Opposition alliance has nothing to offer – Sunday

Patriotic Front (PF) media director Sunday Chanda has likened the recently-formed opposition alliance to the “Tower of Babel”, a Scriptural myth that explains why people in the world speak different languages.

According to a Biblical story told in the Book of Genesis 11 vs 1-9, a united humanity in the generations following a great flood, speaking a single language and migrating eastward, came to the land of Shina where they agreed to build a city and a tower tall enough to reach Heaven.

But according to this scripture, God, observing the city and tower, confused the speech of the united generations so that they could no longer understand each other, and scattered them around the world.

In a statement, Chanda said the 10-party coalition was a union founded on error, who have nothing to offer Zambians.

He argued that the individual political parties who make up the alliance do not have any moral right to criticize the PF’s democratic credentials because none of them have any proven track record of intra-party democracy.

“Reports of an ‘alliance’ (more of a ‘reliance’) of 10 opposition political parties ‘resolving to work together’ and field candidates in the 2021 election as one body is reminiscent of the scriptural account of the Tower of Babel; it is a union of the erroneous founded on error. And as practising democrats, we have always held that political parties perform an important task in a multi-party democracy such as ours. Apart from offering the necessary checks and balances, they are meant to bring like-minded people together as they to seek form government in order that their policies can be implemented while they hold public office,” Chanda argued.

“For our democracy to thrive, the ruling party needs worthy competition in the form of a credible opposition party worth its salt; one that knows where it stands, where it wants to go and how it plans to get there. In the interest of the development of our country, PF covets a contest of ideas; not the challenge of regional allegiance practised by some, or the flat comedy of a huddle of personality cults; or an ensemble of charlatans and tin pot dictators, coming together just to make noises like the builders of the tower of Babel.”

Chanda advised the leaders of the 10 united political parties to instead unite to remove the log-sized errors in their own eyes that impede their democratic outlook, before they could point out the specks in the ruling party’s eyes.

“How can callous tyrants with the most appalling records of intra–party governance pontificate good governance? What can come out of the union of a motley of one-man wannabe political parties frolicking and fawning at the feet of their ‘reliance’ partner; the (mis)leader of a regional personality cult; and specialist in hostile takeovers; predator of relationships who perches himself at the apex of the ‘alliance’ food chain? How democratic is the UPND and how can they be dogmatic about good governance, considering that they have not held a single convention or intra-party democracy since 2006? A political party that does not hold elective conventions or conduct intra-party elections is a mere personality cult. The fact that the lord of the Lord of the UPND manor has crafted an indefinite tenure clause into the UPND constitution makes him de-facto life president. At best, he can only babble and jabber about democracy and good governance; he doesn’t practice what he so vehemently preaches. He talks about democracy and good governance, but doesn’t believe in it. Like Sigmund Freud once said: ‘he does not believe that does not live according to his belief’,” Chanda stated.

“What can a party like the UPND, which has not had a manifesto for more than 20 years, offer in terms of alternative policies? All they have is a flyer they call a ‘Ten Point Plan’ and all they do is criticise and chase after every progressive move the ruling party makes in the manner a bow-wow chases after the tyres of every moving vehicle. A political party without a manifesto is both vision-less and direction-less. And because it is direction-less and vision-less, it is prone to drift with the wind like a rudderless vessel. How can they take Zambia ‘Forward’ when they themselves don’t know where they are going?”

And on the rest of the alliance partners, Chanda charged that they were all “self-seeking one man shows” masquerading as political parties with no internal dialogue and zero intra-party democracy.

“NAREP was established in March, 2010, by Mr Elias Chipimo and it has been a poorly-performing de-facto one man show or ‘sole-solo- trader’ ever since. For close to a decade, he has been micro-managing everything in NAREP. Mr Chipimo has been the party’s presidential candidate in the 2011 and 2015 general elections in which he spectacularly failed to garner even half a percent of the presidential vote. It is bad enough that he did not even manage 1 per cent of the vote. But surely; less than half a percent! Mr. Chipimo’s unflattering record just goes to show not only how seriously the people of Zambia take him, but how seriously he takes himself. He is his own electoral college. Phrases like ‘convention, intra-party elections’ are alien to NAREP. What morality does Elias have to even talk about democracy? Like Hakainde, his gaffer, all he can do is blither and blather, about good governance,” stated Chanda.

“Charles Milupi formed ADD almost a decade ago, participating in 2011 general elections where he garnered less than one per cent of the vote. During this period, his party has never held any convention or elective process of note; Milupi is the embodiment of ADD. His party and political career are on the cusp of extinction and Hichilema has come in handy as a piggy-back ride to merely delay the inevitable. The same can be said of Mike Mulongoti and his fellow insignificant others. Even Hakainde’s new found domestic jester the NDC ‘insultant’ is an alien to democracy. They are self-seeking one man shows masquerading as political parties; with no internal dialogue and zero intra-party democracy. Like Hichilema and Chipimo – how can they give what they do not have? Finally! Even if a log stays in water for decades, it can never change to a crocodile! Hypocrisy is not a way of getting back to the moral high ground…Sincerity makes the very least person to be of more value than the most talented union hypocrites. When erroneous charlatans unified by error gather to erect a political Tower of Babel; the labour of their babble ends up in rubble!”

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