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2016 Election: Corruption, Favours and Adoption

Filed under: Politics,Special Comments |
Political imagesBy Joe Mwansa Lombe Kaluba
In order for our democracy to mature and for it to be consolidated we need to be transparent in how we adopt candidates to run for elections. This will bring or rather give confidence not only to our political system but also to our citizens and all those wishing to run for elections.
Democracy should start from the party. Transparent should start from the political organisation. We can not claim to be a democratic country when our parties encourage injustice and corruption when adopting aspiring candidates. We can not say we will promote democratisation when there are favours in our parties. You can not give to the country what you don’t have or what you don’t believe in.
We have three months between now and the elections. This means expectations from voters are high. The expectations I am talking about are not for what the elected candidates will do. But who is going to be adopted by different parties. It is that part of our democratic or rather political element that people are not paying attention to. If political parties adopt people who are not equal to the task. Then after August nothing will be done in terms of delivering or serving the people.
In this year’s elections especially during the adoption process I want to see transparency, equity, equality and no favours. Both ruling and opposition political parties should come out clean.
I have heard that there is a lot of corruption and favouritism in both ruling and opposition parties. I have done an inquiry and this is true. This makes me sick to the born. As I said we can’t claim to be transparent but we do the opposite.
We have to build our democracy from within our parties. We have to choose quality and not names. I have no problem however if a “big” name is quality. What matters is such a person should be chosen on merit and not because of tribe, race, sex or influence in the party.
There are cases were people who are in constituency or district executive committee are being given money by aspiring candidates before interviews are conducted. In a named party the entire constituency executive was taken out for a weekend at a named lodge. All expenses paid for by the aspiring candidate. This is foolishness. In fact this executive should be suspended or they should not be allowed to conduct interviews. It is this type of deeds which makes our politics rotten and stone aged.
I have also come to learn that Interviews for aspiring parliamentarians in one constituency were chaired by someone who is aspiring for councillor of a certain ward. Then interviews for councillors were chaired by an aspiring MP for the constituency where this ward is. It’s like interview me l will interview you.
To avoid conflict of interest in my opinion those in any party position should have resigned before seeking adoption. You can’t both be the interviewer and interviewee.
There are also some cases in some political parties where some people are said not to have made the short list due to their tribe and faith. Surely this is also very sad. We want to have the right people running for elections and if we bring in the tribe of a candidate or whether a person goes to church or not then we have a problem in our inclusiveness task.
There are constituencies where the incumbent in both ruling and opposition parties have not delivered. In normal circumstances these people should not be allowed to apply for adoption. Some have been Members of Parliament(MPs) for five, 10 or 20 years in these constituencies. I mean if you have not done it in that time what will make you do it in the next five years. We need performers not people who just drink water during parliament sessions. So there is no personal to order seat. We need new people to work for the people.
I have also heard that there are people who have been hand picked by the party leadership. There is no problem with this but everything must be transparent. Explain to party members why this is done. I know there are some sensitive or competitive seats which need strong candidates. However with due respect to people making the selection. Look at the strength of the person in facilitating development or enchantment of people’s lives first.
I also know that there are Social Media groups especially WhatsApp groups where there is strong campaign for certain individuals. Not that I have a problem with this. However I think that all major political parties should be very careful.
Try by all means to avoid personal attacks on people who are aspiring for elections be it at district, constituency or ward level. You are on the same team after all. Believe me the most complicated part of politics before every election is intra party politics. So you ought to be careful what you say in those groups.
Don’t take things personal. If you have personal issues with anyone especially those aspiring for office please take them outside the group as mature politicians or supporters.
Believe me when people start to realise that you are using corruption or favouritism to pick your candidates your party will lose credible would be leaders and votes. I am not talking about bitter people who leave because they think they are the best. I am talking about people who would want to stand with you and help you win elections.
A wise person will know if there has been transparency in the picking of candidates. However others won’t. I know people who left political parties because of what one may say some candidates where picked based on tribe, race, faith or because they were related to certain party leaders. We want to avoid that. Don’t we?
As a champion and promoter of sane and just politics I want to see equality in the adoption process. I don’t want to see corruption and favours during the proceedings. If you corruptly adopt candidates don’t expect us to have a corrupt free parliament or city/town council.
Joe Mwansa Lombe Kaluba MA

PhD Candidate-Political, Gender and Transnational Studies

International Postgraduate Centre (IPC)

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