By Lucky Mulusa, MP.
I emerged from checking on my party’s polling agents from the ward bye-elections where my party had assigned me to campaign and I immediately logged on to the Watchdog to see what education I could pick up from the bloggers’ comments on my posting the previous day. I was shocked! My posting had already moved to the archives in under 12 hours! So many things had happened in less than 12 hours.
I rushed to catch up with what had happened and under the Editor’s Choice section, I noticed the following headings:
Fear grips Livingstone as tourists lock themselves in rooms
Riots break-out in Livingstone following arrest of UPND leaders
Passengers survive being sacrificed as Mazhandu burns to ashes
(Updated) Five more UPND leaders arrested in L/stone on Sata’s orders, Zambian borders sealed
I thought that maybe I would pick up positive news under the Breaking News section. This is what I found!
I decided to go straight to the last page in the archives (page 242/243) to see what type of news items where gracing the pages of the Watchdog when PF was not in power and this is what I found!
I noticed that when PF was not in power, the events in the country involved: influx of direct foreign investment; a strengthening local currency; knowledge and technological acquisition; government making fiscal and investment policy decisions; and Zambia being regarded as a destination for learning best practice in on fiscal matters.
Today’s happenings under the PF, I noticed the following characteristics:
State led destruction of the tourism sector; destruction of Zambia’s status as a peaceful nation; frequent state sponsored political riots; frequent satanic occurrences; a battered and fearful citizenry; state sponsored abandonment of family values by our elders (Munkombwe); continued state sponsored costly bye-elections; state sponsored cross-border abduction of citizens; arrests of opposition political leaders; complete contempt and disregard of our democratic institutions and judicial system (Masebo); state sponsored political violence; PF sponsored corruption and extortion of private businesses.
My mind swung into action in search of answers and possible solutions to this dilution of our state from positive events to complete madness! I came to an immediate conclusion! While in search of answers why the PF government is failing to fulfil their pre-election promises, I kept on coming back to their manifesto. The PF manifesto is a fraud! The PF is failing to fulfil its pre-election promises contained in the manifesto because they were mere statements! A list of lies! I noticed with keen interest that the PF manifesto was hanging in the air without being anchored in any strategy document. Many readers might be wondering why I am making these claims. The following is my argument:
A political manifesto is a high level summary of outputs contained in a development or economic strategy which a particular political party will follow to govern when they have an opportunity to do so. A manifesto therefore can never be the beginning and the end of a given political party’s electoral promises.
“A manifesto is a statement of your intentions. Manifestos are traditionally written by those with political aspirations, but anyone can write a personal manifesto. But then, behind the scenes, there will be a strategy to guide you in doing the needful that will actualise your claims.
At a personal level, if you say, your wish is to rise to the position of General Manager (GM) in five years; this will be your goal as contained in your personal manifesto. But then, behind the scenes, there will be a strategy to guide you in doing the needful that will actualise your desire to be GM. The strategy might be (i) study for the necessary qualification; (ii) get the relevant experience; and (iii) Do other necessary things to actualise the outcome of being a GM. The desire to be a GM is what appears in your personal manifesto. At a national level, if a political party manifesto states that one million jobs will be created over a 90day period, the number, “one million jobs”, should be an outcome lifted from a development or economic strategy crafted to make such an outcome possible. A manifesto therefore becomes a high level summary of deliverables contained in a development strategy. A manifesto can never be a stand-alone document. Not even at a personal level.
Let me give my argument some practical example. A manifesto, for instance, can say that that particular political party will create 240,000 jobs in three years. The how should be found in the strategy. The strategy will be a culmination of detailed study that reveals challenges, opportunities, weaknesses and strengths, and steps to actualise benefits. It might for instance be discovered through study that out of Zambia’s 600,000 formal jobs, 250,000 are held by foreigners and that only ten thousand of those jobs are held by foreigners with special skills not possessed by Zambians. Armed with this information including the fact that our Laws allow for a maximum of say 3 year work permits, the strategy will then involve; none renewal of the 240,000 work permits over a period of three years to create that number of jobs for Zambians. Accompanying this strategy will therefore be proposed changes to our labour and immigration policies. These will guide how various government departments will work. That particular political party can then claim that, it will create 240,000 job opportunities for Zambians over a three year period if voted in power. After three years, that party in government can then show the world the 240,000 jobs created for its people and how, as promised in the electoral manifesto. With the PF, it starts and ends with the President claiming they would deliver a host of outcomes in 90 days. The question is how? Inability to answer the question “how?” has led to PF failing to run the country. Like every failure, the best is to create confusion to deviate attention. But then this confusion is very costly to our nation and is a danger to our existence as a progressive state!
Wherever you are, if you are a well-meaning Zambian, campaign for the removal of the PF! Tomorrow, we are voting in two parliamentary elections and several local government elections. Pick up the phone if you are far and plead with your kith and kin to please vote against the PF! Even you PF members, you will have no country left for you to live in! Vote against your own party! All these things happening are just benefitting less than five people in PF and three of them are behind the scenes. Surprisingly all of them joined the PF very recently. Others do not even identify themselves as PF but are are destroying he nation through PF. Surprisingly, Sata is not one of those five benefitting for he is just a tool being used! His inability to provide effective leadership is a recipe for chaos and that’s where we are!
My last question is to the Kaunda family: will you continue allowing the old senile man to continue being made to look stupid by the PF? Learn from the Mandela family. Allow him to retain the little good things left to remember him for.
Lucky Mulusa, MMD MP.