Our opponents are often pointing to the collapse of the Soviet Union and East European socialist countries and the challenges facing blockaded Cuba, Venezuela and North Korea to politically undermine us and discredit our socialist programme.
But no one is pointing to the successes of China, Vietnam and the Indian communist-led states of Kerala and West Bengal.
We are not in all ways trying to be like these countries or states. We are trying to build a socialist society in Zambia, and not in Cuba, Venezuela, China or Vietnam. Our history, culture, circumstances and conditions are different.
And moreover, there’s no one ideal political system in the extremely complicated world we live in today, and it is impossible to see one emerging in the light of constant change.
Political systems are divided into various types. How can we judge which is the most appropriate? This is a matter that should not rely on subjective appraisal; neither should it be addressed purely in terms of standard Western values.
It is necessary to conduct an analysis based on the background details relating to a specific case, use quantified data, and employ objective facts.
This must be accompanied by a scientific approach to development and establishing a governing philosophy characterized by harmony. In this way we will have a government that is supported by the Zambian people as a whole. How should government, Cabinet, the presidency be run politically? How should a good government, Cabinet, presidency be assured? Through what kind of processes does the government, Cabinet, presidency reach its decisions? According to what standards does it operate? What mechanisms are in place to ensure that the government, Cabinet, presidency makes the correct major decisions?
The key to dealing with Zambia’s problems is for Zambia to have a competent government, Cabinet, presidency. Zambia will record progress and enjoy stability if this competency can be assured. A leadership capable of introducing unique innovations and increasing maturity in political matters will help us produce a stable society and generate the conditions that will enable steady economic growth.
The greatest challenge we face today is lack of a scientifically based, efficient decision-making mechanism for dealing with major problems. And because of this we are unable to achieve a stable society and economic growth.
As stated in our party’s manifesto the goals of our socialist programme are to move our country out of underdevelopment and poverty, creating a more advanced, more practical democracy and cultivating better human resources. The time it will take us to achieve these goals could be relatively long or short. It is necessary for Zambia to reach these goals. Thus, it is necessary to examine the best features of various institutions and assess whether or not they will be able to move Zambia towards these goals.
Garden Compound, Lusaka