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Friday, 19 August 2011

NAREP Manifesto (Public Consultation)

NAREP has released its draft manifesto and wants your comments. You can leave them below and we will forward them to NAREP. Alternatively you can email them directly : info@newzambia.org A quick skim suggests this is the most clearest manifesto yet - clear in its intent and most importantly early thinking on funding arrangement. Allowing people to comment also ensures its genuinely "people driven". A manifesto must be owned by the people. Well worth the read. We will review it alongside other manifestos.  
NAREP Manifesto (for Public Comment)

1 comment:

  1. NAREP seems like an interesting addition to the Zambian political landscape. Unfortunately they also seem to have been unable to accumulate sufficient momentum or resource prior to the current election cycle to pose a strong challenge to the established party machines at the constituency level. This probably means that their current campaign will be most oriented toward introducing themselves to voters so as to be positioned to remind them of the NAREP brand over the next cycle.

    While I have little information on their specific campaigning activities, sporadic news reports from the various major party mouthpieces have appeared from time to time (probably whenever that specific editor thinks the NAREP politician has said something mean about one of their rivals). The relative dearth of such mentions in such a heavily negative campaign environment is both commendable and further indication that they are running a relatively positive, "get to know us" campaign (though with the usual opposition prerequisite to also clearly state why they think they could do it better than the current chaps).

    With MMD apparently unable to lift their support out of the low forties nationwide, there is no shortage of dissatisfied voters for such a new party to make outreach towards, especially in Western and North-Western where undecided rates amongst the electorate apparently remain higher than the country as a whole. However the organizational strength of the two primary opposition parties makes it exceedingly unlikely that NAREP will be able to secure a parliamentary seat from which to voice their positions from within the halls of power.

    They will therefore be best served by using this campaigning opportunity to build their base of activists in all constituencies, and develop their ability to deliver community outreach and improvement projects that bring people together and showcase the talents of party officials and the power of the party volunteer base. Certainly it is unlikely that the party will be able to (or even allowed to by those in power), engage in their own road projects or literal bridge building. But even a paranoid government is hardly likely to object to efforts to clean up garbage-strewn communities, clear seasonal blockages from key drainage points to make best use of limited resource (and help evacuate and render aid to those who must escape when some inadequate systems fail nonetheless), host "barn raising" style volunteer combination farm upgrade/parties in rural areas, or localized job fairs to identify local skill sets and network prospective job holders with aspiring local entrepreneurs or skill improvement programmes in urban and peri-urban ones.

    Note, this is not about bribing voters with party largesse. It is about harnessing the time of people interested in your party's mission and channeling it into activities that help improve the conditions where those same party members live and work in ways that also help bind the community together in common effort. In other words, don't fall into the trap of spending the next five years talking about how committed you are to developing communities while whoever sits in Plot 1 gets to trot out a slate backed by a list of everything government does anyway as products of their own genius.

    When the next election rolls around, you should be in a position to talk about your candidates and their qualifications and ideas. Your commitment to community development should already be a matter of record.

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