Change not imminent-Tayali

CHANGE in tomorrow’s presidential election is not imminent because not enough messages have been advanced to make people vote for an alternative political party rather than the ruling Patriotic Front (PF), Zambian Voice executive director Chilufya Tayali has observed.

Mr Tayali said all that was needed to predict the winner in this presidential election was one to take count of stronghold regions for each particular political party based on the 2011 general elections as well as the number of  voters in the said areas.

Mr Tayali said while the PF would have some votes in North-Western Province, the ruling party should not expect to perform as well as the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) which had remained popular in the region.

Mr Tayali said it was equally not possible for the UPND to perform in the same manner the PF would in Northern Province which has traditionally remained a strong hold of the ruling party.

“This campaign has not brought in new wind of change to overcome some of the challenges we are currently facing such as how jobs will be created, investor confidence and support, taxes, education, farming and crop marketing as well as prudent fiscal management of the country’s financial resources,” Mr Tayali said.

Mr Tayali said the promises that were being made in the current presidential campaign were repeats of what had been pledged over the years without being fulfilled and therefore, the voting pattern was not going to change as much as would have been expected.

He said the presidential election tomorrow would be determined by regional support of the candidates because there were no national policies that would attract the electorate to look at candidates beyond region.

Mr Tayali said rushing through the constitution-making process just to deliver a new Constitution for Zambians would give citizens a raw deal.

He said the Zambian Voice was concerned with the haste with which the presidential candidates were promising to enact a new Republican Constitution before the 2016 general elections.

“Our worry is that we might get a raw deal of a new constitution. We need to make sure that the new constitution stands the test of time so that we do not go back to it. It is therefore important that we exercise patience and soberness on this issue so that we exhaust all possible changes to make the new Constitution solid and self-sufficient,” Mr Tayali said.

Mr Tayali said the obscurity that has characterized the current process should be allocated more time to carefully draw the best roadmap which would make citizens aware of the stages attained.

He explained that it was important that Zambians were considered as stakeholders of the Constitution instead of allowing a group of people with loud voices to take over the show.

Mr Tayali explained that there was need to thoroughly look at some controversial clauses in the constitution and the draft articles surrounding presidential powers which were not addressed under the Justice Annel Silungwe lead-Technical Committee.

“Zambia will never have good governance if the President of this country is the alpha and omega in the governance system. Good governance is about having effective and self-sufficient checks and balances on all government officials including the President,” he said.

Mr Tayali explained that neither the current law nor the final draft had ensured proper separation of powers to make the Executive, the Judiciary and the Legislature independent of each other.

“Today good Judges, in the name of Judges Charles Kanjimanga and Nigel Mutuna are serving suspensions for doing their work, while Judge Albert Woods gets a promotion to the Supreme Court in spite of our complaints against him,” he said.

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