I have “decided” to collapse all political formations into one potent force called OZON and with the motto – “One Zambia, One Nation”. In this great party, there is space for everybody. The only qualification is that you must at the time of reading this article, be domiciled in Zambia. In coming up with the name of the party, I conducted a wide and deep research.
I “talked” to previous Presidents and former senior government officers. In all my discussions and interviews, one question was prominent and that is: What made the nationalists come up with our national motto of One Zambia One Nation?
There were several answers but all led to the desire to unify Zambia irrespective of the various diversities, that we actually ought to celebrate and not seek to undermine, knowingly or unknowingly. I thought that was really impressive so, let’s now get to my ‘model’ formation of OZON.
First, I must make abundantly clear that I am very convinced that our country, Zambia, stands to benefit from the practice of multi-party politics, as re-introduced in 1990. It is not in order to tacitly suggest that we replace civilized political competition with say, a dubious movement or alliance, which essentially undermines the one Zambia, One nation motto, simply because our constitution guarantees the right to Association.
Second, the key word above is “competition”. Competition, will immediately remind one of sports such as football or motor racing. Both games and many others, require a winner to emerge. In the manner of play, there are set rules that the participants must abide to, at all times.
I would have really wanted to use examples of competitions in Karate, in which I have documented competencies; but, since I want to be in synch with all readers, I will refer to competition, in the games of football and others. Last week, I was very impressed with the high discipline levels in the Zamtel, sponsored spelling program on TV, involving school pupils and not adults, who qualify to stand for political office and practice politics. Another TV program of very civilized competition is sponsored by the Rural Electrification Authority. No reasonable viewer can accuse the presenter of any form of bias! Both competitions have rules and very importantly, the participants have been following all the rules, without exception.
But it seems that the word or term competition has as many other words, acquired a different kind of meaning or indeed expectation on the political plane. On this plane, competition appears to be giving in and accommodating vices such as bloodshed clearly coming from a crime dubbed “political violence”. So the political game has through an illegal window, imported the practice of violence as a means of demonstrating or expressing one’s political commitment. How does unruliness fair with our national motto of One Zambia, One Nation? Could the desire to wrestle political power at all costs be at the center of strange and socially contaminated political pacts?
Friends, I hold the view that violence, irrespective of the perpetrator, is barbaric and an affront to One Zambia, One Nation. It puts the lives of innocent men and women, enforcing the law, at an avoidable risk. It is a fact that no one can deny that the rule of law, is a necessary pre-requisite for peace. This means that the Men and Women tasked with enforcing the law must not compromise with, justice, equity and fairness in ensuring that all political players and social commentators, observe the law without fear or favor. It is our peace at stake!
I have indicated above that all games that we know have rules. For instance, generally, the decision of a referee in a soccer match is final. Still in soccer, the World soccer body FIFA, as a general rule does not allow governments to interfere in the administration of soccer.
Now, this rule or practice does not and has never meant that criminal activities cannot be decisively, dealt with by governments! It is not permissible for a player to play football while wearing shades or spectacles. This does not mean that FIFA or the football fraternity does not respect the right to expression. No footballer, and particularly a goal keeper, is expected to listen to music through head phones while on the pitch. A Referee, powerful as he or she is, cannot while officiating smoke or indeed carry a pistol on his/her body.
Security personnel, like police at the stadium and who are in uniform may or may be armed because they have the legal authority to maintain law and order.
Football players and fans alike, will feel safe in the midst of law enforcement officers. If and when the law enforcement officers are not there, the opposite, will be the case. That in my view is the value of security.
What does all this mean? Among others, it means that, if what is happening in Zambia today was to be interrogated through the spectacles of fairness, equity and justice, as provided for by the rule of law, we have reduced our law enforcement officers to a status that is at variance with both common sense and the law. We would want them to promote lawlessness, by allowing illegalities. No way! I am sure many or some of you have either seen or experienced a driver, just stopping on the road or a mini bus, stopping almost anywhere to load passengers. This is a mild act of lawlessness, which if allowed, can crystallize into an acceptable habit.
While some citizens will choose to justify what they do or what they support, we go back to our real reason for a unitary status. Question: Can an emotional political feeling, accompanied by offensive and unpalatable language, never mind the freedoms of expression, override the rule of law? As I have said before, the law is NOT and can NEVER be what XYZ, wants it to be. The law is what it is, and any piece of legislation, has a procedure for either amendment or repeal, depending on the need. In this respect therefore, I find it extremely disturbing and regrettable that a politician from a named opposition was last Saturday quoted using demeaning language against the Head of State. This is totally unacceptable.
I want to submit that either we still have to understand the rules of a political dispensation in a democracy or we have elected to promote lawlessness, just like war lords, in war torn countries to make Zambia, ungovernable. This is a very interesting proposition. On the one hand, we want the country to be ungovernable – notwithstanding the importance of unity in diversity and on the other we wish the government machinery to work so efficiently and deliver on critical processes such as national elections, drugs in hospitals, conducting exams etc.
From whatever angle we to look at things; political leaders are in the dock. They are in the dock for ensuring complete adherence to the rule of law, by themselves and their followers, bearing in mind that all exist in the jurisdiction of Zambia, which country is agreed on two fundamentals; namely (a) Peace and (b) Democracy. To the two, I would add the fact that for a while now, most people talk about the need for development in terms of specifics, such as clean water, roads, housing, electricity, schools, clinics, ambulances etc.
Let it be known ( that is if there is any shadow of doubt or indeed disagreement) that this country called Zambia, has one sovereign authority, whose personification is President Edgar Chagwa Lungu. It is also a fact that President Lungu, was elected last year (January 2015) to finish off the term of Late President Michael Sata (MHSRIP), who was elected for five years in 2011. Events up until now are well documented and in the public domain.
That being the case and in furtherance of our national motto of One Zambia, One Nation, we have absolutely no choice but to commit and recommit to our country and the rule of law as guided by our constitution and its many subordinate laws.
President Lungu, like any other before and yet to come, is not a ceremonial President. For God’s sake, he wield executive powers and is Commander in Chief of all armed forces, which forces are critical to the maintenance of peace. In this respect and probably many others, he stands above all other politicians because it is him acting through his agents, who are in a position to ensure that nobody jeopardizes our peace and sovereign status.
Since some of his colleagues have chosen to deceive him and have taken governance issues to a political plane of double dealing, is not a joking matter. It is as serious as any treasonable offence!
Just to give an example, I would not expect the Inspector General of Police, to call for a press conference and address the public on operational details of the police. Equally, I would be shocked if the Drug Enforcement Commissioner (DEC) did the same.
The same concern would go to other security wings. But, I would not be shocked if the Executive Director of the Food Reserve Agency called a press conference to address the public on the Maize marketing season! Let’s chat next week, about One Nation.
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