OPINION: The Current Political Chaos Vindicates Our Call For A Home Bred Governance System!

Zambia, worldwide, has been known to be a fountain of peace and peace initiatives such that the nation has, until recently, been the envy of countries in the region and a model on how a country can transition to plural politics.

So what went wrong? Well, while some may choose to point fingers at the decision by a named political party to insist that only a tribesman could lead their party, I choose to look elsewhere treating the former as a symptom of a much deeper national problem.

I have observed that in Africa, multiparty democracy has achieved very little in terms of economic development but has, instead, only managed to bring about inefficient governments, disastrous power transitions and social chaos because instead of having political parties that are anchored on differing political values, parties tend to be moulded on ethnic lines.

One may argue that the issue may be with the Patriotic Front leadership since what is happening now was not prevalent during the MMD era. To the contrary, the MMD was a replica of the UNIP that saw the majority of Zambians, from all the major tribes, migrate from UNIP to the MMD.

The real test of multiparty democracy, in Zambia, would come following the disintegration of the MMD, which in essence was not a political party but a movement for multiparty democracy. It was like each prominent figure that left the movement was followed by one’s ethnic group and its tribal cousins.

Before we apportion any blame, the aforementioned is what we need to bear in mind or we will continue trivialising the root cause that necessitated the need for the birth of a one party participatory democracy and Dr. Kenneth Kaunda’s insistence on One Zambia One Zambia and his deliberate political actions that reinforced the motto such as the transferring of civil servants from their province of origin to other provinces or ensuring that his cabinet was a miniature semblance of our ethnic representation at national level.

Otherwise why would a country, that was a beacon of peace under Dr. Kenneth Kaunda be a roosting hive of hate speech and now a country where it’s common for one to shed, without any remorse whatsoever, one’s brother’s blood? What went wrong. The answer lies in understanding what we destroyed when we rose against Kaunda. We destroyed a key institution we needed in order to develop our democracy. Instead of strengthening it by devising democratic means of changing leadership at the top, we chose to bury it altogether. It was a typical case of throwing a baby together with dirty bath water.

The current governance system prioritizes the desire to attain regime change at the expense of identifying the necessary needed leadership qualities and the formulation of development ideologies critical to realising a government that is focused on accelerating economic development. Recently, one of this country’s progressive brains, Dr. Lubinda Haabazoka, observed that “To ensure that we don’t remain focused, the West funds political formations in the country that continue to distract those in charge of the economy from concentrating on the real issues.”

He continued, “In order to stay focused, we need a huge shift in our political set up. We all need to be aligned to one vision – vision 2030. Post elections, we need to all sit on one table and ensure that each and every citizen works in one line of ensuring national economic development.”

He went on to echo my earlier sentiments on Rwanda, “Despite the huge achievements being made by Kagame, there is an international campaign to discredit his works and paint him as a villain. The next thing is that they will fund his rivals.”

“Back to Zambia, my main observation is that the current political situation that is built on hatred and not competition of ideas makes one group to work hard to ensure they stay in power and the other group to completely withdraw from economic development so that they capitalize on the ruling party’s failure,” he concluded.

What is the purpose of democracy if it only serves a select few? All patriotic Zambians ought to support our call for a national symposium on an alternative governance system for Zambia that must seek to promote national unity and a people sharing a common development goal.

Democracy simply means people participating in the important societal decisions which affect their lives. But since in the actual setup, each individual cannot meaningfully participate in decisions for the whole, it has come to mean decision-making by “representatives”, who are said to decide and act on behalf of the people.

This Western idea of the necessity of “multiparty elections” for other nations is an oligarchic myth. It leads people to believe they have choice in political decisions and thereby maintains the political status quo. Democracy as the possibility of the people making collective decisions for their common good is something that cannot be taught or imposed from the outside.

Surely we must have think tanks at our universities across the country who are privy to our ethnic and political conflicts and as such are in a position to help birth a political vehicle suited to drive the nation towards a destination that should benefit all regardless of one’s origin in the country. The current political upheavals cannot be solved by replacing one tribe with another. We need to go back to our time when Zambia was truly One Zambia One Nation.

