Saturday, July 24, 2010

Politics of pacts

Politics of pacts
By Editor
Sat 24 July 2010, 04:00 CAT

What is our politics coming to? A big casino!

During the day, the MMD is busy denouncing UPND and its leadership; at night, they are busy trying to convince them to join them in bed! What message are they trying to send to the masses of our people? How do they expect the Zambian people to truly know them and support them when they are every day shifting positions and trying to change their colours like chameleons?

We know that freedom of association is guaranteed to everyone of us by the Constitution. But this does not mean that we should associate with anyone and anyhow. Careful choices have to be made because there are consequences in who we choose to associate with. It is said that every creature prefers its own kind, and people are not different. And that just as animals of the same species flock together, so people keep company with people like themselves. For MMD to get into a pact with UPND, there must be something in common with them.

One key characteristic that today defines the MMD is its openness to corruption. The MMD is today the only political party in this country that defends corruption and corrupt elements. To join hands with the MMD is to join hands with them in stealing public funds and abusing public office in all sorts of ways. Joining hands with the MMD is accepting to be judged by its standards, the standards and principles of thieves, lazos. Joining hands with the MMD is like choosing between life and death; you get whichever you choose.

It is easier to understand what brings the PF and UPND into a pact. It is the desire to kick the MMD out of power in next year’s elections. That will to win next year’s elections and form the next government is the one idea that the leaders and members of the PF and UPND hold in common. Of course, this may not seem to be the best foundation of a political alliance. But this is what they have, this is what the PF-UPND pact seems to be founded on. This is what seems to propel them. And if there was to be a pact between the MMD and UPND, what is it going to be anchored on? The desire by the MMD to remain in power and the desperation by the UPND to join them in office! This is possible. But where will it leave the standing of UPND in the eyes of our people? It will mean the UPND starting to defend Frederick Chiluba’s corruption! It will mean the UPND joining in corruption and other abuses of power! It will mean the UPND joining the MMD in electoral fraud! And where will this leave the UPND? As George Mpombo has correctly observed, this will be the end of UPND, this “will be a blunder of major proportion that could spell the death of UPND. It will be like a person drinking concentrated hydraulic acid, a very dangerous situation” – in short, in a word, it will be political suicide. But suicide does occur so repeatedly in life. Less than two years ago, we had Sakwiba Sikota putting himself and a small part of ULP at the service of this corrupt MMD. Sakwiba campaigned for Rupiah Banda and helped him get the presidency – get, not win, the presidency. And where has that association with MMD and Rupiah left Sakwiba and his ULP? Again, to borrow from Mpombo, it was a blunder of major proportion that has left Sakwiba permanently politically crippled and impotent. Today Sakwiba has no role in our politics and is simply hanging in there hoping for something to happen that may rescue him from his political limbo. We have no doubt Sakwiba regrets that terrible decision, but he will never say so because there is no alternative for him but to stay where he is.

And where is Edith Nawakwi today after her pact with the MMD and Rupiah in the 2008 presidential elections? Equally, she is sitting in limbo waiting for the dice to roll. This is what wrong choices can do. Sakwiba and Nawakwi had every right under our Constitution to associate, enter into a pact with Rupiah. But while exercising one’s right to associate with whoever they desire, there is always the danger of being infected or affected by the illnesses, the diseases of their partners.

There is desperation in the opposition. Many opposition politicians are broke and hungry while their colleagues in the ruling MMD are getting all sorts of government contracts, jobs and are awash with money to do their politics, their campaigns. The situation is very tempting for opposition politicians because all this is being waved in front of them by the MMD; they are every day being told “come and join us and we will clear away all your financial problems”. It is not easy for them because most of our politicians are unemployable outside political jobs. So things are very difficult for most of them. Even those who are posturing to be rich, pretending to have deep pockets, they are not that rich and their pockets are not so deep to enable them take care of their poor comrades or followers. And these are also the people the MMD is targeting – people who are broke and are desperately looking for government appointments or even cheap loans from some government agencies. But what type of a pact can arise from this? Can there really be a meaningful pact between the MMD and UPND? It’s not possible – there can only be a corrupt and undignified pact between them. The MMD can’t enter into a clean pact because the party itself is not clean. The MMD can’t give what it doesn’t have to a pact – dignity to a pact. Truly, one who enters into pacts with good-for-nothings is a disgrace to his people.

It’s clear that a pact with the MMD will never be a sensible option for the UPND. If their alliance with the PF fails, joining hands with the MMD will not do – they can join hands with anybody else but not the MMD. Again, nobody can or should take away this right from them. They are free to go to bed with whoever they want, including the diseased and rotten MMD. If they come out infected or affected, it’s their problem which they will have to live with. We are simply illuminating the possibilities, the dangers and the consequences. The choice is theirs. Zambia will not come to an end because they have joined hands with criminals. The Zambian people will fight them together with the criminals they have joined. And without any doubt, good will triumph over evil in the end, no matter how long or how difficult the struggle between them will be. With or without the PF-UPND pact, “the MMD will still be sorted out in next year’s elections”. And with or without the MMD-UPND pact, whatever forces remain in the opposition will still stand a good chance of kicking out the evil ones from government.

It is therefore important for the Zambian people to remain focused and stick to principles because with principles, they will win and they can win. There is no choice between being principled and unelectable; and electable and unprincipled. What is most important is to have an electoral pact with the people, with the voters of Zambia. Without a pact with them, no electoral alliance can win one any election. That’s why if there are problems in the PF-UPND pact, the best thing to do is to rush to the people and tell them the truth, explain to them everything that is going on and seek their understanding and support. There can never be a pact that is bigger or stronger than that with the people.

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