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Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Cabinet Size - Mulongoti Versus Everyone?

The question of what is the optimal size of government has been at the centre stage of recent media discussions, following Senegal's decision to downside the cabinet last month. Global Call to Action on Poverty's Henry Malumo opened the discussion late last week:

“President Wade’s move is a positive step in the attainment of the Millenium Development Goals...The fight against corruption will continue to be a song that is not realised because of having a huge cabinet.”
A statement that received immediate support from Zambia National Union of Teachers (ZNUT) general secretary Roy Mwaba :

"This is an old issue. During the days of (Kenneth) Kaunda there were concerns from stakeholders about the size of the Cabinet. When you have a very big cabinet it brings a lot of deficiency and a lot of bickering......16 to 18 ministers would be better.”
The Government has been quick to react, led by Chief Government Spokeman, Mike Mulongoti, pointing out that "tribal balancing" is necessary in determining optimal cabinet size:
"It’s also about balancing to make sure that those tribes who feel marginalised are also catered for. They must feel that they are part and parcel of the country’s decision making....The decision cannot be made by an individual. It has to be made by the appointing authority because the Constitution of Zambia gives powers to the President to create and abolish offices".
A statement that has drawn some harsh words from Zambia Union of Financial Institutions and Allied Workers (ZUFIAW) general secretary Joyce Nonde:

“We are not interested in seeing tribes being represented in Cabinet. What we need are people who are able to deliver to the people. I therefore disagree with Mr. Mulongoti that reducing the number of Cabinet ministers would make other tribes feel marginalised.....That is a very old-fashioned way of talking. I personally don’t care whether my tribe is represented in Cabinet or not, as long as the team put in place is capable of making this country develop.....We need people who can speak on behalf of the masses and not those who just want to get to a top position for personal gain......This is why we have this huge number of ministers in Zambia but very little work being done, and yet government has to incur costs for maintaining them in those positions at the expense of a number of poor people in this country.”
It strikes me that both sides are right to some extent, but what is missing is clarity on the key issues. There are two separate but very related questions here:
  1. Does our system of governance deliver a more representative government at all levels?
  2. Is the cabinet unnecessary bloated, and therefore ineffective?
I think Mulongoti is addressing question (1), but taking the current system of governance as given. I think there is some merit in what he is saying - when your system of governance is top down and with a very weak local government and limited participation from those who bear its brunt, then you have to ensure you reflect social differences at the cabinet level. Where I think Mr Mulongoti has missed point is that he has failed to look past the current system and dream of better and more coherent system of government, where people feel more represented at the local level with real powers to make change. National tribal balancing only becomes important if people (or as Nonde calls them "the masses") don't feel they are being heard in policy making. Surely the best way to do is to devolve more power to the local level? A starting point should be what I call A cultural approach to Zambia's development.

Mulongoti's opponents, have focused entirely on question (2). In a resource constrained nation, it is right to push for more efficient system of government. However, I think in focusing only on (1) they have missed the opportunity to address the broader question of how we can have both representative democracy, greater local scrutiny and with a smaller cabinet. Incidentally, they are also guilty of Sakism (the thinking advanced by certain politicians that just because others are doing it, we should also do the same thing. Other people's actions are the best reasons for your own actions). Senegal's action are useful in pointing us to what is happening in other places but do not provide a cogent reason for our own actions. Mulongoti's opponents have not clearly demonstrated how similar Zambia is to Senegal and whether the current composition of cabinet is indeed bloated. I have not seen a single paper from civil society /political parties/ Zambian think tanks that demonstrates the resource savings that can be made without affecting existing operational objectives.

19 comments:

  1. Cho,

    1. Does our system of governance deliver a more representative government at all levels?

    2. Is the cabinet unnecessary bloated, and therefore ineffective?


    I would add a third point:

    3. Is governance from the ministries the way to go?

    Much of the size of the cabinet comes from the importance of the ministries. If half the GRZ's budget went to local councils, most governance and politics would happen at a local level, not at the cabinet/ministry/capital level and locations.

    I suspect that because Zambia is 'resource poor' (or at least has a limited budget in the present setup), it is much easier for a President to declare his concern about the topic of the day by creating another ministry. Geographically it is easier, as all ministries are located in the capital. I think infrastructure plays a role in that too.

    If the following tasks:

    - education
    - healthcare
    - policing/security
    - utilities
    - administration
    - participatory budgeting for any finances that remain

    were performed at the local council level (as they are basically all local government issues and priorities), the country and economy would look very different.

