Edgar Lungu is Likely to Win Zambia’s Presidential Elections on 20th January 2015

Edger Lungu1

We are almost coming to an end of the political campaigns for the 20th January elections. Our observations are that, most of the candidates have really gone round the Country to campaign. Our democracy has shown growth by the number of people that have been attending political rallies.

However, campaign and the Presidential debate held at Mulungushi has shown that Political parties lack Think Tanks to put together the challenges of the Nation and possible solutions. Political parties need to establish functional Think Tanks within their structures.

This campaign has not brought in a new breathe of policy to overcome some of the challenges we are currently facing, such as how to creation jobs, investor confidence and support, Taxes, Education, farming and Crop marketing, prudent fiscal management, infrastructure development among others.

 Most of the promises being made are what has been promised over the years. As the result we don’t expect a very different voting pattern from what we had in 2011. This election will be highly determined by regional support of the candidates because there are no national policies which would compel electorates to look at the candidates beyond regions.

Voter apathy is also expected to be high due to voting fatigue and despondency.

Provincial Electorates
The contention has also filtered to a two horse run of PF and UPND. Between the two parties, each should weigh its regional support and the number of electorates in those areas to anticipate victory or a humble loss.
There is no need to be overzealous and suspicious, this election can already be seen where it is going if you are realistic and objective.

In as much as PF would have had huge rallies in Southern or Western province, they should not expect collect many votes from there because they have not offered them anything new.

The same goes to UPND, they cannot expect to pour many votes in Eastern Province or Copperbelt based on renewal of promises made by PF.

While PF may have votes in North-west, they cannot expect a majority vote from there. The same can be said of UPND in Northern part of Zambia simply because one rich indigenous politician is campaigning there.

Lots will be cast in Central and Lusaka provinces but it does not look like change is eminent because not enough messages have been given to make people vote for an alternative.

All that is required is to predict the winner in this election is to count the stronghold regions of each party based on 2011 and the number of registered voters in those areas. Anyway the final results will be announced by the Polling officers.

God bless Zambia

Integrity in our Public Leaders

Politician HH

Mr. Hakainde Hichilema

It is important that all persons aspiring for public office exhibit high level of integrity and engagement. All political candidates must be tested in the furnace of positive personal attributes such as truthiness, honest, trustworthiness, warm-heartedness to the people among other good personal qualities.

Unfortunately a number of our political leaders fell short of this. We do not expect them to be angels but human beings who are able to explain themselves whenever their character or actions are questioned.

In November 2013 The Zambian Voice got information from a liable source that Mr. Hikainde Hichilema, was busy negotiating with some foreign power brokers to dislodge the PF from Government after the Death of Michael Chilufya Sata.

There is nothing wrong for any political party to scheme how to replace a ruling party in Government through democratic means, because that is the ultimate objectives of politics.

However, our concern in Mr. Hichilema’s activities was that he was brokering deals with foreigners instead of convincing Zambians who are the main stakeholders. We also learnt that Mr. Hikainde was going to receive a lot of money to fund his political campaigns.

Further we learnt that some of these people whom Mr. Hikainde was talking to were his long business friends whom he has worked with during the Zambia Privatization period. This lead us to some of the Companies that Mr. Hichilama owns shares in.

There is nothing wrong with any Zambian to own as many companies as possible; on the contrary it is encouraged. However, it brings serious suspicions of corruption and abuse if the chief negotiator of the companies being sold on behalf of the Zambians, turns out to be a shareholder in the companies sold.

Out of respect and benefit of doubt, we did not accuse Mr. Hichilema of being a corrupt or a renegade, so we put questions for him to explain himself publicly because this is a national issue, so the people of Zambia need to know the truth.

However, Mr. Hichilema has not explained anything on what deals he cut with the foreigners and how he owns shares in Companies that he was supposed to sell on behalf of Zambians.

Evidence is there to show that Mr. Hichilema sold some of these companies cheaply and he is now a shareholder.

This, therefore makes us cast a dark shadow on Mr. Hichilema’s integrity. And we warn Zambians not to allow such leaders to administer the resources of this Country because in the past they have taken advantage of the Zambian people. We doubt their call to serve the Zambian people; rather they want to serve themselves as they have done in the past.

Steven Masumba

Mr. Steven Masumba with his Unauthentic Certificate

In the same line of integrity, we wish to question the pardoning of Mr. Steven Masumba by Hon. Guy Scott and his going back to Parliament. We would like the speaker to rule on this point as to whether Mr. Masumba a convict should be allowed in Parliament. Does the Presidential pardon cleanse him of his criminal record? Where is integrity in Mr. Masumba to deserve the title of “Honourable”?

