POLITICIANS seeking to lead the country must avoid the temptation of making extravagant promises and undertakings which would only succeed in fueling a crisis of expectation among the people, veteran politician Vernon Mwaanga has cautioned.
He said Zambia was yet again at cross-roads as the country was slowly beginning to prepare for the tripartite elections next year where political contenders would be competing for power to preside over the affairs of the country.
Reflecting on the political environment as Zambia prepared for the general elections next year, Dr Mwaanga said politicians would start sharpening their tongues to be used against their opponents while manifestos would be produced with exaggerated and flamboyant promises.
Dr Mwaanga warned the presidential aspirants that deceit could not and would never result into economic and social development of the country or well-being of the people but would only succeed in fueling a crisis of expectations in the country which he feared would lead to frustrations.
He said Zambia needed a leadership that could be trusted and deliver on its electoral promises stating that Zambians needed leaders who were committed to the democratic values for which a high price was paid.
Dr Mwaanga said Zambia needed a leadership that would have the desire to invest in education which would make the people democratically understand what was happening in their country.
He said it was important for political leaders to learn and understand the discipline of accepting the freedom of others to speak without fear, intimidation or persecution.
“Our country is at cross-roads as it slowly begins to prepare for tripartite elections next year, which will involve a contest of power. The politicians will soon start sharpening their tongues to be used against their opponents and their pens to start producing manifestos which will be full of extravagant promises and undertakings most of which will not be honoured or at best be honoured in breach. This happens every five years and these deceitful promises cannot and will not result in the development or well-being of the people as they can only fuel a crisis of expectations in the nation which take the people nowhere apart from leading to frustration. Our country needs a leadership that can be trusted and deliver on its election promises,” Dr Mwaanga said.
He said the spirit of dialogue that characterized the advent of the new political dispensation in 1991 was slowly fading and was being replaced with a new culture of arrogance which he stated did not augur well for the future of nascent democracy.
He advised that debates leading to the decisions on national issues such as the enactment of the new Constitution or constitutional amendments should be preceded by free consultative and inclusive debate.
“Even after the decision has been taken by the majority, the minority must know that they have a good case and must be allowed to argue it correctly and convince the majority to their thinking. Similarly the majority must be willing to maintain their argument until the minority are convinced of the correctness of the decision and this necessity for continued freedom to debate should not prevent decisions from being taken otherwise we shall do nothing but debate and talk infinitum,” Dr Mwaanga said.