To some extent, if PF wins, it will mean that elections don’t make sense. This may sound mean and unfair to PF, but we have a very good, valid reason why we are saying this.
Let’s assume you have an employee at a company who is in charge of accounts and has a two-year contract running. Imagine that you have evidence that this employee has been stealing company money, but at the end of the contract, you renew it for another two years. What would you think such an employee will do?
The normal thing would be for that employee to refuse to have the renewed contract, knowing very well that he has nothing to deserve it. But if that employee is such a hardcore criminal and decides to stay in the job, it will mean only one thing; he will go on rampage stealing because he knows that his employers are too foolish to punish him.
A renewal of a contract is always supposed to be based on merit. Therefore, if you renew a contract for a person who you know has been stealing, it means you don’t love your company and you want it to go down.
PF has had some few good leaders, but the majority of them have been horrible jokes. When you listen to them, you wonder how they got into elective office. These are the kinds of people who citizens must be punishing with election defeat. It will be sad if the criminals in PF get re-elected because they will take it that Zambians are so foolish.
It is said that the trouble with political jokes is that they get elected. The end result is always a misery; yet we keep repeating the same mistake at election time, expecting a better outcome. We wonder if it is possible to have a political system run by honest human beings.
This is also the reason why some citizens don’t vote because it’s painful to vote out a bad leader only to discover that they have won, despite your vote against them. Those in government take the voter turnout as a statement from the electorate that they are satisfied with the political state of affairs; while those outside consider it a vote of no confidence in the entire electoral system. We agree more with the latter.
A majority of Zambians agree that public affairs have been going on a downward spiral in recent years. That is because selfish interests motivate those who are elected into office. Almost everyone agrees to the fact that politicians are not trustworthy. We can add that nowadays, the winner of an election is usually a bad candidate, whose principal opponent is considered by most voters to be even worse.
What is strange is that many decent, well-meaning, intelligent, educated non-politicians who hold strong beliefs about the required morality in leadership, end up in behaviour that is inconsistent with their own values when entrusted with public office.
That does not mean that there is no such thing as right or wrong with respect to politics. A tiny component called “truth” makes all the difference. But dishonesty, selfishness, cruelty and greed, is on the rise and bringing our country to its knees.
The difficulty in getting decent people elected into political office is further exacerbated by one main characteristic of our election system. This is the increasingly dominant role of money. Participants in these elections feel that without access to large sums of money, victory is unachievable. So they have shelved political ideologies and embraced corruption and vote buying.
But at the same time, experience has shown that money compromises the faculties of individuals who jump on the political ladder. Our political system today is run by greedy stomachs rather than brains. Recent happenings in the political arena have demonstrated that nothing matters among our leaders more than power and the subsequent wealth it generates.
An example of this phenomenon is what transpired with Chishimba Kambwili, Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba, Charles Kakoma and several other high profile defectors. These men have demonstrated that they stand for nothing and they believe in nothing other than self-preservation. Today they condemn theft in government and tomorrow they join the people they were calling thieves. And these are the people who are standing on podiums to talk about governance and leadership.
This is the reason why people are shunning elections. Voting doesn’t change their lives, but the life of the elected official. People have to ask themselves; what is the meaning of democracy built on corruption and greed? What is the meaning of elections if they don’t punish those who engage in bad governance practices?