EVERY democracy has the sole responsibility of embracing the role of opposition at all times. Even though some democracies refer to them as the minority, their role in fighting for the very democracy is more important than that of the government. It therefore implies that any government has no legal backing to frustrate either the role or the position of the opposition in any country. Today, various governments have continued to trample on the rights of the very citizens who elected them into office and expect the opposition to remain mum over the same.
The continent is today loaded with the ‘hear nothing say nothing’ henchmen who loot and waste the public resources at the behest of the innocent jobless youths. Time and again, they have addressed forums and assemblies where they have continued to assure and reassure the poor citizens of their commitment to improving their lives and health conditions. Sadly though, it has always remained so- just assurances and nothing more. African leaders have to be reminded that leadership is not only God given but also a selfless call to turn around the demanding role of helping the citizens live better at all times.
It is on this platform that I plead with the opposition politicians to remain steadfast and to put the government on check. The opposing politicians are the greatest fighters of social democracy since the constitution provides so. The very constitution that the government derives its power is the very constitution that protects the opposition and by extension highlights their role. Africa is in dire need of selfless fighters like the late Nelson Mandela and Julius Nyerere who thought it wise to hand over power when they thought it wise.
The challenges that the opposition politicians and civil rights undergo in Zambia are not any different from those experienced by other leaders from other African countries. The UPND leadership must always be ready and willing to engage the government constructively on matters of national importance and equally reprimand the very government when need arises. The PF government should be reminded that leadership is not a matter of life and death and that the play ground has to be leveled so that social justice and the will of the people prevail.
Every other election year in any African country, there has always been chaos, uncertainty and destruction. Shockingly enough, these political trends have always been necessitated by the government of the day. It is no secret that the government officials have always dished out money and other goodies to ‘independent’ electoral commissioners who have always delivered predetermined results. I must note that what concerns Zambia is the same issue that concerns Uganda, Nigeria, South Africa or any other African country.
The African continent should pump a lot of resources in building institutions that work. These institutions will give the continent both economic and political bearing. The institutions which include the judiciary, the legislature, the electoral commission and the police service should undergo a serious overhaul and have efficient social response to the public. The African democracy is still unique and should be harmonized with the correct version of democracy. It is time the African leadership walked the talk and addressed the serious challenges affecting the continent. This should not be done today, but yesterday.