MP can serve his constituency 15 years could be the limit

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  14. Debate should also put a limit on how years one can serve as EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF NGO. Bring it on….

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  15. I can see this organization is in a no win situation. …They correct government PF cadres attack them. ..
    This time around it’s HH incessant standing in presidential elections, Upnd cadres accuse them of being hired guns of the PF.

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  16. Did any of this uneducated imbec!les managed to read Constitution of Zambia?
    There is no way that you can limit participation. Limitation can only be imposed on the length of service in the Constitutional Office.
    Anybody can stand as many time he/she wishes to do so, it is a HUMAN RIGHT. Been sworn to Constitutional position can be limited.
    It looks that in your tribal quest you have forgotten to read Constitution?

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  17. Any believer in the principle of meritocracy would disagree with Prince Ndoyi’s argument that limiting the number of times one stands for elections will “create opportunities for young people and women to raise (sic) in leadership positions in political parties.”

    The governing criteria in our quest for leadership in political parties, and even in NGOs like NGOCC, should be capability, regardless of age and gender. Ndoyi’s reasoning is seriously flawed because he wants to correlate capability with youthfulness and being female. If we follow this kind of reasoning even universities would terminate the services of brilliant academics purely on account of their age. Wasn’t Ndoyi taught by academics more than twice his age at Mulungushi?

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  18. Foolish, engwase, talk about corruption and yourself you have holding that position too long.
    Parties have there own constitutions, it won’t work. Mwale just about Genda, which you are paid for ..

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