Well sort of, another party! The Citizen's Democratic Party has now been formally registered as a party according the statement issue via Zambian Watchdog. The party interim chairperson is Robert Mwanza. As the press release below acknowledges, this is not the first time we have heard of this party :
It is with great enthusiasm and patriotic resolve that the Citizens Democratic Party announces its formal registration with the Registrar of Societies.
Our citizens who have had the opportunity to have even a mere glimpse of our vision the past two years have been waiting and wondering why we have shied from political activism since our first mention in the mainstream Zambian media, when clearly we have the most formidable solutions to our country’s woes.We may have been silent, but not sedated and our deliberate “delay” has been well-spent. We have been putting great thought into how we best engineer the future of our beloved nation, for truly its fate lies in us the Zambian citizenry.
We have observed the current political dispensation of the country as still lacking of a strong party, with a realisable vision that addresses the root causes of our current social and economic plight of our citizens, rather than amplify empty promises coupled with empty criticisms in the form of political rhetoric.
The “biggest” development has been the formation of pacts, that seem to misunderstand that our country does not need “pacts” labeled as great political achievements, but is in need of a political leadership with a credible and strong enough agenda not requiring going into shaky partnerships of political expediency. And that is precisely what our party and its membership seeks and represents: an agenda that puts people first, before political expediency.
The Citizens Democratic Party has not solely been formed for participation in the 2011 elections, nor have we been formed to simply catapult someone into State House. It is our belief that political parties in a political environment such as Zambia’s, whether in government or opposition can contribute to the success or failure of a nation. For Zambia’s success, the party in government must be seen to have an agenda, reflective and reactive to the serious challenges our citizenry face, and the opposition parties are duty-bound to not only criticize, but to offer solid and practical solutions as alternatives to the party in government. This scenario is markedly missing in Zambian politics today.
As CDP, our chosen and absolute preserve is contributing to the success of our country as imagined on October 24 1964. Our profoundly unique party manifesto is not one of campaign promises, but practical solutions and thus reads unlike any other manifesto.It is a half-truth and well-veiled deception to say that change can only be effected from State House. The obsession of going to State House [by our current politicians and their respective parties] has in fact blurred the vision of building and restoring our country. CDP will not fall into this trap.
CDP is not “Zambian politics as usual”. Our “launch” will depart from the traditional sense as established. We are spreading our unprecedented message through our current party members using various means; internet, radio, even by bus transportation routes! We will then proceed to a party conference in January of 2011. Our agenda concerning the same will be expressly made available to our citizenry via the same means.
CDP intends to attract a responsible membership whose allegiance will be pledged first to our principles and ideals centered on our party ideology “Putting People First”. Out of this responsible membership shall emerge the agents of change to affect our country’s direction. We anticipate that it will not be an easy path, but nonetheless necessary. With our resolve as an organization to “blaze a new path not undertaken yet in Zambian politics”, our method of operation is likewise unprecedented.
CDP is proud to announce that following our unduly arduous yet successful registration, our interim leadership has agreed that “climbing a tree from the top is neither advisable nor wise”. This means we will not immediately seek participation in the Presidential Elections of 2011. We do however intend to fully participate in the Parliamentary Elections, in order to get cultured CDP Members into Parliament to influence our country’s direction.
It appears to have originated abroad. Readers will be interested to note that this is actually the 8th political party to be formed in the last 18 months. In case you have forgotten the others : Mr Mulipi's ADD currently fighting for Luena ; Mr Sondashi's FDA ; Saviour Chishimba UPP ; the mysterious ZANC ; Chipimo's NAREP; and, let us not forget Fred Mtesa's Zambians for Empowerment and Development (ZED) partyand the short lived Leftist Progressive Party which collapsed after its leader has joined the new FDA party.
My position on these mushroom / one-man/ family parties remain the same. People should always be free to congregate as they wish and form as many parties as they like as long as tax payers don't have to foot the bill for their activities (regular readers will know I have a deep seated opposition to public funding of political parties). What is important is to ensure that voters are fully informed and parties are operating within a contestable electoral system.