By Dr Given Mutinta
On 11th August 2016 we are going to the polls to launch a very important chapter in Zambia’s socio-economic and political history.
Voters from different echelons of society will again go out to cast their votes.
In casting our votes, we will have an opportunity to choose a president who will lead Zambia for the next five years.
As voters, it is our duty to choose the right leader who will help us realize our aspirations for a better future.
As we are weighing up who to give our vote, it is important to elect a leader we can safely trust with power. A leader who will not abuse but use power to take Zambians down to the road of socio-economic and political development.
In this election campaign period, we have seen some candidates marketing their national policies and visions. It is therefore our turn next week to make our choices and hire the head of State.
Let us elect a candidate who will make a difference in the economic development of our lives. A leader who will make Zambia noble, great in character, and admired by other nations for charging with the grandeur of peace and prosperity.
It is our responsibility to choose a leader who is competent. I mean a leader with knowledge and skills in economics to help Zambia in the quest and drive for ultimate development.
We know Hakainde Hichilema, Edith Nawakwi, Edgar Lungu, and other candidates seeking the highest office in the land. Therefore, 11th August will test us whether as a nation we have achieved political maturity to vote for the right leader.
Whether we like it or not, the destiny of this country will to some degree be shaped by the leader we will elect next week.
For that reason, vote for an honest leader reflecting a quest for truthfulness rather than deceit in thoughts and actions. An honest leader who will make a genuine effort to fulfil his or her election promises.
As never before, Zambia requires a leader who can respond authentically in the pursuit of pragmatic measures to deal with our socio-economic and political system that is disintegrating to a point where basic conditions and responsibilities of our government are no longer functioning as they should be.
Our drive to vote should rise above partisan, tribal and regional predispositions if we are to elect a leader who will be accountable to the electorate for the good of the nation.
It is high time that we chose an intelligent leader; a leader with the capacity to learn from local and international experiences and adapt what is learnt to make realistic decisions and policies that will develop our society.
Give your vote to a leader able to effectively communicate which is a sure way of connecting and inspiring the public. Mark your vote for a leader able to communicate his purpose, values, and vision for the country in order to build alignment and the national development strategy.
The most obvious candidate deserving our vote next week is one with leadership qualities. Therefore, vote for a leader with the aptitude needed to take on the socio-economic and political responsibility of running the country.
Our State House, should have a leader with integrity and not a known crook who is a godfather and godmother of corruption, greed, selfishness and plunder. Therefore, let us vote for a candidate who will act according to the values, beliefs and principles espoused by society for our country to move forward.
Vote for a leader who is hard working and understands that without hard work we can get nowhere as a nation. A leader who knows the basic science of life that your input will equal your output.
Therefore, do not waste your vote on someone who is too lazy to use his or her natural gifts and wants luck and divine intervention to develop the country on our behalf.
Do not take a person to State House whose simple job is to sign bills at the stadia, preside over the executive branch of the government, command the armed forces, nominate judges, and a few other mostly ceremonial duties.
Zambia is at the cross-roads; we need a leader who will:
• Invest in books, classrooms and teachers, not pangas, guns, and other weapons waved around by political cadres;
• Invest in morality, not corruption and drinking orgies undermining development;
• Invest in intellectualism and wisdom, not ignorance and arrogance;
• Invest in national stability, not fear and political violence;
• Invest in peace, not anarchy and political killings;
• Invest in love, not hate speech and evil political indoctrination;
• Invest in co-existence, not partisanism, tribalism and regionalism;
• Invest in political tolerance, not discrimination and threatening to sort out others;
• Invest in fairness, not hypocrisy where people scheme political violence at the same time calling for God’s intervention on political violence whose embers they are fanning;
• Invest in real national development, not superficiality by building roads to get cuts from the deals;
• Invest in character, not immaturity where most of the time is spent drinking and dancing;
• Invest in transparency, not secrecy in the way government is run and public resources are used;
• Invest in justice, not lawlessness where some people and political cadres are above the law; and
• Invest in truth, not lies about the economy and national achievements such as the bogus promise to re-open Mulungushi Textiles and the promise to give miners land.
I firmly believe that depending on how and who we vote for on the polling day, we can either build or destroy our country.
To all voters, make a good choice by being objective, rational and fact-based in your decision making on the candidate you will vote for next week and be on the right side of history that will build our country.