Hakainde Hichilema says Zambians are suffering immensely and they need to have their plight placed first than those of political leaders.
“It is our duty to continue doing those things that will alleviate the welfare of our people. The lives of our people come first than ours,” said Hichilema.
Hakainde is right. It is not a secret that many Zambians are living under economic hardships and encumbrances daily. Many, both in rural and urban areas, are barely surviving, living on the barest minimum. Rampant corruption and greed by those in control of state resources, high unemployment, increased national debt are some of the factors that have contributed to this state of being. Most of our leaders have departed from the blue print left by our independence leaders caring more for themselves than alleviating the suffering of the majority. Those in leadership have taken the positions they have as personal privileges for them to get rich, better their own lives. They forget that the people, the owners of the positions they hold put them there to work for them in resolving some of the challenges they face. Leaders are in the public positions in trust of the true owners and therefore all what they should be advancing is to improve the welfare of the virtual masters, the people.
What Hakainde is talking about is the ideal situation. The reality is as we have put it: the current leaders have placed their plight before the people who have placed them in those positions they hold. Zambians are seeing all this and are getting upset, annoyed daily. The irritation with the leadership decisions that only disadvantage them is visible.
As South African President Cyril Ramaphosa recently said, “We now know of powerful individuals who use positions of authority to plunder the resources of the people, threatening our economic sustainability and further impoverishing our people. We now know of business people whose reckless and fraudulent actions eroded the savings of many ordinary people as well. As we emerge from the corruption of apartheid, we are called upon to forge a new morality which places the interest of the people above the narrow and selfish interest of individual leaders. Now in the 25th year of our democracy we must acknowledge with shame and regret that we have failed to live up to the standards of the selflessness of the leaders who came before us.”
It seems there’s a chorus from our citizens that our nations lack leadership; a leadership that places the nation’s good above self.
Everywhere one turns to, local, regional, continental, people are desperate for true servant leadership that can elevate mankind and fill the world with justice. There are arguments that people, our citizens think leaders – be it in government or otherwise – are not serving the needs of society, the plight of the majority weak or poor. There is no argument that in our country today everyone is asking where the PF government is leading us to?
And it is understandable that after witnessing so much deceit and such frequent abuse of power, many people have stopped trusting their leaders.
And this should worry every citizen.
Mark Latham argues that: “politics is a nest of vipers. Don’t even think about going there. I’m sure there are some young idealistic people interested in running for Parliament. I have to say to you, as frankly and sincerely as I can, don’t do it. The system is fundamentally sick and broken, and there are other more productive and satisfying ways in which you can contribute to society. There was a time when politics was treated as an honoured profession, but that time has now passed. After decades of ridicule in the media and shameful opportunism and cynicism on both sides of politics, most people now treat politicians with contempt. Public apathy has hollowed out our democracy and handed power to a small clique of party machine men.”
And in the Turks and Caicos Islands, Benneth Williams wrote: “…Life is not easy, nor long lived. We must seize today, better tomorrow and secure the future for our forthcoming generations. We need to stand up and be counted, educate ourselves and fight for what is right. With my involvement with the democratic Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands I would help to make sure this happens.
“As a prospective administration member it is paramount you have a strong civil responsibility. All civilians have a duty to their nation. My sense of duty is exceptionally strong. A quality which will aid in the decisions which really matter to our nation. I have the sense of responsibility and duty to do things right, doing whatever is required.
Our government is here to not only aid the nation, but to help those individuals within it. We need to help people, aid them and support them throughout everyday operations. Our nation needs the strength and support of its people. I can add strength to government and by helping people within this nation I believe I can contribute to their everyday lives. Everyday a member of the administration is there because they want to make a difference, a difference for all within our nation. I feel confident, like all administration members, that I will make a difference, and will help everyone in our nation. I appreciate all decisions I make would have an affect upon many; I would do everything in my power to make sure these have positive and beneficial affects. Sometimes the smallest decisions can have the largest affect, and in return sometimes the biggest decisions can have the little affect. It is important to remember that politics is about making decisions for the greater good – that greater good for the greater number. I am in no position to say I am always right, but it is my responsibility to find out the facts before making these decisions. The decisions which will be for the greater good.”
These are desperate times but as Hakainde has pointed out, the lives of our people come first.
What our nation needs are leaders that provide a new perspective, inspiring citizens to abandon a narrow view. Zambia needs a leadership with a sense of urgency to address the acute socio-economic challenges our people are grappling with.
As Suzy Kassem says, a nation’s greatness depends on its leader.
Choose a leader who will invest in building bridges, not walls. Books, not weapons. Morality, not corruption. Intellectualism and wisdom, not ignorance. Stability, not fear and terror. Peace, not chaos. Love, not hate. Convergence, not segregation. Tolerance, not discrimination. Fairness, not hypocrisy. Substance, not superficiality. Character, not immaturity. Transparency, not secrecy. Justice, not lawlessness. Environmental improvement and preservation, not destruction. Truth, not lies.
Most importantly, a great leader must serve the best interests of the people first, not those of multinational corporations. Human life should never be sacrificed for monetary profit. There are no exceptions. In addition, a leader should always be open to criticism, not silencing dissent. Any leader who does not tolerate criticism from the public is afraid of their dirty hands being revealed under heavy light. And such a leader is dangerous, because they only feel secure in the darkness. Only a leader who is free from corruption welcomes scrutiny; for scrutiny allows a good leader to be an even greater leader.”