NGOs, opposition must be careful with FODEP’s Chipenzi

Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) director Macdonald Chipenzi seems like a troubled soul. On one hand, he professes to head an NGO that provided oversights on current government.

But a closer scrutiny at his activities and statements shows that Chipenzi is not sincere. He could be a sellout and NGOs working him need to be very careful.

And why does Chipenzi comment on anything and everything?

Just today (Sunday), Chipenzi turned his Vernon on opposition leader Frank Bwalya.

For no apparent reason except that Fr Bwalwa complained of delay in the registration of his party, Chipenzi said the priest should be  honest in everything he does.

Chipenzi said from the look of things Fr Bwalya was not blocked from registering his political party because there is no truth in his statements. When did Chiepnzi start speaking on behalf of the Registrar of societies?

Chipenzi further took the role of Elizabeth Kanjela and said  that the police can not block anyone from registering a party because that is not their field of operation.

Chipenzi added that the people of Zambia want leaders who know what they want in life and not those who are not decided. But this advice is actually more suitable for Chipenzi.

Earliar in the morning, when he heard that President Michael Sata has commuted the death penalties of some prisoners to life imprisonment, Chipenzi  said:

“His (Sata) action is in accordance with the scriptures, Isaiah 1:16 and in line with the attributes of a Christian Nation and people.

…FODEP commends President Sata for pardoning over 600 prisoners from various prisons across the country on the African Freedom Day. This move alone has contributed to numerous efforts by government and various stakeholders aimed at decongesting the over saturated prisons in the country. ‘

Just two weeks ago, Chipenzi issued the following statement which the PF has since put on almost al their publications:

THE Alliance for Good Governance (AGG) says the Patriotic Front (PF) government has scored myriad achievements since assuming office.

AGG secretary-general McDonald Chipenzi says the PF government has made remarkable strides in governance issues although there are some minor issues Government needs to work on.

The alliance is composed of the Foundation for Democratic Process, Press Association of Zambia, Zambia Congress of Trade Unions, Zambia Federation for the Disabled, Operation Young Vote, Chikondi Foundation and 2410.

Mr Chipenzi said at a press briefing in Lusaka yesterday that among the successes of the PF is the rebasing of the Kwacha.

He said some people expected the rebasing exercise to fail “but Government is managing the process extremely well”.

Mr Chipenzi said that the passing of the Satutory Instrument on the minimum wage has so far put more money in people’s pockets.

He said that the creation of over 30 districts and the 10th province is another success although the exercise needs a lot of financial support from Government.

Mr Chipenzi said this process alone has created jobs.
He also said the peace prevailing in Western Province is a result of Government handling the Barotseland impasse properly.

“The relative peace prevailing in the province has not happened from without. Government and authorities in Barotseland worked hard to reduce the misunderstanding around the Barotseland Agreement of 1964,” he said.

He said the interactive radio and TV discussion programmes is another positive step which has been done with the support of the PF government.

Mr Chipenzi said the alliance is happy that the PF has not tried to restrict freedom of expression through the media.

He encouraged Government to continue creating even more platforms for the participation of ordinary people in the administration of national affairs.

Mr Chipenzi said the Link Zambia 8,000 project and PAVE Zambia, if well managed, are excellent projects.

Yet, this is the same person who is expected to lead demonstrations over the removal of subsidies by the government he so admires; this is the same person who was sharing strategies with opposition leaders during the press conference in South Africa over Zambia’s bad human rights record. Yes we know Chipenzi was in that meeting. Then why are the opposition leaders wondering why information about their activities filtered so fast to the government?


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