1. Executive Summary
In 1964, Zambia attained its independence under Dr. Kenneth David Kaunda, who is regarded as the father of the nation. Dr. Kaunda had good intent for Zambia and its populace. He enjoyed an all-round massive support and this is believed to have led to his complacency which resulted in economic impediments for the nation.
The 1970 increase in oil prices was followed by a slump in copper prices and a diminution of export earnings. In early 1973, the price of copper accounted for 95% of all export earnings; this had halved in value on the world market by early 1975. By 1976, Zambia had a balance of payment crisis, and rapidly fell into debt with the International Monterey Fund (IMF). By the mid-1980s, Zambia had one of the highest debts of any nation on the globe, relative to its gross domestic product (GDP).
It was only after the harsh prevailing economic situation worsened that the Zambian people rose up and brought in the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) under Fredrick Chiluba.
Dr. Chiluba, who equally enjoyed similar veneration that Dr. Kaunda did in his early rule, had good intent for Zambia. However, his great charisma which generated him massive support and adoration from the nation, prompted him to go as far as aiming to change the constitution by vying for a Third Term.
Previously, Dr. Chiluba had taken up the privatisation exercise which in itself was a very good venture; however, the manner in which it was implemented resulted in minimal participation of the general citizenry, leaving them in poverty due to closure of some companies and repatriation of profits among foreign-controlled enterprises. Notable among these include ZCCM, Dunlope Zambia Limited, Lever Brothers, Johnson and Johnson limited, Colgate Palm Olive and Swarp Spinning Limited among several others.
With the exit of Dr. Chiluba came Dr. Mwanawasa, notwithstanding less popularity, with only about 23% of the population voting for him, he led the country to the HIPC completion point which was to offer a long-term solution to Zambia’s debt situation. It can be arguably said that this lack of popularity propelled him to prove to the masses that he was fit to lead the nation. Dr. Mwanawasa also put up a gallant fight against corruption. However, his demise came before the end of his second term.
Rupia Bwezani Banda then took over, but was seemingly preoccupied with the imminent election; hence he focused more on political development other than socio-economic development. However, the people of Zambia were ostensibly tired of the MMD and judged them collectively due to issues of unemployment, freedom of expression and the constitution.
It took 20 years for the Zambian people to wake up from their utopia and vote out MMD government. During which time a lot of governance and economic mistakes would have been avoided or corrected if the citizens were participating in the activities of the Nation. Zambians need to be active in governance issues making their voices heard as we go along with whichever Government is in power.
Looking at this political chronology, it is evident that our democracy has been growing, as demonstrated by the revolution from One-party to Multi-party State, change in leadership and relatively free and fair elections.
Nonetheless, what is lacking is holding these governments accountable. It lacks checks and balances from the citizens. The Zambian Voice recognises this niche and stands to offer these checks and balances. For this reason, it is therefore imperative to sensitize Zambians to offer checks and balances to the government of the day.
Zambians need to be sensitized to have some kind of a score sheet to mark the performance of the government of the day right from their first day in office. We should not wait for election time to debate national issues. We should be proactive on National issues other than just discuss them in bars, on the buses, in offices and other social forums like talk shows. The situation is actually worse in the rural areas where people, especially women and youths who are the majority of the electorates, have no information. Most of the times these electorates are not even decided who to vote for, so they fall prey to electro-malpractice and corruption. Zambians, especially the youth need to be sensitized on social justice, good governance and respect for human rights.
2. Background of Zambian Voice
The Zambian Voice (abbreviated as ZV, herein referred to as the Organisation) is a Civil Society Organisation which is was registered under Pacra as a Limited Company by Guarantee in 2011. The organization is a now registered as a Non-Governmental Organisation under the NGO Act of 2009.
The organisation prepares Zambian people for effective civic participation that sustains a democratic society and enhances the quality of life in both local rural and urban communities using provided evidence. ZV is a pro-poor civil advocate which promotes Good Governance, access to Justice and Human Rights.
2.1 ZV aims to prepare Zambian people for effective civic participation that sustains a democratic society and enhances the quality of life in both local rural and urban communities.
Every Zambian lives with dignity in a community entrenched with social justice, good governance and respect for human rights.
To actively and effectively promote civic engagement of citizens with government, political and non-political key actors in policy formulation, implementation and Monitoring and Evaluation that will entrench social justice, good governance and human rights for all Zambians.
2.4 Core values
Accountability: ZV will ensure that everyone, including its members, is responsible of whatever is entrusted to them for the good of all citizens.
