AS YOU go to vote this Thursday August 12 vote for leaders with a vision for Zambia, someone who is compassionate and promotes peace, urges Bread of Life Church International overseer Bishop Joseph Imakando.
He asks Zambians to take advantage of “this opportunity, it only comes once after every five years”.
Bishop Imakando in his sermon on Sunday under the theme: ‘Your right to vote’, in reference to Micah 6: 7-8 urged his congregants to make life time decisions when appointing leaders seeking constitutional office, as the said leaders will make decisions on their behalf which will either affect them in future or better their lives.
“On Thursday August 12, we shall go to the polls to elect the President, members of parliament, mayors and councillors. The outcome of our vote will determine whether we move forward or we move backwards. Whether we move further or closer to the destiny of our nation,” he said. “In the past few months, presidential hopefuls, aspiring MPs, councillors have been crisscrossing the lengths and breadth of our country soliciting for votes. They have realised the power of our votes that we are the ones who hire and fire, that we are the ones who appoint and disappoint.”
Bishop Imakando urged electorates to ask themselves about the kind of Zambia they want, their aspirations, hopes and expectations as the country heads towards the polls.
He said it was his responsibility to guide electorates through the difficult task of decision making and that he was not making decisions on their behalf on who to vote for but was only giving them direction as the ball was in their hands.
“Your vote is your voice, you have not had the opportunity to speak on issues, to express yourself on what is happening in our nation but your vote is your voice, you can speak through your vote. You have been given the power of choice to choose who you desire to lead you, represent you and make decisions on your behalf. So it is very critical that you know that what you are doing is putting people who will represent you. Their decisions will affect you,” Bishop Imakando counselled the congregants. “Your vote counts, don’t leave it to chance. Your vote can make a difference in order for somebody to win as a president. He needs 50 plus one, so you never know you could be that one that decides whether a president wins or not. You have an opportunity which comes every five years to choose the next President, MPs, mayors, [council] chairpersons and councillors. Your decisions will affect you because the people you put in office will make decisions on your behalf and their decisions will affect you. You better affect them with your vote before they affect you. Your vote is your power. Your vote is your voice. Your vote matters, it counts. You have the power to appoint, to disappoint, to hire and to fire – the choice is yours.”
Bishop Imakando urged the electorates who are seated on the fence to ask themselves as they listen to the presidential candidates, MPs, mayors and councillors campaign who among them has an agenda for Zambia, who among them has a dream for Zambia and who has been talking about the nation’s destiny.
“Ask yourself who among these men and women inspires hope, expectations, confidence as you hear them campaign. Who among these men and women generates fear and uncertainty and who among them has been dealing with issues of bread and butter, jobs, education, in their campaigns? Who among them is promoting peace as they campaign, who among these is a team player and a servant of the people who will do what the people want, who will listen to the people?” he advised.
He encouraged Zambians to vote for disciplined leaders who will consider their predicament and not focus on plundering national resources but will exercise self-restraint.
“The attributes you need to look for in the leaders is someone who is compassionate, someone with a heart for the people and one who feels for the under privileged. You need to look for integrity, vision. Someone who can see in the future, men and women with knowledge to reverse the economic malaise we find ourselves in. Someone who has the ability to deal with debt mountain and who has the ability to work with people, a spirit of service,” Bishop Imakando said. “Politics is about service and not about making money and building an empire for yourself. It is service to the people. You need to vote for someone who is disciplined, someone who does not take what does not belong to them, someone who will be disciplined by living within their means.”
He clarified that no one is perfect but a leader with qualities that individuals look for deserves to be voted for.
“Your vote is your power, democratic right and voice. Don’t burry your head in the sand as an ostrich, get up and exercise your civil rights. On Thursday August 12, get up and exercise your right. Through your vote you have the power to hire and fire and a say in what happens in this country. Through your vote you affect your future and the future of your children. You will bring transformation or backwardness in this nation,” Bishop Imakando said.
He said a lot has happened and this week’s elections will be the most difficult ones as the nation was facing difficult times and is characterised with the COVID-19, tension and violence.
However, he said everyone’s encouragement should be the covenant that Zambia has with God following its declaration as a Christian nation.
“God has an interest in Zambia and He will not forget us on August 12. He spoke to us that this month we are starting afresh. I did not speak about the change of government, I talked about change that we are starting afresh,” Bishop Imakando explained. “I said things are not okay but we need not change, whether PF comes into power we must change things. It’s a prophetic word and we wait to see it’s fulfillment. Let’s wait and see. God will not just fold his hands and watch, He will answer our prayers.”
He advised the congregants to go on their knees and pray for Zambia because the next four days will be critical.
He said people should pray that the will of God and the prophetic word prevails in the country.
“Thursday’s elections are part of God’s plans for Zambia as the nation is on a journey to the promised land. Many times things get worse before they get better but it was time for things to get better for Zambia. It is our responsibility to accept the results because in an election anything can happen as it is a competition of ideas and like every competition there are winners and losers,” said Bishop Imakando. “The elections can go either way, results can be shocking, unexpected, surprising and painful. But as Christians, believe in the sovereignty of God and accept the outcome of elections. You may not like their face, their tribe, their height, but people of Zambia would have spoken and the rule of law should be upheld as elections are part of Zambia’s Constitution.”