By: Anthony Bwalya – UPND Member
As the country approaches the home stretch towards a defining general election in 2021, there is an awful lot of calculation that the various political parties will put into deciding who their presidential candidate and running mate will be. And for the ruling Patriotic Front (PF), this question is as potent and palpable as ever, given the extensive breaches of trust and credibility that has occurred under the watch of the incumbent since 2015.
In public leadership, much more political leadership; credibility and trust are the basic tenets that define the quality and standard of leadership a nation gets. And these Two (2) fabrics of political leadership are defined and analysed both at organizational and individual level, in order to ascertain that both the organization and the individuals serving therein command the required sort of credibility, while inspiring trust.
For purposes of ease, credibility and trust in political leadeship simply means leaders and the organizations they lead have to be accountable, transparent, honest, lead by example and deliver on their promises.
Now, a cursory glance at the PF and the manner they have provided national political leadership over the past Eight (8), both as an organization and as a group, they have dismally breached all boundaries of credibility and trust through a combination of party and state sponsored corruption, as well as broken campaign promises.
The individuals currently peddling the failed PF agenda are just as guilty as the political organization itself, sacrificing the hopes of a whole nation in order to keep alive the organization because the organization has become a conduit and platform of favor, opportunity and privilege rather than service.
The Financial Intelligence Center report of 2018 revealed that a named political party received K10 million in kickbacks for the award of public contracts. I would challenge the PF and it’s leadership to deny that it is not they who were in receipt of this money, and while if it be the case, can they demonstrate to the public what services they provided in order for them to have received K10 million from contractors.
Today, we are talking about over $1.5bn stolen in Mukula revenue and the beneficiaries have been PF government officials, and subsequently the party itself. The party and the individuals serving it cannot and must never be held in isolation. The party is, has been and continues to benefit, both directly and indirectly, from the criminal and improper conduct of it’s members.
The same infrastructure narrative the PF are now peddling has been a cataclysmic propellent of illegality through illegal award of public contracts to friends of the party and party officials, exaggeration of the cost of public contracts, contracts being awarded to political party CADRES who get rewarded for delivering substandard works. It is no wonder, that only less than $8bn of the $19bn total debt stock has actually been spent on projects, the the rest stolen thanks to the party and it’s officials.
Zambians, therefore, need to be weary and alert. The PF will be desperate and they are desperate, to dust themselves up in readiness for next year, when they have spent the last 8 years destroying this country. Another 5 years of this kind of political leadership madness will ensure that we all forfeit for good nearly 60 years of trying to build a country we could all proudly call home.