    This could happen if half the 1.1 billion of revenues would be paid directly to the councils.

    In turn, the councils would have to account for every cent they spend or receive; they would have to perform their duties, or risk being temporarily taken over by central government; they would be held democratically accountable.

    The system would depend on the following 3 elements:

    1) finacial transparancy and accountability
    2) democratic accountability
    3) clear and swift sanctions for non-performance or corruption

    they have missed the opportunity to address the broader question of how we can have both representative democracy, greater local scrutiny and with a smaller cabinet.

    I have long floated the idea of shifting governance from the ministries to local councils - both in powers and budgets.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The cabinet in Zambia (as in every african country except a few) is bloated but that's hardly why it's ineffective.
    Mulongoti's quote reveals what the issue is really about: "political (and) ethnic balancing". Creating more opportunities to reward political allies.
    And devolution to local government may seem like a good idea but at the end, it's just displacing the problem (you'll have bloated local councils instead of a bloated cabinet).
    as far as representativity, one thing everybody has to remember is that IT IS NOT THE POINT OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH (be it local or national) but rather the function of the legislative branch. But executivism (and presidentialism) is a condition we all share to various levels. And it's very unlikely that legislative branches would be given the powers they should have.

    ReplyDelete
  3. After reading your blog and The Post editorial (11 December) covering the same subject matter, I am left curious about the terminology being used? I am of the view that the term "Tribal Balancing" as attributed to Hon. Mulongoti has been used spuriosuly by the Minister, or perhaps misunderstood? I will take the former intepretation.

    If Zambia's tribe statistics are juxtaposed against Hon. Mulongoti's views on tribal balancing, we would need a cabinet of 73 - representing all 73 tribes in Zambia. The Post editorial, however, seems to have understood Hon. Mulongoti's views as suggesting a balancing criteria based on "language". That is, Bemba speaking or Tonga speaking as opposed to Bemba or Tonga by tribe. The former would imply appointments from an area dominated by a single language, say the Copperbelt province, as representing the Bemba speaking group (the language widely spoken there), irrespective of the actual tribe of the individual. This would obviously be in contrast to the strict intepretation of the words attributed to Hon. Mulongoti since people from different tribes living on the copperbelt have adopted Bemba as their spoken language, rather than the language consistent with their own tribes.

    Clearly then, the concept of tribe and language refer to disparate constructions of identity. This argument may have been lost in translation!

    This blog, on the other hand, seems to take a different view on the subject - regional balancing! I summise this from the suggestion of devolving government responsibility to the local level. Deriving from how local government is currently organised, this suggestion would further clarify Hon. Mulongoti's views on tribal balancing albeit in rural areas. This is because at the atomic level of local government organisation, in the rural areas, a council would probably constitute closely located villages belonging to the same tribal grouping? Thus, in such areas, leadership would almost always be exclusive to tribe.

    The question remains, however, would this address Hon. Mulongoti's overriding view of balanced representation of all tribes at the "national" level? Similarly, is it really necessary to retain an identity based on "tribe"? Should individual identity perhaps be based on "language spoken"? Perhaps we ought to retain an identity based on region of residency or birth? As my friend always insists, his village is Olympia Park in Lusaka!

    In my view this debate raises more questions than it answers!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Random African,

    And devolution to local government may seem like a good idea but at the end, it's just displacing the problem (you'll have bloated local councils instead of a bloated cabinet).

    Not with the right legal checks and balances in place.

    The duties and obligations of local government would be very clearly described. The budget would be relatively limited and accounted for.

    At the central government level, the number of ministries has directly to do with the president's constitutional right to create or dissolve ministries.

    Until that right is limited, or there is a review process that checks the achievements of each ministry, or of course many of the tasks that are now with central government are placed where they should be, there are going to be as many ministries as the president wants to have.

    Mulongoti's quote reveals what the issue is really about: "political (and) ethnic balancing". Creating more opportunities to reward political allies.

    And it is the use of public positions as a reward for loyalty that is turning the process upside down. Obviously, a President wants to appoint people who will carry out his (new) policies. However, this seems to be just about loyalty only, not professional background.

    And Mwanawasa does seem to tolerate a bunch of goofball politicians (Mulongoti, Shakafuswa, etc.) - it seems to be the same individuals who come up with these public statements over and over.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Not with the right legal checks and balances in place.

    The duties and obligations of local government would be very clearly described. The budget would be relatively limited and accounted for.


    the same could be said at the national level. like i said, it's just a displacement.
    (didn't we learn anything from Nigeria ?)