Political Funding In Zambia

Presidential candidates2

On 7th December we called for transparency on Political Party funding, unfortunately this message was received with mixed feelings and different point of views. Major political parties especially the Patriotic Front (PF) and United Party for National Development (UPND) decided to hide in safe heavens of the lack of the law to compel them to declare their source of funding.

However, our point of view is morality in politics and the fear of mortgaging the Country indirectly. We believe that no valuable resources rendered to these political parties come for free, especially if it is coming from unscrupulous business entities and individuals.

It is a fact that this campaign has been funded heavily by external forces whose interests are best known by the politicians getting resources from them. Zambians will soon be made to pay for all the choppers that have been hired by various political parties and other resources that have been given in the middle of the night.

Whilst Zambians will be innocently waiting for the winner in the forthcoming elections, foreigners and business entities will be rubbing their hands for what they will receive out of their investment.

We are therefore asking all Zambians to open their eyes soon after elections to see what companies will come to pitch their tents in this Country and who will be getting huge government Contracts. Zambians, especially the Civil Societies, should make sure they never slumber else our wealth will be gone.

Further extensive political funding by foreigners makes the political playing field uneven, giving undue advantage to other political parties who may be benevolent to the Zambian people but have little resources (Like Mr. Mulyokela).

We therefore, look forward to having a law that will compel these politicians to be transparent.

THE NEXT GOVERNMENT MIGHT BE THE MOST ABUSIVE

Zambian Voice Logo 2
Let us go and vote for whoever we want in the next elections but remember that we are Zambians before belonging to any political party or supporting whoever.
The next govt will only last 18 months thereafter we will have elections in 2016. It is highly possible that whoever will come into power together with all his aides will go flat-out to loot and pay back whatever they are accruing in this campaign. Therefore we the citizens need to unite especially those that will lose in this election to offer checks and balance so that we don’t give the winners a chance abuse our resources.
It is possible that the losers in this election can come and win 2016 if they unite with the citizens to offer proper censorship on governance. After elections we should all unite to give whoever will win a good run in this 18 months.
The Zambian Voice is looking forward to working with all well meaning Zambians, organizations and the media after January 23rd, 2015 (regardless of how we have differed or names you have called us). We will work with anyone as long as you want to propel the TRUTH and serve the poor Zambians in Justice and peace.

GOVERNMENT TO RECAPITALIZE STATE-OWNED ENTERPRISES TO SAFEGUARD AND CREATE JOBS IN 2015 BUDGET

Fredson Yamba

Secretary to the Treasury Mr.Fredson Yamba

Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba has said the Government has put in place a number of policies and strategies aimed at addressing the challenges of unemployment in Zambia. Mr. Yamba also pledged Government’s commitment to continue focusing on industrialization, employment and wealth creation in order to reduce poverty and inequality on a sustainable basis.

“This will be achieved by investing in sectors that have been identified to best promote employment for our youthful population, significantly increase productivity in the economy by empowering our workers with the requisite skills for the 21stcentury, contribute to higher and inclusive economic growth, and develop the rural areas to narrow the urban-rural divide.These include the agriculture, tourism, manufacturing and construction sectors,” he said.

As emphasized by the late President Mr. Michael Sata in his last address to Parliament, infrastructure development is an indispensable pillar in Government’s efforts to raise business productivity, diversify the economy, promote inclusive growth, and create employment and income earning opportunities.

In this regard, tangible progress has been made in developing key infrastructure not only in the transport, communications and energy sectors but also in the social sectors of health and education. There are several projects lined-up for each province in 2015.

“For inclusive growth, emphasis will be placed on investing in the social sectors,” said Mr. Yamba.

Over the past three years, the Government has granted a number of tax concessions to spur higher economic growth.

In this respect, with the view to boost the actualization of the anticipated productivity and growth; Statutory Organisations, Grant-Aided Institutions, Ministries, Provinces and Other Spending Agencies are hereby reminded to give preference to locally produced goods in line with the Industrialization and Job Creation Strategy.

 “To ensure the measure is effectively implemented, the Government has, with effect from 1st January, 2015, removed the voucher system applicable on the affected imports by Statutory Organisations, Grant-Aided Institutions, Ministries, Provinces and Other Spending Agencies,” said the Secretary to the Treasury.

