“NOTHING, IS AS LOATHSOME, AS THE INSATIABLE LUST FOR POWER, IN A POLITICIAN, BUT MEASURED POWER, IS RARE FOR FOOLS” ( SHIMUNZA, 2022).
The Presidency of Zambia , historically, has tended to favour the least expected Presidents. Democracy, without an authentic reverence, for the Supremamcy and fear of God , leads to mere erroneous humanism, and it’s surrogates of; secularism, socialism, and communism, sadly.
Therefore, Zambia needs an alternative State Crafting, and a government system without political hegemony. We need a Procedural Democracy, beyond institutional democracy. The theory of democracy, must inform the practice of it’s tenets, beyond realism and liberalism, as rivals. The Presidency, requires measured; intelligence, maturity, sobriety, and wisdom , to govern eighteen million Zambians, with equity and justice, as a sacred trust, reposed in leaders from time to time.
Zambia, fifty- Eight years after our Sovereign independence, is still struggling to build a democratic society, beyond hegemony, in our State- crafting and governance system. A transformative leadership, must emerge beyond; Partisan interests, personal interests, and politics of self-preservation, to champion unity of purpose, for a National Vision that will bring about first world develoment, beyond third world mediocrity, and backwardness.
Notably, from the first Republic; of Dr. Kenneth David Kaunda’s Administration, who was not the most educated at the time, to the second Republican President Dr. Frederick Jacob Tutus Chiluba, who was not the richest among his peers, thereafter, came Mr. Levy Patrick Mwanawasa , who was not the best candidate , or Mr. Rupiah Bwezani Banda, who was not the most favourable, or then ” King Cobra”, Mr.Micheal Chilufya Sata, who was not the wisest, or the most recent former President, Dr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, who was not the richest or most likely in 2015, but by God’s grace alone, and now Mr. Hakainde Hichilema, who was the most; demeaned, persecuted, prosecuted, and opposed, yet, still not the smartest, or fastest, but Zambia remains still on a potential quest, for unrealised economic development and transformation. We must learn from our past, to change the present, and become architects of our future greatness, as a nation.
“EVERYTHING OF GREAT SIGNIFICANCE IN LIFE, IS ALWAYS DONE BY PARTNERSHIPS AND COLLABORATION, TO CREATE; SYNERGIES, NETWORKING, ALLIANCES, AND EFFECTIVE DIVERSITY OF CONTRIBUTIONS, THROUGH MUTUAL BENEFICIAL PERFORMANCES.( SHIMUNZA, 2022).
In simple descriptive definition or terms , “Politics of hegemony”, entail a system of governance, which seeks dominance explicitly or implicitly, by promoting political dominance over other groups. This undue dominance, can be at; political, economic, regional, ethnic, global, military, or even tribal levels, respectively, advantaging one dominant group over another, in varied ways.
The following considerations, are instructive in our existence, as a sovereign state, to deal with “hegemonic politics” effectively, going forward:
- THE BIBLICAL CONTEXT.
The Bible, begins with an eternal instruction of God, to the first Man and his wife, to have dominion over the earth, and it’s vast resources together, as equals, but diverse partners, in male and female expressions of God, respectively (Genesis 1:26-28). This is how humans were designed, to eternally live, in partnership and mutual respect.
There was no dominance of one partner over another, yet, together, they had the possibility of having eternal dominion over earth, in collaboration and partnership, without hegemony of one gender over another, by mutual respect and co-existence.
Sadly, this reality was short- lived, when one of the partners broke covenant with the other, and disappointed God’s original plan, by declaration of independence in self- preservation. This is the cancer of humanity today , guised in self- preservation, and insecurity, by all means, including hegemony, rather than creating; collaborative synergies, networks, and alliances, for co-existence. Insecurity, kills innovative and transformative leadership.
- THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT.
The history of post – colonial Zambia, started without hegemony, by an Alliance of Political Multipatism from 1963- 1973, thereafter, the hegemony of a One Party State, under the ambit of the ‘almighty’ United Party for National Independence ( UNIP), which took dominance, killing the culture of political pluralism or co-existence, and the original proportional representative governance, for “vigilantes -politics” , now fully grown as ‘Cadres’.
Unfortunately, after 27 years, one would think that we had learnt lessons from this hegemonic past, under a One Party State. However, under-development, has continued. Those who do not learn from history, are bound to repeat it’s mistakes!
In 1991, when we introduced to ourselves Plural- Multiparty Democracy, and politics, the “hegemonic syndrome” emerged in the ruling dominant political Parties, suppressing all other rivals, in terms of; ethnic extraction, business- collusion, opportunities, land – acquisitions, lobbying, procurement , and power- politics of hegemony, sadly.
This reality, has continued in our history. The nation has played this political -game systemically since , without seeking recourse, to the negative impact on our development, as a divided society, by this hegemony.
This history haunts us today, in all Ruling Parties. We urgently need a new transformative leadership, that will rise above Partisan interests, to forge a greater alternative system of State-crafting and government, to bring about, a first world Zambia, and aggressive industrialisation agenda.
- THE STATE- CRAFTING AND GOVETNMENT SYSYEM CONTEXT.
Since our independence, governments have changed, but the State -crafting system, which is invisible, has never changed. It is this “State entity” that has made all successive governments to perform according to its systemic crafting. The State-crafting, is modelled after an autocratic monarchical system, couched in the so- called Presidential Democracy of ours, sadly.
