Justice Minister Given Lubinda is a dotard, former commerce minister Dipak Patel has charged.
Patel who is Hakainde Hichilema’s campaign manager was reacting to a statement from Lubinda, in which he said the UPND leader was a coward who went to the international community to cry like a baby.
Lubinda told Qfm News that it was irresponsible for the opposition leader to seek international justice when the local justice systems have not failed.
He said if Hichilema meant well for Zambia, he would not speak badly and dent the image of the country which he was aspiring to lead.
But Patel, who took a low profile after the August 2016 election has taken offence with Lubinda’s remarks.
“Lubinda, the Justice Minister is a dotard,” Patel told News Diggers in a written reaction.
“Supposedly as a prominent member of the Cabinet and PF, he should be better informed before he calls HH a coward and a cry baby for his BBC Hard Talk interview and Chatham House lecture.”
Patel recalled that in 2011, Sata travelled to London and address scholars at Oxford University where he condemned the Rupiah Banda administration for abuse of power.
“Lubinda should acquaint himself of the late President Sata’s lecture at the Oxford University in May 2011. In his lecture, Sata was very critical of the government of the day on abuse of power against his opposition party PF. So is Lubinda saying that Sata was also a cry baby and a coward?” Patel wondered.
“Lubinda should instead concentrate on accumulating a better memory and establish his credibility by saying the truth and not going on a wild rampage of nonsense.”
Patel then referred Lubinda to Sata’s 2011 Oxford lecture.
“For the benefit of dotard Lubinda, below is the full text of Sata’s Oxford University lecture of May 2011,” stated Lubinda.
PATRIOTIC FRONT SPECIAL LECTURE to OReNGA – OXFORD UNIVERSITY
“ROAD TO PRESIDENCY: HOW TO BE A SUCCESSFUL OPPOSITION LEADER IN AFRICA”
By PRESIDENT MICHAEL C. SATA
UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD 2nd MAY 2011
ROAD TO PRESIDENCY: HOW TO BE A SUCCESSFUL OPPOSITION LEADER IN AFRICA
Mr Chairman, Distinguished Scholars of this University and Distinguished Guests and participants in this Conference.
Allow me to pay tribute to those that have kindly worked hard to invite me here to share with you all, some of the current political challenges impacting democracy in Africa. In this regard, please allow me therefore, to recognize the kind invitation by Dr Nic Cheeseman and MSc candidate, Sishuwa Sishuwa, a fellow Zambian citizen, who have been instrumental in facilitating our visit to this world-famous University.
I am delighted that I have been provided a platform to share such experiences here at one of the world’s top Universities – Oxford.
Thank you most sincerely for this invitation to me.
It is significant that you have asked me to share with you the challenges of running a successful opposition political party in Zambia. I believe most of the experiences that confront our Party – The Patriotic Front (PF), would be equally applicable to most of the countries in Africa in general, and Southern Africa in particular.
Let me say this that most African countries, Zambia included, are coming from a background of One – Party governments, so that even as they move to multi-partism, they operate single party structures and rules, probably only with the possible exception of South Africa and Namibia, the constitutions, laws and political practices, of those countries have hardly changed to reflect the multi-partism that they are supposedly being practiced, based on the democratic formats left by their former colonial masters.
Similarly, the African traditions of patronage and unquestioning reverence for leadership, have played no insignificant part in entrenching unbalanced power, particularly those using the British electoral system of first-past-the post (simple majority), which has led to winner-takes all situations. The outcome has been the creation of unstable political regimes. Furthermore, it is quite rare to reach the Presidency without first serving as an opposition leader and a successful one at that.
Allow me also to appreciate the financial and other assistance that Zambia has continued to receive from the British institutions. I wish to single out the recent support meant to strengthen our anti-corruption institutions such as the Task force against plunder, which has since been dissolved by the current President. Most unfortunately, the measures that were designed to recover looted Zambian resources some of which are here in the UK, has been abandoned.
It is my sincere hope and desire that under a PF-led-government, we renew and revamp these bonds, but also that we deliberately and pro-actively, seek to strengthen further our international co-operation. Right now, Zambia could significantly benefit from the education and research systems that this prestigious University (of Oxford) has developed over the years. I would therefore encourage a lot more students to come and study here and a much higher level of collaboration between University of Oxford and own Universities and colleges, in Zambia. I therefore, challenge the leadership, not only of our countries, but also of our universities, to explore the potential areas of increased co-operation.
