[By Aaron Ng’ambi]
It is an undisputed fact that the executive Office of President of the Republic of Zambia, which is the highest office of the land comes with great responsibility. To serve as president, a man or woman takes an oath of office, stating that they will preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the Republic as well as ensure safety and security of all the citizens of our great nation. Therefore, to reduce such an office to lower standards for whatever reasons is a disgrace. Once elected to such a prestigious position, one should understand that there is a danger in pursuing selfish ambitions at the expense of the will of the people, because the ones who suffer for such actions are none other than the ordinary innocent Zambians. After all, this position is temporary for a stipulated period of time. And the position itself belongs to the people who elected the President. This is why it is crucial that the presidency is transparent at all times, and that the people to whom this office belongs should be able to hold their elected leader accountable for whatever they do while serving as president.
Today, February 20, 2020, I thought that it would be appropriate for us to ask twenty questions to our leader and President. So here are the 20 questions in 2020 for the current President of the Republic of Zambia, Edgar C. Lungu.
1. Sir, according to your Facebook and other social media platforms you use to communicate with your followers, you have announced that you will give out K250,000 cash to anyone who comes forward with information about the criminal activities of gassing people which are happening across the country. My question is; Mr. President, are you telling us that with all your intelligence apparatus, you do not know who is behind these illegal and criminal activities? 2. Sir, you of all people knows very well that the late President Mr Michael Sata spent 10 years in the opposition, travelling all over the country trying to unseat the MMD government of RB. Why did you bring back the same people who were political enemies of your former boss whom you profess to love and have respect for? 3. Sir, why have you not enforced the Constitutional Court judgment or ruling that all your ministers who got paid during their illegal stay in office should pay back the money, are you deliberately ignoring this court order? 4. Mr. President, it is evident that the economy of our country today is performing at its worst, with a projection of 2 per cent GDP growth in an economy that is foreign dominated. What are your specific plans to improve this failing economy? 5. Sir, if you were challenged or called upon by the people to do a live television/radio debate with HH, who seems to be your eminent contender, would you do it? 6. Sir, what will be your legacy after you leave office, what is the one thing, if any, that you wish Zambians will remember you for? 7. Mr. President, what was your net worth before you become President of Zambia, and what is your net worth now? Can you please put this on record once and for all just so we can hear it from yourself? 8. Sir, will you allow for investigations and prosecution of those who were involved in the purchase of the 42 fire tenders? 9. Mr. President, what is your position on Bill 10? Are you in support of this bill that has been rejected by a vast number of NGOs and Zambians at large, or will you listen to the people and instruct your Minister of Justice to withdraw Bill 10 from Parliament? 10. Sir, if you happen to leave the office of President next year, are you worried that someone who will take over from you will rescind your directives and involvement in forest area 27?
I am aware that President Edgar C. Lungu may not personally respond to these questions, but it is important that these questions are asked because these are some of the serious issues, which are on the minds of many Zambians. In fact, let me put it on record for all my readers that the process of how I obtained these questions was very objective and in good faith. I went out of my way to ask many Zambians, both in person and via social media to tell me what they thought would be good and appropriate questions for the Head of State. For me personally, I have never met the President, I do not know the man and so there is absolutely no reason why any of these questions I selected from those submitted to me would be biased or have any form of malice. I am nothing but a son of a peasant farmer, an ordinary citizen who loves this country, and loves my people. But also my conscious reminds me repeatedly that we have entrusted this man in plot 1 with a responsibility to look after us, we are obligated to make sure that he is doing his job and doing it well.
Few other questions that our president can help us answer are as followers; number 11. Sir, will you run for elections next year in 2021? If so, will you still choose Mama Inonge Wina as your running mate despite her health issues? 12. Sir, can you promise the Zambian people that under your watch, the 2021 general elections will be non-violent, free and fair? Especially that all the recent by-elections from Monze to Sesheke have been marked with bloodshed. 13. Mr. President, you have in the past attributed load-shedding to climate change and the lack of rains as to why we were not having power 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Now that it is raining all over the country and the Kariba dam is not dried up, why are we still experiencing load shedding in some parts of the country? 14. Sir. What will the Patriotic Front look like after your leadership? 15. Mr. President, what are your long term plans for Konkola Copper Mines (KCM)? Have you put KCM on an indefinite liquidation? Since your last visit to KCM, you have not told the Zambian people what the way forward is with regards to this mine. 16. Mr. President, why don’t you hold press conferences frequently, as needed? Because you are a parent to the Zambian people, of which many of them wish to hear from you, but you have only held one serious press conference in almost five years. What seems to be the problem? It looks like you rely heavily on your surrogates to speak on your behalf, why can’t you hold question and answers sessions with the media as the public demands? With all due respect sir, are you afraid that you come across to most Zambians as one that is not charismatic or rather one who doesn’t know how to talk to people? 17. Sir, the nation is aware that you have spent about $65 million on the new presidential jet, yet we have council workers in Kabwe and around the country that have not been paid since last October. What is your explanation for this irresponsible behavior? 18. Mr. President, why don’t you punish your top officials previously and now for gross misconduct? Does this imply that they are untouchable or you tolerate their behaviors? I can think of few examples, the indisputable Kaizer Zulu and most recently Professor Nkandu Luo’s tribal remarks. 19. Sir, who is your role model for leadership? Would you consider the former president Rupiah Banda as your hero? 20. Mr. President, you have been described as a humble man, as a man of the people and as a Christian first and foremost. Now, this question is not that someone is trying to judge you, but rather is a sincere question to get your response. If you are a devoted Christian as you profess, have you read Galations 5: 20 to 21 which list a lot of things that some people like to do and says those who do these things will not inherit the kingdom of God? Sir, one of those things listed in that passage of scripture to be specific verse 21 is drunkenness. Do you consider yourself as a sober President, who does not indulge in any of those things listed in Galatians 5:20 to 21?
I think that it is important to remind ourselves as citizens of this great nation that we must love this country so much that no man or woman with power, or wealth or influence would make us fail in our duty to do the right thing at all times. The iconic human rights and civil rights activist Malcolm X once said that; “I am for truth no matter who tells it, and I am for Justice no matter who it is for or against.”
It is a duty to our people to ensure that the office of President of the Republic of Zambia is held in high esteem, with respect and dignity from those in office and those whom they lead.