By Sycorax Ndhlovu
Before August 11, 2016 presidential and general elections political campaigns officially start, Zambians should consider the past and the present socio-economic situations; and determine the future of the Zambia they want through electing right personality of a republican president in the forthcoming elections.
Considering many rich natural resources such as minerals, vast fertile land, large water bodies and relatively favourable climate; and a population of about 14million people, on one hand; and some of the current socio-economic challenges some citizens are facing; on another hand; and indeed, reflecting on what the current government is doing to improve on the economy; and create more genuine jobs and alleviate high poverty levels, Zambians should think twice on who to be in State House who can work together with all the more than 73 ethnic tribes in Zambia for sustainable peace, stability and national economic development processes.
While, for whatever motive, each presidential candidate can promise Zambians many good things to come; including false promises, Zambians should have their own standards of what type of personality they want in State House to have the Zambia we want.
Allowing anyone to be in State House might have many negative regrettable effects on the current and future Zambia’s socio-economic situations. Using the available natural and human resources, it’s time we transform Zambia’s socio-economic landscape into the Zambia we want through electing a republican president who can not only provide effective managerial and economic knowledge but a president who can also facilitate transformation of such resources into benefits for all Zambians.
To achieve this, Zambians should elect a republican president who understands urban and rural Zambia. Someone who has gone through and understands what most Zambians have been; and are going through now; can provide transformational leadership to take Zambia to greater sustainable national socio-economic advancements.
Sustainable socio-economic development process for Mother Zambia needs a republican president who is humble, understanding, realistic and kind. Zambia needs someone in State House who is down-to-earth with sound experience in civic leadership to understand what women and children; including the vulnerable such as the aged and the disabled go through in this country.
Someone who is down-to-earth understands Zambia’s socio-cultural, economic and political situation better; and will co-ordinate with various traditional and civic leadership throughout the country to sustainably exploit our many and rich natural and human resources for a better Zambia.
Zambia doesn’t want a republican president who can auction Zambia’s government to a certain Zambian elitist economic interest group or to some western countries’ firm to take over Zambia’s economic backbone.
Reflect on first republican president, Dr Kenneth Kaunda. Think again about the fifth republican president, late Michael Sata. These were put in State House from a humble social; and formal educational background. But each had a heart for Zambia. From such a humble background, they went through what most Zambians have been and were going through. And when they were put into State House, despite making some mistakes, they facilitated practical socio-economic policies that, to a large extent, greatly contribute to addressing various socio-economic ills Zambia was facing.
Consequently, as Chikondi Foundation executive director, Bishop John Mambo recently observed at a certain clergy’s meeting, Zambians should avoid experiments on national political leadership. Presidential aspirants who can bring textbook policies which fail to address real socio-economic ills of a country should be avoided.
Therefore, Zambians want a republican president with high levels of humility. Such a president can easily interact with all cross-sections of Zambians.
Elitist and racist type of presidential candidates who only dine and wine with whites; and not with fellow Africans and ordinary Zambians have little or no understanding of what Zambians in shanty compounds and in rural Zambia go through.
Moreover, Zambia needs a president who understands what Zambian workers in all categories go through in terms of wages, monthly salaries and conditions of service in relations to cost of living in a country.
For one to think of improved workers’ salaries and conditions of service, one should have worked in government or in a private sector for a relatively long time; and rose through the ranks to supervisory levels.
This helps one to understand various work related hardships and socio-economic related issues most workers experience. Such knowledge facilitate a republican president to facilitate economic wages, monthly salaries and good conditions of service for workers as PF government started on minimum wages for certain categories of Zambian workers.
Scrutinise Presidential candidates who, despite current economic challenges and increased cost of living, pay his or her workers K350.00 per month; even disregarding government’s minimum wage legislation
. A presidential candidate who also pays his or her workers on time is desirable; and not one who makes his or her workers go without pay for three or so months despite his or her firm making relatively huge sums of money per month.
Zambia today, like ever before, also needs a republican president who has a heart for Zambia and her people. To prove that a presidential candidate has a heart for Zambia and her people, one can consider the social responsibility one has been contributing to various local community groups, the vulnerable; and even to one’s own workers.
Someone who is social, and attends and donates to various memorial socio-cultural gatherings and to unforeseen developments such as accidents, funerals, disasters, among others, gives a good sign that even when such a person will be in State House, he or she will be social, kind and will continue interacting with various members of our society in all provinces both in good and hard times.
Zambia also needs a person in State House who can also build on the good things that successive government have facilitated putting in place for the benefits of Zambians.
Our country has some good policies and some good laws. PF government under President Edgar Chagwa Lungu has also done a lot in infrastructure development such as good road network, schools, health centres, rural electrification, among others.
Hence, someone in State House should be one who can maintain and improve on such things; and not destroy them just because of his or her incurable hatred against the former republican president.
Factually speaking, despite some current socio-economic challenges our country is facing as a result of the effects of various world economic doldrums, under President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, PF government, Zambia seems to be transforming into a better place to live in sooner than later.
Moreover, in spite of heightened political violence common in our country now, our successive government political leaders have also facilitated peace and stability.
A good republican president and his or her government should maintain such peace and stability; and other good things put in place. Where necessary, with proper consultation with Zambians, a republican president should facilitate removal of policies and laws which aren’t suitable for unfolding socio-cultural, economic and political situations.
Consequently, ‘I-know-it-all’ attitude, arrogance, selfishness, greediness, hard-heartedness and inadequate civic leadership experience in someone in State House might seriously reverse many positive socio-economic and political strides Zambia has made.
From personalities of some presidential aspirants, someone observed: ‘If someone can be arrogant and politically violent before one assumes government machinery, what more when such a person has government machinery at his disposal?
Zambia needs a person in State House who can promote unity, peace and stability through promoting ‘One Zambia; One Nation’. And President Lungu has promised to lead a peaceful country.
From such a background, Zambians should have a score sheet for each presidential candidate’s political promises against that person’s true colours so that Zambians shouldn’t regret after August 11, 2016 presidential and general elections.
To achieve all such expectations, someone in State House shouldn’t be one who practices tribalism. Like President Edgar Chagwa Lungu said, Zambia needs a republican president whose tribe is Zambian.
With such factors to consider in the personality of a presidential candidate and many others each concerned Zambian citizen can think of, it’s hoped that Zambians will share such critical factors to consider in each presidential candidate for the August 11, 2016 presidential and general elections so that we all vote for a winning republican president with one voice.
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