The opposition has lost the plot!
Now, here is an interesting headline from Lusaka Times this week: “Four opposition parties petition the Constitutional Court to clarify President Lungu’s eligibility for 2021”. At last, I thought! Someone is putting a stop to this never-ending debate about how to interpret the new constitution. Let the courts determine whether or not Lungu is allowed to run for a third term because his first term only lasted one-and-a-half years. However, the puzzling thing is that the four opposition parties petitioned the Constitutional Court because they want it to declare that Lungu is eligible to contest the 2021 elections, not because they want the court to declare that Lungu is not eligible. What kind of an opposition is that? Opposition parties are crucial to democracy, as they hold government accountable to the public by constantly questioning government. They become irrelevant when they become an annex of government. Yet, many opposition parties in Zambia openly support the party in power – in many cases for strategic rather than ideological reasons I suspect – making a mockery of democracy. In fact, this practice is so pronounced that many of us don’t even question it any longer, but we should! Shame on the four opposition parties.
Camilla Hebo Buus, Editor Zambia Weekly