There’s an urgent need to learn and accept that democracy cannot be reduced to voting alone. Democracy is not, by definition, government by the winners, it flourishes by allowing a diversity of voices to be tabled and heard. It is all about having an equal say and an equal right to determine what political action ought to be taken. What is democracy, according to you?

Mpandashalo Evans Mwewa
Global Capstone Centre
For Leadership Development.
WhatsApp: +260 977 430702

Copyright © 2020 ZR.



    Am deeply disappointed with Zambia,may God help us.

    • Frank Chombela

      The author is not sufficiently informed on this subject. He somehow thinks that democracy in the West started as a highly-developed system that we see today. There were setbacks there along the way. America even fought a civil war during its slow march to the current system. The problem with much of Africa is that you have no time for evolutionary change.


    We have taken advantage our country to be a peaceful country forgetting that this country has been in the hands of our creator. So we have turned away from Bible principles.

    • Frank Chombela

      This is part of the problem. Believing that there’s a supernatural hand that steers state affairs. This is irrational and a waste of time. You probably think that the phone I’m using to browse is a product of a supernatural being? There are dons at UNZA who may have been doing post-grad studies at the same as people who have gone on to do great things in their countries. As for u Zambians, u don’t even know that there are scientists like that at UNZA. Foreigners come here and give them consultancy work.

  3. Chendabusiku

    Which man made system is perfect? we only find compromises. Even in pure ethnicity if you want to practice democracy there are fights etc. You do not need to go far just look outside the window of Zambia and you will see what I am talking about. We must just strengthen our institutions of what we adopted (Democracy). We are to quick to forget that as a people we unanimously decided to adopt this vehicle of development called democracy. Has it solved all our problems? NO. Some areas have greatly improved others have not and yet our jugement is not devoid of our own inability to accept change. We run the danger of entering into a perpetual mode of searching for a perfect model and yet we elect imperfect leaders to actualise it. And not forgeting that the electorate charged with the selecting of the “perfect leaders” for this model are imperfect. Let us channel our energy into solving these problems the best possible way using our own resources. Startrting the journey from the begining each time you find a challenge will not help your journey foward at all.

  4. Uluse

    Democracy is not a problem but leaders in the driving seat that become greedy and start manipulating the constitution to try and remain in power for life. Why should a leader of a country hate his own citizens? the selectiveness we have witnessed under pf that was not there in unip and mmd is strange. So it is Pf that is a problem. Just leave office when time is up.

  5. Zulu Joseph

    It’s true some people don’t think properly u can’t go to election for violence we go to election for ideal of competition wat you are going to do to people then you claim as Christian national shame mind u in one of ten commandments God in holy Bible says don’t mention word of God for nothing to

  6. ruler

    upnd is a problem and pf is also a problem infact pf is worse

  7. Edwardo

    First and foremost I want to say thank u doctor KK, doctor mwanawasa, doctor chiluba and Mr sata for great contribution towards the sustainability of our country zambian. You worked so hard to ensure that zambian remains undivided and to ensure that no persons or group of people exalt themselves above others regardless of their political, tribe or financial status. Yours was to create a nation full of peace ,where true freedom in all its definition is fully realised. You promoted slogans like ” one zambia,one nation. The hour has come and more money in Zambian pockets, slogans which were meant to improve and promote unity in this country. There is no tribalism in this country. Iam bemba but my bemba boss never looked at me until a lozi boss promoted me, glory be to God. President chiluba promoted mwanawasa to succeed him living all the Bembas, and Bembas together with all tribes in Northern/lwapula province voted for him. Sata sold his Manifesto well and won the support of the people. In a democracy we need to love one another and cerebrate with winners. Winners must also support the losers. Politicians should co-exist and put zambia first. Carders support there master but some want to do it to extremes, when elections are over allow the leaders to work, remember KK had vigilantees which brought alot of problems to ordinary zambian. These carders survive through criminology and they always want to make people believe that they are the most trusted and most loved by the president when infact not.
    Tribalism does not exist in this country because no one tribe can form government alone unless with the support of all tribes in the country. Upnd has all tribes just like pf, if Upnd picks a Mambwe Tribe as its presidential candidate will it be a Mambwe party? Or if pf picks a Tonga person as its presidential candidate, will pf become a Tonga party? Who ever has ears let him hear.
    Lastly brothers and sisters zambia has been declared a Christian nation and therefore we should learn to live like Christians why Should you kill your brother /Sister for money . Why take the life of another with out any mercy. Stop Mob killings it is not right, stop it. To u gasers why are you sacrificing yourselves to be killed, do not receive that money it is dirty money,stop it !
    Lastly fellow zambian let us be talking about were we came from and where we want this country to go. Thanks fellow citizens and God bless.

