A STATEMENT BY THE THREE CHURCH MOTHER BODIES ON THE NATIONAL DIALOGUE FORUM
To all members of the three Church Mother Bodies, namely, the Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ), the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ) and the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) as well as all people of good will, we greet you and say “May the peace of the Risen Christ be with you all.”
We the three Church Mother Bodies would like, first of all to put on record our unwavering desire to support any process that conforms to constitutionalism, democratic governance and respect for human rights in Zambia. This has been our plea and indeed the desire of the majority Zambians. That is why in principle, we have nothing against National Dialogue, but we have had serious concerns with regard to the process and contents of the National Dialogue Forum Act. Our hope and prayer, is that the Forum produces the desired results which will be acceptable and in the interest of the majority Zambians.
Our Participation in the Current National Dialogue Forum
As we noted in our joint submission to the parliamentary committee on 26th March 2019, this country “… needed to have embarked on a serious process of genuine and nationwide dialogue that is aimed at national healing and reconciliation.” Unfortunately, the ongoing dialogue process is unlikely to achieve national healing and reconciliation.
Arising from the aforementioned, and after receiving calls from key stakeholders the Church took up the challenge of initiating, facilitating and leading the national dialogue and reconciliation process. As a result, a National Dialogue and Reconciliation Framework and guidelines for the process were developed after an intensive process of consultations with key stakeholders including government.
Why the Church is not Participating
The NDF Act of 2019 does not provide a guarantee for the protection of the contents of the outcome that will be generated by the National Dialogue Forum (NDF). This is because there is no provision in the Act, as the final NDF resolutions will be subjected to further parliamentary deliberations and scrutiny.
Contrary to our submission to remove the members of parliament from the Forum, the Act still maintained this provision. Our concern is that the MPs will have undue privilege at the end of the NDF process, to look at the Forum resolutions again and where possible alter the agreed outcomes. We find this anomaly to be against the rules of natural justice, where in this case, the same people who will participate in the initial discussions will be the ones again to scrutinize the same contents (Bills).
In our view and learning from other jurisdictions, it is best practice, especially in constitutional making process, to have an independent committee of experts that reviews and refines all the submissions from the people through such fora as the NDF before they are taken to parliament for enactment. This would reduce the inconsistences and lacunas in the constitution.
Given the limited time (only ten days)allocated to this process, the Church is still concerned, as a matter of procedure with the simultaneous handling of the constitutional refinements with other pieces of legislation which must derive their existence from the constitution as a supreme law.
The NDF Act does not provide for the enhancement of the Bill of Rights by way of a referendum. We feel that this is too cardinal to leave out in this process because the Bill of Rights is essential to enjoying our rights under the constitution. Our call has always been having a comprehensive constitution making process that does not leave out the question of human rights.
The composition of the National Dialogue Forum (NDF) is highly dominated by people with undue influence from their appointing authority. Our concern is that, when it comes to voting on particular issues not agreed by consensus, the outcome may possibly go the majority way.
In the spirit of genuine dialogue and reconciliation we feel that the punitive clauses put in the Act do not speak well to the objectives of the National dialogue process.
The way forward for the Church
Though we are not participating in the National Dialogue Forum, the Church will not lose sight of its God-given ministry of reconciliation, peace building and enhancing national unity. Therefore, the three Church Mother Bodies will continue using a pastoral approach and its prophetic voice to promote a genuine national dialogue and reconciliation and so;
Without attempting to create a parallel process, we will embark on a vigorous pastoral campaign to promote dialogue using the bottom-up approach, where direct engagement of the people at the local community level will be done. This way people from all walks of life will have an opportunity to discuss issues that affect them in a reconciliatory manner.
While we value the constitutional and legal refinements, we strongly believe that genuine reconciliation cannot be attained through mere legal amendments. As such the Church will continue to pursue mediation between conflicting parties.
In the spirit of national dialogue and reconciliation the three Church Mother Bodies will continue with the effective engagement of key stakeholders. This engagement will also involve individuals and organizations of good will thereby enhancing reconciliation.
