It should be obvious that Edith Nawakwi shall remain the president of the FDD for as long as she wants, as the party spokesperson Antonio Mwanza insisted.
No amount of wishful thinking could change the fact save for the national convention that has the mandate to remove her from the party presidency (Daily Nation, October 7, 2015).
But as Zambians go to the presidential and legislative polls next year another worrying ingredient has been added to the mix. It is what some are calling ‘Wamuyaya syndrome’.
This is not being ageist by suggesting that those standing for presidential office would be long serving and too old.
Rather, the term refers to a ‘disease’ whereby the sufferer feels that by virtue of being the president of a party, he or she has absolute right to remain in office for an indefinite period regardless of what the party’s constitution stipulates.
From the outset let us be realistic. The country has certainly turned over a page on the first President Kenneth Kaunda’s dictatorship which began to unravel in the early 1990s which saw Zambians reject his one-party state.
Yet a hangover of KK’s politics, this so-called ‘Wamuyaya syndrome’, still threatens the country’s political establishment championed by three major opposition parties; UNIP, UPND and FDD.
It is at the intra-party level that this subtle brand of dictatorship is particularly evident as shown by the lack of holding national onventions for close to ten years in UNIP, UPND and FDD.
What this suggests is that the party presidents have an unrestrained hand in calling the shots, while at the same time party lieutenants ensure that orders are obeyed.
Whatever happens at the yet to be held UNIP, UPND and FDD national conventions even if the elections are given a clean bill of health, the fact remains that voters would have already been handed a raw deal: the three presidents seem besotted with running their parties as personal estates.