HOW AND WHY ELIAS MUNSHYA IS LOST AND MAKING DIASPORA NOISE ON THE PROPOSED COALITION GOVERNMENT

By Chris Zumani Zimba

1. NDF premised on the Theory of “Multiple Modernities” as well as “Multiple Democracies”

At the National Dialogue Forum (NDF), delegates resolved not to ‘copy and paste’ the proposed constitutional and parliamentary legislative amendments but to brainstorm, debate and design laws with a Zambian social, political, economic and structural context and face. In political theory, the NDF operated and validated Professor Noah Eisenstaedt’s theory of ‘Multiple Modernities’ [1].This theory argues that ‘‘the classical theories of modernization prevalent in the 1950s wrongly assumed that the cultural program of modernity as it developed in Europe and the basic institutional constellations that emerged there would ultimately take over in all modernizing societies and throughout the world because the actual developments in modernizing societies have refuted the homogenizing and hegemonic assumptions of this Western program of modernity. Instead, different regions and states are developing at their own pace, in their own unique pattern and showing a heterogeneous path to their own model of development”[1].This was the scholarly spirit and soul of most innovative proposed resolutions at the NDF.

In simple terms, the theory of ‘Multiple Modernities’ postulates that there is a Japanese, Chinese, French, British, Indian, Brazilian, Australian, Russian, Cuban, Malaysian, Egyptian, Spanish, Portuguese, Nigeria, Swedish, Zambian or Mexican unique model of development as well as a European, African, American, Latino or Asian way to modernization as opposed to the assumption of ‘one European size or one American pattern fits all globally’.

Thus, the NDF also operated on the classical theory of “Multiple Democracies” which states that “there is what could be termed as European, American, Latino, Asian or African democracy; Christian, Islamic, Hindu, Buddha or Secular democracy; or British, Iranian, Malagasy, Indian, French, Zambian, Brazilian, Russian, German, Rwandan, Chinese, Venezuelan, Finnish, Nigerian, American or Japanese democracy” [2].

This explains why NDF delegates resolved to strengthen the “Christian Nation” clause by recognizing it under National Values and Principles of the Republican Constitution in the name of creating a Christian democracy with a Zambian religious face. And commenting on the suggested coalition government in Zambia, it is not shocking to see our brother, Elias Munshya to be lost as he may not know or understand this theoretical framework delegates at the NDF applied themselves to in innovating and proposing such a cost effective model in electing the Republican President while maintaining the current presidential system as well as the 50% plus 1 majoritarian electoral system under Article 47 and 101.

2. Elias Munshya obsessed and lost with “Modernization Theory” on Proposed Coalition Government

When he featured on United Voice Radio’s Add Your Voice Programme on 17th May, 2019, spokesperson of the recently dissolved National Dialogue Forum (NDF), Mr. Isaac Mwanza who is also Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Governance Advisor, made it very simple by clarifying that the idea and rationale of the proposed coalition government to avoid presidential reruns and save tax payers money. “The delegates at the forum thought that the coalition government is one way of avoiding reruns that may be costly to the treasury”, he clarified.

But in his response to Isaac Mwanza’s interview, in part of his latest article with Zambian Observer, Elias Munshya noted that “NDF are saying that if a party gets less than 50%+1, they can then negotiate with another party to make it 50+1. This completely misunderstands Zambia’s presidential electoral system as it currently stands. Zambians do not elect a political party to the presidency.

Mr Lungu or Mr Hichilema are candidates and get elected as individuals and not as a political party. They can be sponsored by a political party, but in Zambia, once a president is elected, they are elected as an individual. To say that parties will share and add 50+1 is complete nonsense”. If the NDF is proposing to change Zambia Washington-Westminister hybrid system to a complete Westminster system as obtains in South Africa, let them tell us”. But you cannot force the principle of a coalition on a presidential system we have, it cannot work…. The NDF did not reflect deeply on what they were doing. They were an ad-hoc corrupt mechanism aimed at coming up with amendments to scratch the backs of the ruling Patriotic Front. This has backfired greatly”[3], Mr Munshya concludes with fire.

