If opposition political parties united with the sole purpose of kicking out the Patriotic Front from office, they could turn out worse than the current regime, Political Analyst Dr Alex Ng’oma has warned.
And Dr Ng’oma has observed that some people who are crying to be President have no capacity to lead the country.
On Monday, veteran politician Vernon Johnson Mwaanga advised the opposition to unite if they were serious about kicking the PF out of office.
Mwaanga stressed the need to forgo personal ambitions for the greater good.
But in an interview, Dr Ng’oma noted that coalition parties quickly degenerate due to power struggles.
“Political parties are formed so that they can contest for power, form government and begin to formulate programmes and policies for the nation. When a political party expresses interest in forming the next government, that should not surprise anyone because that is the reason why parties are formed. But having said that, I think it’s important for those aspiring to forming government to really understand that forming government is not a child’s play. It’s not for fun and games, they must be serious and they must understand the fact that people are hungry, people are dying, people need jobs, people are suffering from ignorance. So those wishing to form government must be so positioned as to be able to provide answers to the main challenges and problems that the people are faced with,” Dr Ng’oma said.
“When you bring that down to the level of coalition formation, it is very important that those that are going to form coalitions do not do so for the sole purpose of unsettling the incumbent President. That otherwise can turn out to be even worse than the government that is in place at a particular time. I am trying to insist that those that are trying to unseat the incumbent government and its President must be such that they have something to offer to the people and that whatever it is that they are offering must definitely be superior to what is in place. Otherwise, how can they take the nation backwards? How can they came in to only offer sub-standard services, sub-standard leadership? That would be a curse on our society and it would be unacceptable.”
Dr Ng’oma, who insisted that coalition governments could never work in Africa, challenged those planning to kick PF out of office in 2021 to focus on proving that they would be better leaders.
“I am challenging those that are aspiring to unseat the incumbent President, whether as individuals or as coalition political parties, to first of all show that they are going to be better leaders and that they have something much better to give than what we have at present. Beyond that, I think it’s important for all of us to understand that in this country, in particular and in Africa generally, coalition government’s actually do not work. People coming together to form coalitions disintegrate way before they go anywhere because of naked ambitions on the part of those that come together. Some of them actually will insist that let’s form a coalition so that I and not anyone else can be the President. so immediately they begin to fight over the leadership of the coalition, that is where this coalition venture falls apart,” Dr Ng’oma said.
“Therefore, those who choose to work together must have proper understanding that there can be only one leader at a time and such a leader must be democratically elected among those that have come together and that such a leader must actually be seen as the best among them all. That is the way to go as far as this matter is concerned.”
Dr Ng’oma emphasised the need to provide credible checks and balances.
“The solution to the current impasse lies at two levels, the first level is for those in the opposition unite in order to provide effective checks and balances. This is why the opposition exists. So it must strengthen itself in order to provide checks and balances to the government of the day. So that if nothing is working, that may be become a campaign issue come 2021. They should be able to stand up and say ‘look we tried to stop this government from over borrowing but it never listened. You people (of Zambia) are you sure you want to continue on this path of reckless borrowing? Do you want to give this government another mandate to just take us deep in this hole of debt? Is that what you want? For us to fall in a permanent debt trap.’ Then the way forward would actually be for the people themselves to seek to understand. And by the way, the civil society organisations, working together with opposition political parties should actually unite to provide actual and factual information so that the people understand correctly, once the people understand correctly, then they have the power in their hands. If they are happy with what they see happening then they can maintain the government of the day. But if they are unhappy, 2021 is coming, that is when they must exercise their power to change the government,” said Dr Ng’oma.
“If the opposition fail to work together, they stand no chance of changing government and they themselves forming government some day. The problem we have is that we have got chances, people who do not have what it takes to become President but they are crying to be President any way. But the Presidency is not an easy thing, it’s not for every Jim and Jack. That’s why if you have got an understanding…look at what Michael Sata did, that man had an understanding and he had the capacity. So that’s what you need, people who really understand that there is a problem and they are prepared to die for the problem, they will do the right thing first of all, to provide checks and balances but also to offer hope, to offer alternatives.”