IT IS time for Zambians to change their mind-set by voting for people who will meet their needs and not those who thrive on promises but fail to address challenges facing the country, the Gallant Youths in Zambia (GYZ) has said.
GYZ executive director Henry Mulenga told the Daily Nation that most of the problems the country was facing were a result of poor leadership by individuals that Zambians had trusted with public responsibilities due to promises they made during campaigns.
Mr. Mulenga said the August 11 general elections presented another opportunity to Zambians to decide what type of development will take place in the next five years but warned that there was need for the electorate to carefully scrutinise candidates participating in this year’s election to ensure that they put the right people into office.
He urged Zambians not to ignore the developments that have taken place in political parties starting from the selection process for candidates, gender balance and to how they have handled intra-party democracy because this had a huge bearing on national leadership.
“Do not be fooled by empty promises. As the country goes to the polls voters should never sell their votes so cheaply owing to empty promises being advanced by various political players. Every election year is exciting but this one will be more interesting as the country would be expected to produce a majoritarian president as required by law.
“Not ignoring a number of factors that will be associated with the choice of running mates and issues to do with gender balancing and other issues, voters are expecting to hear how the many challenges being faced will be tackled,’’ he said. He said most political parties had failed to sell their manifestos to the electorate but had directed their energies towards attacking each other at the expense of telling Zambians how they intended to end the challenges they faced.
He said there were a number of areas that needed attention such as climate change, health, and education and that politicians would have done the electorate a favour by explaining how they intended to tackle them if elected but said it was sad that most of them had resorted to personal attacks rather than talking about real issues.
“To date, little or no sound policy direction has been conveyed to the electorates on various challenges the country is facing. All we hear are attacks on one another. Time has come to critically scrutinise those offering themselves for leadership as they are not angels. Some have worked in Government before and we are aware of their performance.
He said Zambians needed to bring sanity to politics by rejecting manipulative tactics which only benefitted the politicians while leaving the ordinally person in abject poverty.