Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Aspiring Presidents Be Warned

They say, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me".  I do not what we might be called when we are fooled for the umpteenth time and we keeping falling for it. There must definitely be an explanation for it. I can excuse a primary school friend for forgetting my name. I can excuse a person who has been through an accident for forgetting their date of birth. I can forgive a person who has amnesia for forgetting what they did the previous day. However, what I fail to excuse is where people pretend to forget the pains, suffering, and joys that they went through because of denial. As we press towards the presidential elections people have deliberately decided to switch on their selective amnesia buttons.


20 January 2015 is the day of reckoning, on the ballot paper we shall have the contenders, pretenders and unfortunately the time wasters. Did I just say time wasters, no I wasn't talking about Alex Muliokela. Of the contenders we have the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD), Patriotic Front (PF) and United Party for National Development (UPND). It is only the UPND party that has not tasted the presidency. However, with that being said, it is amazing at how some current debates among ourselves and social media refuse to recognise the last 23 years of multi party democracy that we have gone through. Most of us have a good idea of what we went through and the records are there  but instead opt to gloss over the issues.


We were made some pretty good promises not only in 2011 but in 2008, 2006, 2001, 1996 and 1991 too. Every other election we hear the sugar coatings that make our ears tingle and our hearts to beat in anticipation. We are told a slew of words that resonate with our needs and we believe that the presidential candidates are our saviours and our path ways to our destinies. The promises roll off their tongues and we raise our hands in hopeful applause. As soon as the person becomes the president, they do as they please. They give us crumbs of what they said, and break every other promise they made with one line as compensation.

"We need time."


A few weeks ago, I had a discussion with a friend about the presidential candidates. There was one statement that he made that has stuck with me. It was, "They are politicians." It then dawned on me that yes they are politicians, so what? Should I come to believe that because they are presidential candidates then I deserve to be lied to, endure unfilled promises, watch while my country is driven to ruins while someone chews a drumstick, applaud while I watch them whisked away for treatment while my brothers and sisters die in our hands. God forbid.


They say politics is a dirty game, well I already have mud so let's play. As long as some politicians continue to believe this nonsense that they can tell us whatever their imagination cooks up, they must think again. It is not a matter of forgetting and comforting ourselves by accepting that is politics. It is a time such as this one that we should judge politicians against what they said and what they have done. If they have broken too many promises, chuck them out. If it means putting a new political party every five years may it be so until it sinks in. That is when they will understand that you do not bwata bwata anyhow . The time of glossing over previous mistakes and unfulfilled campaign declarations should not be tolerated. It is difficult to make a case for someone who fulfilled 1 promise and yet broke 99 others. We need to remind each other of what they said and what they have done thus far. It is to hold them accountable with the responsibility we have given them. They are not doing us a favour by being president.


Both the MMD and the PF have had the privilege of having their party presidents being president of the country, therefore, we can judge how the parties have done. UPND should also be warned against making promises that they have no intention of keeping should they have their president voted into power. This is not about a presidential candidate who has a nice smile, attends church, or he was once a boy scout. It is about someone who is prepared to do what they say they will do. If politicians are in the habit of not fulfilling their campaign promises, I on the other hand can make them a promise. Should you not fulfil your campaign promises, come next general elections I am voting for your opponent. Kaleza.