From the very beginning of the Church led National Dialogue and Reconciliation process, our vision has always been “A conversion of hearts and minds, leading to a united, reconciled and peaceful Zambia where all citizens freely participate in governance within a thriving social and economic environment”. We remain committed to this vision. We are resolved to remain non-partisan, inclusive and committed to bring people from all walks of life and political persuasions together in the spirit of “One Zambia, One Nation.” Our Churches should remain a neutral space which brings all people on an equal basis in the presence of God.
The father of our nation turns 95 tomorrow. We thank God for him and we honour his legacy.
Kaunda was the son of Christian missionaries. He began work as a teacher and became a principal. In 1949 he joined the anti-colonial Northern Rhodesia African Congress and eventually became the leader of the independence movement, advocating a policy of positive nonviolent action.
He was President of Zambia from its independence from the UK in 1964 until 1991. After independence Kaunda faced tribal factionalism which he tried to solve by making Zambia a one-party state. In the 1980s he focused chiefly on Zambia’s huge foreign debt.
The UPND’s vision for economic transformation is intact and we are privileged to have a team with the required expertise, guiding our progressive policy framework. We shall be ready on day one, to begin transforming Zambia. Stay engaged for our policy updates.- HH
Traders and entrepreneurs across all levels of our economy need access to affordable capital in order to grow their businesses. Our vision for financial inclusion is robust and will catalyse job creation through small and mid-sized business development. -HH
The dwindling foreign-exchange reserves, now at about $1.5 Billion USD or 10% of Zambia’s external debt, the lowest ratio among all African nations holding eurobonds means soon the exchange rate will be K15 to $1, unless mitigation measures are taken now.
Our mitigating measures would include:
(1) Cleaning up the debt statistics & securing a package to prop up the BOP;
(2) Cutting out non-priority Govt. imports (e.g., luxury 4x4s for Ministers
(3) Regaining investor confidence by suspending new debt contraction.
Exorbitant government expenditure has driven our budget deficit that makes us unable to pay civil servants salaries, medical supplies and support UNZA students with meal allowances etc. We will not allow unnecessary expenditure at the expense of the Zambian people. – HH
Last night we reflected on a difficult Easter period in 2017 for us and our families during our 127-day incarceration. We prayed for strength and deliverance and felt no fear for the Lord was with us.
Chairman of the Economics and Finance Committee
UNITED PARTY FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (UPND)
Lack of decent employment opportunities is one of the serious socio-economic problems facing Zambia today. More than four hundred thousand young people roll out of schools, colleges and universities each year to enter the job market. Tragically only a tiny fraction of them are able to secure employment, leaving behind a large army of angry and disappointed youths.
Contrast the situation above with the one that obtained at the time I was graduating from high school (form 5) in 1974. On the closing day, prospective employers arrived at the school gate ready to pick up young recruits to employ them after undergoing the necessary training. Even junior secondary school graduates (form two) easily obtained employment as teachers, policemen, clerks, craftsmen, technicians, etc. Indeed, that was a wonderful time to be a youth. If you made it in education, you had every reason to have hope for a prosperous future. Of course, the set back then was the limited educational spaces which left many people behind.
Is it possible to return to the glorious days on the labor market as it was early after independence? Can we get to even higher levels of employment than that of the early independence days?
The answer is a clear yes. Many countries have achieved that feat within a generation. With all her natural resources and a low population, it should not be an impossible feat for Zambia to create jobs for the five million or so people who are seeking for jobs.
Achieving full employment does not come about on its own or by accident. It must be planned for and the plans competently executed. It is not enough to possess natural resources and expect a country to be wealthy. Mere presence of natural resources is like having all the ingredients required to make a meal such as meat, vegetables, rice, etc. But the separate ingredients on their own do not deliver a meal on the table. They require to be prepared before they can be turned into food for eating. Similarly, natural together with human resources must be prepared before they can produce wealth together with the positive things that go with it such as jobs. Our inability to create full decent employment since independence reflects our failure as a country to prepare and blend together the natural and human resources to create wealth and jobs.