    And it is the use of public positions as a reward for loyalty that is turning the process upside down.

    only in part.
    there is also the fundamental mistake of thinking that (and acting like) representativity is one of the tasks of the executive branch.
    it's not. that's what parliaments are created for.

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  6. Random African,

    the same could be said at the national level. like i said, it's just a displacement. (didn't we learn anything from Nigeria ?)

    There is the very real issue of geographic distance between the ministry and local people.

    That would not stay the same with a greater emphasis on local government.

    only in part. there is also the fundamental mistake of thinking that (and acting like) representativity is one of the tasks of the executive branch. it's not. that's what parliaments are created for.

    With the absence of meaningful local government; with the absence of the proper powers vested in parliament; or the independence of the civil service; with the absence of power from the provinces (prof. Kyambalesa did a great essay on them on this blog); real power rests with the President and the Minister of Finance.

    That is why representativeness at that level (President, Cabinet) has gained importance.

    And, there is also the issue of the provincial ministries, when they are included in the cabinet.

    ReplyDelete
  7. With the absence of meaningful local government; with the absence of the proper powers vested in parliament; or the independence of the civil service; with the absence of power from the provinces (prof. Kyambalesa did a great essay on them on this blog); real power rests with the President and the Minister of Finance.
    That is why representativeness at that level (President, Cabinet) has gained importance


    Of course. It's all in the interest of presidents/dictators to take as much control of the political system as they can..
    You know, someone you put into office is more dependant on you than someone who got his own legitimacy (an MP) even if they're both on your side.

    There is the very real issue of geographic distance between the ministry and local people

    Ok, now we're talking.
    Yes, physical distance matters. After all that's why most of the public spending is done in the capitals and may be important economic centers (ports, mining town). Because they can protest or riot or overthrow you and rural folks can't.

    However, it's not only the distance that stops someone from going to the ministry of land and ask question. It's the impressive building, the guard, the receptionist, the secretaries, the tainted windows. What guarantees that the local councils wouldn't have all that if they had more funds ?
    Furthermore, local politics tend to be easily "controlable" by local bosses and corrupt. Look at the mayoral "dynasties" in France or the US elected by stalinist percentages. Look at the corruption scandals at the state levels in Nigeria, in the US, in Brazil (and compare them to the ones at the federal level) or look at the incredible differences in educational or health or security performance within India or the US or Nigeria..
    And finally, once you have established budget devolution programs, you get into neverending battles about the distributing formula. sure half of the budget goes to them but then how much does one get ? is it based on the needs ? the population ? equally ? proportional to the revenue ?
    what is fair ?
    and then you end up with coordination problems.. education ? sure, every nigerian state has its own university because that's what local elites want and every state/district/region would beautify their capital real cute but who builds the vital links ?

    my point remains: parliaments are inherently more responsive to people's needs than executive branches at ANY level.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Random African,

    Ok, now we're talking. Yes, physical distance matters. After all that's why most of the public spending is done in the capitals and may be important economic centers (ports, mining town). Because they can protest or riot or overthrow you and rural folks can't.

    That too, but there is also the issue of constituency MPs spending too much time in parliament and not enough in their constituencies. And on top of that, they don't have much of a budget or powers to implement development.

    What would be better, than a local government leader, elected by local people, who had his fair shair of the national budget to work with.

    my point remains: parliaments are inherently more responsive to people's needs than executive branches at ANY level.

    But parliaments don't do the day to day governance that local government does. And ministries don't do that better than local government - the main reason being that they are hundreds or more miles away, and cannot be in tune with the local issues of every council. A local council leader would be.

    Check out my Manifesto:

    http://maravi.blogspot.com/2007/06/my-manifesto-for-economic.html

    I haven't updated it for a while, but most of it is still current.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Nice manifesto.

    You exagerate a bit when you say most modern nations funnel half of their revenues into local government. On both how many nation funnel revenues to local governments and how much they do funnel into local government (most local governments in the world get their revenue from local taxation).

