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Tuesday, 21 August 2007
SADC TRYING TO COVER UP THE ZIM MESS!
VETERAN politician Simon Zukas yesterday said all the SADC statements at the just ended heads of state summit tried to cover up the mess in Zimbabwe.
And Zukas said the National Constitutional Conference (NCC) Bill was a shortcut that would achieve very little for Zambians.
In an interview yesterday, Zukas said there was a mess in Zimbabwe and all the Southern African Development Community (SADC) statements tried to cover it up.
“On the ground, we know otherwise. People who are arriving here from Zimbabwe. We are not talking about cross border traders, we are talking about skilled people, intellectuals. They tell us what mess is there and how repressive the regime has become. Now we are allowing them for the sake of preaching solidarity.
For the sake of unity, we are trying to allow the Zimbabwean statements to hide all this. It won’t get us anywhere,” he said
Zukas wondered how Zimbabwe would be supported as suggested by SADC.spreads evenly, it will all go one way. People have to be very careful about that because it's secondary industries that create employment."
And Zukas said there was a mess in Zimbabwe and all the SADC statements during the heads of state summit in Lusaka tried to cover it up.
"On the ground, we know otherwise. People who are arriving here from Zimbabwe, we are not talking about cross-border traders, we are talking about skilled people,
intellectuals, they tell us what mess is there and how repressive the regime has become. Now we are allowing them for the sake of preaching solidarity. For the sake of unity, we are trying to allow the Zimbabwean statements to hide all this.
It won't get us anywhere," he said
Zukas wondered how Zimbabwe would be supported as suggested by SADC."What are we going to do? Are we going to give them the foreign exchange of our own budget or what? Are we going to transfer some of our foreign exchange that we get from donors? Are we going to transfer that to them?" he asked.
And Zukas said the NCC Bill was a repeat of history.
"Under Chiluba, he had a chance to create a new constitution after the Mwanakatwe recommendations. He was not interested; he had his own agenda he pushed through.
The only thing he wanted to change was to make sure that Dr Kaunda does not stand," he said.
He said as far as the MMD was concerned, President Mwanawasa and justice minister George Kunda were only interested in a few changes and had never been in favour of a new constitution.
Zukas said President Mwanawasa and Kunda were playing along with the public but were never going to give way to the general demand for a new constitution.
He said certain amendments in the Constitution would not solve basic problems and would not make the constitution stand the test of time. Zukas said the best way to go in adopting the constitution was through a constituent assembly.
He said there was need for people to participate in the process and the government should narrow down its opposition for change.
"Willa Mung'omba and his team made recommendations and we need to follow them.
Why spend all that time and ignore them? The Oasis Forum is not a foreign body, it's a Zambian body, it's not an imperialist body, and it should be listened to.
It represents a wider sector of the public opinion. NCC is a shortcut which will
achieve very little," he said.
On the crumbling of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), Zukas said from the
word go, UDA was a syndicate and nothing more. He said it had no organic unity
and this had proved so.
Zukas said even during the election for which it was formed, co-operation between
the various elements was not really there because UDA partners were undermining
each other in many places.
"It has no future. The three parties each have areas of influence and support and
they will not be a combined opposition because there is no organic base between
them. It was an adhoc arrangement, syndicate, I think, is the right word for
them," he said.
Zukas said in every case if there was going to be an alliance, there should be
"They can't each have their own manifestos and then say 'we are an alliance', it
doesn't make much sense. The way to do it is whoever wants to come together, they
have to hold a joint conference, make it as inclusive as possible, agree on
principles which are going to unite them and I mean political principle not just
tribal principles and then move forward with leadership elected by that
conference or convention. That to me would be an organic unity, not these adhoc
arrangements," he said.
Meanwhile, Zukas said at the micro-level and higher economic level, Zambia had
done quite well.
"We have attracted a lot of investment, new mining and agriculture. But in
service delivery, I don't see that we have gone very far. As far as I can see in
health, the pattern is still as it was before the improved situation. With drugs,
people are still sent away to buy their own drugs," he said.
He said the trickle-down effect had not spread out because of lack of funds.
Zukas said the key areas should be education and health.
"The allocation of resources should be focused and concentrated on those two
areas to make an impact on poverty alleviation," said Zukas.