Democracy, acceptance and political integrity

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By Joe Mwansa Lombe Kaluba
It is said that Africa is a developing democracy. The questions I always ask myself is who determines or who measures the development of democracy? How do you explain to a lay person that this is democracy? For political scientists it is easy to state or define all these terms like democratic consolidation, election petition, democracy or free and fair according to the books. But the real thing is to live and show where these things are in our country.
I understand that democracy is defined in many ways by different scholars or countries especially those from the so called most developed or most democratic states. But for me the only way you can define such terms is by living or rather experiencing it.
I mentioned that I always ask myself about who determines how democratic a country is. I have always contended that Africa’s democracy can only be measured using itself-Intra or using countries in the continent.
Questions like how does Zambia’s democracy fair with Kenya or Gabon? Or how does Mali’s electoral system fair with that of Angola or Malagasy ought to be asked. I have a problem with questions like how does Malawi’s Democracy fair with that of India, France, North Korea or Chile. Or how does the democratic consolidation of Egypt or Gambia fair with that of Canada.
Not that it is not okay to learn from others but I think continents have or are developing at a different speed. This is dependant on a lot of things like kingship, colonisation and post colonial era. I like to say our democratisation is unique. Our democratisation is also fragile hence caution is needed.
We just had general elections. Like in every vote there are losers and winners. I would call the losers as a group of people who did not sell or do their best in order to win. Winners are those who did the other thing. Sold their candidates, planned well and were less emotional. If political players understand this then it is easy to understand and accept not only the choice of the people but also the situation attached to it-Living Democracy
I think you will agree with me that for the first time in the history of our democratic and political continuum this is the first time we have been subjected to following what is happening in political happenings like petitions and such. Remember the Presidential petitions or the different parliamentary petitions we have had in the past. We just heard that it is finished. But now we can follow probably thanks to social media and the many radio stations we have(including international media). Despite this I think the most important element is because our democracy has develop or rather is maturing. Citizens are now taking a lot of interest.
In support of my earlier sentiment. There is no need for definitions. We just need to see and experience it. Those who can’t see it are not just being fair and honest with the work we have done as a country. It is either they are comparing our democracy with other democracies which may not have the same attributes and characteristics like ours or they are just attention seekers.
Similarly,  I understand everyone has the right to be heard but I also think you can hear people who will accept any verdict whether it goes their way or not. Acceptance of this will help others to embrace you as an individual or group. We can only move on as a country if this elements are brought together. As I have said before in every election there are winners and losers. Acceptance by the two will in turn help us to see all those democratic elements around us.
The only problem I see is that we only think being mature democratically is only when the winners are announced and the President is Inaugurated. For me how democratic we are is also having mature losers and a selfless opposition. Losers who put the voters first, accepting their choice and not pushing until our wishes as individuals or political parties are met.
The Inaugurated and these not inaugurated are key to our politics and to the lessons we learn as a country. Therefore the inauguration of President Edgar Lungu together with Vice President Inoge Wina and the Presidential petition of United Party for National Development’s(UPND) leaders in Hakainde Hichilema and his Running Mate Geoffrey Mwamba have or will teach us a lot of things as a country. It will be unwise to ignore all the attributes related to this. These are elements which define democracy in a lay persons language.  We live it and we experience it.
My hope is that the winners or the inaugurated don’t look down on those not inaugurated as losers and therefore see them as outcasts or enemies. Let President Lungu and his team see how they can work with everyone regardless who they voted for or which party they come from. Like wise I also long to see those not inaugurated not to take it personal or rather use emotions but to also position themselves where they can be reached so that we develop these our beloved country.
Zambia needs everyone to move on. Hence it is only leaders in all sectors of our society who can help facilitate this. Politics and their ideologies might divide us but being true, united and patriotic Zambians will not do that. We should long to have elements which will help bring forth political integrity and wholeness in our country. We will only have that One Zambia One Nation if we believe in this.
The author is a PhD candidate-Political, Gender and Transnational Studies at the International Postgraduate Centre (IPC), Faculty of Social Sciences at Goethe University Frankfurt.
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3 Responses to Democracy, acceptance and political integrity

  1. Let no one be cheated by the petitioners and their cardres, some of whom appear to be educated yet exhibit no noticeable integrity.

    As for UPND’s petition, the matter should not be taken out of context. The judges made the right decision to correct the mistake they had made on Friday of allowing an illegal extension of time beyond what is constitutionally stipulated.

    In order to uphold the constitution the judges realised the need to reverse the extension of the 14 days constitutional limit to the petition.

    What can the examiner mark if you choose not to write the exam, when you choose to take a nap in the exam until time is up? Nothing. This petition lost its allowable time as petitioners avoided discussing their petition until time up.

    So it was as good as a student who chooses not to write an exam while in the exam room due to a lack of preparedness.

    Coming to power handover; which constitution provides for handing over power to the speaker following a petition under INITIAL ballot?

    It appears HH is quite a good music composer. He composes a song;

    ” A eeeh, a eeeh;
    handover power, a eeeh!
    A eeeh, a eeeh,
    To the speaker, a eeeh!”

    And amazingly, within 14 days, it is a hit, and everyone of his cadres is singing it.

    Come on, there is no handing over of power following a petition under the initial ballot, covered by Articles 101 and 102.

    The handing over of power comes following a petition done subsequent to second ballot, or simply put round two (2) of elections, dealt with under Articles 103 and 104.

