With about a month before Zambia goes to the polls on August 11, the electorate must begin to decide on which composition of aspiring candidates inspires hope to drive the development agenda forward.
The campaigns have, as usual, been characterised by lots of promises since the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) officially declared the season. Some of these promises have been so blatantly bare and hollow depending on who is making the pronouncements.
It is abhorrent to realise that some of the candidates aspiring to be our national leaders can have the audacity to shamelessly stand on the podium and make pronouncements to better the living standards of the ordinary citizens once given the reins of power.
Who does not know the active role that a person like United Party for National Development presidential candidate Hakainde Hichilema played in the privatisation process of the mines and many government parastatal companies in the 1990s?
It is paradoxically shocking to hear such people make hollow promises to the people of the Copperbelt that in the unlikely event that his party forms government after August 11, he would let The Anglo American run the mines and that many of our people would have jobs. What kind of morality is that? What does he take the people of Zambia for?
The challenges of joblessness the people of the Copperbelt, particularly the miners, are facing is partly because of the effects of the privatisation of the mines of which people like Hakainde Hichilema were part of. Arguably, it is not only the UPND leader who was driving the process. Other people were involved too.
However, being an economist, Mr Hichilema must have offered sound advice to Government then on the devastating effects of privatisation on the economic lives of the people of the Copperbelt. It is a mockery of the worst kind for people who were directly involved in creating a futuristic dystopia to come up to fix the problems. It is actually insulting people’s intelligence and merely politicking.
What is even worrying is that some of these charismatic presidential candidates vying to lead this country are surrounded by people that cause worry at spectre of imagination supposing entrusted with running the affairs of government.
How many of our people can say that the construction of roads is not good for our country’s economic development? Probably, only disgruntled characters that oppose for the mere sake of it and do not see any good in whatever government does.
If what the UPND presidential running mate, Geoffrey Mwamba, said on radio Phoenix programme last week is the party’s position to abolish the road construction, in a bid to save money for the civil servants’ salaries, then such political promises are a danger to economic development.
We are of the view that our politicians ought to make pronouncements on how they hope to advance the developmental agenda of our country on realistic promises. Much as some are desperate to canvass votes from the electorate, there must be dignity and honour in the manner the promises are put forward.