World Native Identity Foundation President Dr Charles Sinkala says Zambia’s opposition political parties are not credible enough to cause a regime change and take over power.

Sinkala told News Diggers in an interview that political parties in Zambia and Africa generally were suffering from low organization structures, with no internal democracy, saying such was the reason why political parties failed to excel.

“I have noticed that Political parties in Africa suffer from low organizational structures, capacity and lack of internal democracy, dominated by individual leaders, oftentimes lifelong chairpersons and “Big Men”, youth and women remain marginalized within party structures. A central point of concern I always raise were the relations between government and opposition parties; often characterized by rancour, acrimony and hostility. I therefore, urge ruling parties in Africa to develop a culture of tolerance, “give-and-take” and the respect of minority rule. The emphasis on the central role of opposition in a democratic policy: Opposition parties check the government, enhance accountability and tend to minority interests,” Sinkala said.

He said there was need for research on how political parties could positively help to address real issues such as poverty and hunger.

“Likewise, development cooperation has focused on almost everything in the political arena – decentralization, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), elections – but the promotion and support of political parties in Africa has received a relatively small share of attention. Western development agencies and African political parties have been “hesitant bedfellows” (Gero Erdmann) and relatively few organizations have been explicitly engaging in such programmes,” Sinkala said.

He said even the UPND’s President Hakainde Hichilema has lost the founding principles of governance by failing to preserve, protect, and uphold the constitution of his party and calling for a convention to elect new leaders.

“It is sad to notice that, in Zambia to day Zambians have been left in an open with no credible opposition who respects the rule of the people and to give a chance for the grassroots members of political parties to address their issues. We have noticed how members cross from ruling to opposition parties and repeat the same over and over again. This is evident now, the the Chilanga leadership showing no confidence in the UPND leadership due to authoritarian rule in the adoption of their candidate for the by-elections. This is the Signal that, the culture in UPND is not acceptable, in-fact, I dare say, this is the beginning of the fall of UPND. One may continue to ask, if HH leadership is not based on collective decisions in a party, will he therefore rule Zambians, the answer is no. For being the main opposition party in Zambia, UPND has completely lost its founding principles of governance, has failed to preserve, protect, and uphold the constitution of its own party by not going into conference to elect new leaders,” said Dr Sinkala.

“My point here is not based on failed leadership in our country but to call for the decolonization of mindset of our people not to be fooled by self-centered leadership who have only one agenda to get into power and have time to continue plundering our economy and looting resources at an expense of Zambians. This is the time to breed agitators of good governance and leadership with a clear message of how to transform our nation by showing leadership of love and tolerance while in opposition. Let us all Zambians look beyond our known leadership and known politicians, let us look for a new kid on the block as an alternative to our political system in Zambia. Politics of the belly and personality are gone but to create Political Hygiene and a fair level platform to compete on policy.”