Every journey has a destination, purpose and duration; the same applies to every project. A project is an intervention and before it chalks up any success, objectives and indicators must be set and baseline information must be determined and be used to measure what has been achieved at the end of the duration. Running a government is similar to running a project, only this time at a larger scale. In the case of government, baseline information brings out the true picture of what is obtaining on the ground, and at the end of the term, this will help to measure what has been achieved against the set objectives as guided by party manifesto. In Zambia, the minimum tenure of office for a political party, in government, is 5 years. The New Dawn Government is very wet behind the ears for it to bear the brunt of blame for our failed economy. Currently, it is giving out baseline information to citizens, which will be used by citizens to either expostulate or commend, at the right time. Therefore, this article is meant to debunk the bunkum from back seat drivers trying to waylay the New Dawn Administration. Below is the vantage point of a Zambian situation.

An Iron Fist in a Velvet Glove – HH7

Hark back to Patriotic Front (PF) in government; there was a brazen abuse of power by party members. During this period, Zambians experienced a great deal of political internment, muzzling of every dissenter and decadence was at its crescendo and consequently our economy was left in wrack and ruin. On 12th August 2021, PF was denuded of the power as a reminder that power belongs to Zambians. After suffering the ignominy of being voted out, the entire PF membership was expected to show compunction for leaving Zambians in abject poverty. However, the converse is true, they are the loudest and the ostensible reason given is that of providing checks and balances. This is a clear indication that the entire PF leadership lacks moral rectitude.

UPND is the current party in government under the leadership of Hakainde Hichilema (HH7), the man who bore the brunt of political persecution at the hands of PF. The question is: what is stopping him from abusing the same power and use it to whittle down the opponents to size? Here is the prescient answer: he understands how the rule of law and democracy work. He is the President par excellence, showing great deal of longanimity in the face of adversity. He has stoutly showed that: (i) you don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, (ii) always err on the side of caution and (iii) you measure twice cut once. Effectively, our current Republican President is demonstrating that the miscreants must be clearly identified and be given a condign punishment while the innocent citizens remain happy and safe. This sublime quality of duality in a leader is a partake of an Iron Fist in A Velvet Glove. Hence the new title for our current president (HH7). In effect, Zambia is in safe hands provided the citizens are willing to cross the Rubicon, from Dystopia to Utopia.

Zambia from Dystopia Towards Utopia

Instead of half full towards Utopia, the glass is half empty towards Dystopia for Zambia. It was during PF, in government, when Zambia turned into leviathan and cesspool of inequity and corruption. It was the PF led government that prostrated the economy and therefore, the hardships we are experiencing at the moment entrained from there. Below is the true picture of what is obtaining in Zambia:

– Aimless borrowing and wanton spending, by PF led government, landed Zambia in an unbearable debt situation. Why borrowing from another autarkic country?

– The culture of pretence, laziness and money for old rope has landed Zambians into abject poverty in the land of plenty. Majority Zambians, especially youths, are addled and not fit to make positive contributions to Zambian economy.

– In the last 10 years, Zambia has experienced unprecedented increase in number of churches, but negative impact is being recorded. There is serious moral decay in Zambia.

– It is perspicuous for everyone to see the negative impact of goods and services meant to improve the wellbeing of the citizens; a clarion indication of the unfairness in the exchange of goods and services. Effectively, there is no one to scream blue murder; therefore, the reprobates get away with blue murder.

– The media and law enforcement agencies are positioned to be sentinels in our societies. They are expected to scream blue murder and ensuring no one gets away with it, but in Zambia, the converse is true; the media and law enforcers are poachers turned gamekeepers.

From the above, the current social turmoil and economic malaise, in Zambia, are cumulative effect from a confluence of factors; the citizens are involved but the situation was exacerbated by PF led government. Therefore, it will be disingenuous for anyone to ascribe the current hardships to New Dawn Government. To understand this, let us give government a quick once over below.

Government and What It Means

A Government is a group of people, in an autarkic country, working in concert towards a common goal; improving the wellbeing of everyone involved. In order for this to happen, there must be direction, purpose and order. In a grand scheme of things, government has three major components which are interlinked with a cascading effect as given below.
– Leadership: this is a vanguard of the government; a political space for the purpose of vision and direction. It is meant for a selected few, promoted, from the main body of the government. It is for the cream; men and women with gravitas and moral rectitude only.

– Management: this is the main body of the government where goods and services are exchanged for the betterment of everyone involved. For the sake of sustainable development, everyone is expected to carve out a niche for their own survival; unity in diversity for purpose. This is a tranche of government that determines how rich or poor a country is.

– Governance: this is a nervous system of the government; connecting the head and main body to make a whole. It peals off the rules of the game for the purpose of value and accountability. For instance, in order for sustainable development to ensue, there must be fairness in the exchange of goods and services among players, and the leaders must lead by example; everyone must be under the law. Governance is supported by Monitoring, Auditing, Reporting and Enforcement (MARE) to scream blue murder so that no one gets away with it.

Conclusion and way forward for Zambia

With the use of deductive reasoning, Zambia is off the rails; hence, the need to jockey it back into position. Good news for Zambia, an Iron Fist in a Velvet Glove (HH7) is on the ziggurat and we expect a fair crack of the whip; from the lowest to the highest. Therefore, we prevail upon all Zambians to cross the Rubicon from Dystopia towards Utopia.

A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor; therefore, the following actions are vehemently recommended:
– Befitting standards and criteria must be set for political candidates at every level; from councillor to the President. The purpose is to preclude any simpleton, ignoramus, buffoon or a charlatan from taking part in politics.

– Avoid the habit of recruiting everyone in politics especially youths; youths are future leaders, allow them to carve out niches for themselves. Only precocious youths must be considered.

– Areas of responsibility abut but they should not overlap. Politics should not interfere with civil service but should take askance when necessary.

– There must be effective monitoring and evaluation systems, at all levels of government, to ensure fairness in the exchange of goods and services.