Further, to safeguard jobs & create employment opportunities, the Government will continue to strengthenthe capacity and productivity of State-Owned-Enterprises.Therefore, in the 2015 Budget approved by Parliament, the Government has put aside resources for recapitalization, value chain development, and youth development programmes.

Among the beneficiaries are:K70 Million for the Development Bank of Zambia to support the financing needs of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs); K35 Million for the Lusaka Multi Facility Economic Zone to facilitate infrastructure development and support the growth of the manufacturing sector;K83 Million to the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission to support value chain development; and,K55 Million for youth skills training and development programmes.

Others are:K30 Million for rehabilitation works at the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia;K12.5 Million for recapitalisation of public media organisations;K40 Million for recapitalisation of airport infrastructure in order to unlock the massive potential for growth and employment in the tourism sector, particularly those along the Northern Circuit, Lower Zambezi and Kafue National Parks;K15 Million for recapitalisation of Government Printers; and, K14 Million for recapitalisation of Zampost.

The rest are:K10 Million for the Micro-Bankers Trust; K7.5 Million for the Zambia Cooperative federation;K15 Million for recapitalisation of ZAFFICO;K60 Million for the Public Service Micro Finance for loans to Public Service Workers; and,K60 Million for payment of terminal benefits to former ZAMTEL workers;

These interventions will invariably contribute to sustaining economic growth as some of these organisations and programmes hold the greatest potential for wealth and employment, and job security.

“Creation of decent employment has a direct bearing on poverty levels as it provides income to the people and enables them to access the basic needs of life.

“To this effect, efforts have been made to promote pro-poor growth with focus on promotion of jobs and income earning opportunities, skills training, and improvement of the quality of jobs,” assured Mr.  Yamba.

Government has already embarked on the design of industrial clusters that are going to be established in each district as a way of realising economic independence for our citizens.The clusters will provide industrial workshops from which our entrepreneurs will be able to manufacture various products, thus promoting value addition, particularly in the areas of metal fabrication, timber and agro-processing, aquaculture and automotive industry.

This programme will also include market linkages and ensure competitive standards of products and services.

“The Treasury is grateful to Members of Parliament for the long hours of constructive debates on the 2015 National Budget.It is gratifying that Members of Parliament collectively acknowledged that the 2015 Budget is an effective channel towards economic stabilization, employment creation and wide-range poverty reduction,” stated Mr. Yamba.

Among the major strategies and policies, which will address unemployment,are the Job Creation and Industrialisation Strategy, and the Decentralization Strategy. Others are the Employment & Labour Market, the Micro Small Medium Enterprise Development, National Youth, TEVET, Gender, Agricultural Policies and Strategies.

Don’t Vote For Fake Promises

Presidential candidates2

Late President Chiluba once said that, politics is about benefits. Indeed politics is not a charitable business. Politicians campaign so that they can be given power to control the resources of a nation and cut their share of the national cake.

Scrupulous as the politicians may be, we need them to govern otherwise there would be chaos in the Country. However, the politicians need the citizens to acquire power, therefore there is a partnership between politicians and citizens.

Unfortunately citizens do not realize that they are partners in governance. Electorates do not envisage that, through their investment – the vote – simple politicians turn out to be Honorables and Excellencies.  Through votes, politicians start eating well, traveling for free, access World class healthcare, education, diplomatic treatment and many other privileges. They stop driving dot com vehicles but fly all over. Politicians start living heaven on Earth while the other partners (poor Zambians) die of hunger, lack of healthcare, poor shelter, and many other hardships.

It is easy to point fingers blaming the politicians for being canny and selfish, forgetting that we the citizens allow these politicians to ride on our backs to the land of plenty. We, the citizens even go to an extent of insulting and beating each other just to escort our candidates to a life of bountifulness and glamour. Hazel Makunku once posted on her facebook status:

Hazel Makunku

Hazel Makunku

 “ Zambian Politics …….A bloody joke indeed…..We’ve got a very long way to go before we can say we are democratic and progressive.
Why do we so easily get carried away by so called presidential candidates that we make it so easy for them when we should be making it difficult for them by assessing their capabilities to deliver

Zambia does not belong to politicians alone. We all deserve a good life and respect as citizens of this rich Country. We should not beg or be at the mercy of the politicians. We do not abnegate our dignity when we vote for politicians to govern, rather we give them a job to do on our behalf.

