By Nsambila Mbolela, Financial Analyst (USA)
Sata can be compared to Brazilian former presdient Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. They both must think they are the unluckiest politicians ever. Lula lost presidential elections in 1994 and 1998, against a far more established opponent in Fernando Henrique Cardoso. Well in 2008 Sata lost elections against a well established MMD the late Mwanawasa. In 2002 Lula finally secured his goal of winning the presidency and there were rumblings, especially from the markets, that he would steer Brazil onto an economic path to destruction. This year 2011 you, Sata have secured the presidency against AMALGAMATED Bank of South Africa (ABSA) Capital, Africa strategist Ridfle Markus who predicted that Zambia will lose investment if Patriotic Front (PF) wins the elections.
Eight years on, as Lula bowed out office on 1 January 2011, Brazil is now the fastest growing economies in Latin America with a stronger emerging middle class while the USA middle class has sunk. As a matter of fact all those Marco Polo buses you see are assembled in Brazil. A study published in September by the Getulio Vargas Foundation, a Rio-based policy group, found that some 29 million Brazilians had entered what is termed the middle class between 2003 and 2009, with average monthly incomes between 1,126 reais and 4,854 reais ($658-$2839; £417-£1797).
Both Sata and Lula are better known by their nicknames than their real names, Lula and King Cobra which both are the names of animals. They both have an average education one is metal worker while the other one is a former police constable and rail way man. They are both from humble backgrounds and have a great gift to connect and relate to common people and people feel comfortable in their presence. Additionally you are both charismatic leaders.
Besides a set of personal gifts, emotional intelligence towards ordinary people, personal charm and smart political instincts, Lula’s genius lied in surrounding himself with the best political advisor and economic advisor who both had independent and original minds from Lula. Lula’s economic advisor is responsible for designing the economic system that both attracted foreign investors and also the Bolsa Familia a program that lifted millions of poor Brazilians out of poverty. Thus Sata if you want to succeed please find yourself the best economic advisor and political advisor. A genius political advisor will help you to connect with the masses and restore pride in the country. The economic advisor will help you to design sound economic policies that respect civil liberties, democracy and investment alike. Without national pride your political career like that of KK, Chiluba, Levy and now Rupiah will have a fatal ending.
Here are five areas if well developed will set your political career apart from others.
1. Economy: Mobilize the number of Zambians in Diaspora regarded as middle class to invest back in Zambia by making it easier for us to send consumer goods without thugs stealing.
2. Resources: Develop commercial agriculture particularly top key foodstuffs including sugar, poultry, rice and beef, and other commodities much in demand by countries in Africa. Reach out to Israel for agricultural technology. Invest in discovering oil in Zambia.
3. Environment: The size of our fresh water lakes should make fishing as another economic sector that has largely been underdeveloped. Development land for agriculture should boost Zambia’s economic credential after all Soya beans is Brazil’s valuable export.
4. Political voice: Please unlike your predecessors be the president for all people than your political party. Valuable time has been wasted through political bickering instead of inspiring all Zambians to work harder to deal with challenges. No one is interested in investing in a country where civil liberties and threat to democracy like events in Mongu.
5. Education: Create opportunities for Zambians to use their own talents and original qualities to positively impact others to be entrepreneurs. It is time to instill confidence within and outside Zambia to the masses that have been previously disgusted with mediocre politics and standard of living conditions.
Sata besides your charismatic personality and nationwide mass following, you have luck on your side because you have a great opportunity to learn from the blunders of KK, Chiluba and Rupiah. Challenges define leaders. Rupiah squandered the chaos in Mongu from inspiring Zambians to define and articulate a fresh political vision for Zambia. Rupiah was so consumed with winning elections that he stopped governing the country. As for you Sata if you capitalize on economic and political diversity as your source of strength your political career will have a stellar ending with a legacy in the hearts of the next generation.
Lula is sorely missed both within and outside Brazil, where as for you Sata your opportunity is just beginning.