I hope and trust that our visit here tonight will provide that spark that could trigger the renewal effort.
I wish to state at the very outset that it will be our new government’s priority area to fight corruption in all its forms and to increase levels of accountability of all public institutions. We shall ensure that donor money is used for the intended purposes, and many pending plunder cases, shall be appropriately brought to a close.
2. Formation of the Patriotic Front (PF) and my leadership
The Patriotic Front Party was formed just before I resigned from the ruling Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) under Mr Chiluba, because I realised that the country was headed for destruction. Poor governance through autocratic rule was the order of the day. Mr Chiluba even abandoned the constitution to seek the unconstitutional third term of office, which he was later forced to abandon, due to public pressure and private persuasion. He and not the party structures, decided on who would succeed him. He manipulated with impunity, the party constitution and hence he erroneously decided to bring in Mr Levy Mwanawasa who had previously resigned as Vice President of the party and Vice President of the country, several years before.
I also came to the conclusion that MMD was taking us nowhere, as people were yearning for a new leadership. I worked so closely with the president, to appreciate that in spite of my vision of changing Zambia, this could not be achieved through the vehicle of the MMD, which was now not responding to the cries of the people, especially the youth for employment. Unemployment in Zambia stands at 80% among the youth, who are the majority of our population. MMD leaders including Mr Chiluba were more concerned about enriching themselves at the expense of the ordinary citizens. He even bought 1000 suites and 300 pairs of shoes as the court records will show! I refused to be in the company of looters and dealers.
Thousands of youths, including graduates from colleges and universities, cannot find jobs and with no hope for the future. Also, there is no effective gender affirmative policy in the present government. Our party, the PF took the early lead in adopting women to run for elections. We are the only party which has a female for its chairperson.
3. The Growth of the Patriotic Front
I ran for the Presidency of Zambia for the first time in 2001 – a year after forming the Patriotic Front. I got only 3.4 percent of the votes whilst the winning MMD candidate got 29.2 percent against Anderson Mazoka of United Party for National Development (UPND) at 27.2 percent. By contrast in 1991, Mr Chiluba got 75.8 percent of the votes against the then incumbent Dr Kenneth Kaunda who lost the presidency.
In the 2006, election I was informed that I scored 29.37% against the ”winning” MMD candidate, who got 42.98% after my lead was reported to have been overtaken after extended voting in one of the provinces. When the results arrived hours it was several hours after all the others had already been received. This could easily have led to the Ivory Coast type problems, had I not restrained my supporters not to take to the streets to contest the outcome of the elections, which had obviously been rigged at the Presidential level.
Subsequent information emanating from various organs of government and the independent observers who have all attested to serious discrepancies between the tabulation and declaration of the results confirmed this. A similar pattern occurred in the 2008 presidential by-election where I was reported to have lost the election by 1.99 per cent, with Mr Banda declared a winner with 40.2% and myself with 38.64%. This shows clearly that the electoral system is in need of reform to align the presidential vote with the wishes of the majority of the voters.
At the level of Members of Parliament (MPs), the PF started with one (1) MP in 2001 to became the largest opposition party in the Zambian parliament by 2006 with 43 MPs. Meanwhile, the then existing parties both the ruling and opposition, returned with reduced numbers of seats.
Although, the announced figures are in doubt, subsequent evidence shows that the opposition collectively achieved over 70% the votes in 2001 and in 2006, 60% in 2008.
It is in this regard that the election results must be seen as a great achievement on the part of the opposition. Hence our belief that the opposition collectively and PF in particular have actually done better. How much better is almost impossible to say as this has been compromised as a result of lack of transparency on the part of the electoral commission in the whole process.
It is curious that guests from within and outside the country are invited to the inauguration of the new president way before the final declaration of the results.
Regrettably, the chief justice, who is appointed by the president, is also the returning officer, and the person entrusted with the swearing in of the new president and is also the same person to whom any appeal against the electoral malpractices, must be lodged.
It is against this background that we are now insisting on the Parallel Voter Tabulation (PVT), a process to which the government is violently opposed to and any other systems of verification including those related to the number of ballot papers that have been printed.
