I heard the claims and lamentations from the leaders of opposition parties and from religious institution about the way tripartite election in Zambia is organized. These claims not only in Zambia, but we see every election in other part of Africa like maneuver in votes, book of voters, and cancellation of campaign by the oppositions parties. Example of by election in chilubi, The Christian Churches Monitoring Group (CCMG) says “the opposition in chilubi were not given enough opportunity to campaign following the cancellation of the rallies by the police” and then call for electoral Fast Track Court to deal with matters expeditiously during election.
The same claims from UPND general Stephen Katuka has blamed the Zambia police service and the Electoral Commission of Zambia for the chilubi violence. Also, the former local government minister talked the issue of election by showing the previous and ongoing election. He says that Zambia will express their will in August next year. This statement tried to reject the president Lungu word that “I would leave 2026”. All these and other claims and blames from opposition parties or from ruling party and the religious institutions just looking the process of election rather than what ideology will govern country after election?
It is important to rise the arguments on election the way organized and structured but so important to discuss what drives the country? Which ideology should be focus in order to lead the people development? These questions I do not see from the politician’s statements on the big issues about the country. Politicians their busy on preaching the election as if election is the panacea for development of the people in Zambia. Who mention the evils of capitalism in Zambia, how many students loses their rights in universities because of fees, how many Zambians lost their rights to access health care because of cost shearing, and how many suffered from the hunger and low price of their crops in agricultural sector. These never mentioned by the politicians, because in order to understand that first understand the ideology of socialism which tried to expose these evils of capitalism.
The same religious leaders concentrated on preaching the election or any problem in Zambia like poverty or gassing crime nowadays, yes continue preaching and praying but also continue to speak about the ideology, ideology of the masses which is socialism, which will bring people together and will assure their material conditions. Because people never worship without eating, so continue to question the system which hinder people to access to food and health care. This is the work of god, about finding the solution of things.
Only SP Zambia (Socialist Party Zambia) tried to explain the ideology of socialism as a path which will drive the nation after election. They showed the problem of the system on health care, education, clean and safe water and housing and land question and class dynamics under neoliberalism in Zambia. This is very crucial, because in politics of election in multiparty system, politics derived by color of the parties and beauty of personality of leadership rather than the ideological ground of the parties. The SP escaped these cheap politics, the politics of numbers of voters and manipulation during the election. They showed the people of Zambia needs and wants. They explain about class dynamics within the nation, this is true politics, about class question. I saw SP matero rally, the speech from incoming president Fred M’membe said it is not possible to build a more justice, a more fair and a more humane society without equity, equity in terms of education, access to health services, food, clean water and sanitation and all services” from these word you can see the ideological ground and ways towards a truly development under socialism.
Zambian do not need election, they saw many elections with different regime, still their life remains the same, they need food, clothes and shelter, the material conditions under ideology which will drive these. Zambia had a lesson from 11 August 2015, the people aspirations and sentiments, were not only about the party A and B (PF or UPND), it was about the hope of the material conditions. This will be the same to the next election of August 2021.
In nutshell, we need to think beyond the politics of election and populism, and to go to the politics of liberalism, liberation of the masses. We need politics which will drive the ideology of socialism, ideology of masses on decentralization of major means of production in the hand of masses, not this tripartite election.
Nassoro kitunda, A Political Economist in Tanzania. he can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org