Moreover, supportive laws, have subsisted for way before independence, in their archaic forms, dictating how society and culture, must be ordered. Laws, create culture , and the characteristics of any nation, good or bad.
Therefore, in a Christian Nation, with ‘extreme’ Liberal laws, will inadvertently kill Christian values, with time. This is the imperative of the indicative, in our Sovereign Republic for 58 years, sadly. Transformation, and development still lingers!
Therefore, to advance to first world Zambia, we must re-craft the state and government, to suit a Procedural democratic system, without hegemony, but promoting collaboration and partnerships of all Citizens, regardless of political Parties. The State and government, must absorb all the best players; Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) , State, and Non- state Actors, for the good of the country, we all love. Hegemony, currently leaves the best, and panders to Cadreised systems of loyalists, not meritocracy. Insecurity, self-preservation, and mediocrity, are antecedents of this hegemonic politics.
- THE PRESIDENCY AND CURRENT CONTEXT.
Our Current Presidency, is structured, as an Office for hegemony, regardless, of which President occupies the office, at any given time. Worse still, the structure of Political Parties, is also hegemony -driven, against all rivals, competitors, and interlocutors. This prevailing status quo, is not helping to develop a better Zambia, beyond the stereotypes of; lobbyists, ethnic extraction, and divisive politics.
Consequently, overtime, Why is the Presidency still not above Partisan interests? It is because, right now, every President, is a product of Political Parties. He cannot rise above his political party loyalty, for all of a sudden, to foster a National Vision, without undue human bias.
Moreover, if we do not change our system of hegemonic politics, later on State-crafting and government systems , we risk continuing on a self- destructive path, which is counter -productive, to advanced develoment, and transformation of first world quality, in the 21st Century, to create a modernised state and government.
The political will to undertake such reforms, has never been on our political agenda. We keep skating around real issues, in our proverbial “battle of thrones” , in realism or liberalism. The issue is not; socialism, capitalism, communism, or any other ideological framework, but a matter of creating a sysyem that can regulate, both effective ruling Parties and Opposition, for procedural practical democratic deliverables, for all equitably. “By fighting, we win battles, but by Systems, we create empires”( Shimunza, 2015)
Therefore ,What matters, is a system of government and state that has a presidency, for all in real concrete terms and practice, above; Partisan interests, self-preservation and self-interests, for national interests. Our Presidential Democracy, points all centers of power in institutions like ; Judiciary , Legislature, and Executive , all pivoted around loyalty to the President, as the main appointing authority. Can we say, all institutions of government are autonomous, since 1991? If the answer is yes, then Zambia would have been a different country by now.
- THE POLITICAL PARTIES PRESENT CONTEXT.
Our Political Parties , are in a constant cycle and viscious circle of rivalry, especially, between the Ruling and Main Opposition Parties, sadly. What all Political Parties have are various facets, of multifaceted ideologies that have the potential to develop Zambia, albeit, divided by hegemony, rather than collaboration.
However, because of this hegemony, they are scattered kingdoms, causing a nation to be in desolation by decisions. A model of Alliances and partnerships, must evolve, to dismantle the hegemony demons. The devil, is in the lacking hidden fine print of reformists Presidency.
The 2021- General Elections, provided Zambian Politics, a pattern and precedent setting UPND-ALLIANCE, COUNCIL OF PRESIDENTS, which if harnessed well, has the potential to undo any Political Parties, in the next 2026, General Elections without a doubt, but if only managed well. The way forward in breaking the stalemate of under- develoment, is political Partnerships and Alliances , not hegemony. This partnership, must be based on mutual national interests , above Partisan interests,or self-seeking interests.
- THE ALTERNATIVE CONTEXT GOING FORWARD
If Zambia, desires a develoment and transformation, which brings about the fourth industrialisation, now is the time to craft a new state and government, not maintaining the status quo. Business as usual, of hegemonic politics, will not suffice. Men and Women , with leadership qualities above board, must arise to champion political Alliances and Partnerships.
Therefore, the alternatives to the hegemonic politics, is; a new state-crafting and all inclusive government systems ,that will absorb all state and Non- State Actors in a collaborative effort, regardless of Partisan interests, for national interests . This is what will perfect our imperfect democracy. Our Presidential terms, are also restrictive of continuity, because of short-term- isms, in planning and execution of national development.
Furthermore, human fallibility, can only be curbed by collective responsibility, and wisdom of likeminds, to advance a first world develoment for Zambia. Self – preservation and hegemony, are the devil and demons, keeping us on the path of national suicide and self- destructive practices of; insults , partisanship , carerism, bootlicking , rivalry, division, tribalism, and under-development.
Otherwise , Transformative leadership, will require a breaking away from hegemony, and foster a Presidency, worth true National; Vision , character , inclusive, and with proportional representative governance systems, practically. Failure to advance such a hegemonless system of State-crafting and government, will sabotage all efforts to be a 21st Century bastion of regional and global free -Market Economy, and political models of first world free societies, instead of thrid world mediocrity. Can we as a people mature to break this historical hegemony of politics, for collaborative politics of inclusivity?
It is possible, to have a system of governance and state -crafting, which will be an alternative of the current hegemony systems of politics, for first world develoment. The question is, do we have men and women Willing to die to self, and put National interests above Partisan interests, for posterity? The nation is advised accordingly, and the wise will always learn.
DR DANIEL MVULA SHIMUNZA
MNT FOUNDING PRESIDENT.
FOR FIRST WORLD ZAMBIA IDEOLOGY.