4. Challenges Facing Opposition Parties
In Zambia, it is not only the electoral system that opposition parties have to contend with. It is also the following:
➢ Government intimidation and abuse
• The intimidation is incessant and has major effects;
• Law enforcement agencies including the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), the police, the Drug Enforcement Commission and the intelligence are used to curtail the freedom of assembly and association.
• Police arrests and intimidation against the opposition.
• The public media are used as vehicles of personal slander and hate speeches.
• Government programmes are abused for campaign purposes even before the commencement before announcement of election date.
• Of late government and ruling party induced physical violence is used to disrupt operations and programmes of opposition parties. Recent cases bear evidence of this.
All these methods which are against the electoral legislation, are used to cripple the opposition especially their leadership.
➢ The Challenge of Resource Mobilisation
No business organisation would want to openly sponsor an opposition party, lest their businesses are “crippled” by various methods which the government uses. The ruling party awards business contracts to their friends and cadres, who are in turn expected to fund its operations e.g the recent NAPSA land scandal which government purchased land at US$15 million from a private firm owned by a cadre, which land the government could have obtained freely. Clearly, over the past 15 years, money and corruption have been at the centre on undemocratic elections in Zambia.
➢ Human Resource is equally difficult to find. People are far too busy struggling for ‘survival’ from day to day, that they will not avail themselves for voluntary party work. In any case, who would want to back a loser? In spite of the foregoing odds, many Zambians are stepping forward to bring about regime change.
➢ Media coverage is another critical requirement. While the ruling party can abuse the public media, the opposition have no access to the public media in spite of the statutes. The opposition continues to have no access to the public media in Zambia, instead they have to rely on the goodwill of the independent or private media, who are poorly funded and are themselves under constant threat of closure if seen to offer platform to the opposition.
➢ Parliamentarians who are ‘bought’ by the ruling party through offered inducements in the parliament and in the executive through awards of private businesses or direct bribery. Rules are deliberately broken and quietly justified.
➢ Fragmentation amongst the opposition groups – government abuses their position and public resources to induce fragmentation in faith-based organisations, civil society, trade unions and political parties. Furthermore, the current constitutional provisions are multi-party in name only. In essence, all is done to stifle the opposition.
5. Factors of success
Based on my own experience and that of many others that I have been associated with, I see the following as necessary ingredients for success in a successful opposition party in Zambia. One has to have the following:
• Courage in the face of adversity and staying the course despite the pain, frustrations and impediments on the way.
• Knowledge and experience of previous events and the functioning of governance systems.
• Personal characteristics of the top leader.
• Must have appeal to the ordinary citizens and serve as a voice to the voiceless or marginalised groups- some call it charisma
• Must have proximity to the people. The relationship should be like that of fish and water.
• Be visionary – people need to know where a leader will take them to. Leading them to something concrete and sharing whatever resources they have available. “Where there is no vision people perish”
• A leader must be able to identify competent and committed individuals to work with. And needs to be magnanimous towards their contributions as a need system to support and compliment him.
• He needs to be people-centred, the led must feel that they share his vision and are participating in running the affairs of the party.
• Must be consistent in articulating the issues, which are in line with the people’s needs.
• Have resilience and must be able to stay the course.
• Should be able to establish and maintain strong relationships with groups outside the party structures such as faith based organisations and civil society organisations, media, the labour movement and international community.
• Being able to offer checks and balances and credible alternatives to the status quo, by holding government accountable.
• Ability to mobilise resources for party operations, particularly that in our country opposition parties are not funded from public resources.
Clearly, besides this, there are several other aspects which make for a successful opposition leader especially winning the elections and being able to offer appropriate solutions.
6. A Call for Change
All over Zambia, the demand in the forthcoming elections in 2011 is for change and transformation for a better Zambia. The mood is synonymous with the demand for change which occurred in 1991 when Zambia led the way in changing a government by the peaceful ballot in Southern Africa. We are poised for similar change this year and I call upon all peace loving countries and institutions to come and observe our elections to give support to what must be a democratic transparent process, whose results are credible enough that we can all accept them as we did in 1991. The international community must help to put in place mechanisms that avoid conflict and not to come later to resolve a conflict as happened in Ivory Coast and Kenya.
