By Hellen Chanda Makanta
Continuously, we complain about the lack of delivery, respect and sanity from the politicians that we elect to be our representatives.
They come to us with the most sugar coated promises and with the skill of deception they have acquired over their numerous years in politics. To them, it is merely a game of how well they can lure you and I into believing their serpent lies. And time without number, we find ourselves falling prey. We are merely a bait for their good life. Porch vehicles, fancy 2 storied houses in low population areas and their holidays to the Bahamas and around the beaches of the world.
Here are some of the mistakes we make as voters and here am some ways in which we can make a difference.
1) We have a tendency of easily forgetting the paws of the fox that has just put on sheep’s skin. Some politicians have been on the scene from the time of welensky and Dr. kaunda. Simply changing their language to fit the government and community of the day. Nothing about their mindset changes. They have no zeal to save the people. They merely want to be comfortable for all their lives. (The likes of daniel munkombwe, Alexander chikwanda, and the list goes on and on). Zambia will never progress if we do not see such people for who they are. Parasites merely depending on our naïve minds. Today, they will tell you the MMD is good, tomorrow, the PF is good. In actual sense, they are the bad ones. We need to stop giving such people chances to lie to us. We need to open our minds to embrace new ideas from a younger generation.
2) Our community has been so consumed with mediocre political campaigns that only produce pathetic incapable leaders in office. A politician that knows nothing about economics or political science will stand on a podium and distribute 2 meters chitenges and 25 kilograms bags of mealie meal and next thing, what we will see is this politician in office making decisions for our nation. That is selling our birth right for a piece of cloth. When we start seeing the economy taking a dive, that is when we want to wake up and talk. But it is too late. If we are going to progress, we need to analyze, break down, understand and relate to what politicians tell us. Imagine someone standing on a podium and promising you “more money in your pocket”. Ask them how they will do it. Will they call prophets to declare miracle money into your pockets? With they plant money growing trees? We need to see through politics of insults and move on to idealistic campaigns and economic analysis.
3) We are easily used by our politicians to resort to violence. As youths especially, we fall victim many times. They tell us that a UPND cadre is an enemy and they buy us beers, and we proceed to pick pangaz and kill our fellow citizens. In the end, we are left jobless, destitute and useless while they accommodate prestigious offices and drive big vehicles and gain weights impossible to be weighed by a simple scale. Comrades, when the time for elections comes, our new approach should be to stay united, listen, analyse and pick out what is sense. Dear youths, make sure you look out for the statement of how they will give you jobs and not just be misled by useless slogans and fake dreams such as the miserably failed 90 days dream.
Lastly. I urge all of us to fight voter apathy if we are hoping to ever elect a leader that is worthy of the title. Forget your religion, forget your tribe, remember that you are a Zambian and your vote will influence the development of this country. It is too much of taking 3 steps forward and 5 steps back. Be united. Be patriotic. You are the hope for Zambia.