Opposition unity

It is gratifying that the opposition is finally coming together to chart a common approach towards national issues.

The role of the opposition is not to oppose Government for the sake of opposing but to provide an alternative approach to issues, especially those that impinge on national, sovereignty, economic prosperity and the rule of law.

It is not always that the opposition must attack Government just as it is not always that the Government must condemn the opposition. There comes a time when they must choose to agree and others when the must choose to agree to disagree. These are choices that must be made with informed deliberation rather than obstinacy.

Unfortunately our track record has been divisive and therefore sent wrong signals to institutions of governance such as the police, Anti Corruption Commission, Judiciary and the Police. An impression has been created that those running such institutions must be accountable to the political leadership in power than to the principles that guide them.

This situation has arisen partly because of fragmentation in the opposition which has not been able to offer a cohesive voice and equally the fragmentation within the ruling party where policies are developed on ad-hoc basis leading to insecurity and lack of cohesiveness.

There is no reason why, for example, that the Government rejected the opposition bill calling for a roadmap on the constitution. In our view that bill was a total compromise which did not offer any directive to the Government. Sadly it was opposed by Government for the sake of opposing and for the PF MPs to be seen to be taking a position.

Equally our opposition is fraught with insecurity. Although select committees in Parliament are led by the opposition, it is rare that they have taken a common position even on issues of common interest. That is how come the position of the Anti Corruption Commission has been allowed to become partisan to mention but a few instances of opposition failure.

The only time a select committee has shown backbone is over the appointment of the Acting Chief Justice where they have stood firm.

Time has come for our politics to mature and go beyond personalities to dealing with real time issues that involve the bread and butter issues facing the electorate.

The parties must begin to articulate themselves more coherently in a civil and authoritative manner if they are to serve as the legitimate, informed voice that make Government answerable to the public.

The economic problems we are confronting today would have been avoided if the opposition had taken a clear position on excessive Government expenditure. They should have spoken out more vigorously when statutory instruments No. 55 and 33 were enacted. The instruments went a long way in undermining business confidence.

The Government will work with opposition with a measure of confidence if a demonstrable appreciation of knowledge of issues is exhibited.

We know that among the opposition are a number of well versed lawyers, economists, social scientist, medical practitioners and a host of other professions who should be able to guide and assist the Government through debate in the national assembly.

Our hope therefore is that the opposition will come together and improve their act in order to offer a formidable, informed and well versed opposition that will speak for the voiceless.

One thought on “Opposition unity

  1. The opposition has been timid, uncordinated and above all else reckless in their manner of dealing with critical national issues in parliament. They squable among themselves to jostle for limelight but fail to score for the Zambian common man when it really matters.. I aagree with the author; now is time for maturity..Opposition to government should be mature and rational and among themselves there should be a decorum of sanity; only then will the ZZambian people start taking them seriously..With the current level of alleged corruption, uncoordinated utterances from governement including dubious fiscal policies, this is the time when opposition should stand out and strongly address and challenge government upfront. The parliamentary committees have been a serious let down. ratifying peiople whan they are not supposed to ratified only later to be seeking judicial reviews.. what nonsence. Lets stand up to what we are as a people .. Principle and courage to do the right thing..The level of effort coming in from the oppositon is dismal to say the least. WAKE UP and stop being to comfortable..

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