The formation of the NDF is the most constitutionally (legally) binding and logical approach to implementing any outcome of the Commonwealth Secretary General’s initiated dialogue process. But we must always remember that the fact that something is legal does not mean it is right.
As a ruling party, the Patriotic Front had the moral obligation to address the national issues identified by the independent Commonwealth Secretary General (CSG), in the interest of national unity.
The CSG wanted to create an all inclusive, forward-looking political dialogue process that would reduce political tension, create an environment that would promote and uphold tolerance and civility, facilitate a roadmap on governance reforms (our NDF) and enhance political and social cohesion in the country ahead of future elections.
The NDF, consequently, was supposed to be an implementation tool of the outcome of the dialogue process. In itself, the NDF constitutes no dialogue.
We are supposed to be a decent people with sound moral values and upright ethical judgment that must prioritise the common good. We failed, as a ruling party that must have nothing to fear, to provide leadership.
After the interparty dialogue, the NDF playing field should have intentionally been levelled or made even. We should have:
1. Created a voting counsel or panel of judges evenly composed of Pro PF and Pro Opposition, to bring all deliberations to a two thirds majority vote conclusion failure to which deliberations would continue.
2. Allowed the most aggrieved, the opposition, to make submissions during the interparty dialogue process and make them starting points of discussions.
3. Prioritised electoral reforms and the Public Order Act. The Constitution should have been left to Parliament to discuss only lacunas not reintroducing what we unanimously, as a nation, rejected.
The NDF in its current form is not serving the interests of the people but those of politicians who have forgotten why, in the first place, they are in politics.
How do you reject the notion of appointing ministers ftom outside parliament but wish to keep those appointed from Parliament long after the platform they sprang from has been dissolved?
Or why should the manner in which Mayors and Counsel Chairpersons ascend to power be a priority? Or what value will Deputy Ministers add to good governance?
Politics should not be a self preservation tool but a vehicle for development.
Mpandashalo Evans Mwewa
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