Just Politics; by Aaron Ng’ambi

Bill 10 Exposes the PF Govt’s travesty of the truth

There are many reasons why Zambians have so much distrust for the Patriotic Front government and its officials. But we should never forget that all that is wrong with the PF government today has everything to do with the genesis of the Patriotic Front as a party and the promises they made to the Zambia people. Therefore, if we are to make an honest and sincere analysis of what we are faced with as a country and attempt to find solutions, we need to see things for what they are. One of my favorite quotes by Confucius says that; “The beginning of wisdom is the ability to call things by their right names.” My belief is that from its inception, the PF was wrapped up in unrealistic promises such as more money in your pockets, lower taxes, delivery of a new constitution within 90 days etc. This alone should have been a clear warning for any well-meaning Zambian. However, I do not blame the people for voting PF in 2011; at least they gave the PF a chance to come through on their promises and now the situation we are in speaks for itself in terms of how this regime has performed. By the same logic, we cannot and should not blame Zambians again if they decided otherwise in the forthcoming general elections of 2021.

The tragedy of this government is that both the late president Michael Sata and President Edgar Lungu sold the Zambian people nothing but a pipe dream, of which Lungu continues to do so hoping that Zambians will again take a chance on him. Here are a few examples of why I say this: it is no secret that Mr Sata wanted to be elected as president of the Republic so much so that he said anything and everything to get to plot 1. And when the man was finally elected, he either ignored most of the promises he had made, or developed selective amnesia. It is a matter of public record that Mr Sata promised the Zambians that he would transform Zambia completely within the first 100 days of his presidency and that he would deliver a people driven constitution within 90 days. So, the question whether the Patriotic Front under Mr Sata delivered on these two major promises is something I leave up to the Zambian people to answer for themselves. But also, if my memory serves me correctly, it was the same Mr Sata then as an opposition leader who accused Rupiah Banda of nepotism and corruption. In fact, I personally heard Mr Sata saying that RB had created a family tree of his family and relatives while he served in the foreign service. Unfortunately, almost without shame, Sata did the same as soon as he was elected as head of state, he picked Alexander Chiwanda, Miles Sampa, Bob Sichinga and other relatives of his and appointed them to cabinet positions and other top government jobs. Hence, for me the problem we see today with this PF administration did not start overnight or come from without. We should always go back to the root cause of any problem for us to fully understand where we have come from and where we need to go from here. Now, I do know very well that President Sata is held in the highest esteem as a former president and statesman by many Zambians. And to some degree I agree with this claim but not entirely. For me, Mr Sata was a great man, but he also turned out to be a great disappointment in many ways than one. His only saving grace was that the man knew how to talk to people regardless of whether he had fulfilled his promises to them or not. He was so good at making people disregard his shortcomings and still follow him. And this makes me happy to state that therein lies the biggest problem we have in our country, we do not hold our leaders accountable for what they say or what they do, and we need to change that in this generation.

The debate and issues currently surrounding bill 10 have done nothing but exposed the evil schemes of this government, and the good people of Zambia should never forget that every lie told about Bill 10 by the Patriotic Front is a travesty of the truth. It is unbelievable that the President and his officials have shown us throughout this process of bill 10 that they are hiding something and that they have no regard for anyone. The arrogance displayed by President Lungu himself and his surrogates each time they speak is so shocking, but a blessing in disguise because even to those who used to think that the man was humble, they have seem the true colours of their president. Sadly, even on issues of national interest, these fellows must play politics, they lack any sense of objectivity and patriotism.

Therefore, it is so difficult for the government to do the right thing as far as bill 10 is concerned. Just imagine that prominent institutions like the Law Association of Zambia and the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops have called for the withdrawal of Bill 10 from Parliament, but still this regime keeps ignoring such calls contemptuously. The manner in which this government has conducted itself has led to so much mistrust and resentment from the people towards the regime. Unfortunately, our government has been very consistent with lies to mislead Zambians in broad daylight. And anyone who seeks to question the PF’s position on anything, especially bill 10, have been silenced with intimidation or discredited simply because they hold an opposing view. Look at the way some of the government ministers have responded to the Catholic Bishops’ concerns on bill 10. The outrageous statements made by some of the senior cabinet ministers towards the Catholic Bishops are unsustainable and reminds me of the English phrase; the guilty is always afraid.
In any democratic and civilised society, the process, and issues of amending the constitution rises above partisan politics because such are issues of national interest. The PF can do better than this; they need to put aside the petty political games and do the right thing for our country. We all know that the process through which this document called Bill 10 was brought about was a flawed. The National Dialogue Forum (NDF) was nothing but a failure in terms of collective representation, and so if it means we start the whole process again so be it. No one can expect a rotten tree to produce good fruits. Only a good tree can produce good fruits. I stand with the Law Association of Zambia, and I stand with the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops in calling for the complete withdrawal of Bill 10 from Parliament. We need a better and inclusive process through which all Zambians can be consulted in a constitutional review process like we have done in the past. The learned counsel John Sangwa was correct in stating that “Zambia is not in a constitutional crisis, but we are in an economic crisis.” Therefore, we should not be in such a rush to fix what is not broken, but rather fix the economy as a matter of urgency before anything else. Hence, Say No to Bill 10!

Email; aaronngambi@yahoo.com

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