As an illustration to this point, let’s take a look at tourism and its role in employment creation.
About three weeks ago I visited the small border town of Kasane in Botswana. Although it is a small town it is full of tourist activity. It has several large, medium and small tourist hotels which, as I was informed, get very busy each year from April until early into the following year.
Tourist activities are evident everywhere. And, of course, there is plenty of wild life including the four of the big five that one can see with little effort using either water or land transport or both. There are some seemingly non-tourist business activities such as trading, banking and other services. But they all feed off from tourism. Take away tourism the town will find it hard to survive.
Across the Zambezi river opposite Kasane is Kazungula town in Zambia. The natural resource endowment on both sides of the river is very similar if not the same. On the Zambian side however, the roaring tourism observed in Kasane is totally absent. Why is this so?
The answer is that Botswana has done a better job in planning for the utilization of her natural and human resources to establish a thriving tourist industry that has created employment opportunities for her people. Zambia, with the same natural resource endowment like Botswana in the same region has failed to take advantage of her resource base that is similar to that found in Botswana. The contrasting details leading to success or failure are as follows:
Botswana has organized for the well being of her wildlife in the area, including protection from poachers.
Botswana undertook a superior and comprehensive land use plan of the Kasane area that provided for, among others, catering for wildlife livelihood, tourist lodges, tourist activities, commercial activities and public administration, etc. The place is well planned.
Botswana has invested in appropriate infrastructure in Kasane like internationally linked roads to South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia. There is an international airport and electric power is available for investors in lodges and indeed even residents to tap into.
In short, Botswana has ensured that there is plentiful wildlife for tourists to see within close vicinity of Kasane itself; she has provided for the private sector to invest in lodges and hotels and has created the transport platforms for guests to be able to travel to Kasane in comfort.
Finally, the government is pro active and encouraging investors to come to Kasane to invest in hotels and lodges and other commercial activities. In our systems, it can take more than five years before a tourist operating license is issued. This of course results in delays in lodges being opened which also delays the creation of jobs.
The end results are so evident. Kasane is thriving economically with tourism as the anchor industry and this has created employment opportunities. Kazungula has not achieved the same.
With so many tourist raw products found all over Zambia, there is no reason why hundreds of tourist towns cannot emerge in our country.
Here is a final example of lost opportunities to create many jobs in tourism. This industry in Zambia is in need of diversifying tourist products to complement Victoria Falls, Kafue National Park, Luangwa National Park, Lower Zambezi and other traditional tourist areas. One of the contenting areas for this is the so called “Northern Circuit”. The Northern Circuit includes the Kasaba Bay area.
Kasaba Bay on Lake Tanganyika in northern Zambia was famous because it was one of President Kaunda’s favorite official hide outs where he retreated and came back with serious national pronouncements like cabinet reshuffles. But it is a beautiful place in its own right. It has all that it takes to be transformed into an active tourist resorts with many international class hotels and lodges employing thousands of youths. Kasaba Bay can be busier than Kasane.
The area has wildlife, water and sandy beaches. Moreover, it sits right in the middle of Africa. As such, it has great potential to be transformed into a Pan African conference center where participants from the east, west, north and south of Africa can all congregate. The place can offer both serious official business as well as leisure simultaneously. At present the tourist activity there is tiny and it needs to be enhanced so that more jobs are created.
This potential to upgrade the Kasaba Bay area was recognized in the last few years of the MMD government. The following were identified as the necessary interventions that could prepare the place to be attractive to investors.
The Ministries of Land and Tourism to undertake land use plan of the area including environmental assessments. Plots for hotels and lodges were to be identified as well as those for other activities and they were all to be marked on the ground. This task was undertaken though I am not sure if it was concluded.
The airport at Kasaba Bay was to be extended and upgraded so that it could handle higher volumes of local and international traffic. The existing aerodrome from the Kaunda days is too small. This work commenced and I believe at the time the PF came into government it was at the stage where the runway was about to be stabilized prior to tarring. The works were abandoned by the PF with 2,000 bags of cement going to waste.