    But the real sin of the manifesto is, as it often, a failure to take into consideration the problems the solution could possibly cause.
    as i said earlier, corruption, authoritarianism, government failures can happen at all levels of government and they do happen a lot in local ones.
    I mean, honestly, WHO do you think will get elected to lead local councils ? it would be the local powerful, rich and connected. town companies, local elites would have tremendous control over those. local chiefs would have a million to share.
    and that does give even more ressources and power to people who already have lots of it.

    i know you say "but it would transparent". yeah, sure. why would it be easier to have transparency at that level ? families aren't exactly transparent, are they ?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Random African,

    Please read my manifesto again. The issues you raise with it (for which I'm grateful) don't hold up. I of course agree that corruption shouldn't be transferred from central to local government, but I think that has been dealth with in the manifesto (you can argue whether it has been adequately dealt with of course).

    Two examples.

    - Transparancy and accountability

    By law, local authorities would have to publish all their financial records, on a (near) real time basis. This is not the case today, even for the ministries. As a sanction, their local authority would a) be put under state supervision and b) new elections can be called. The same for blatant fraud and corruption. My guess is that most councils will get the message, leaving ZRA's police to focus on problem councils.

    - 50% of national revenues go to local government

    This is from the Philippines:

    Speaking before a United Nations Development Program (UNDP) forum on local governance, Interior and Local Government Secretary Angelo Reyes remarked that by law, 40 percent of national revenue collections went to local authorities.

    http://www.newsflash.org/2004/02/hl/hl101149.htm

    In the 1990s, Lithuania's local government share of the national budget was reduced from 32.7% to 22.9%. (In Zambia, the Ministry of Local Government receives more money than all local government combined. There is in effect no fiscal transfer to local government at all.)

    Relative Size of Municipal Budgets and National Budget Expenditure in Lithuania

    http://lgi.osi.hu/publications/2000/25/Chapter_4.PDF

    From Croatia:

    The bulk of local tax revenue consists of shares of national revenues specified by Parliament. However, authorities have, and increasingly exercise power to impose surcharges of up to 10 per cent on personal income tax.

    http://www.coe.int/t/e/legal_affairs/local_and_regional_democracy/Assistance_and_Co-operation_Activities/Calendar_of_Events/Proceedings.pdf


    From: Government Decentralization Reforms in Developing Countries

    Recently, in Asian developing countries, there has been a desirable tendency for a linkage to be created between national revenues and fiscal transfers. This can be seen in the Philippines whose IRA reserves 40% of domestic revenues for fiscal transfers, and in Indonesia whose GAF reserves 25% of national revenues.

    http://www.jica.go.jp/english/resources/publications/study/topical/decentralization/pdf/gdr_e.pdf


    This is the UNDP's view on decentralisation:

    It is important to note that fiscal decentralisation by itself is not enough to truly empower local communities and to achieve pro-poor outcomes. While local power over the purse is important, successful fiscal decentralisation goes hand in hand with political and administrative decentralisation. First, unless local governments are politically empowered by having democratically elected and representative local councils, local communities and citizens will not be able to hold their local governments accountable. Second, unless local governments have administrative control over the services they are supposed to deliver (for instance, by having effective control over the local government staff that deliver local services), local governments are not truly empowered to serve their communities. In addition, the creation of an enabling environment for local government (of which fiscal decentralisation is a core element) will often need to be complemented by support for capacity development, for the strengthening of inclusive systems for local public expenditure management, and for robust accountability mechanisms. Finally, successful fiscal decentralisation also requires a meaningful dialogue between local and central governments, an appropriate set of legal and institutional arrangements for local government management, and a system of incentives.

    http://www.undp.org/governance/docs/DLGUD_Pub_FDPR.pdf

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  11. Who really benefits from tribal balancing, is it the whole tribe or is just an individual and his immediate family? My parents hailed from Eastern Province and therefore I consider myself an easterner even though I was born on the Copperbelt, but I know for sure that Mr Rupiah Banda does not know me personally nor does he know any of my family tree members as to benefit from him even for a cob a maize not to mention a bag of mealie meal. For me it wouldn't matter wherever anybody came from in government as long as they were pursuing a national agenda. Sugar coating these issues with tribe is just nonsensical, really.

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  12. Random Africa,

    Some interesting comments. Brief responses to your specifics below:

    "The cabinet in Zambia (as in every african country except a few) is bloated but that's hardly why it's ineffective."

    I agree. I think what I meant to write was "inefficient"! Of course it is possible for a cabinet to be generally effective but economically inefficient.

    "And devolution to local government may seem like a good idea but at the end, it's just displacing the problem (you'll have bloated local councils instead of a bloated cabinet)."

