Political Parties Should Collaborate and Address Cholera, Street Vending as National Problems
The Zambia Centre for Interparty Dialogue (ZCID) would like to urge political parties in the country to work together in seeking solutions to the current cholera epidemic Zambia is facing which has claimed several lives and affected general public order and safety.
ZCID whose vision is to deepen, promote multiparty democratic governance in Zambia, strengthen political party cooperation, and human rights, has been disturbed by the threat to public order, and continued loss of lives due to Cholera. The organization wishes to pay tribute to the Zambia Deference forces, Ministry of Health Workers, the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit(DMMU), and others for their commitment in responding to the epidemic.
ZCID however is of the view that considering the seriousness of epidemics such as Cholera particularly for threatening public order, and the social fabric, and the added pressure on the country’s economy, sanitation and health systems, political parties must ponder to collaborate more than ever and find answers to this problem. ZCID would like to urge and appeal to all well meaning political leaders and their members to put aside partisan interests and consult each other on how best to synergize ideas and efforts to resolve this humanitarian crisis.
ZCID is optimistic the country will overcome the current challenges the epidemic has occasioned. The organization is even more confident permanent solutions , can be found if political leaders work together where necessary particularly when calamities befall the nation.
Furthermore, ZCID has observed that it has dawned stakeholders and Zambians that sustainable solutions must be found to both street vending and the disease and all stakeholders apart from government must be involved. With the country’s growing population, efforts towards expansion and construction of suitable trading avenues, the creation of legal vending zones countrywide, and an overhaul of sanitation and housing systems especially in the townships, which the Millennium Challenge Account(MCA) has already embarked on will go a long way and help Zambians.
Notwithstanding other causes and the economic implications, the organization like other stakeholders, is cognizant of the extent to which uncontrolled street vending particularly in food stuffs, can compromise public health standards, and create opportunities for Cholera to breed, and cause more harm.
ZCID has noted that in finding alternatives to street vending, and cholera, political parties are expected to play a constructive role as creatures of the Constitution. The organization would like to urge them to make effort to cooperate, and dialogue in the spirit of national unity in accordance with Article 60 of the Constitution, especially that human crises are known to have reconciled people. ZCID believes political parties in Zambia are diverse, and must take advantage of their unique expertise and manifestoes to consult each other and suggest strategies aimed at mitigating national calamities, including vending.
As ZCID, an organization which is keen to promote political party cooperation and dialogues in Zambia, we are optimistic that for instance, “political parties must help in dealing with Cholera by proposing alternative and healthier avenues for traders, and construction of social amenities to safeguard the livelihoods of those who are involved in Street vending and Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and communities living in poor sanitary conditions.”
In this regard I encourage all political parties to put aside their Differences and help combat this common enemy taking the lives of our brothers and sisters.
ZAMBIA CENTER FOR INTERPARTY DIALOGUE (ZCID)