By Sunday Chilufya Chanda
The Scriptural Tower of Babel represents the pride of mankind wanting to reach the heavens and be their own gods. It also represents the unification of all people in error. Because of their pride, ill-motives for unification, and greed, their mission failed as they began to babble in different languages each did not understand of the others.
Reports of an “alliance” (more of a “reliance” ) of ten opposition political parties “resolving to work together” and field candidates in the 2021 Election, as one body is reminiscent of the Scriptural account of the tower of Babel; it is a union of the erroneous founded on error.
As practicising democrats, we have always held that Political parties perform an important task in a multi-party democracy such as ours.
Apart from offering the necessary checks and balances, they are meant to bring like-minded people together as they to seek form government in orderthat their policies can be implemented while they hold public office.
For our democracy to thrive, the ruling party needs worthy competition in the form of a credible opposition party worth its salt; one that knows where it stands ,where it wants to go and how it plans to get there.
In the interest of the development of our country, the Patriotic Front covets a contest of ideas; not the challenge of regional allegiance practised by some, or the flat comedy of a huddle of personality cults; or an ensemble of charlatans and tin pot dictators, coming together just to make noises like the builders of the tower of Babel.
The leaders of these political parties would do better by uniting to remove the log sized errors in their eyes that impedes their democratic outlook, before they can point out the specks in the ruling party’s eyes.
Anything else would be a farce.
How can callous tyrants with the most appalling records of intra –party governance pontificate good governance?
What can come out of the union of a motley of one-man wannabe political parties frolicking and fawning at the feet of their “reliance” Partner; the (mis)leader of a regional personality cult; and specialist in hostile takeovers; predator of relationships who perches himself at the apex of the “alliance” food chain?
Hichilema and UPND:
- How democratic is the UPND and how can they be dogmatic about “good governance”- considering that they have not held a single convention or intra-party democracy since 2006?
- A political party that does not hold elective conventions or conduct intra-party elections is a mere personality Cult. The fact that the lord of the Lord of the UPND manor has crafted an indefinite tenure clause into the UPND Constitution makes him de-facto Life President. At best, he can only babble and jabber about democracy and good governance; He doesn’t practice what he so vehemently preaches. He talks about democracy and good governance, but doesn’t believe in it. Like Sigmund Freud once said:
_“He does not believe that does not live according to his belief.”_
- What can a party like the UPND which has not had a manifesto for more than 20 years offer in terms of alternative policies? All they have is a flyer they call a “Ten Point Plan” and all they do is criticise and chase after every Progressive move the Ruliing Party makes, in the manner a bow-wow chases after the tyres of every moving vehicle.
- A political party without a manifesto is both visionless and directionless. And because it is directionless and visionless, it is prone to drift with the wind like a rudderless vessel.
How can they take “Zambia Forward” when they themselves don’t know where they are going?
Chipimo and NAREP:
We will repeat what we’ve said before:
- NAREP was established in March 2010 by Mr Chipimo and it has been a poorly performing de-facto one man show or “sole-solo- trader” ever since. For close to a decade, he has been micro managing everything in NAREP. Since inception, Mr Chipimo has been the “party’s” Presidential Candidate in the 2011 and 2015 General Elections in which he spectacularly failed to garner even half a percent of the Presidential vote. It is bad enough that he did not even manage 1% of the vote. But surely; less than half a percent!
- Mr Elias Chipimo’s unflattering record just goes to show not only how seriously the people of Zambia take him, but how seriously he takes himself. He is his own electoral college. Phrases like “Convention” “Intra-Party Elections” are alien to NAREP. What morality does Elias have to even talk about Democracy? Like Hakainde his gaffer, all he can do is blither and blather, about good governance.
- NAREP is Elias Chipimo and Elias Chipimo is NAREP; they are inextricably intertwined. If NAREP performance has been dismal and disastrous, it doesn’t take a genius to identify who personifies the dismal, disastrous (and hypocritical).
- For close to 10 years, each and every candidate associated with Mr Chipimo’ NAREP has been routinely and resoundingly rejected by the people of Zambia even when they could have done better by themselves.
In the decade Mr Elias Chipimo has “led” NAREP, his nondescript party has received a smidgeon 0.2% of National Assembly election votes and his party of sorts has failed to win a single seat ever since. He has been ignored and rejected.
Miscellaneous & Sundry:
Charles Milupi formed ADD almost a decade ago, participating in 2011 general elections where he garnered less than 1% of the vote.
During this period His party has never held any convention or elective process of note, Charles Milupi is the embodiment of ADD. His party and political career are on the cusp of extinction and Hichilema has come in handy as a piggy back ride to merely delay the inevitable.
The same can be said of Mike Mulongoti and his fellow insignificant others. Even Hakaindes new found domestic jester the NDC “Insultant” is an alien to democracy.
They are self-seeking one man shows masquerading as political parties; with no internal dialogue and zero intra-party democracy.
Like Hichilema and Chipimo-How can they give what they do not have?
Even if a log stays in water for decades, it can never change to a crocodile!
Hypocrisy is not a way of getting back to the moral high ground.
Pretending you’re moral, saying your moral is not the same as acting morally. To play the despot and pretend to be a democrat is hypocritical.
Sincerity makes the very least person to be of more value than the most talented union hypocrites.
When erroneous charlatans unified by error gather to erect a political Tower of Babel; the labour of their babble ends up in rubble!
The Author is Patriotic Front Media Director At the Patriotic Front Secretariat Lusaka