Which one is your prayer?
All the Churches that mean well for Zambia must pray for the nation. This is so that healing of divisions can take place.
I totally agree with the people who say that Zambian political scene is gravely split and the divisions need to be healed. The split I am concerned with has come about over the issues of the changes to the Constitution, Public Order Act, Electoral Process and Political Parties Bill.
The changes in the Constitution, Public Order Act, Electoral Process and Political Parties Bills are being sought in order to address the following important issues;
- The need to provide for sufficient time for the Courts to deal with any post 2021 election petitions.
- The need to have an electoral proportional representation system in order to have zebra lists that will make us attain 50% gender representation and to do away with costly bye-elections.
- The need to have the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) have greater power to superintend elections.
- The need for the Public Order Act to be made more user friendly.
The costs of bye-elections, if done away with, could go towards;
a. building schools and hospitals.
b. funding institutions of higher learning.
c. providing more drugs in our hospitals.
d. Payment of salary arrears
e. many other important needs in our economy.
Better laws regarding public meetings and giving the ECZ greater power to deal with those infringing the electoral code of conduct would lessen the political tension before, during and after elections.
The current split we have in Zambia is between;
(i) The majority who want to attend to the National Dialogue Forum (NDF) to address the costs of bye-elections and redirect these wasted funds towards critical areas like health, education and other needy arrears, and on the other-side a small minority seeking to boycott the NDF because they do not mind the cost of bye-elections and would, instead of using these scarce funds on critical needy areas like education and health, rather this huge bye-election cost continues .
(ii) The majority who want to attend to the National Dialogue Forum (NDF) to address the inordinate gender imbalance in the National Assembly where we constantly have less than twenty percent Members of Parliament being from the female gender and on the other-side the small minority seeking to keep the hurdles that the female gender face. This small minority have no desire to raise female gender participation and representation.
(iii) The majority who want to attend to the National Dialogue Forum (NDF) to address the problems relating to limited freedom of assembly and association which are a source of such great tension and those on the other-side who form a small minority who are seeking to keep the national tensions high by not addressing the shortfalls in the Public Order Act.
The National Dialogue Forum is a seed planted by the Members of Parliament with the intention that it grows into a flourishing Zambian Constitution bearing fruits of greater freedoms under the Public Order Act, greater gender access to political and civil positions and blossoms that redirect expenditure from costly bye-elections to needy social arrears like health and education.
Participants at the NDF are praying that this seed germinates and grows to bear us these good fruits but on the otherside, are those praying whilst making Invocations and deep covenants that the seed is killed even before it grows.
Which one is your prayer?
Sakwiba Sikota S.C