    There's some truth in this. Its not just devolving power, but HOW you devolve it. This is why I have previously argued that any devolution of power must be real. See one of my earlier blogs Getting the best from a poor bunch.... For me real devolution involves some element of Participatory Budgeting. In a separately blog A cultural approch to Zambia's development.... I argue for a more radical fusion of Participatory Budgeting within a cultural model for development, where power is decentralised from the centre. This is similar in some sense to what IPA Manning has proposed in his exchanges with MrK on Corruption Wars Part 2. IPA's idea is the Landsafe Investment Model with Chiefs overseeing trusts. All of these points simply illustrates that displacement need not be the case unless we want to make it that way. There are models we could develop for decentralisation that ensures more responsibility is given to the citizens with other local institutions playing a vital overseer role. I am not saying these are complete models, but they can be developed.

    "as far as representativity, one thing everybody has to remember is that IT IS NOT THE POINT OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH (be it local or national) but rather the function of the legislative branch. But executivism (and presidentialism) is a condition we all share to various levels. And it's very unlikely that legislative branches would be given the powers they should have."

    I think there might be some confusion here between "governance" and "government". The question as I have stated seeks to cast the issue of the executive within the whole framework of "governance" i.e. how government at ALL LEVELS relate to those it govern.... Hence I go on to make the point that where the Executive is much stronger than the the Local Government, there is a tendency for those in the Executive to reflect social differences in its make-up as a way of being more "representative".

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  13. The president once said a quarter of 2006 fiscal budget was stolen. I tend to understand why he did not take action; with such a bloated government in which almost everyone is stealing in one way or another how can you implement discipline or monitor the behavior of individuals? It is even difficult to dissolve the cabinet and hire those who can do a better job.

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  14. Nkhula21,

    The president once said a quarter of 2006 fiscal budget was stolen.

    There was a similar amount mentioned by a civil servant, who said that there was a lot of corruption in procurement and government contracts.

    And let's get clear about this - that is about $400 million per year.

    These latest NCC sitting allowances, which is a clear attempt to buy votes, are just the blatant show of this.

    It is about time that Mwanawasa took responsibility. If he has to bring in an outside source from civil society, so be it.

    Why are they so afraid of losing power? Maybe a general amnesty would be in order to put a stop to this.

    Lee Kwan Yew in Singapore introduced a law that led to the dismissal of any civil servant who could not explain their apparent unearned income. The same should be introduced for politicians. If anything, it would make clear who has entered politics to get their hands on the nation's treasury.

    Perhaps the PAC should get greater police powers.

    But what is important is that the President publicly distances himself from corruption. Maybe he should get personal amnesty, so he won't be in danger of having to prosecute himself.

    What I also can't get around, is that Ngandu Magande was an 'advisor' to the government under Chiluba, when the mining agreements were signed. And now he is obstructing the vigorous renegotiation of these terrible contracts.

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  15. MrK

    It is so flabbergasting how so much money could be stolen without rancor from anyone. It seems so normal. I would like to believe that the 15 percent Zambians living above the poverty detum line are either connected to or in government. There is no fair wealth distribution in Zambia. We actually may not be as poor as government wants to make us believe. It is a few con artists with access to the national treasury. (There are a few that make an honest living in business, but they have to make sure they don't upset government)

    It would appear we have become accustomed to putting people power(though I do not believe Mwanawasa was the people's choice)in order to give them their turn also to "enjoy." I think that is pretty much the mindset in Zambia.

    What is happening in this country is so outrageous that you wonder, do Zambians truly have the power to say anything? There are no checks and balances. The civil society and the media are just as corrupt as the government itself.

    We tend to be comforted every year by GDP growth. Yet GDP cannot be used accurately as a yardstick for the welfare of a society. In the United States they use the payroll, every three months they look at how many substantive jobs the economy has produced.

    It is the ability to purchase that lifts people out of poverty. That means people must have power to purchase, they only have that power if they have jobs, I mean real jobs. Not "pieace(sp) work."

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  16. Dear friends,
    I am trying to suggest something. We may be living abroad in circumstances better than those of our kinsmen in in the shanty compounds and villages in Zambia but we owe our being to this nation. We are more enlightened than the common man in our nation whose brain has been weakened and dehumanized by deprevation.

    Perhaps it is time we did something practical. We should issue a strong statement against the president that he will be prosecuted if he goes ahead and bribe people the hundreds of millions of kwacha he has promised those who will attend the NCC. Let the statement be signed (electronically) by as many people as possible, and we should fax it to State House and all news organizations in Zambia and abroad. Let Mwanawasa know that this is criminal in a country where 85 percent of the population lives on the margins of subsistence. We owe everything to the future generations, and we cannot be passive observers to such bluntant corruption.