Electricity was to be brought to Kasaba Bay from Luzua Power Station outside Mpulungu. This was because there was no electricity in the area which would have been a problem for big hotels wishing to establish. The work to construct high tension power towers from Luzua to Kasaba Bay was completed before PF took over.
The power station at Kasaba Bay was to be upgraded from its capacity of less than one mega watt to about 14 megawatts. This was because the existing power output was already inadequate for the existing domestic consumption at Mpulungu, Mbala and Sumbawanga (in Tanzania) even before the envisaged establishment of big hotels at Kasaba Bay. The works to upgrade the power station was commenced during the MMD rule and I believe it has now been completed under PF.
A road was to be constructed from Mpulungu to Kasaba Bay. The purpose was to establish market linkages between the towns of Mbala and Mpulungu so that farmers in those areas would be able to deliver produce like beef, chickens, eggs, vegetables etc. to the emerging tourist town of Kasaba Bay. I am not sure about the status of that road but works did commence during the MMD administration.
Finally, the Ministries of Lands, Tourism and for Local Government were to take administrative measures within themselves to expedite the processes of quickly approving various application. It is pointless to undertake all the other preparations but then fail to quickly give licenses to the very investors who are responsible for creating jobs.
The upshot is that the PF government has abandoned the Kasaba Bay tourist initiative. Meantime, they have been building airports in places where there is no tourist potential leaving the Kasaba Bay area in limbo. Roads have been constructed everywhere else but the Mpulungu to Kasaba bay road which was meant to be an important linkage has been ignored. This is a clear example of a situation where a national development plan says one thing but the funding of activities by the national Treasury does something totally different.
Eight years into the PF government, the dream of turning Kasaba Bay into a regional recreational and conference tourist center has died. This is how a replica of Kasane in Botswana at Kasaba Bay has failed. This is how we have lost opportunities to create thousands of jobs for young people at Kasaba Bay. When UPND gets into office, it is initiatives such as this that it will vigorously implement throughout the country so that the objective of creating full employment for the youth, as it was just after independence can be realized.
Had a successful visit to the Mast Newspaper in Lusaka today. UPND guarantees media freedom, human rights as well as freedoms and liberties for all citizens.
When in government, we will empower the Media to operate freely in their role as the Forth Estate. Having a robust media will lead to investor confidence and eventually help in telling our economic recovery story.
Press freedom will be a must in our time and therefore, we call on all citizens, party members to respect the Media and accord them space to perform their duties. This applies even to the state media. We know that in a good environment, the Media will be self regulated and not be subject to the current gagging by politicians with an agenda or scores to settle.
The revelations that PF has created 27 000 is something that leaves our unemployed youths wondering where these jobs are, because physically there is no movement in employment levels to the tune of such numbers. Why should it take PF to break the “good” news in South Africa? Yet these jobs were created in 2018 and since then the PF government kept quiet until this year, something is not fitting well here.
If indeed PF created so many jobs they would have announced this on top of their voices and most likely in Sesheke or Dundumwezi. But since this was done in a foreign land, it raises a lot of suspicions. We challenge the Minister to give us a break down of that number, Province by Province or District by District and the nature of jobs created.
We just hope PF does not mean those boys washing cars in town centers are the jobs PF is talking about? Because when you look at the number 27 000 and the car washers though out the Country it makes sense. This is the only industry that PF can talk about. Other than that PF is just embarrassing itself. Since the collapse of our industrial base PF has never attempted to revamp it, because they have no idea on how to do it. So what reforms is PF talking about?
We in the UPND wonder how PF has been running a complicated Industry like Mining with a collapsed industrial base. Go to any mining town and see if you will find any mechanical or electrical workshop to feed the mining industry for its required spares. And yet mining Companies import anything from a nut to the most sophisticated spare part. What this means is that you have allowed jobs to be exported to other Countries. Has it ever come to your senses why Zambians do not benefit from the mines and why unemployment level is so high in the mine townships?
