As we approach the Election Day, the Country is awash with survey results on which candidate is going to win the forth coming elections. The results would really be confusing to an uninitiated mind because of their differences. Notwithstanding what these pollsters state, one thing is certain, the leading candidates are Rupiah Banda of the ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) and Michael Sata of the Patriotic Front (PF). It is un-debatable that other things being equal, one of these two will carry the day come 21st September.
As to who between the two will actually win is what has been an issue, leading to the birth of an industry, that of “Opinion Polls’.
As things currently stand, I find it interesting that none of these pollsters has been magnanimous enough to state that the election will be too close for them to put their heads on the chopping boards.
As election day fast approaches, it is a fact that many prospective voters do not know how they are going to vote. This is because of the calibre of candidates on offer. I will not waste time to discuss the other eight candidates because we all know (including them) that that they have no chance of winning.
I will therefore just dwell on the top two contenders, starting with the incumbent.
Rupiah Banda has presented a case to the Zambians in what he perceives to be the best way possible. According to him, he has shown his best in the last three years. To me, his best has not been good enough. While he has shown some conviction in what he is doing, the main worrying thing is the overriding motivation of his actions and projects. His projects seem deeply entrenched in egotism and self-preservation. This can be seen in the following areas.
RB has pasted his face all over the projects his government is undertaking using our money as though putting up a road, clinic or school is a favour to us and we should pay him back by re-electing him.
RB has shamelessly monopolized the public media and other public institutions to serve his re-election campaign.
RB has gone against conventional wisdom and professional advice to alienate public property like houses just for the sake of making him look good.
So many accusations have been levelled against him by his adversaries as regards how he discharges his duties as President, and it would be difficult to absorb him from them in the light of how he handles his personal interest against what is in national interest.
There being two major contenders for the top position, this analysis should surely entail that we give the unwavering support to the remaining major candidate, unfortunately that would be fatal.
Sata’s position may infact be worse, and a critical examination of his character may even render him morally ineligible to hold the office of President. The powers of a President are so immense that a nation entrusts its entire wellbeing in an individual and hopes to be diligently and honestly served. Such an individual, among other qualities is supposed to be of very high integrity. Sata is not close to have any integrity. His character was correctly summarized by an American Diplomat when he said of him “…What he lacks in strategic thinking, he makes up for political cunning and force of character. Although seen as a straight talker, the PF leader’s discourse is not burdened with unwavering commitment to accuracy or truth.’’
In short, Sata does not have what it takes to be the CEO for the country because he is not a strategic thinker. Sata will use underhand methods to destroy his political opponents because he is a political snake and more importantly, Sata is not honesty and he is simply a liar.
Sata’s character is clearly etched in a few highlights of his life by retracing the role he played in, the liberation struggle, the reintroduction of multi-partism in Zambia, Chiluba’s third term bid, his unstable position on Chiluba’s corruption charges and the taxation of mining companies.
Sata has lied on many issues. For example, he carries himself as a humble man who never accumulated wealth in his public life. In the latest statutory declarations, Sata only declared 7 guns, one motor vehicle and a paltry number of company stock. If he was a private individual we would not take issue with this, but why did he not disclose the Trust through which he has been accumulating wealth. Sata has a huge portfolio of property and it is unbecoming for a person seeking public office to be so crooked. Sata has the following pieces of real property that he never declared or at least he should have declared his connection to the Trust:
Plot No.1051, Makishi Road, Fairview-Semidetached Houses
Plot No. 4147, Nangwenya Road, Rhodespark-Residential house
Plot 6258, Chilimbulu Road-Block of Shops
Plot F/488a/37/G, Twin Palm Road, Kabulonga-Double Storey Mansion
Plot F/378a/A/141, Avondale-Residential House
Plot F378a/B/7, Avondale-Residential house
Plot 428/8137, Helen Kaunda-Residential House
These are some of the properties Sata has not masked. There are many more like the Mezaf flats which Sata managed to hide under threats from prosecution. That a person aspiring to be entrusted with the lives of 13 million Zambians can lie on oath brings in a serious question of morality.
It is this lack of choice that may keep people away from polling stations on Tuesday. However, rather than stay away, my advice is, whatever you do, the winner will either be Sata or RB. Go and vote to simply support those parties you think carry some promise. Your vote will give them hope to continue in future. Let’s us not worry about this myth of splitting votes. Our vote is the only tool through which we can participate in the governance of our country. Like me, many of you have limited choice, but please, use your vote to at least give a reason for one of the other eight candidates to continue.
Author’s name withheld on request