Feb 24, 2011

What makes you better?

I was quite impressed when I listened to Hakainde Hichilema’s interview on Zambia Blog Talk Radio about a month ago. When pressed about the outcome of the coalition pact with the Patriotic Front (PF), he insisted on the fact that the two parties still need to agree on the fundamentals, which he termed as a Joint Economic, Social and Good Governance programme before a presidential candidate can be declared. This makes a lot of sense because what’s the use of just saying you’re a coalition party when you don’t even agree on the sort of programmes needed to move Zambia forward?
Sadly, I believe this pact is a waste of time and I’ve thought so from day one. I may be proven wrong in the next few months, but that’s looking more unlikely with the way things are progressing. The PF and its president, Michael Sata, are already campaigning on their own ticket across Zambia. Sata is the de facto leader of any pact he enters into, and if Hichilema still thinks that discussion is open for debate, he’s wrong. Anyone with credible information to disprove this, please feel free to share.
The PF has clearly stated from the beginning that their mission is to remove the MMD from power. Their position on various matters of grave importance such mining taxation, the increased influence of Beijing in Zambia, etc are inconsistent and seemingly change with the direction of the wind. Bafuna kuvi chinja chabe- they just want to change things.
As I have stated before, change for the sake of change is not enough. We need serious opposition politicians to come up with real plans for how to move Zambia forward. Yes, we can all agree the MMD is flawed but how are other parties less flawed, and how will they be more successful than the last 20 years of MMD rule? I fundamentally disagree with politicians like Sata who constantly declare that the MMD has done nothing for Zambians, that’s untrue and should not be accepted as the truth when we as Zambians can see for ourselves that some things, though not all, have improved. A lot remains to be done of course, but please how about some integrity in political discourse?
If UPND or Hichilema want to have a fighting chance in the upcoming elections, they need to unhitch their wagon from the crazy horse called PF aka Michael Sata. They need to show the people of Zambia what their Economic, Social and Good Governance programme looks like, and how things will be under their leadership. Zambians deserve more than opportunistic politicians looking for sound bytes on radio stations; we need intelligent people with a real roadmap to lead the way.

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