The Deputy Secretary General of the ruling Malawi Congress Party (MCP) is in South Africa attending a five-day Democratic Opinion of Africa Forum conference currently underway in Johannesburg South Africa.
The theme of this year’s conference is: “An oppressive regime in a democratic state: Navigation through uncertainties.” Sharing his insights on the topic on Thursday as a panelist, the MCP Deputy Secretary General observed that there is a clear interplay of political, economic, social, and legal factors that contribute to the emergence of an oppressive regime in a democratic state.
Among others, Kazembe cited a number of potential triggers for an oppressive regime such as the quest for dominance by one political, disregard for the constitution and applicable laws leading to a flagrant violation of human rights among other consequences, the fear of the unknown in the absence of power, weak institutions of the state, low citizen participation in affairs of the state, high illiteracy levels and high levels of poverty as possible reasons that give birth to an oppressive regime. Kazembe thereafter adumbrated these points in his presentation for more clarity and context.
Kazembe was not short of suggestions on how to avoid the curse of an oppressive regime as far as political leadership is concerned. On this, Kazembe spoke with passion that a proper succession plan, and a careful selection of leaders based on leadership traits must always be encouraged as sound leadership is a catalyst to development. The MCP guru also spoke on balancing the forces of power among many actors as is the case in a multiparty democracy, inclusive representation, and participation of all key segments of the population in state institutions such as women, youth, people living with disabilities, and ethnic minorities, among others, strengthening state institutions and social-economic empowerment of the citizens as interventions, which if implemented, will act as a sure of preventing the metamorphosing of a government into an oppressive regime.
Kazembe also hailed the non-state actors such as civil society organizations as well as religious organizations as very integral in Malawi in providing checks and balances in order to put the government on its knees to deliver on what it promised to the masses. In illustrating his point, Kazembe singled out the Catholic Bishops in Malawi as an example of how religious as well as civil society organizations contribute towards the quest for a better Malawi.
In an interview, Kazembe expressed his gratitude to the ‘principal’, President Lazarus Chakwera, and his immediate party boss, Eisenhower Mkaka for the opportunity accorded to him to represent the Malawi Congress party at the conference.
The Democratic Union of Africa Forum conference has drawn participants from around the continent with Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as the guest of honour.