As we vote these politicians we should be careful not to employ liars and arrogant people that we insult us for our vote. Currently a number of politicians in this election are promising a number of things when they only have 18 months to work. Let’s analyze some of these promises being made by some desperate people;

They say, “My first priority would be to enact the current draft Constitution before 2016”

Zambians, let us not be fooled again with another version of 90 days. To enact the new people driven constitution as demanded by the social contract signed by some Presidential candidates requires a referendum. Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) reviewed that they need about 8 months to prepare for a referendum. Shortly after that, we need to prepare for 2016 election.

While expenses for processes like elections or referendum are heavily sponsored by cooperating partners, it would be folly for us not to budget for it. The 2015 budget has already been passed, without money for a referendum, with the help of the opposition who are promising the new Constitution. Who can really explain realistically how this new constitution will be enacted? The chances of us having a new constitution with whichever President we elect on 20th January 2015, are bleaker than when we voted for MC Sata. Some amendments through parliament stand a slim chance than the lies of some of these desperate politicians.

Reducing the price of mealie meal while promising subsidies and high prices of maize to farmers

President Sata a popularist tried to arm-twist millers to reduce the price of mealie meal but business mathematics could not add up so the price remained high till today. What magic do this crop of presidential candidates have to reduce the price of mealie meal or they don’t even understand why the cost of food has gone up? If they don’t understand how can they have a solution?

Think Tanks in Zambia have done researches and produced reports that Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) is not effective and sustainable therefore should be scraped off and engage other meaningful projects. Alas, we have some genius politicians promising to increase budgetary allocation to FISP.

The treasury is currently struggling to fund Food Reserve Agency (FRA) which is why farmers are not being paid and yet we have politicians promising more funding for FRA. Where will they get the money? Shouldn’t they be coming up with plans on how to liberate farmers in marketing instead of them not depending on FRA?

Reducing the Cost of fuel

Haven’t we heard in so many elections especially the 2011 tripartite? They talk of eliminating middle men, when they are getting money for campaign from people that want to be middle men. Sata and Kabimba even went further to become part of the middlemen themselves. Sata and Kabimba knew nothing about fuel business but after winning an election, they came to know about the juice in fuel.

How can Edgar Lungu talk about middle men when he is the boss of PF which owns the Ilunda Company created to get cuts out of fuel which makes pump price high for consumers. How can we trust Mr. Hakainde Hichilema when he is alleged to be funded by Nigerians whose business is in such products as fuel and guns? If they can’t be transparent now as they make promises what about when they have power?

I will lift the Wage Freeze and Pay More

Currently Zambian Government is spending over 50% of the budget on remunerations of only 200, 000 civil servants out of over 4 million eligible workers in the Country. How can a reasonable politician think of increasing such a percentage, instead of thinking of how to cut that, in order to serve money to be allocated to projects that will reduce poverty  especially in rural areas where 80% of people are dying of hunger, lack of healthcare, etc? What will happen to inflation if you pay more to civil servants? Why not talk about reducing inflation which now stands at 7.1% so that everyone benefit.

I will provide Free Education to Tertiary Level.

Education is the key to economical empowerment therefore a politician who promises free education must be applauded but it is not just empty pronouncement. It cost money for Government to run schools, so a clear plan on how it will be implemented must go along with the pronouncement.

I will not talk about issues of governance for now, but citizens need to look at how some of these leaders ascended to the Presidential positions and how they governing their political parties. Some of them are alphas and omegas – other members do not exist or matter at all.

Please Zambians don’t vote with emotions based on region, tribe, mob or corruption. Scrutinize these politicians. It is clear that as citizens we are being feed with a lot of fake promises in this campaign but we need not to be fooled. Let us choose a candidate who is more likely to deliver on our needs considering the time that this person has to be in office. 2016 election will have its dynamics so we should not think of it as we choose a President for these 18 months.

All politicians want power so they lie to citizens but you can gamble with one who does not look so sophisticated to dribble you big time.

DISCLAIMER

Excuse the language; it is best suited for the dire time we are in. Some politicians cheat and steal without respect at times things need to be said as they are.

Who Should Be the Next Zambian President?

Presidential candidates 2015

Eleven of our fellow citizens are contesting the Republican presidency in the forthcoming by-election, and they are already on the campaign trail touting their visions for our beloved country. In this Press Release, I wish to outline some of the many ways in which we can assess the potential for each of the candidates to contribute meaningfully to our quest for a more democratic, a more peac­eful, a more affluent, and a more egalitarian society.

I discussed many of the other ways which should guide us in making a decision concerning who we should vote for during the forthcoming by-election, including the need for contestants to have a practical agenda, an implementation schedule, and a summary of sources of funding to supplement existing and traditional sources of government revenue.