I know this may sound too complicated for your understanding, it’s like Am talking in tongues. However as UPND we have already done a blue print on how to revamp the collapsed industrial base to create real jobs for Zambians; this is the only way Zambians will benefit from the mines. It is common sense that Countries are strategizing on how to create jobs for their citizens and if you don’t know what you are doing you will be creating jobs for others. No wonder capital flight is so high from the mines.
Luckily enough, most Zambians are fed up with PF leadership; you will be amazed how this Country will be transformed into a middle income Country in a very short time. HH and the UPND are very serious; they know what to do once in power.
UPND – Chairman for Mines and Freedom Fighter
PRESS STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*
March 30, 2019
*NAWAKWI HAS LOST POLITICAL RELEVANCE, DOES NOT CARE ABOUT ZAMBIANS, SHOULD LEAVE HH AND UPND ALONE*
I wish put it to the attention of the FDD lone leader Edith NAWAKWI that she has become a political scrap which has lost its relevance as evidenced by her support for the violent Patriotic Front.
Ms. Nawakwi has lost political direction and can not rightfully tell wrong from right.
Nawakwi the leader of a party, FDD, in oblivion has no morals to suggest the banning of UPND from participating in elections and should keep her mouth from launching unfounded attacks on UPND President Hakainde Hichilema who is far above her political level.
Nawakwi is now a job seeker who was eyeing the position of Running Mate in the Patriotic Front after Her Honor Inonge Wina had left and this is the reason she had started writing “Love Letters” to President Edgar Lungu and the PF.
I am advising Nawakwi to stop deceiving and misleading the Zambian people who were aware of the PF Violence in the country.
Nawakwi has no heart and does not care about the Zambians who have been subjected to abject poverty by the PF government.
It is unfortunate that Nawakwi could declare the PF as a non violent Party with all atrocities they have committed against Zambians just because she wants to become Edgar Lungu’s 2nd In Charge.
Nawakwi need to introspect and tell Zambians the truth about Political Violence in the country.
Nawakwi should as well ask herself about which political party attacked UPND female youth and stripped her naked on Youth Day Lusaka in 2016? Which political party attacked, hacked and maimed UPND members during the burial of late Clance Zulu? Which political party caused the deaths of Mapenzi Chibulo, Malesu, Vespers and others?
Can Nawakwi further ask herself which political party attacked, hacked and abducted UPND members in Lundazi and Chililabombwe during the February 12, 2019 by election campaigns?
As a mother, Nawakwi is expected to expose the PF political violence and not tell lies out of things which were in public domain.
If Nawakwi was honest with her assertions against UPND why did she avoid commenting on the failure by the police to arrest the six (6) PF thugs who were found in possession of Matchets and guns in Sesheke?
On Nawakwi’s celebration of the UPND Lusaka Province Chairman Obvious Mwaliteta’s arrest, I wish to educate her that Hon. Mwaliteta is Innocent until proven guilty by the courts of law and not herself.
*UPND Copperbelt Provincial Chairman*
WE SHALL BE LEFT WITH NO CHOICE BUT TO DEFEND OURSELVES SINCE ECZ IS FAILING AS A REFEREE – KATUKA*
The United Party for National Development, UPND is a sober, civilised and disciplined political party but with a capacity to defend itself when provoked, says party Secretary General Stephen Katuka.
Speaking in the aftermath of the violence that rocked the Mkomba ward and Sesheke constituency elections in which a horde of PF cadres led by known elements attacked the UPND campaign posts yesterday, Mr.Katuka said the party has the capacity to defend itself against the PF which was hiding behind the strength of some bad elements in the Zambia police service.
He said it was shame that the Electoral Commission of Zambia has failed to play its constitutional role as an election referee but is instead being seen to side with the ruling party thus creating a source of conflict and mistrust among political players.
