Local News

Partisan CSOs caned

By BENNIE MUNDANDO
PARTISAN Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) must join politics because they serve no purpose in the development of this country, the Gallant Youth of Zambia (GYZ) has said.
GYZ board member, Henry Mulenga, yesterday told the Daily Nation that while the role of CSOs was to enhance national development, the trend was slowly changing as most of their leaders were now toeing partisan lines for personal aggrandisement.
He said the CSOs had been divided into three groups, namely, those which were perpetually pro-government, those anti-government and those which did not know where to stand. “This is very retrogressive in terms of national development and providing checks and balances that any well-meaning Government desires to have. This is because the civil society makes Government thrive to deliver promises and programmes that they have for the electorates.
“This also enables Government to reflect on the campaign promises they have made whether they have been fulfilled or not and if they haven’t been fulfilled, spell out the plan on what they have put in place to ensure that they are on course,” Mr Mulenga said.
Mr Mulenga said with deeply segmented CSOs on partisan lines, the people of Zambia were likely to suffer. “Those who are running these CSOs must sober up and get back to their prime purposes of creating these institutions because advancing their personal ego, will not in any way help this country develop
“Those who want to be pro-government, it is better they become partisan and join the ruling party and if they want to be anti-government, they must join the opposition and seek the podium of not speaking as a CSOs, but political cadres,” he said.
Mr Mulenga advised leaders of CSOs to swallow their pride and put up their position before the public so that they know which political party they belonged to unlike always speaking for politicians.
He said it was not possible for a CSO to always agree with what Government was doing or always disagreeing with what Government was doing.
“Where Government has done well, we must give credit. Where Government has failed, they must point out these shortcomings and the same must be applied to the opposition. CSOs must provide workable solutions toward the governance of the country for the sake of the common Zambian.
“They must come out of their hibernation and state their positions correctly and not hiding behind the veil of being CSOs,” Mr Mulenga said.

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