    The petitioners and their cadres have all decided to deceptively cite Articles 103, and 104, knowing well that the two articles apply to the second ballot, hoping they should catch the ignorant in our citizenry.

    Please read the constitution, don’t rely on HH. He read it only in one day, no wonder most of the issues are taken out of context.

    On the bill of rights, HH thinks where the constitution stipulates 14 days, using the bill of rights Article 18(9) you can sit under a mango tree and extend it to 90 days if you feel that that is what is reasonable to you.

    The bill of rights is part of the constitution. It will not break the constitutionally stipulated timeframe in order to give you more “reasonable time”.

    Still regarding the said “reasonable time” legal subjectivity may only arise where no timeframe has been stipulated by the constitution.

    Otherwise you have to obtain your “reasonable time” within the confines of the constitution. And the best scenario you can get is to reach the maximum stipulated timeframe, as being the most reasonable.

    Baba even in an exam, you can’t say I have a lot bubling in me so give me more time to offload. No, just learn to summarise your knowledge so you can offload it within 3 hours.

    Single-sighted HH keeps saying “reasonable time, reasonable time”.

    He has become very vulnerable at this time and as a result trainee lawyers are misguiding him.

    Now, where time limit is specified or stipulated in the constitution, the meaning of “reasonable time” means allowing up to the maximum allowable time within the confines of the constitution.

    It does not mean reasonable time based on individual views, feelings, opinion, or perception but what the constitution provides.

    You do not go outside of the constitutionally stipulated timeframe to get a subjective ‘reasonable time”, No!

    And it beats me to hears losers who say in advance that if I lose I will not accept. If I win I will accept.

    They lose 47% to 50.35% they refuse to accept. They say the zambians want me this time around.

    They say the election had so many irregularities such as G12 forms .

    But then they ask for a recount, and say that in the same election if the recount shows that I won I will accept, despite the said G12 form issues they have raised.

    They petition, but waste theirs including the court’s time, celebrating that they have managed to petition; bringing all manner of preliminaries.

    The petition fails through a majority rule by judges, 3-2. He says no I will not accept because 2 judges have supported me, even though 3 mischievous ones have not. Those 2 who have agreed with me are noble. Those who have not gone my way are crooked and mischievous.

    Just how do you handle a person like that?

    To me, either something has terribly gone wrong with him or he is merely a trouble maker.

    Revisiting the fourteen days, I wish to comment on an extra scenario that I heard on radio some people saying the petition sitting excluded the weekends. That there were only 10 days’ sitting instead of 14 days.

    The constitution does not say there shall be 14 days of sitting.
    Look, it is not about the number of sittings; it is about the timeframe allocated. The court can even sit once or twice, etc. but hearing must be done within 14 days.

    Still other people are saying, by hearing within 14 days, the constitution implies starting the hearing within 14 days! Come on, do people think that ‘to hear’ means ‘to commence hearing’?

    What do you understand by the statement:
    “Students must write their exams within 14 days”?

    Does the above sentence imply “students must commence their exams within 14 days”? or,

    does it mean “students must finish writing their exams before or on the 14th day”?

    So don’t try to twist law to support your view. If you have no case, you have no case!!!

    Peace for Zambia
    September 12, 2016 at 7:10 pm
    Reply

  2. It is always difficulty to take you serious Joe.your language before elections was so divisive and now that the outcome favours you, you’re trying to play a unifying factor,you’re so hypocritical brother. I even wonder, the morality behind this sober language. You’re harbour so much hate for opposition. I can only describe your article to part of celebration for PF victory and that you’re a wolf in a lambs skin. Lastly I urge you to go thru your past articles prior to elections, if you have any morals they will lead to you to repentance

    Jolly
    September 12, 2016 at 11:19 pm
    Reply

  3. Where did this Lombe Kaluba do his elementary, primary, secondary, undergraduate and Masters studies? His English is atrocious. What kind of Dr. Is Goethe going to produce? Zambia doesn’t produce such half-baked illiterates. I have restrained myself all these years from commenting on this guy’s public display of idiocy. No doubt this cadre will get a job in this vote-stealing government. If I were this guy I would not be writing. There is no way any rrspectible PhD committee in Europe will pass this guy’s Thesis.
    As for this Lombe Kaluba please be informed that the Constitution allows for petitioning the election results if you perceive them to be fraudulently obtained. Read the Constitution. Don’t speak of things you know nothing about pretending to be scholarly. Ask anybody to read your articles and they will tell you the articles sre garbage. You are embarrassing. I don’t know why the Zambian Eye even accepts them. Practice your writings somewhere else.
    And if you are looking for a job, just approach Lungu or Emmanual Mwamba/Frank Bwalya operating as Peace for Zambia. They will gladly give you a job. You are already their cadre. Don’t embarrass yourself with this juvenile attempt to display intelligence. Intellectual and analytical you are not.
    As for Peace for Zambia, or Emmanuel Mwamba/Frank Bwalya what do you expect from these paid cadres. It doesn’t matter what article is there, they psste the same response, day in and day one throughout the Internet world. These are the kinds of idiots the Internet has produced. People who hide their identity because like their masters they shun accountability. At least you Lonbe Kaluba are respectible in that regard. Though if you want to get your PhD you better keep quiet because your supervisor and committee members will be given all hour articles and asked whether this is the kind of half baked student they want to present to the world associated with their names.

    Kingdom Hall
    September 13, 2016 at 2:49 am
    Reply

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