The current ruling party is tired having been in power for 20 years and has continued to subject the majority of Zambians to misuse of the abundant resources of Zambia through Corruption and wastage to increasing unbearable poverty through unworthy experiments like the ill-fated National Constitution Conference (NCC) which took an excess of two years to develop at a huge cost but which was so manipulated that even most of its own members were forced to reject it. It is clear to all that poverty and corruption will increase and deepen if the present leadership is allowed to continue governing Zambia. What is worse is that they have even abandoned and reversed some of the gains which were started by the late President Mwanawasa. Reversals of his programs including Anti-Corruption started within weeks of the election of the current President. All that I am saying is factual and citizens are aware of this tragedy.
7. Why the Patriotic Front is leading the people’s demand for change
Why are Zambians now looking to PF – to deliver the change, whose symbol is a boat? Many Zambians now relate the PF with the symbol of the Biblical Noah’s Ark as a means to rescue them from poverty, corruption, lack of opportunities and employment, heavy taxes that are unbearable cost of living and a very high cost of living on which the PF has vowed to resolve.
Economically the majority of Zambians continue to be worse off even as the macro-economic environment is reported to be good because the benefits are not reaching the majority. This can only happen when there is a policy environment and good governance system that responds to people’s needs.
Many of you at this gathering, may not be aware that in fact Zambia was already a middle income nation status, at the time of its independence in 1964.
Currently rural poverty has reached alarming levels of as high as 84%. Although current urban poverty is reported to average 34 percent (%), it is infact much higher than that figure when one reflects on the statistics of the low-cost (peoples) townships. Because of this most of our citizens have had to resort to survival businesses and tactics, hence the emergence of plastic and tin-clad business stands along most city and country roads. Inspite of the claims by the current government that the GDP growth figures are averaging 5% to 7% over the last five years, yet the level of inflation has ranged between 8.5% to 16.6%, during the same period, much higher than the growth levels. The cost of living for an average family of eight (8) people comprising father, mother and six (6) children, in Lusaka, according to a defined food basket has been about £460 per month, while the government’s permissible minimum wage currently is below £50 per month.
Zambia’s total population now stands at 13 million people against 3.2 million at the time of independence from Britain in 1964. A major feature of our population is in fact a complete contrast with the profile of European Union countries. In Zambia, approximately 9 million are young people below the age of 25 years. Approximately 300,000 of them exit education and training institutions yearly, with only 5000 being able to find jobs. The total number of people in formal employment is currently standing at slightly less than 430,000 as it was 20 years before. The bulk of our people have either never had any formal employment or ever engaged even in some informal work of any kind.
It is this kind of environment, that breeds youth-led revolutions such as those occurring in North Africa and the Arab world. Having stated what I have, let me then share with this audience my vision and that of the Patriotic Front for Zambia when the citizens have elected our party. It is the intention of our party to address these challenges by peaceful means, through the ballot.
8. Future policies of a PF government
Zambia is ripe for a major transformation both in political, economic and social terms that should bring about prosperity. Our thrust will therefore be to accelerate the attack on poverty and unemployment while stimulating production through the promotion of agricultural programmes intended to provide food self-sufficience and making Zambia a food basket.
• There is urgent need to recognize and address the challenges of young people of both gender. National and sectoral audits shall be followed by empowering schemes for youth and special skills training programs for the millions of young people who need to be initiated, within days of our taking office in order to economically empower them;
• We shall seek to expeditiously, within 90 days, move to address the need for a people – driven constitution for the country using the most cost effective means, based on national consensus rather than one which is tailored to suit the ruling party and the ruling elite;
• Similarly, the gender policy and programmes of affirmative action need to bring women into positions of decision-making; which shall be prioritized alongside a special empowerment program, which will be coupled with gender budgeting in all sectors.
• We shall promote good governance by providing for the full participation of representatives of the people through decentralization and devolution of power and resources. And resolving the Barotse Agreement. Decision-making on how to prioritise and utilize available resources shall be done by the citizens through their representatives at district level – the District Councils, provincial assemblies and through national Parliament ;
• A PF-led Government shall vigorously fight the scourge of corruption in Zambia by ensuring that provisions in our anti-corruption legislation are strengthened and fully implemented. These efforts shall include the reinstatement of clauses which were recently deliberately removed from our anti-corruption law, which has the effect of exempting from prosecution the wrong-doing by the official, simply because the law was not applicable when they were in office.
