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Friday, 5 December 2014

The collapse of governance in Zambia

Vice President Scott's protege Miles Sampa is allegedly running a red beret militia that urgently needs to be investigated and removed from the streets by our policing authorities. If unchecked it will set Zambia on fire. Sadly, this development is only one of many signs that governance is collapsing in Zambia at the hands of the so called Cartel. A coalition of greedy people who want to control the future of the country. We are sleep walking into a national catastrophe.

Over the last few weeks we have been tracking the developments within the country. It is evidently clear to us that at the root of the problem is Vice President Guy Scott who seems to be a perpetual law breaker during this transition period. We have seen his take illegal decisions such as transferring office bearers to support his political aims (See Elias Munshya's excellent piece). He has also blatantly broken the law by clearly ignoring a Court order, a fact which he has been exposed by the lawyer who was present at his illegal conference. He has encouraged political thugs like Silvia Masebo and Chishima Kambwili to attack ZNBC journalists in broad daylight.

Scott has either lost complete control of government or is covertly promoting organised confusion through various groups. Both positions are very dangerous for the country. The only consolation is that Scott only has 47 days left in power, if some semblance of order prevails. There are no guarantees. Scott has repeatedly acted very autocratic and he clearly looks down on ordinary Zambians like we are nothing. He behaves like he is the only one able to think and act with reason.We think it is shameful for a president to behave in this manner.

More worrying it is possible that the current organised confusion is all part of a ruse to make the presidential by-elections come to a halt. In many ways it would be better if Scott stepped down and allowed Cabinet to appoint someone else. The most independent nnewspaperin the country Daily Nation, recently observed in its editorial :
Dr. Guy Scott has become a security risk and the greatest tragedy is that a number of prominent Zambians are following him without realizing the danger to which he is putting the country. If he continues to agitate and abuse state power in order to achieve political ends, he will put this country at great risk. Conflicts that have led to failed States in Africa have started on even smaller matters
Civil Rights activist Brebner Changala who called for a medical board against President Sata before he died argues that Scott must be impeached :
This country is getting balkanized by a clique of individuals now commonly known as the Cartel and we need measures that can save the country from a civil war. Cabinet has powers to appoint from among themselves any member to act as president in the absence of a reasonable and ideal person. For sure, Dr Scott is not in full command of himself and I am short of calling for another medical board to examine his mental status to continue acting as president"
When Sata died and was replaced by Guy Scott a lot of people run to heap praises of Scott. Stephen Chan writing in the UK's Conversation observed: 
Scott graduated from Cambridge and took a doctorate from Sussex; he is a scientist as well as an economist and he has a fascination with eastern religions. In many ways, he perfectly embodies the educated and cosmopolitan generation that many hoped would replace Kaunda’s independence generation....Scott would have made a very good president – and he would have been accepted by the voters, who would even have boasted about their taste for irony and the good race relations their country had accomplished" (Source: The Conversation)
The quote is taken from an article tiled  'Guy Scott’s whiteness is not the issue in Zambia'. It became something of a internet sensation.  We observed at the time the article was published that the gullibility with which Chan's argument was accepted just goes to show that time and time again non-Zambians read Zambians wrong. This is why we always encourage Zambians to develop their analytical capacity rather than praise every so called "expert". It would have made sense for Stephen Chan to wait before passing judgement on Scott's suitability or Zambians' love for him. 

Chan forgot that President Sata never found Scott suitable to act. So how can he possibly believe that Scott would have made a good president, when the person closest to him, thought he was incapable of making one? This is not to say that Sata is the authority on everything, rather it seems to be clear to any reasonable person that Scott not only lacked Sata's confidence in this area, but apparently the Cabinet did not have much confidence in Scott either. The reason Scott remained was that President Sata was compassionate remembering that Scott was an old friend. Nepotism rather than competence kept Scott in his job. He was tolerated rather than liked. UPND President Hakainde Hichilema's assessment of Scott was even worse.

When all these things are considered it is difficult to fathom the acceptance of Scott that Chan is talking about. Now we are seeing that we have been right about Scott all along.  Since Scott assumed his duties he has done nothing but make Zambia more economically and politically uncertain. Never has a leader behaved more autocratic and more dangerous to the country at large. What a worrying cocktail for Zambia! 

When is the country going to get back to its economic agenda? You cannot lead by force and deception. In this year we celebrated our Golden Jubilee, as Zambians we need no reminder that our freedom and peace needs to be jealously guarded. Scott has lost support of his party and confidence of the country at large.  We have big many challenges and the last thing we need is a leader who has zero confidence among his ministers. He seems more interested in ensuring he is not prosecuted by Lungu after January 2015 than putting Zambia first. In the process he is overseeing the total collapse of governance in Zambia.  It is real tragedy.

Copyright © Zambian Economist 2014

1 comment:

  1. Scott never had any control of the government. Everyone knew he was a lame duck from square one so they have ignored him.


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