Clearly, what Mr. Munshya is talking here is very different from what the NDF proposed.

  1. On the proposed coalition government, NDF delegates never at any point resolve that the president would now be elected using a parliamentary system;
  2. NDF did not resolve that the coalition government would be based on 50% plus 1 of political party votes as Munshya concludes from his submissions. And in adding to what Isaac Mwanza said on United Radio:
  3. The proposed coalition government by NDF maintains the current presidential system where the Head of State and Government is elected directly by the citizens under Article 47 using the Majoritarian Electoral System where the winning candidate must receive more than 50% of the valid votes cast, and in accordance with Article 101;
  4. Here, there is no change to both the governance model and electoral system at presidential level;
  5. It is a coalition government lead and negotiated by the topmost presidential candidate (not political party Mr.Munshya) with any of the willing and available presidential candidates in case none attains 50% plus 1 in order to achieve a majoritarian winning threshold without prioritizing going for an expensive rerun;
  6. In addition, it is imperative to note that the formation of this coalition government will have a timeframe (7 days or so); and (4) If this fails, then the top two contenders will battle it in a rerun within 30 days as already provided for.

Do we surely need a parliamentary system for this to happen? Is this so complex for Munshya or Zambians?

My appeal to Munshya is let honest, factual and sober debate prevail in the spirit of One Zambia, One Nation than spearheading political falsehoods and academic gossips. We all know the history and dominance practice of coalition governments. Yes, they are common in parliamentary democratic systems as opposed to presidential systems on the premise that no party on its own can achieve a majoritarian popular legitimacy in the legislature and consequently form government. But this does not mean coalition governments cannot be innovated in a presidential system.

As a Canadian resident and diaspora lawyer who is repeatedly boasting of having 7 degrees, Munshya’s biased and Eurocentric understanding of coalition governments is restricted within the modernization theory of “One Western Size Fits All Globally” and is intentionally refusing to think typical African and Zambian.

He seems to be a sound academic disciple of WW Rostow and Francis Fukuyama of ‘‘The End of History and the Last Man’’ who worship the idea that the entire world will and must follow the American and European pattern of modernization and democratization respectively. From his submission, it seems our good brother is intellectually lost and merely making good democratic noise in the diaspora as a passionate critic of the NDF because what he is saying is not what NDF resolved nor debated in the house.

By saying that coalition government are “always formed in parliament systems”, Munshya losses it asunder. Allan Mandidi makes a better explanation and response to Munshya when he says, “50 Plus 1 is a majority electoral system that attempts to provide for a greater degree of representativeness by making sure that the leading presidential candidate achieve a majority of votes in order to win.

In a scenario where after a general election, no one has managed to secure a majority vote in the first round, then they can be either a provision for a coalition government (depending on country to country) or the top two candidates in the first round can move on to the second round (re-run)” [5], he concludes. Mandidi equally proposed a coalition government in a presidential system like Zambia as the first political and electoral option before considering a re-run. Maybe, Munshya is not aware that such can exist or created depending on country-to-country basis. This is where NDF leaves him too behind and far on this topic.

3. Conclusion

To our brother Munshya, he needs to pose and take another glass of mineral water in Canada because, he is in a hurry to critic the NDF proposed coalition government model without understanding the core details of how it works, why as well as ascertain which theoretical apparatus is being applied in context.

Recognizing that he is locking his intellectual mind into a standard monopolized discourse as well as colonized comparative analogue by restricting the debate to either a classical parliamentary or presidential system, it is clear that Munshya is lost on the proposed coalition government and only making democratic noise in the diaspora as a good Zambian.

He is so biased to maintaining the Westernization order of thinking and doing business by only using “modernization theory”[4] in political comparative analysis when Zambia through the NDF has moved far ahead to using the theories of “multiple modernities” as well as “multiple democracies”. I suppose our brother needs an eighth (8) degree in “Hybrid Political and Electoral Systems” or “Multiple Modernities and Multiple Democracies “and Chrizzima Democracy University (CDU) will prepare the course outline for him free of charge.

