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High Expectations

VICTOR Kalesha says a lot of things have gone wrong because the PF turned the country into a nation of bribery at every level.

The Citygate Christian Fellowship Church International Zambia founder says Zambia needs an overhaul in its governance system.

He suggests that the new government conducts a cleanup of public institutions.

“We need to work on letting the public institutions like Anti-Corruption Commission, Financial Intelligence Centre, police, etc. to work independently. A lot of things have gone wrong in this country where we have turned into a bribery nation at every level,” says Kalesha. “With all the foregoing, expectations in election results and hopes in political parties, I think it’s imperative to overhaul the way we govern this country. The country needs re-uniting at all levels and that should be the priority of the incoming government. We need to thank ourselves as Zambians for realising that malice was a hindrance to national development.”

Our people’s expectations from the incoming government are high. They have staked their hopes and aspirations in Hakainde Hichilema’s administration not because of his promises but failures of the outgoing PF regime. The PF promised big ahead of the 2011 polls. They advanced some programmes but ended up over-borrowing and tanking the economy. Came Edgar in 2015, he promised millions of jobs but what’s on the ground is the opposite. Apart from utter failure on all fronts, Edgar embarked on ill-advised plots where he took away the only remaining commodity for citizens – the Oxygen of democracy! He took away most inalienable rights – he stifled rights and freedoms of assembly, movement, speech, association, among others. He equally embarked – and reckless so – on a sustained mission to destroy critical institutions of the state upon which the Republic is founded and maintained – the police, judiciary, the public service.

Indeed, he brought the resounding loss on himself.

Therefore, the new government must quickly work on the restoration of professionalism in public offices – in institutions of the State. This is a priority, failure to which it would have betrayed the very vote that has ushered them into power.

The ills of the last seven years of Edgar have been punished viciously by the electorates. The obligation of the new government is never to tolerate corruption, nepotism, tendrepreneurship, among others. The ugly trend of subordinating the State apparatus or placing party cadres ahead of State officials and functionaries must be exorcised – done away with.

Rule of law must come back in all spheres of life. And Hakainde has no choice but ensure inclusiveness given the national character of mandate he has received. In short national character should be Hakainde’s government benchmark. It is expected that when one looks at his government – Cabinet – one must see themselves, identify themselves in it.

And as Barack Obama advised Africa some few years ago, “Development depends on good governance. That is the ingredient which has been missing in far too many places, for far too long. That’s the change that can unlock Africa’s potential. And that is a responsibility that can only be met by Africans…No person wants to live in a society where the rule of law gives way to the rule of brutality and bribery. That is not democracy, that is tyranny, even if occasionally you sprinkle an election in there. And now is the time for that style of governance to end. In the 21st century, capable, reliable, and transparent institutions are the key to success – strong parliaments; honest police forces; independent judges – an independent press; a vibrant private sector; a civil society. Those are the things that give life to democracy, because that is what matters in people’s everyday lives.”

The expectations are high, the task is monumental and it cannot be business as usual. But nothing is insurmountable if one fronts honesty, dedication and discipline in service!

Aptly put by Obama, “We are reminded that, in the fleeting time we have on this earth, what matters is not wealth or status, or power, or fame, but rather how well we have loved and what small part we have played in making the lives of other people better.”

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