Elements of Good Governance

Firstly, we should ask who among the eleven presidential candidates has the potential to adopt and institutionalize the elements of good government—that is, accountability, transparency, the rule of law, genuine citizen participation in the running of a country’s government, and a free press.

This is an important quest to ask because “poor governance”—that is, governance whereby a country’s state apparatus is not sufficiently guided by the principles or elements of good governance—can create opportunities and incentives for corruption. It can do so by engendering a state of affairs in public administration where there are no stringent benchmarks for curbing, exposing, and/or penalizing malfeasance.

Let us examine what each of the elements of “good governance” entails.

1) Accountability: Availability of a mechanism for ensuring that office bearers are directly and fully liable for the outcomes of their decisions and actions, and the appropriation of resources assigned to them.

Do the candidates have provisions in their political parties’ constitutions that require holders of elective positions to be accountable for their actions, and do the constitutions stipulate the kinds of interventions, as well as disciplinary measures to be taken against office bearers found to be wanting in this regard?

2) Transparency: Public access to information about the state, its decision-making mechanisms, its current and contemplated projects and programs, and its external sources of funds—except for state secrets and matters relating to public officials’ right to privacy.

Judging from their previous work-related behavior, have the candidates been generally “transparent” in their dealings with other members of their political parties, and with other segments of Zambian society? Have their political parties been forthcoming in providing information requested by any segment of Zambian society?

More than ever before, we need a government that will embrace “transparency” as one of its core elements of good governance, mainly because, with respect to the fight against corruption, countries which have enacted pieces of legislation guaranteeing greater access to public information are known to be more efficient and less vulnerable to corruption.

According to David Banisar of the United Kingdom’s Freedom of Information and International Privacy Program, the success of countries like Finland, Norway, and Sweden in the fight against corruption is largely attributed to laws which guarantee access to public information adopted by such countries.

3) Rule of Law: The existence of non-discriminatory laws and law enforcement organs of the government that are efficient, impartial, independent, and legitimate.

Judging from their previous work-related behavior, do the candidates have the potential to abide by existing laws and regulations within their political parties, as well as abide by existing national laws and regulations?

4) Citizen Participation: Availability of channels and mechanisms through which the citizenry and non-governmental institutions can directly or through representation have an influence on governmental decision-making processes and the behavior and actions of public officials.

In this regard, we should ask whether the candidates have demonstrated the capacity to enlist the inputs and genuine participation of their subordinates in making decisions within their political parties and/or business entities.

5) A Free Press: There is also a need to assess the candidates’ potential to embrace freedom of expression and a free press as important elements of democracy.

In this regard, we need to continue to ask our national leaders to put an end to what Omolo J. Ochilo of Kenya has described as a situation whereby large segments of the mass media are state-owned, under tight controls by the government of the day, and the virtues of individuals’ rights and freedoms are subordinate to those of the ruling party and the state.

It is undemocratic for the government to continue to preside over large segments of the mass media that operate as tools of leaders of any given political party that gets the people’s mandate to form government!

Essentially, the mass media in a democratic society should perform a multitude of functions, which are cited by Ken Auletta, Omolo J. Ochilo, and many other authors to include the following:

(a) To serve as a watchdog to the three organs of the government – that is, the judiciary, the legislature and the executive;

(b) To inform the public about issues which are of national interest;

(c) To serve as a medium of communication that guarantees free and open debate and discussion among members of society;

(d) To influence public opinion through impartial, balanced and fair analysis of issues which are of national interest;

(e) To serve the economic system through sponsored advertisements designed to bring buyers and sellers into contact with each other; and

(f) To serve as a medium for entertaining the public through: (i) comics, humor columns, crossword puzzles, sports coverage, and other forms of entertainment provided by the print media; (ii) movies, comedy, music, sports commentaries, and other forms of entertainment provided through television; (iii) music, comedy, sports commentaries, and other forms of entertainment provided through radio programming; and (iv) video games, music, sports coverage, and other forms of entertainment provided through the Internet.

6) Other Considerations: We also need to assess each of the eleven candidates’ inclination to seriously consider ethnic interests in the distri­bution of power, educational facilities, health services, and so forth. Besides, do they have a disposition to accept and tolerate interest groups as impor­tant constitu­ents of a functioning pluralistic society, and are they likely to have respect for parliament and have regard for it both as a body of peop­le’s elected representatives and as the supreme legislative organ of government?