“We do not believe in violence like the PF.But this manner of uncivilised behavior by the PF leaves us with no choice but to demand that our members defend themselves against PF and ‘police’ aggression on them because we are equal to the task.What defensive mechanisms the members will employ is dependant on themselves.This is not right and the ECZ is watching instead of playing its role as an election referee.This we shall not tolerate, ” he said.
” We had a meeting with the ECZ on 7th January 2019 with President Hichilema and other senior party officials at which we told the commission that it is failing to manage elections in the country.Yesterday’s violent attacks in Lundazi and Sesheke have vindicated us.It is the role of the ECZ to manage the elections by detailing the police and telling them what is expected of them.Teargas is unnecessarily unnecessary in an election.Elections should not be a source of conflicts but a joy for choosing representatives, “he added.
Mr.Katuka further said the PF were the major beneficiaries of a defective Public order Act and misrule hence its snubbing of the church led national dialogue process which would iron out the defects, adding that the PF was facing an imminent election defeat thus resorting to violence, intimidation and other acts of terror.
He also adviced the Inspector General of Police, Kakoma Kanganja to tame his officer’s insatiable appetite for teargas describing the conduct as primitive and aimed at intimidating voters and campaigners.
” We have since written to the Electoral Commission of Zambia and attached video evidence of the PF violence in Lundazi.We have since demanded that the commission disciplines the PF as the sponsor of violence and show cause why its candidate should not be disqualified in line with the Electoral Act.Any failure by the commission to take remedial steps against the PF will leave us with no choice but believe that they are in collusion with the PF, ” the Secretary General said.
8 UPND members were yesterday left with minor injuries after their camp was invaded by known PF members led by area independent lawmaker Lawrence Nyirenda and District PF IPS Portipher Mbewe.
The attack was however repelled by an irate mob of villagers who outnumbered the assailants while police fired teargas canisters in Sesheke in a show of defiance by residents which lasted more than 2 hours.
*UPND MEDIA TEAM*
Our country is facing unprecedented social, economic and political problems. We need to quickly find a permanent solution to these challenges and the solutions is having a caring and credible leadership.
This takes us to the forgotten agriculture sector by the PF and Mr Edgar Lungu. Most maize fields have dried up a sign that poverty levels will escalate to unprecedented levels in our country and this we stated long before the rain season that mechanisms to support life needed to be in place.
In view of that, it is only logical for the PF leadership to rescind their decision of exporting maize and mealiemeal until such a time when we will be certain that our people have and will have enough food to even export the surplus.
This is why we say for us it’s; Zambia and Zambian first.
People’s power is our power and your power.
Naomi Tetamashimba wrote:
Congratulations PF at this point I don't even want to talk about how you got it but the fact still remains that you were declared winners and congratulations.
Now coming to my party UPND,this loss is painful because it is a loss that we allowed. The stealing excuse is old now and we cannot continue using that as an excuse.
We lost because we allowed it.
We are failing ourselves, we are failing my president and we are failing the people looking for hope.
The truth will always sound like hate to those that can't stand it but at this stage I don't care what names you call me but I will speak my mind.
We are not doing enough to convince people we are a better choice. I for one I know far too well that HH is a good leader and if given a chance can transform this nation but what am I doing to ensure others see what I see?
We are failing.
If the other camp's strategy is stealing , atleast they have one but what is ours? I now see how those that are not strong easily give up. It's not easy .
In the midst of what the nation is facing , people somehow feel they are better off with PF. The njala issue you even need to stop it coz it's annoying now. The question is what are we not doing right? After a loss we say let's go back to the drawing board, do we even have one?
You cannot win an election by sidelining the youths and even naimwe Ba youth you cannot win if you only think your job is to provide security to the president. Your focus begins and ends at been security - imwe !!!!
I say let's create a drawing board, buy pens and start writing.
They say we don't have strategist , at this point I want to be one, they say it's the leadership well let's sit down and see what that means and address it but above all, let's listen to what people want and let's focus on what leadership under upnd would look like as focusing on individuals only makes us look bitter.