On 20 September 2011 the nation will not only go to the polls to vote for a president, we shall also be choosing Members of Parliament popularly known as MPs or honourables. It is in this light that I have taken a keen interest in the debates on radio and television among our potential MPs. I honestly wish that I had something good to report, alas from the debates I have heard thus far my heart cringes at the thought of the MPs that would possibly represent us. As I sit down to hear them speak all I can do is say a prayer up to heaven, “Oh Lord, help us.”
MPs are people who are supposed to represent the people of their constituencies. They are supposed to be our go to guys and ladies. People we can count on who are fearless to take on the world for their constituency. They are supposed to be our voice. However, what I hear is far from any representation of the constituencies they desire to stand on. It is almost as if they are attempting to redefine the meaning of what an MP is supposed to be. It nearly feels like the people who are vying for parliamentary seats are seeing an opportunity that they cannot just seem to let it pass by. Some are seeing it as a golden jackpot and another a way out of poverty. It is such type of leaders who we only get to notice every 5 years when it is time to collect votes and once they have won that is the last of them until 5 years later.
I am amazed at how some of the candidates who wish to stand are naïve and shallow about what their constituencies need. They have too much talk with no substance. Some seem to forget the fact that Zambia is a developing country. The reality is we do not have enough money to tar every single road, to build high schools at will or to bring Manda Hill to every area. In our current state that is just not possible.
Therefore, when I hear the candidates say, “I will bring development to this constituency,” it clearly shows that they do not know what they are talking about. Reading the Post Newspaper or Times of Zambia for the trials and tribulations of people in the constituency and believing that you can change these with words is a lie.
The way they plan to bring about development is self-centred; it is always about ‘I’ instead of “WE’. Development is not an individual task it is a collective effort. It is the efforts of the people in the communities together with the policy makers that bring about development. Development is a gradual process it cannot be done in 5 years nor can it be done in 10 years. It does not have to take you to be an MP to go and clean the drainages in your area, to advocate for better sanitation or support a local women’s group. It takes a person with a heart for the constituency to do that. This is the caliber of an MP I am looking for, unfortunately there are very few around with this nature. Hence, I will have to make do with whatever better evil is around when I go to cast my vote on 20 September.