Saturday, March 24, 2012
Letter from Zambia
What started as a new political revolution in Zambia has proved to be a mere political hullabaloo. There can be nothing new under capitalism – except half meal political and economic reforms that in all respects only help to undermine working-class political and class solidarity. In every part of the world the workers have the class franchise to elect a political party into power. It is the inability by the workers to use their class franchise to utilise their political consciousness as a weapon for socialism.
The election of Michael Sata of the Peoples Front (PF) as President is what is dubbed a new dawn in Zambian politics. Reading through the newspaper headlines one may easily notice the absence of political criticism today. The PF has been a pro-poor people’s budget – in the sense that the government has reduced pay as you earn income tax below those earning K2 million.
The reduction of income tax comes at a time when the government is contemplating enacting a minimum wage for those earning below K2 million.
The political strength of the PF government will be judged by the workers and unemployed youth, who massively voted for it during the 2011 general election.
President Michael Sata, like his predecessors Chiluba and Dr. Banda, is a charismatic politician. Because Sata won the election on a massive landslide he may remain blind to the limits of political power and, given his flamboyant political nature, this is going to prove difficult to those close to him to work with him he has the audacity to reverse set policies of ministerial agenda – removing and appointing members of parliament to cabinet portfolios without proper explanations. But what is worrisome is the complete absence of UNPD political members of parliament in the new PF government.
The directive to let alone street vendors issued by Sata and the sending of Dr. Banda as special presidential ambassador to China caught many people unprepared. Sata couldn’t allow his opponents to champion the plight of the urban unemployed youth by allowing them to trade freely on the streets of Lusaka and the Copperbelt mining towns. The fight against corruption is aimed at hoodwinking overseas aid donors. Indeed, it remains to be seen whether the arrest of form MMD ministers will help to correct the dented political image the Zambian political profile abroad.
President Sata recently revoked the labour ministry from Chishimba Kambwili – because of his anti-Chinese political sentiments. Indeed, Kambwili was seen as a new political guru by many urban workers through his relentless attacks on Chinese investors who misread indigenous Zambian workers. What many workers expected was that the PF was going to increase jobs and salaries overnight – within the stipulated 90 days.
Apart from enacting commissions of enquiry into the privatisation of Zamtech and Zamco, the PF government has not achieved any noticeable economic reform. Indeed, the practice of appointing and reshuffling ministers is negatively perceived by many Zambians. It remains to be seen whether President Sata will forge his political popularity through increasing jobs and salaries across the board.
But the question remains, will the political immunity of former MMD president Banda be removed?
Our appeal to the Zambian workers and unemployed youth remains the same – socialism is the only political alternative to capitalism. We advocate a classless, moneyless and stateless society.
Donchi Kubeba song authored by Dandy Krazy is a household name across Zambia and contributed in boosting the morale of the Chipolopolo boys at the Africa Cup of Nations. Dandy says it is the song that propelled the PF to victory against MMD when the opposition party adopted it. “I wrote this song three years ago, it’s a song about change. Politicians have been making promises which they do not fulfil,”Dandy said.
Posted by Red Jason at 2:11 PM