• Public officials, including former Presidents, who act outside the law, should not expect to get away with their mischief.
• The Anti-Corruption Commission shall be revamped and strengthened and so shall the judicial systems that will be needed to give effect to the national laws. If and when we shall find it necessary, we shall not hesitate to seek appropriate assistance from Britain and other commonwealth countries which operate a similar judicial system to our own, to assist us in dealing with cases of corruption. Given the scale of that scourge, and its entrenchment, we may be found necessary to set-up a special court to deal expediently, with white-collar and abuse of office crimes.
• The recommendations of the Auditor General shall be implemented within the first 90 days
Suffices for me to state this:-
Let no one be left in doubt as to my party-led government, and about our firm determination to stamp out corruption in our country. A country that goes round the world begging for assistance, can’t afford to waste it.
In any case corruption is a major contributor to our poverty.
• Through the proposed Planning and Fiscal (Budget) Act, we shall seek to eliminate the misapplication/diversion of public funds to unplanned activities or projects. We shall seek to eliminate supplementary budgets caused by abuse and lack of fiscal discipline;
• We are committed to reduce the high cost of government.
• A major austerity and performance improvement program, aimed at curbing wastage, shall be initiated to achieve cost savings. The funds which shall be made available shall then be applied to urgent capital development projects in the rural districts as well as need for infrastructure reconstruction in the most adversely affected urban areas;
• A PF-led government shall seek to exploit benefits of ICT and merits to improve the performance of the public service including the operations of foreign missions and overseas travel.
• The Auditor General and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament have both repeatedly reported abuse of financial resources and blatant thefts of public funds. A PF government shall fully implement within twelve months all corrective recommendations of the two institutions. In our endeavour to stop abuse of office, we shall consider the proposal to “name and shame” culprits of theft cases;
• To contain reckless borrowing, debt – contraction and any borrowing for public projects, shall require Parliamentary authorisation and their application restricted to high pay-back projects and programs;
• A PF-led government shall seek to enhance the country’s ability to achieve and sustain balanced-budgets, but shall restrict use of external support, through grants and loans, to capital projects only; Zambia must live within the financial resources that it generates;
• We shall seek to exploit, and commit within twelve (12) months of our assuming office to the development of hydro-power generation projects, to increase from the current 1800 Megawatts to 6000 Megawatts of power generation, within ten (10) years;
• We shall also overhaul the entire taxation regime. Simplify – taxation and reinforce tax collection to achieve improved collections.
The mining industry should pay a fair share of the taxation which everyone else is paying.
• I have often been challenged on how PF will enable citizens to have more money in their pockets while lowering taxes. My simple answer to that is that we shall achieve substantial revenue increase by stamping out corruption, misuse of funds, streamlined government operations costing-saving schemes, reducing cost of doing business.
I believe that the foregoing measures shall lead to higher employment levels, achieve savings for government and business, and improve performance and efficiency.
• Our economic policies shall be based on smart partnerships to achieve mutual benefiting position for investors and the government providing appropriate resource. They shall be within internationally accepts norms and in tandem with the United Nations standards for sustainable development.
In this regard it is illustrative to reflect on the pronouncements of the “United Nations – Commission on Development and Environment,” which has defined “good governance” as follows:-
As “the exercise of economic, political and administrative authority to manage a country’s affairs at all levels” it defines good governance as:-
“Participatory, transparent and accountable. It is also effective and equitable. And it promotes the rule of law. Good governance ensures that political, social and economic priorities are based on broad consensus in society and that the voices of the poorest and the most vulnerable are heard in decision-making over the allocation of development resources”.
We shall seek to adopt this UN standard for our own development and investment criteria.
• There can be no justification why Zambia should have one of the highest taxation levels while at the same time industries that are making the most profits, such as the mining industry should hardly pay taxes, yet they exploit a non-renewable national resource.
• There shall be no nationalisation policy, but there shall be need for re-alignment of private versus national interest, based on smart partnership. Private sector that promotes national and individual interest, shall be encouraged bearing in mind the need for equitable contributions by ALL tax payers.