4. REFERENCES

  1. Eisenstadt N.S, ‘‘Multiple Modernities’’,Winter 2000:129.1, Research Library Core: Daedalus, page 1,2
  2. Zimba C.Z. (2012:45,59) “Multiple Democracies, The Impact Of Religion On Global Democracy Configurations: Cases Of Zambia, Russia, Egypt, Iran, Taiwan, China India And Germany”, Univeristy of Osnabrueck, Osnabrueck
  3. Fukuyama F, (1992), ‘‘The End of History and the Last Man’’, Penguin: New York; http://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/us/fukuyama.htm Retrieved 04/03/18
  4. Allan Mandindi, (2019:1), “What is 50 plus 1 Electoral System?”, accessed from https://allanmndindi.wordpress.com/2017/03/31/what-is-50-plus-1-electoral-system/ Retrieved on 17-05-2019
  5. Elias Munshya, (2019:1) “The NDF, Coalitions and why Mr. Isaac Mwanza is not Making Sense – Lawyer Munshya” accessed from https://www.zambianobserver.com/the-ndf-coalitions-and-why-mr-isaac-mwanza-is-not-making-sense-lawyer-munshya/ Retrieved on 18-05-2019

The Author is a  Political Scientist, Policy Analyst, Author, Blogger, PhD Scholar, Researcher, Consultant, Public Health and Tobacco Control Advocate. Besides being the CEO at Chrizzima Democracy University (CDU) in Zambia, he analyses African politics weekly on Voice of the Cape Town, South Africa every Wednesday at 16:45hours CAT. So far, he has authored more than 10 political and academic books as well as published over 100 well researched articles on African politics and public health. Sometimes, he lectures Political Science-Part Time with University of Zambia (UNZA) and University of Lusaka (UNILUS) outside his usual commitments.

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38 COMMENTS

  1. Lungu has tried hard to guarantee his stay in office with this NDF …..

    first by endorcing forming a coalition GRZ , second by adopting deputy ministers , third by reducing the campain period from 90 days to 60 days for the opposition while his ministers and deputy ministers will campain for him upuntill election day using GRZ resources with new resolution of ministers working up untill election day….

    Lungu has doubled his campain team with ministers and their deputies up to election day using GRZ resources while reducing opposition campain time from 90 to 60 days.

    If that does not give him a majority , he has the option of a coalition GRZ….

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    • They have already fleeced the taxpayer …they have eaten and trying to justify something that should never have taken place. I mean LAZY LUNGU himself is on record for stating that despite criticism NDF will still go on. We need a list of all those who attended this NDF so we keep the greedy selfish individuals on file.

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    • Zimba is lost. No wonder he does so many fake jobs on the side. Read the banner above Mwanalushi.
      NDF was formed as DECISION body, higher than parliament. Remember the first 2 days of sitting was a about threats on how citizens who disagree with NDF will be bundled to JAIL, including MPs.
      In conclusion what was expected was whatever NDF would decisive on Constitution was FINAL . Even the president blessed that he will sign everything as FINAL amendments.
      Now you start to back-off, thats why it ended as a DISASTER!!

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    • The problem with the internet today is that people are not afraid of exposing their dullness like this f.o.ol, CEO at Chrizzima Democracy University (CDU) in Zambia which no one has ever heard. Very dull. You cannot form a coalition under our current system because that would not be the will of the people. You cant as a presidential candidate decide to form your own majority because people vote for x and not xy. And what happens to the running mate in case of a coalition under our current system? Mr. Zimba discuss these things with your wife in the bedroom don’t expose your dullness to the world.

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    • Elias Munshya’s observations are CORRECT, NDF were caught with pants down, this attempted remedy with long winded articles will not convince anybody

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    • Just wait and see how the opposition will be crying come 2021……..on top of all those manuvers by lungu to guarantee his stay in office , that clause of ministers and their deputies staying in office untill election day has to uses to lungu….

      Campains for him of ministers and their deputies and the annualing of the court order for ministers to payback salaries earned when parliament was desovled in 2016…..