    That is my suggestion. Kindly let me hear what people think.

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  17. Nkhula21,

    We actually may not be as poor as government wants to make us believe.

    That is a certainty. I cringe, every time a government spokesperson hits the newspapers and say 'we don't have the money'. What they are always saying is that they are unwilling to make the money available. With 29 or so ministries, just closing one would save tens of millions of dollars.

    It is a few con artists with access to the national treasury.

    The one biggest thing the government could do against corruption, is to track all it's expenditures and income. Track the money. Then, anyone in charge of the money can be held accountable for what happens to it.

    If banks can keep track of thousands of different accounts, the government can keep track of it's money - if they want to.

    (There are a few that make an honest living in business, but they have to make sure they don't upset government)

    Business conditions are too harsh for Zambian businesses - which is a major constraint on them. Taxes are too high, and I think that is the major constraint. There is false competition from foreign businesses which operate under the guise of Foreign Direct Investment or FDI. The whole FDI thing is just there to make the government look good to the IMF.

    It would appear we have become accustomed to putting people power(though I do not believe Mwanawasa was the people's choice)in order to give them their turn also to "enjoy." I think that is pretty much the mindset in Zambia.

    And that is the only reason people seem to want to run for office. Right down from the total absence of issue based politics, to senior politicians claiming that people who are outside of government and criticize them are 'jealous'.

    Most politicians go no further than to state that they are good enough (that they have integrity, character, etc.). But they are not there to just be competent - that is what the civil service is for. They should be there to put the stamp of the people's will on public policy.

    Instead, the current government has treated their election as a 5 year mandate, during which they are there to rule over their electorate, without question. Even now, they are very reluctant to have real open discourse and prefer presenting people with ready made laws. The reported 'wide based consultation' notwithstanding, there is very little openness about the mining contract renegotiation process, what is on the table, etc. And looking at the NCC allowances, they are a very clear attempt to influence the outcome, and by the way, doing so by throwing around the taxpayer's money.

    Democratic consultation should be a neverending and ongoing process. So I'm glad that The Post at least now is taking opinion polls by text message. There should be more polling agencies, so politicians have a more current view of where the nation is.

    Perhaps it is time we did something practical. We should issue a strong statement against the president that he will be prosecuted if he goes ahead and bribe people the hundreds of millions of kwacha he has promised those who will attend the NCC. Let the statement be signed (electronically) by as many people as possible, and we should fax it to State House and all news organizations in Zambia and abroad. Let Mwanawasa know that this is criminal in a country where 85 percent of the population lives on the margins of subsistence. We owe everything to the future generations, and we cannot be passive observers to such bluntant corruption.

    Excellent idea.

    There are many websites that take online petitions. Here are a few:

    http://petitions.takingitglobal.org/home/index.html
    http://www.petitiononline.com/
    http://www.ipetitions.com/start-petition/

    I would certainly add a link to it on my site, in a prominent position.

    Although I can't speak for anyone else, I'm sure that Cho, Gershom, Chanda, Nthye and everyone else would like that too.

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  18. Thanks MrK,
    You really hit the nail on the head. Mwanawasa did not only purchase those attending, it would appear he silenced the media too. I was talking to a friend in Zambia this morning who said actually some NGOs have refused to attend the NCC, and their views are not being printed or aired anywhere. Emily Sikazwe, for instance, has said she will make sure the MMD pays back this money, though I don't think it is the MMD as a party. This is about a man drunk with power, doing almost everything Chiluba was doing. Chiluba was perhaps even less brazen in his sleazy activities.

    I will look at those links, and I will also call Transparency International and the Center for Financial Integrity in Washington and get ideas if they could help. I will not standby, because history will judge us harshly. Remember those who answered the call of their time and fought for our independence? I think it is our turn to instill sanity in our politics. It is time to liberate our country from the hands of criminals.

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  19. ”The question remains, however, would this address Hon. Mulongoti's overriding view of balanced representation of all tribes at the "national" level?” - Ntheye

    That would depend on Hon. Mulongoti’s goal for “tribal balancing”. If the goal is “equality” across tribes then “local / regional balancing” would not be appropriate. If the goal was as I have interpreted, ensuring that the government is representative, then “regional / local balancing” would be the correct approach.

    As Gershom rightly notes, where the goal is “equality” this is likely to prove difficult, and perhaps, pointless given the various definition of identity one might adopt.

    ReplyDelete

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