• Private ownership shall continue to be promoted and Zambians, who are able to meet sustainable long-term investment, shall be deliberately supported to participate in their national economy. Zambians shall be offered similarly attractive investment opportunities and incentives as their foreign counterparts.
• The provisions of the Citizen Economic Empowerment legislation shall be envoked to ensure that Zambians are also enabled to achieve greater participation in their own national economy.
Let me state categorically that while Zambia can at this point in history not be said to be a rich country, it is equally true that it is neither a poor country. Our belief in PF is that the country is richly endowed with natural resources but the economy is poorly managed.
The focus of our economic policies and the thrust of our actions shall be directed to achieving a balanced budget which should contribute to reducing the level of inflation and interest on borrowing.
Other economic measures shall therefore include:-
• Increased capital projects spending especially in areas of infra-structure – roads, power-stations, schools and hospitals, airports and harbours both in magnitude and quality.
• Use of earnings from the mining sector to diversify the economy away from non-renewable mining towards renewable agriculture, livestock and fisheries.
• Agriculture and associated renewable sources of incomes shall be made the backbone of our economic activity as it will be the surest way to reduce poverty among our people. Because our centrality in the SADC region, we shall seek to make Zambia a food-basket of the region, due to our comparative advantage.
• We fully recognize that investors seek good returns on their investment. We accept and do not have any difficulty with that expectation. We shall seek what they desire to see or apply in their own (home) countries.
• Investors will continue to freely externalise their profits, but we shall insist on capital investment that will stay for longer than what has now become the tradition of changing ownership every five years.
I have often been asked how a PF can put more money in the citizen’s pockets. Our concept is this – no economy can grow if the consumers in it are poor. Who will buy the commodities and with what if the people are poor. We need to be smart in the way we operate the economy. The Zambian government should not develop its national economy for someone else. It must start with benefiting the nationals first. A well-functioning and strong economy, will always be an attraction to foreign investment – one has just to look at China and the Asian tiger economies of South-East Asia or indeed closer to home – Botswana.
• Workers rights need protecting, fair wages must be paid and a much safer working environment provided.
• We shall develop further measures to simplify and facilitate doing business. The banking sector needs to play a more meaningful, facilitating role in developing local enterprise and entrepreneurs.
• It shall not be the intention or policy of PF to nationalise any private business. However, we shall re-examine all agreements that were made in the sale of companies to ensure that there were no underhand deals which may have benefited individuals, but disadvantaged the State. Those deals that are considered questionable will be the subject of review.
With respect to property rights, we will insist on the law being respected. However, we shall not tolerate fraudulent deals. We shall therefore review all dubious land acquisitions and utilisation which do not accord with our current laws. Some of the investors have taken undue advantage of the perverse poverty even amongst our traditional rulers and have acquired large tracks of land which they later use for speculative purposes. This we shall not allow.
Many commentators have expressed anxiety on how we intend going forward upon assuming office. I wish to allay these fears. We shall ensure respect for national laws as we seek to implement an orderly transition.
We have already established both a “think–tank” and a “transition management team”, whose assignments have been to prepare a “Programme of Action” for a PF government, during the first 90 days and later for five years. Not only have the teams drawn from our Party Manifesto, but are carrying out wide consultations with other stakeholders. We seek to create an all embracing government that achieves consensus, and that having done so, moves decisively to implement sound programs that the people of Zambia have always sought.
I wish to point out that the future of Africa, Southern Africa and Zambia in particular, is one of hope if changes of leadership can be achieved by peaceful means through free fair and transparent if legitimacy of regimes that is achieved through genuine free and fair elections is deepen.
We do not seek power for its own sake. In the SADC region and more specifically in Zambia, there is great hope that when we can do things right and ensure frugal resource utilisation, tremendous strides in national development can be achieved. We are far from being a basket case. Zambia is not poor, although the majority of its people are poor. I believe a serious PF-led government can turn that around. It won’t be easy neither will it be achieved overnight, but our party and I, are determined to serve as positive instruments for change.
Let me hasten to point out that the future of Africa, Southern Africa and Zambia in particular, is one of hope if changes of leadership can be achieved by peaceful means through free fair and transparent elections and if legitimacy of regimes is achieved through genuine free and fair elections that would deepen democracy.
I thank you and God bless you all.