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    • I think they want to pull a Kabila on us. Look at the mess DRC is in today. They don’t yet even know who the president is

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    • Quote: “It is a coalition government lead and negotiated by the topmost presidential candidate…..with any of the willing and available presidential candidates in case none attains 50% plus 1 in order to achieve a majoritarian winning threshold without prioritizing going for an expensive rerun;”

      And therein lies the problem! This is trying to solve a problem by creating more problems. THIS IS A CLEAR RECIPE FOR ENDLESS LAWSUITS. Lawsuits that can prove to be very expensive economically than a simple RUN-OFF between the top two candidates. Because during these Lawsuits, you can imagine a Country coming to a standstill economically due to uncertainties. If you thought the provision for Presidential Petitions is complicated, wait until you try this one. What Munshya and others are…

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    • Continue….

      warning about is real and true. It has been said that to be FOREWARNED IS TO BE FOREARMED. You guys have NOT giving this proposal the CRITICAL THOUGHT it deserves.

      Just think about this, imagine the top two candidates get 48% and 41% respectively, and the rest share 11%. So, why should it ONLY be the right of the person on top (the one who got 48% in this simple scenario) to try and form your so called “Coalition Govt”? Why shouldn’t the person who came in second, at 41%, try to form a Coalition Govt too since they both can attain the 50% + 1 threshold by convincing the 11% Candidate(s) to join them? Now you understand why this would be UNFAIR and lead to endless lawsuits, right?

      You people are trying to kill a Mosquito with a Hand Grenade. Yes, the Mosquito…

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    • may be dead, but you blow yourself up in the process. And this is what does not make sense to a lot of well-meaning citizens. You can disparage Zambians in the diaspora as much as you want, but it is very clear that the NDF misfired on this one. Your LONG-WINDED explanations are not helping or making any sense either!

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  2. If I may ask, what happens when one party, in this case the smaller one, pulls out of the coalition say 6 months after merging and having a president elected and government formed? What is the impact on the presidency and the government?

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    • My sentiments exactly. As the proposal stands, that’s another lacuna! Do you have one go at forming Coalition in the 7 days, or can you form another if first partner pulls out down the line? The NDF proposal creates more uncertainty than prevent a re-run! By the way, aren’t these elections paid for by donors or maybe I’m mistaken? If paid for, then which money are you saving? My honest opinion is there’s concern about party funding if there’s a re-run. Consider this scenario; say a PF MP candidate loses parliamentary seat and ECL has to go for a re-run, does it follow that that candidate will help with funding?

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  3. I read Munshya’s opinion, and I have read this opinion here. I feel Munshya’s makes more sense. I feel so lost in this opinion. It sounds like a ” the Mugabe/Tsvangirai government ” . Maybe, we will get more clarity as the concept is presented in Parliament.

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  4. Mr Zimba I respect your views but I greatly abhor your insolence and disrespect for others with different views.I am therefore certain that you are hired to academically justify constitutional proposals that have not worked anywhere and above all that have not been advanced by majority of Zambians who want to directly vote for a president of their choice re-run or no re-run.In one breath the NDF propose a presidential coalition on account of cost of re-run on the other they bring back Deputy Minsters.What are you telling us ?Just keep your mercenaries payment and do think Zambians are dumb.We do not need your useless justification for concealing corruption and theft.

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    • True,the cost of having deputy ministers is more costly than the cost of a presidential re-run.

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  5. Chris Zumani Zimba.
    I didn’t know that PhD candidates can also spew ad hominem attacks, because this alone has changed your almost objective argument to a very subjective one full of malice. Aren’t ad hominem attacks only supposed to be committed by us the ignorant folk – the uneducated who’ve never been inside a lecture theatre? Is it just that you have political bias?
    Any who, space is too small to make my argument, will a more formal reply in article form just here.

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  6. All of you asking

    ” what if a smaller party ……”

    ” what happens to running mate ”

    Bla bla bla ……none of that worries lungu.
    He has got what he wanted , a guarantee to stay in office.

    Lungu will interprate that clause to suite him , come the time , and there is nothing any Zambian can do.

