The leader of the biggest opposition political party in Zambia, Mr. Hakainde Hichilema, unlike other opposition political leaders, does not suggest alternative solutions whenever the country is faced with challenges and in rare cases when he does, it’s often vague and unverifiable.
When the nation was discussing the high cost of mealie meal, the opposition leader told farmers in Eastern Province that he would increase the maize floor price to K150 per 50kg bag because farming is their source of livelihood. When mobbed by his followers over the mealie meal price crisis, later in Chongwe, he told the nation through his hired TV station that he would bring down the price of a 25kg mealie meal to K50.
What he failed to explain to the nation was the economic formula that his government would use to bring down the cost of mealie meal to K50 while at the same time handsomely selling maize at K150 per 50kg bag. It’s clear that his pronouncements are not workable, if anything, they don’t have to be, they should just win him votes.
In his politics, the moral purpose of what is the good of all is non-existent. It’s like the necessity to preserve the interests and security of the state no longer takes precedence over all other considerations. And this is a very disturbing but real occurrence that has driven us into neck high waters without any sign of a rescue crew.
It’s neither force and violence nor cruelty and deceit that we must be worried about because these can be justified as a lesser evil when they are used according to the good consequences that promote the general good of the nation. It’s the behaviours we are witnessing in politics of hatred and utmost disregard for what could be the very fabric of our moral fibre that ought to concern us.
“We have a domestic terrorism problem but we must also address; high unemployment, a fiscal crisis, an economic recession, a hunger situation, the Coronavirus threat and a rising crime rate. Our faith and prayer must be accompanied by conscientious and pragmatic leadership,” Mr. Hichilema posted on his Facebook page while Lusaka was putting to rest the former Town Clerk at Memorial Park who was killed by an instant mob justice as a result of domestic terrorism.
Does Mr. Hichilema know that over 50 innocent lives have been lost as a result of this” simple domestic terrorism”? Could it be that he is insensitive to the 50 lives because he needs way more than 50 votes to wrestle power from President Edgar Lungu?
Leadership is about putting oneself in the place of those one is providing leadership to and offering both short term and long term solutions. It’s about, even in the midst of one’s failure to provide immediate reprieve, being able to give direction. Zambians want the opposition to behave as a government in waiting.
On Thusday, May the 20th of 2010, the late Michael Chilufya Sata, then in opposition, was availed with an opportunity to cripple the Zambian economy when he visited the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) head office after word went round that ZRA workers were on strike.
Upon seeing Sata, around 11:00hrs, the workers abandoned whatever they were doing and gathered around him. It was, indeed, an opportune time to cripple government but, instead, Sata pleaded with them reminding them that it was not President Rupiah Banda and his Cabinet they were punishing but themselves and the rest of the country that depended on their daily collections.
Being in opposition does not mean fanning chaos but working as a government in waiting. It is, therefore, immature on the part of the leader of the biggest opposition political party in the country, Mr. Hakainde Hichilema, to assume that one can only form government if the current government fails.
Today, the late Sata would have been addressing the enemy warning him of dire consequences for causing Zambians to be seen to be doing the unthinkable acts of taking lives of innocent victims.
When one innocent Zambian is attacked, every Zambian must feel attacked irrespective of one’s political affiliation. This, again, is another reason we must seriously pay attention to the calls for an alternative governance system that must create a Zambia with a people sharing a common development agenda.
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