By Eros Ilunga
I wrote an article in the Watchdog in which I took a swipe at the manner the PF was managing the affairs of this nation in as far as governance is concerned. Around the same time, TIZ president Reuben Lifuka made similar observations. Nothing much has changed as the President has continued on the same self-destructive path. We have still continued to see appointments made without verification, the most recent being the appointment of Alex Museba. We have also continued to see the government structure being changed every so often. I will not go into that because it is public knowledge.
My concern today is to address myself to members of the PF leadership, particularly members of the Central Committee, who are better placed to advise the President. Because the status quo has continued insofar as the governance of the country is concerned, it implies any of the following three things:
None of the leaders in the PF sees any of these wrongs being pointed out by members of the public; if that is the case, Zambia is in deep trouble because then we are being led by leaders without vision. The other implication is that some leaders have seen these mistakes and advised the President, but the man does not heed advice. If that is the case we the voters need to know so that when the day of reckoning comes, we shall deal with them fairly and ask the President to account for his actions. The third and very serious implication is that none of the leaders is strong and courageous enough to stand up to the President and advise him to change his style of governance. They know too well the serious governance challenges in the PF government, but are so scared for their jobs that they would rather pretend all is well.
My challenge to the PF leadership is that we need you to stand up and be counted and stand for principle. We do not want spineless opportunists as was the case in the MMD. The likes of Lameck Mangani and Mike Mulongoti were staunch supporters of MMD and RB but began to vilify him when they were fired. We expect that if you are principled men and women, you will be prepared to disagree with the President and if need be resign your positions like principled politicians like late Mwanawasa have done before.
I am glad that Wynter Kabimba, during a special National Watch programme on ZNBC, stated that no one in the PF is above the party; the Central Committee is there to ensure that the President does not act contrary to the PF manifesto. He was so forthright as to say that it was an oversight for the President to appoint Dr Rodger Chongwe as chair of the Mongu Riots COI when he was emotionally involved. He was overtly agreeing with George Kunda when he questioned the credibility of most of these COIs when some of the commissioners were interested parties.
If that is the stance of the PF leadership, could you guide President on the way he is structuring and destructuring government? I am sure the manifesto says something about this matter. PF told us they will reduce the size of government and run a cost-effective government, but the President is doing the opposite. Another ministry has just been created and the constant changes to the structure of government have serious financial implications.
May I end by saying PF still stands a good chance of turning the fortunes of this country around in spite of the many blunders made so far. What the leadership needs is to learn to listen and not display a know-it-all disposition.