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  7. If this chap indeed teaches at UNZA, even part-time, then I’m not surprised why UNZA graduates are mediocre.
    Compare this rubbish of a write-up with those of Muna Ndulo. Then you can clearly see that our brightest brains are in the diaspora. The weak remain home.

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  8. Under the One Party state KK introduced what he called Communocray. I wonder why no one ever mentions this or even write something about it. It’s just died like that.

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  9. This article lacks depth and could have avoided an attack of those with opposing views.

    NDF has done Zambia a disservice.

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  10. NDF ideas are not developmental one,both in political methodology or tactility.Zimbodylogy maybe can be found at Zimba University.

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  11. Awe sure in Zambia we know how to talk, Chinsanshepo naine kuti washalila loto numa ngaka tende. Wonders shall never end for my country????,Let me honesty I would a person who understand what a coalition Government mean propose that it should be introduced in our country??, Our country does need coalition government please!!, Look @ it, she we just vote elections are alleged to be stolen. Read & understand my points, All in the name of avoiding extra expenses for election re-run then you decide to introduce a non supported coalition government, Which desperate political party except one or two can deny to collaborate with you??, & for that matter its JOBs they need, mind you very few of you politicians have the heart of working for the people. I have never heard that an mp has rejected…

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  12. This character who authored this did not even understand what he read from Elias. What Elias is saying is that the system under which you want to impose this coalition will not support it. You cannot adopt Benz gearbox but maintain the Toyota chassis. The car will not move. Change structure of the constitution relevant to coalitions. Don’t write again, you wasted my time by trying to sound intelligent when in effect not.

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  13. Is it not oxymoronic to claim that the coalition government saves money by avoiding a rerun while at the same time advocating for the reintroduction of deputy ministers?

    The later is even way more costly mwebantu 🙁

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  14. I am equally lost. i don’t know whether this was a national dialogue or constitutional review

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  15. I agree with Munshya, this proposal by NDF is a recipe for trouble. Let’s take the example of the 2001 election were all candidates got less than 30% of the votes cast. Please explain how a coalition was going to be formed. The next is 2015 were Edgar got 48%, which coalition was he going to form with the likes of Cosmo Mumba?

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  16. Alternatively, Hichilema could have also formed a coalition with bena Milupi and other time wasters even if he had gotten less votes. This provision will gift the Presidency to the less preferred candidate

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  17. Let’s just stick to our current system a rerun allows people to choose their lesser evil of the 2 top candidates more especially in Zambia where we all expect a marginal win for any candidate either HH or ECL

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  18. Dear Mr Zimba, the fact remains, you cannot form coalition based on presidency and remain hopeful that government will be stable. Smaller parties will remain excited, but your views and those of NDF are not good for this country. If that is how things will be, simple majority is even better pantu mwatampa ukukasabanya nomba. Elias Munshya feels for this country, you dont!

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  19. Its because of such morons that Zambia is in this mess. Mr. Zimba go back to proper schools and learn a thing or two. Zambians should not think that these politicians have solutions to our problems because themselves are a problem.

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  20. Zimba, have the ministers who stayed in office during the campaign period of the 2016 general elections paid back the money they illegally got? The court ordered that they should pay back the money, why didn’t the NDF deliberate on that? Why are some ministers still ministers when they are facing corruption charges in the courts of law? why has the NDF not deliberate on this matter? Isn’t this arrogance due to the fact that the people involved are in power? When power is not coupled with love and sincerity, it indeed corrupts! Leave Munshya alone!

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  21. What makes a successful coalition?

    They are at the heart of all politics – but why do some coalitions work better than others?

    The study of coalitions can help us to influence international development as well as give insights into political science, says Adrian Leftwich, Honorary Fellow in the University’s Department of Politics and Research Director of the Developmental Leadership Program.

    Most people associate the term ‘coalition’ with governmental coalitions, such as the present government in the UK, or the more common Italian, Israeli or Belgian governments where individual parties are rarely able to form a single party government.

    But, understood simply as a group of individuals or organisations that come together to achieve a goal they could not achieve on their own,…

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