|The Citizens Democratic Party
|"Putting People First"
|taught in order to sustain its continuity.
Democracy and its values is such an idea
that has to be taught in form of civic
education from generation to generation for
it to work and achieve that continuity.
It is important therefore, that our citizenry is
continuously enlightened in civic matters to
in order to effectively contribute to the
governance of our country.
|Putting Civic Matters First
|Journalists on recently held presidential election in Lusaka said;
The recent presidential by-election won narrowly by Rupiah Banda exposed glaring weaknesses in the Zambian electoral
process, Catholic bishops said.
The election, following the death of President Levy Mwanawasa, has left the country more divided than before, the bishops said
in a pastoral statement issued on Sunday. They warned that, ‘If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.’
As in previous elections, the prelates said, the pattern of voting on October 30 was along very partisan, regional and tribal lines.
“We now appear more divided and polarized, as a nation, than we were before multi-partyism was re-introduced in 1991. This
state of affairs is worrying and should not be allowed to continue.”
While commending the people for voting peacefully, the bishops expressed concern about the high level of apathy - only 43
percent of the voters bothered to cast their ballots, compared to 70 percent in 2006.
Voter apathy is partly the result of thinking that one’s vote does not count. It is also due to the public perception of alleged
irregularities in the conduct of elections, the bishops said. “Our message to all Zambians is: Never get tired of voting, as your
apathy will only deny you the choice of your preferred candidate.”
Bribery and other forms of corrupt practices were used to induce votes during the campaigns, the bishops said, and warned
that the vices were increasingly being seen as normal during election campaigns.
The bishops called for continuous voter registration in accordance with a law that was passed in 2001, but which has never
been implemented. They also proposed far-reaching electoral reforms to enhance credibility of national elections in Zambia
before the next polls in 2011.
The bishops urged the new government to ensure that a new Constitution is in place by the end of 2009, at the latest.
They also said they were available to facilitate reconciliation between leaders of political parties. The opposition presidential
contender Michael Sata who lost narrowly to President Banda rejected the results.
Sourse: Lusaka Times
|Africa's Challenge: Using Law for Good Governance and Development.
By Fr. Bwalya and Lucian
Book Review By Lucian, Highland CA.
|The propositions outlined in the book we put together two years ago, entitled, Africa's Challenge: Using Law for Good
Governance and Development. I contributed chapter 6 to this book. In one of the propositions, the writer indicates that 'unless
deliberately changed through the use of state power, necessary exercised Over time, they may change--but not necessarily in
ways that reflect the wishes of either governors or governed. Neither weak resources nor weak leaders, but weak institutions,
shaped over the years by competing colonial powers, have continued to perpetuate Zambia's problems such as poor
governance. In Zambia, it has become very apparent, 44 years after political independence, that we must begin focusing on
future efforts to strengthen drafting capacity and law-making institutions to enable law-makers to use law to transform
dysfunctional socio-economic institutions and foster democratic social change. Unless deliberately changed or transformed
through conscious human action, institutions in Zambia may change--but not necessarily in ways likely to contribute to
redirecting the development of the country's resources to fulfill majority of Zambian's basic needs.
In summary, institutions or repetitive patterns of behavior are at the root of some of the problems that Fr Bwalya has outlined in
his article. Many of Zambia's governors seem to have embraced this repetitive behavior of abandoning efforts to use law
constructively to transform the country's inherited dysfunctional institutions. Functioning in colonially-shaped governing
institutions characterized by secrecy and non-accountability, some of our Zambian governors discovered opportunities for
corrupt behaviors that have continued to enrich themselves and their cronies. Turning cynical, they have continued to use their
law-making status, not to advance the public interest, but to enhance their own positions of influence and power.
In the third part of the book I just mentioned here, drawing on Zambian experience, I proposed one possible strategy for
improving the law-making process required to produce legislation to transform dysfunctional institutions: The enactment of a
Zambian law to establish a national Commission on Law and Integrated National Development. Essentially a new law-making
institution, that Commission would study the national economy and the institutions that constitute it, region by region, sector by
sector. My proposed Law and National Integrated Development Commission suggest one device to remedy a common defect in
African law-making for development: The relative absence of proposals for legislation likely to transform problematic
institutions. To adopt it--or any other proposal towards the same end--obviously requires much national and local discussion.
Finally, to use law instrumentally to transform societies---that is, to develop, ---requires detailed behavioral research. I guess
that research never proves costless. Donor agencies may contribute. Local citizens will participate because of their interest in
the outcomes. To help address some of the problems confronting us that Fr Bwalya has outlined in his truth-telling article, we
as a nation need to learn and practice how to use law and the legal order as instruments for democratic social change. We
need to increasingly engage the Zambian population and specifically stakeholders or relevant partners in creating an on-going,
self-reliant law-making process. I do believe that the old colonial institutions in Zambia have continued, still very authoritarian,
arbitrary, and often very brutal, producing and reproducing poverty, vulnerability, poor governance, constantly changing but not in
ways likely to foster either good governance or people-oriented development. These are the few insights I decided to share after
reading Fr Bwalya's article. I hope his story will challenge each one of us to find a way by which we can begin the process of
transforming our rich and endowed country.
Lucian Highland, CA
|Election divided Zambia more than before- Catholic bishops
Read the story below and post your COMMENTS
|"Putting People First"