Of the people and politics

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By Lazarus C. Bwalya

Democracy is commonly defined as a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections. This definition of democracy simply reminds us that the most important people in a democratic dispensation are not the elected leaders but the common man who elects a representative (leader) to look after and protect their interests in government. Therefore leadership is by the people and for the people.

As we seek leadership it is very important we never forget this fact, but the recent intra party wrangles suggests that we have all but forgotten that basic democratic principle, matter of fact I think we only tend to remember that fact during elections, and here is why I say so.

The Zambian people in 2011 elected the legendary Micheal Chilufya Sata and the Patriotic Front into power because they needed change, change not only in the name of the party in power but change in governance, change in the social and economic outlook of the nation, change in a positive way in the way their taxes and resources are handled by the party in power, to that effect President Micheal Chilufya Sata set up a development program that included a serious infrastructural program and new tax policies that would see the mines pay more to the Zambian government, Sata also put decentralization at the heart of poverty alleviation, but soon enough his hard work was to be jeopardized because as usual politics would take centre stage over the plight of the poor Zambian people, when Wynter Kabimba and GBM almost set the country ablaze during their fight for a position that was not yet even ready for contention at the time. As time would later reveal, it wasn’t meant to be for either of the two former PF giants, Wynter’s political career is dead and buried and GBM’s political influence is a mere shadow of its former glory. Wynter Kabimba and GBM forgot the basic principle of democracy, democratic power belongs to the people and it is given and taken away by the people.

In 2015 to the shock of most of the so called PF giants, the Zambian voters chose Edgar Chagwa Lungu as Zambia’s 6th President to lead them and meet the same expectations they had placed upon Micheal Chilufya Sata, and again in 2016 the Zambian citizens trusted ECL and the PF party with another term in office, this was not done because the PF slogan and PF party songs sounded better than the rest of the parties but because the Zambian people still trust and believed that ECL and the PF could still change and better their livelihoods.

Our current mandate as a the PF comes to and in two years but instead of addressing the many social and economic difficulties that the poor people of Zambia are facing, politics as usual have had to take the limelight over what really matters, the plight of the millions of the poor Zambian folk.

This time it’s KBF who has been put on the spot for simply practicing his democratic right, challenging President Lungs for his position as Party President.
Today some disgruntled PF members are busy calling KBF all sorts of names for trying to do the right thing (looking out for the plight of the people of Zambia) they are busy calling KBF names instead of addressing pertinent national matter, KBF who has not only always been a unifying factor for the entire PF grassroots but also a very good elections strategist, the same KBFwho has always made sure that PF votes are protected even in places were the opposition control even our own polling agents.

It is advise the PF Party hierarchy to give KBF the opportunity to practice his democratic right, otherwise we stand as a party to lose out on a very patriotic, intelligent, wise and gallant son of the soil…… Only because as usual we choose to play politics instead of serving our nation like our duty calls for.

Ladies and gentlemen we need to start thinking things through before we decide to fight off noble members of our party because sometimes in so doing we are simply fighting off our own party and thereby condemning it to a very slow and painful death.

Today apart from a few WhatsApp groups like “Zambians for Edgar Lungu” where positive objective debate is encouraged, most of the PF WhatsApp groups and other social media platforms have become mediums for confusion in the party, they have become platforms where divergent views are not allowed and democracy is no longer tolerated by those who feel they are more PF than others, they forget that PF is not a person, PF is the people, the PF members of parliament are simply representatives of the millions of PF members and voters out there. What is even more disappointing is that instead of using these platforms to resolve party matters because most of our party leaders are on these groups, some junior members of the party have resolved to use these platforms to bring confusion amongst our senior members in our party and even more shameful is that these disgruntled shameless junior members of the party even go as far as issuing threats against senior members of the party like KBF.

Seriously what kind of a party are we building here if we can allow junior members of our party to shamelessly disrespect senior members who have not only worked so hard to guarantee victory for the PF in the past three elections but also to protect the integrity and legacy of our beloved party.

I mean not to crucify members of the Party but I honestly feel that their actions regarding such maters should never be condoned and most important it should never go unpunished because they have the power to destroy the party.

I rarely part away from honesty so my advice to these membersis to once in a while audit their contributions towards party matters, questions like “what has he really done for the party and what history does he really have in the PF???? Isn’t that very lame for people who know KBF and our party history. To be point blank, KBF has done more for the PF than ECL himself has done, KBF has built this party into power, challenge that fact if you dare.

To our PF leaders we urge you to promote and inspire discipline and respect at all levels of the party.
To the admins and members of the many PF social media platforms, we have a lot of very effective media tools that have not been available to previous generations, we have a duty here to use these tools to promote our party and its achievements but most importantly we have a duty to promote democracy, we have an opportunity to change the way politics are viewed in our society.

On the KBF’s challenge for PF Presidency, ladies and gentlemen I feel this issue is been handled with tyrannical hands of democracy and when did it become a crime to call for a very democratic right like running against an incumbent president…?

We need to realize again that we are in politics not for ourselves but for the people.

KBF has previously made a lot of statements to the media that have highlighted our achievements as a party towards the social and economic development of the nation, they have also on several occasions made statements to the media defending the party’s position on a lot matters, he has received a lot of verbal attacks from the opposition for doing so, KBF was even accused of rigging elections and called all sorts of names for simply defending a party that he loves, with all that no one has ever gone to the media to thank him for his service to the party, but today KBF calls for something that basically defines democracy “an election” and everyone wants to go to the media to execute him for saying out loud what everyone quietly knows should take place sooner than later if we are going to be ready for elections in 2021, ladies and gentlemen this kind behavior is not only very treacherous and hypocritical but also very detrimental for our beloved party and its future. I leave with one of my favorite quotes that particularly describes what is going on in our party right now.

“In a room where people unanimously maintain a conspiracy of silence, one word of truth sounds like a pistol shot”

Lazarous C Bwalya
PF Member

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31