President Elias Chipimo identifies several things about Zambian politics that guarantee that this solution is the best one. The main reason is simple: POWER. IT IS SWEET!! How many politicians will implement a document that takes away their powers? This is a fact of Zambian politics; remember even Frederick Chiluba tried to change the constitution to run for a 3rd term. Once in power, people become comfortable with the proceeds of power and it is within their interest to retain that power. In 1776, these were the issues that the founding fathers of the United States feared. During the debates in 1776, the fear was to put too much power in the presidency, for there was vulnerability for men to become tyrannical. Thomas Jefferson, one of the leaders of the founding of America, in fact said that “experience has shown that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.” Hence the political theory of balancing power was crucial to a democracy because no one organ of government was to be constructed to have superiority over another; this was a measure put into the American constitution to prevent what is currently going on in Zambia.
President Elias Chipimo, even though as a future president he would benefit from expanded powers of the presidency, identifies that for the sake of posterity we should implement the necessary measures to prevent one man or woman from aggregating all the powers of the state into his/her corner thus preventing the full exercise of democratic principles. Democracy is not a political speech, democracy is the genuine existential prescription given to men and women who enter a “social contract” to form a state and thus organize themselves under one identity.
Politicians by nature desire power, leaders such as President Elias Chipimo are very much aware of this fact and while they may exercise caution in their desire to rule the country, there is no guarantee that the rest of the men and women in Zambia aiming for the state house will do the same. Once we accept the nature of politicians, we will find credibility in his proposal. It is in fact the most realistic proposal that guarantees a living constitution. A CONSTITUTION SHOULD NOT BE LEFT TO PARTY POLITICS!!
President Elias Chipimo has made his argument; it is up to all of us as Zambians to make a decision. But that decision should be premised on a genuine desire for mother Zambia to move forward. While we are free to examine his proposal within the confines of our political ideologies, it is important that we understand that the goal for every Zambian is to do that which will always benefit mother Zambia. If this is indeed our goal, it is impossible for a person to disagree with this proposal for it’s the only proposal that can GIVE BIRTH TO A NEW NATION and restore the democratic principles that “we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
George N. Mtonga, Kalale Musonda, and David Kapoma (NAREP)