Politics of the belly


The number of political parties on the books of the Registrar of Societies is quite shocking.

A number of parties have failed to actively participate in elections since they were founded. The question that begs an immediate answer is, “What values do some of these registered-for-nothing political parties espouse?”

It is our considered view that individuals behind some of these parties must have been driven by either some ulterior motive for self-aggrandisement or advancing some personal agenda and not to serve the people of this country.

They therefore lack the conviction and passion to live by set values, if at all they have any, to make selfless contribution in the quest to serve humanity in the manner the likes of Mahatma Ghandi of India and Nelson Mandela of South Africa did at the time they rose to such positions.

The conduct of such visionless and valueless political leaders leaves much to be desired.  This is purely political prostitution. Just look at their behaviour when it is time for general elections. They are usually the first ones to jump ship or defecting to the seemingly more promising political party in the name of endorsement.

The genuineness of such support is, in fact, highly questionable as it has become crystal clear that after all they merely rally behind others with the sole hope of being given jobs. This is manifestly noticed when they begin to complain if not given what was promised to them.

We are fully aware that with the current political dispensation in which for a political party to emerge victorious and form government it must garner 50 percent plus one of the validly cast votes, this puts many of these briefcase political parties on the pedestal.

It is understandable that, for some this is their very first foray into the political arena but others have simply become stunted and only exist on paper and highly passive to a point of extinction. One characteristic of many of such parties is the feature of hibernating after the general elections and only resurfacing a few months before elections.

Is this all there is for the sake of having a name of being some president of a certain political party? Some of them have purely remained as one-man or ‘nashala neka’ political parties. Unfortunately, such is the only longstanding value they have been known and seem to stand for.

This spineless political behaviour exhibited by the majority of such leaders who stand for nothing worth fighting for is uninspiring to say the least. Could this be typical of what the old man Daniel Munkombwe called politics of the belly?

Surely, there is need for political leaders to stand by a set of values upon which their political parties are founded if we are to see meaningful political development in our democracy.