  8. eric

    Yes, but the current government regime in our country does not want to allow a diversity of voices, as is the case with bill 10. Remember, even if by some miracle we could cure people’s hurtfull traits, we would still be unable to make country safe and secure for all. The reason? Our human limitations. We simply do not have the ability or the moral authority to rule over our fellow humans.(Jeremiah 10:23) The Bible foretold about this last human tried governance system(democracy) and its destiny. (Daniel chapter 2)

  9. Joe London

    Opposition leaders and other pipo are today eulogizing, late President SATA who not too long ago they were insulting, like CHIMBWI no plan,Data is a dictator. President CHILUBA you insulted him at I KABWALALA,Lazo,monkey in a maize field,he died a very sad man.Then came late President MWANAWASA,you called him names like CABBAGE. With President BANDA it was the same and you did the same thing to our first President Dr KAUNDA.Now they are heroes because of the hate you have for our current President ECL.

  10. Savior

    Ba Evans why do you always try to condemn democracy as if the word it self or the system is not good,it’s the people who fail to do what it says.
    It seems you’re campaigning for Zambia to go back to the old system of a one party state coz every time you come with that opinion of yours you always try to sway people to believe that democracy is not good enough for our country.

    • Hammer

      Ba Evans. It seems to me that you want us to go back to wamuyayaya system. And you always refer to Kagame who has been in power for 25 years and has changed the constitution to be in power till 2034. And you seem to admire and actually to campaign for that kind of situation. Shame on you . Instead of asking yourself how do countries who have a strong democracy achieved it so that we learn from them , you want to take us backward to systems of oppression by one man forever and ever. Shame on you

  11. modify

    I think zambia is not a christian country as it it was, why killing your brother, sister, child, uncle,mum, father, bcoz of money why Zambian killing each other every Saturday, Sunday, or other days we go to church who are we praying for? Shame to you who are busy killing each other just for money or political affiliation

  12. musi

    The bible says “where there is no VISION people perish”.

  13. l.c

    Ba pf , don’t think that will work. You have terribly failed to run this country and, now you want to bring a one-party system. No ! If you can
    fail to rule people in a democratic
    system, how much harm are you

    going to to this country in a one-
    party system ? Leave things the
    way they are. The only change you
    need is you to have democratic
    minds.Because you are not Democratic people and, you want to have a one party system to be benefiting yourselves. Already, u are killing Zambians so that you continue to be in power.A one
    party system with u! I’m afraid u are going to finish us for rituals .

  14. Chamu

    This gimmick won’t work. You have utter failed as a govt and dragged us into unimagined depths and now you want to hoodwink us that the problem is the system! Aikona man!! Multi party system may not be perfect but what we have here is a clwar case of leadership failure that has systematically degraded all our key institutions so that you can perpetuate your hold of power. You all need to go in 2021. And Dr Lubinda Habazooka as a progressive mind – ha ha ha! Please!

  15. Bruno mars the moonshine jungle masters

    Yes the writer is more than correct our economic is down because some of these leaders are failures

  16. Kingfrey Musaka

    We still have a lot to learn as a country. And finger pointing is not at all one of the solutions to our current problems. Unless each and every one of us start to monitor ourselves and hold each one accountable for your own actions. The current situation will worsen.

    And lastly stop making decisions with our Tammy. Lets use logic and reasoning.

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