Principled Politics

We are firmly in the era of political meaninglessness, an era in which politics are bereft of principle, integrity and at worst truth.
Our politicians compete to make the most outrageous statements about serious national issues, all in the name of freedom of expression and championing a political cause.
It was criminal for example for a politician to suggest that load shedding was a result of mis-management rather than the physical reality that the region and not Zambia alone had a deficit in rainfall resulting in low down volumes.
It is more criminal that our politicians are opposing an increase in electricity tariffs when it is notorious and common knowledge that Zambia has the lowest tariffs in the region, which tariffs will firstly discourage any private participation in power generation but more importantly will make Zesco run at a loss and therefore fail to re-capitalise and participate in new generating capacities.
The tragedy is that our politics remain metaphysical by attempting to ascribe all phenomenon to human failure.
There is a very clear and distinctive lack of intellectual depth to the quality of discourse and debate. The collapse of the competing paradigms of capitalism and socialism has left a void in which politicians contest over inanities.
For example none of the opposition politicians has engaged Government over its policy of public investment in infrastructure, in roads, public education, tax policy, and general thrust towards supporting private investment.
This is a public policy initiative that the Patriotic Front has taken in charting the path of growth and development. It is a policy for which it has borrowed from international organizations to fund and ensure continued economic activity and GDP growth.
No cogent alternative programme has been presented. Instead ad hominem criticism has been directed at the President and his operatives.
Not a single opposition political party has advanced any tangible programme or proposal for radical judicial reform that will bring legal political order in the country. Neither has any party advanced an alternative education formula that will bring quality education in the country.
Instead the political arena is replete with empty clichés and colloquialism based on the metaphysical utopia where policies work effortlessly to create an ideal world.
Our intellectuals who should provide political vocabularies and meaning are singularly absent from active interaction thereby denying the people of Zambia an informed opinion on which they can make decisions on civic, political and socio-economic matters.
Civil society which should reflect special concern has also ceased to articulate common concerns preferring, instead to politick through the “tyranny of theory”.
They have no experience in governance but would rather articulate themselves above the heads of their interest groups which lag behind in resultant odium and political noise.
There is need for sanity, clarity and intellectual order in our politics to give direction and identity to the various parties actors and interest groups.
It is not enough to make noise. Players must be succinct, clear and provide a vision and roadmap for the country. Only then will they be relevant to the new political and economic dispensation that Zambia is undergoing.
It is not too late, we still have one year in which the parties can decide distinct platforms on which they will stand. The Rainbow Party has chosen the globally discarded socialist framework as their light. Others must do so too.