Wednesday, July 11, 2007

LETTERS - Integrity, The Constitution, Wasakaza Ng'uni

Leaders of integrity
By K. Kasonso, Solwezi
Wednesday July 11, 2007 [04:00]

I am of the view that political structures in the country need to start re-aligning for possible consolidation.

I have been of the view that much of the current political tension in the country is unwarranted and when I read of President Mwanawasa and Dr Nevers Mumba reconciling, it signals political maturity because then politicians are starting to say to each other, “I meant to do it right, but I blew it!” and vice versa. This must happen to people who disagreed to agree on certain issues but now they feel they can clarify perceptions and explore any possibilities of working together at any level.

I however seem to have serious reservations with the editorial of The Post , Monday July 9, 2007, in which the editorial staff at the credible Post punched holes into the Nevers Mumba-Levy Mwanawasa reconciliation meeting. This is uncalled for especially from a paper with a serious reputation as The Post.

The President has reconciled with an endless list of politicians in the country including Sikota and Nakatindi Wina, Katele Kalumba, Vernon Mwaanga, Mike Mulongoti, Richard Kachingwe, General Ronnie Shikapwasha, Ben Kapita and Sylvia Masebo, and the list goes on. Zambian politics can be so dirty that politicians call each other names but at the end of the day, they are able to bury their differences. How many of the above mentioned politicians called President Mwanawasa names? Almost all of them, but they reconciled, whether in national interest or not. Politics are highly dynamic and as such call for a lot of soul searching from time to time.

There is no politician who has not made mistakes or done what certain quarters of society did not expect, but it is the gravity of such doings and their repercussions that we must care about. It is not a democratic sin to change political position, as have seen in South African parliament with their floor crossing; and as such we want to be objective when we have to deal with existing political players in the country.

It is a known fact that of all the political leaders in the country, very few retain their dignity and integrity as individuals and Nevers Mumba is part of that remnant.
So why should the reconciliation between President Mwanawasa and Dr Nevers Mumba become such a complicated issue and debate? It cannot be denied at this stage that Nevers can add a lot of value to the MMD as a whole and at different levels. What criminal activity or corrupt deal has Nevers engaged in that we want to render him “expired for national service” and unfit to reconcile with President Mwanawasa?

Unless we want to reduce the debate to mere semantics, what happened between President Mwanawasa and his former vice-president was a political difference and the process of them making peace is called reconciliation, which they rightly did.
Now, whether President Mwanawasa still feels that he can work with Dr Mumba or not is another subject which only he and his sound judgement can tell.

Dialogue on constitution
By Kombe Ngolwe
Wednesday July 11, 2007 [04:00]

Zambia’s political history is one of constitutional inconsistencies. We deserve a transparent and inclusive constitution; one that will hold the government accountable on its performance towards economic rights of Zambians; right to employment, sufficient food, water, housing and health care.

Unfortunately for Zambia, constitution-making has been hijacked by politicians who want to advance their agenda. Zambia Centre for Inter-Party Dialogue (ZCID) is a wrong turn to implement the process because of the special interests at stake from the ruling party, who chair the centre.

Access by all to the process of making a constitution is as important as the final product - a constitution of the Republic of Zambia

ZCID should not limit the constitution to dialogue only. Constitution process requires participation, autonomy, debate and consultation, which are not principles for ZCID and will not allow under its roof. Political parties’ consensus does not make the initiative the only best constitutional option available.

I still question the legality of using the ZCID for a constitutional process.
Zambians must participate in the process to have legitimacy and relevancy. Debating freely and consultations about the process and content of the constitution are necessary.
The harsh talk happening now in Zambia is necessary for a good constitution; this is a serious matter.

ZCID will not foster a sense of common purpose, unity and solidarity over the constitution.

Thus no ownership of the Constitution by Zambians; a necessary incentive for legitimacy. Zambia deserves a transparent process for a constitution. Zambians by their gender, ethnic identity, language and religion must be engaged in the constitution-making process.

Wasakaza's demise
By Carlos Chama
Wednesday July 11, 2007 [04:00]

I would like to convey my sincere condolences to the bereaved family of the late Wasakaza Mutiti Ng’uni on the untimely death of this great hero of the police service and the nation at large. I must say that Wasakaza was not only a role model to young policemen but to all of us youths in the country.

The late Ng’uni was a brave and hardworking police officer. Starting from the Copperbelt and Lusaka province, he proved to be a gallant, strong and dependable officer
What really makes me sad is after watching Ng’uni organising such effective security during Esther Phiri’s international boxing bout, only to hear of his death later on.

My appeal to the police is to carry on from where Wasakaza left. This will be the best way of remembering him. And to all of us still living, we must learn something from the life and death of Wasakaza. We should not boast of tomorrow because our lives are short on earth and therefore it’s important to put God first in everything we do.



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