The Matter of National Unity

Secondly, we should ask who among the eleven presidential contestants is more likely to meaningfully function as the glue that will bind the members of our beloved country’s 73 tribes into one Zambian family.

Many of the tensions and bloody conflicts that befuddled the global community during the latter part of the 20th century were generally a result of lack of national unity in affected countries, including the devastating losses of property and human lives in Ethiopia (1984-85), Sudan (1987-88), Burundi (1988), Somalia (1991-92), Rwanda (1994), Kosovo (1999), and East Timor (1999).

The human crises in war-ravaged countries like Angola, Mozam­bique, and the Democratic Republic of Congo need not be over­looked either.

Disunity, tensions, and subsequent conflicts among a country’s people can be attributed to a diversity of causes, including bigotry, religious extremism, ethnic or tribal divisions orchestrated by selfish political and traditional leaders, and lack of consideration by political leaders of ethnic and other interests in the distribution of power and resources in any given country.

Political, religious, military, and traditional leaders in Zambia can, therefore, play a significant role in fostering harmonious relations among the country’s citizenry.

The Role of Bona Fide Citizens

Thirdly, we, as citizens of a democratic country, can individually and collectively play a vital role in the process of creating a peaceful and stable political atmosphere by being open-minded when considering the candidates and/or political parties that should deserve our votes. During elections, for example, we need to put personal, ethnic, and partisan interests aside and reflect more seriously on the goals political contestants promise to pursue during their terms of office if they get elected.

Several goals should be expected to be on the agenda of every aspirant for political office and should constitute the bottom line for assessing the quality and vision of all candidates. These are:

(a) Provision of accessible and quality education, vocation­al training, and health care;

(b) Creation of an economy that is innovative, produc­tive and interna­tionally competitive;

(c) Generation of programs intended to benefit chil­dren, elderly citizens, and the handi­capped;

(d) Creation of a truly free and just legal system that is commit­ted to the preserva­tion and protection of the funda­mental rights and freedoms of individuals summarized elsewhere in this chapter;

(e) Provision of essential services and facilities, includ­ing an efficient transport system, adequate public safety and secu­rity, and improved supply of public utilities;

(f) Promotion and preserva­tion of cher­ished traditional and cultural values, including the promotion and consolida­tion of national unity in a country;

(g) Conservation and protection of natural resources so that they can last from genera­tion to genera­tion;

(h) Restructuring of the govern­ment machinery so that it can be more responsive to the development needs of our beloved country without over-burdening taxpayers; and

(i) Generation of a foreign policy whose overall goal is to work hand in hand with other peace-loving nations in crea­ting a more tempered global commu­nity.

How a political party or candidate intends to achieve these goals, considering our country’s limited financial and other critical resources, should be the overriding reason to align oneself with the party or candidate. A patriotic citizen—one who has the interest of our beloved country at heart—would be at pains to succumb to personal, ethnic, partisan, and/or other parochial interests.

Besides, it is essential for us to re­mem­ber that the free and fair elections that normally ensue from having a demo­cratic system of government should not be conceived of as ends in themselves; they are intended to afford each and every one of us the opportunity we deserve as citizens to elect people who are both competent and will­ing to spearhead the process of improving our livelihoods.

The Role of Armed Forces

And fourthly, what should be the appropriate role of Zambia’s armed forces in maintaining the viability of the country’s nascent democracy?

As Edward Shils maintained, there is a need for military officers, intelligence officers, and the civil police in our country’s armed forces to consider themselves as being part of the “technical-executive intelligentsia,” who, together with politicized intellectuals (that is, civilian leaders), should play the role of guarantor of political stability, honesty, and discipline in government.

A major requirement in performing such a pivotal role in our country’s quest for sustained peace and stability is for members of the armed forces to be apolitical and non-partisan, and for civilian leaders to have constitutionally guaranteed control over all branches of the country’s armed forces.

Therefore, Zambia, like any other peace-loving nation worldwide, needs the services of a military establishment that is administered by a cadre of men and women who are adjudged to be patriotic, apoli­tical, well-disci­plined, and professional in charac­ter in its quest for sustained peace and stability.

However, it would be unrealistic and imprudent to expect armed forces to be apolitical and non-partisan in serving under civilian leaders in our country—and in any other country, as a matter of fact—in the absence of a system of governance which provides for peaceful removal of flagrantly corrupt, extravagant, despotic, nepotistic, and/or grossly incompetent government officials.

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The author, Mr. Henry Kyambalesa, is a Zambian academic currently living in the City and County of Denver in the State of Colorado, USA.

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