The implementation of democratic principles were lost at the re-introduction of plural politics – Akashambatwa

 

Akashambatwa

Akashambatwa

Veteran and now retired politician Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika says that the cementing of democratic principles were lost at the re-introduction of plural politics in 1990, reports Thom Shonga for Zambian Eye.

He said this in an interactive programme called Hot Seat with the Zambia Eye and its 21,000 members on the Facebook page on Saturday 1st February 2014.

The Zambian Eye has pioneered an interactive interview program through Facebook so that its members have the opportunity to interact with and interview various leaders. First to feature on this program was former Solwezi Central Member of Parliament, Mr Lucky Mulusa.

Mr Mbikusita-Lewanika said, “The challenge of overcoming the constitutional one party state was a first and easier step”.

Mbikusita-Lewanika added that there was still the challenge of re-enforcing the principles of democracy and the required respect for plural politics in our society.

He further said that the development of democracy was still a challenge in terms of broad participation in problem assessment, solution determination and solution assessment.

“The challenge to transform values and re-enforce the accompanying principles of democracy and the required respect for the plural nature of our society remains. So does the challenge of democratizing development in terms of broad participation in problem assessments, solution determination and solution implementation,” he said.

Mr Mbikusita-Lewanika said these challenges and that of a long lasting constitution should have been dealt with at the re-introduction of plural politics.

However, these could not be done as the newly elected leadership of the time was dominated and driven by persons whose differences with the One Party State were personal and shallow.

The elected leadership felt and acted as though they had arrived at the final destination on reaching the very first step of being Presidents, Ministers and Members of Parliament.

He further said that the campaign period was too short to deliver the message of fundamental transformation, including the concerns and interest of all those who had their democratic and economic rights taken away through dictatorial constitutional engineering and increasingly partisan and personalized governance.

Mbikusita-Lewanika who resigned his ministerial portfolio nine months into MMD’s governance in 1992 is now settled in Mongu where he is doing research work particularly on how they planned in organising and campaign for the re-introduction of multi-party democracy in 1990/91.