Transparent: ZV will endeavor to remain accountable and transparent in all the work that it does. This will be to both those that entrust the organisation with resources to carry out some work ad to those that put their trust in the organisation with the hope that it will make their views heard.
Courage: ZV will take action for disadvantaged Zambians in all situations and stand for what is true and right
Commitment: ZV is committed to ensuring dignity of every citizen is upheld and protected in all times and places
Equity: ZV in its work will aim at ensuring that every person is dignified by having an equal platform to decide the on what is good for them in accordance with the fundamental human rights.
National patriotism: ZV will ensure that citizens, especially the youths, are instilled with good values for the good of the Nation other than self or personal interests which promotes corruption
Self sacrifice: ZV will ensure to change the mindset of the citizens, especially the youths, so that they can learn to work hard for before enjoyment.
2.5 Motto of ZV
“One Voice – in many languages”
- To strengthen Institutional development in order to offer holistic quality civic education to the people of Zambia
- To collect evidence for dissemination among community members, especially women and Youths.
- To promote the rule of Law and respect for Human Rights, including women rights
- To promote accountability and transparency in Government Institutions
- To contribute to the promotion of genuine and competitive political processes
- To contribute to facilitating the increased development of a politically and socially active civil society
3.0 Organisation Structure
The Zambian Voice has members throughout the Country. The organization populated and run by a competent group of dynamic young people. The organisation hierarchy helps to ensure that all members and staff at different levels have a structure to guide and coordinate their roles and responsibilities in the organization. (See Organisation chart).
3.1 The Founder Members
These are the true custodians of the organisations values and mission. They have contributed significantly by providing resources to the formation and running of the organisation. The Founder members have a vision for the organisation. But their vision will be realised through the constitution and underlying principles of the organisation that they have set up, not by exceeding the limits of their authority. They are however, bound by the constitution of the organisation just like all members. They are led by the Chairman who is the major architect and resource provider of the organisation. The chairman of the founder members have the power to veto a decision of the Board of Directors if it is not in the best interest of the Zambian Voice after consulting other founding members.
3.2 The General Assembly
It is composed of Founder members and two Provincial paid up members. Their responsibility is to choose the Board Members from among themselves. They also deliberate on the activities of the organisation, making sure that it is alive and effective according to its objectives. The general assembly will be meeting every once in a year. The General assembly can also be convened any time by founder members if there is an emergency.
3.3 The Board members
The board of directors will have the responsibility to run the organization and manage its resources to the best of its ability. Members of the board will develop strategies and guide the organization toward reaching its goals, objectives and needs. The board members will act with integrity to ensure that the needs of the organization’s members and donors are met. Members should also help instill confidence in the organization by being competent, professional and ethical. The Board members will also be responsible for engaging the Executive Director.
3.4 The secretariat
This will be based in Lusaka and headed by the Executive Director who will be responsible for the day to day management of the organization. The Executive Director will be appointed by the Board of Directors, to whom he/she will be accountable to. The members of the secretariat are professionals and workers of the organization drawing salaries and other conditions of services. The Secretariat will comprise the following Departments:
- Finance and Administration Department: This will manage and coordinate the overall implementation of Financial policies and financial transactions of the organisation;
- Programs Development Department: This will primarily develop, implement and coordinate programs nationwide;
2.1 Project Coordinator
He/she will be a professional worker only engaged to work for ZV on particular projects. They shall draw a salary.
2.2 Project Staff
These will work directly under the Project Coordinator to achieve all ZV planned programs. They are professionals who will draw a salary for their engagement in particular projects.
- Research, Institutional Partnership Development and Consultancy Department: This will coordinate research services, institutional partnership networking and external consultancy services;
3.5 Provincial Co-coordinators.
These will represent the organization on Provincial level and mobilize membership. They will inform the secretariat of policy issues in the provinces. These individuals will be elected in a Provincial Assembly which will be attended by District facilitators. The position is voluntary.
3.6 District Facilitators
These will implement the organization projects at the District level. They will work with secretariat staff in mobilizing local communities. District facilitators are volunteers.
3.7 Ordinary Members
Any Zambian living within the Country or outside shall be a member upon subscribing and paying the annual membership fee.
3.8 ZV Sympathizers
These are people of goodwill would aspire to see good governance, access to justice and human rights prevail in Zambia. They may not be Zambians or they are not able to subscribe as members due to any reason, such as employment status.