Monday, October 07, 2013

Breakdown of discipline in PF
By Editor
Sat 14 Sep. 2013, 14:00 CAT

There is a breakdown of discipline in the Patriotic Front.

And things are simply out of control. Anarchy is reigning supreme in the party. There are people going round masquerading as supporters and defenders of Michael Sata and harassing innocent people, locking up party offices and threatening everyone. These rogues have no place in Michael's scheme of things. And they think this is power. What power? Power without civility, without the ability to live in peace is not power at all.

But what is shocking is why the Patriotic Front has tolerated this indiscipline for such a long time. Party work is suffering; organised structures are being uprooted. Fear of being assaulted has engulfed the whole party. But the source of this confusion is well known.

These thugs are not on their own. They are being financed by well-known people within the Patriotic Front. They are behaving in such a brutish way because they are being rewarded for that. They now feel they are untouchable simply because they are purporting to be supporting and defending Michael from his perceived enemies within the Patriotic Front.

It seems people are too scared to go for them because doing so will be seen to be fighting against Michael. This cannot be true. Michael can never be part of such indiscipline, such savage and barbaric behaviour. And it is time the lid was removed on them. Here, we are not advocating a
witch-hunt but there is need to go for those behind this anarchy. There has to be discipline in the Patriotic Front if it has to fulfil its role as a ruling party effectively, efficiently and in an orderly manner.

Discipline is very important. Within the ranks of the Patriotic Front, democracy is correlative with centralism and freedom with discipline. They are the two opposites of a single entity, contradictory as well as united, and we should not one-sidedly emphasise one at the denial of the other.

Within the ranks of the Patriotic Front, they cannot do without freedom, nor can they do without discipline; they cannot do without democracy, nor can they do without centralism. This unity of democracy and centralism, of freedom and discipline, constitutes democratic centralism. Under this, the members enjoy extensive democracy and freedom, but at the same time, they have to keep within the bounds of party discipline. They must affirm anew the discipline of the party, and that is, the individual is subordinate to the party; the minority is subordinate to the majority; the lower level is subordinate to the higher level; and the entire membership is subordinate to the central committee of the party. Whoever violates this discipline disrupts party unity. And no breach of discipline should be permitted.

This indiscipline we are witnessing in the Patriotic Front is putting off a lot of people from coming nearer to the party. It is eroding the character, reputation and the steam of the Patriotic Front in the hearts and minds of the masses of our people. There is need to directly confront the virus at the core of the disease that has produced and is producing this repulsive behaviour.

These are of the challenges of being in power. Some of the issues dividing the Patriotic Front members today are not necessarily of a political nature but revolve around access to resources,
positioning themselves or others to access resources , dispensing patronage and in the process using organisational structures to further these goals. These practices tarnish the image and effectiveness of the party. The limited political consciousness among some of the members of the Patriotic Front has impacted negatively on the party's capacity to root out corrupt and divisive elements among themselves.

For the Patriotic Front to renew itself as a progressive party, they have to develop specific political, organisational and administrative measures to deal with such destructive elements.
This indiscipline is creating serious divisions within the party, conflicts based on differences among individuals, the encouragement of rank indiscipline, leading to the undermining of the party's organisational integrity and the demoralisation of some of the best cadres of the party.
It is clear that the Patriotic Front is finding it difficult to deal with such careerists in a decisive manner. The key leadership of the Patriotic Front has therefore allowed space to emerge for these opportunists to pursue their destructive goals, to the detriment of the party and its long-term goals.

To make themselves relevant, they are creating imaginary enemies for the president. Michael has no enemies within the Patriotic Front. Michael has no opposition from anyone within the Patriotic Front. It is them who have enemies within the Patriotic Front, and are attempting to use Michael's name to fight their political opponents within the party. Cliques and factions then emerge within the party, around personal loyalties driven by corrupt intentions. Humble cadres become fodder to serve individuals' self-interests. These are people who abuse their positions cautiously, purposefully and systematically to engage in corrupt practices aimed at self-enrichment. These engage in criminal and amoral activities driven by the hunger for personal gain, acquired at the expense of the poor of our country.

But it is a very big mistake for the leadership of the Patriotic Front to simply watch this and do nothing about it. This is politics. And in politics, the balance of forces is fluid and not static, changing from one week to another. They shouldn't be sitting on any laurels. Power is polycentric and dynamic. It is contested. These thugs can do irreparable damage to the Patriotic Front. They need to be rooted out. And there is no better time for this than now.


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