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A 5 – Point Checklist for those aspiring for public office

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electability scale below:

1. Provide quality health services to all without systematic segregation. At present, UTH and I suppose other hospitals have Fee Paying Sections accessible mostly to the opulent. The same services rendered in the fee paying section should and MUST be offered to all and sundry. Further, having a fee paying section clearly indicates that we do not exactly offer quality lifesaving services to all who visit our health facilities. It follows that we are constantly ready to see others die right under our watch! (Health services should include provision of free sanitary pads to all school going girls who have attained puberty).

2. Provide quality education to all eligible at all levels without financial barriers. The state in conjunction and collaboration with the private sector should endeavor to provide education to all regardless of their budgetary constraints. At present, most people who should be in schools and colleges/universities are home, on the streets and if ‘lucky’ absorbed in the unskilled labor sector. The priority of our government should be the provision of basic human needs. This should not be a mere attempt but a program with start and finish dates for milestones – clearly stating sources of finance with expenditures projections.

3. Provide quality housing to all Zambians – skilled and unskilled alike, employed or not employed. If the state expects every Zambian to work for and build their houses then most Zambian have no hope of ever owning a house. Those with houses will continue to exploit those without by charging unrealistic rentals simply because it’s a free market economy after all. A good government, worth of a vote should be one that can make this resolve, set realistic targets, explain how they will roll out this project, where the money should come from and what period do we expect milestones etc. as it is, it is each man with the means for himself, the land for all those who can afford it.

4. Provide employment to all employable Zambians. Employment availability should not be for certain people. If it’s the means of survival, it’s a basic need that should be availed to all by those entrusted with managing national wealth and resources. If they cannot do this, then they have failed utterly and are not fit for office. They have failed the litmus test. As voters, we vote for hope. We vote with the expectation that our livelihoods would improve. If an aspirant can’t measure up to meet these aspirations, then they have out rightly failed and should either drop out of the race on moral grounds or wait for their imminent utter defeat come August 12 th 2021.

5. Provide an economic environment that fosters food security. Food security does not consist in having barns of maize alone. Look, we have good stock of the commodity but the price for maize meal is quite forbidding to most households. Food security should consist in availing basic adequate food quantities including the staple one that are affordable to all Zambians.

We need a complete and quick departure from the current state of affairs which does not only endear poverty, stunted growth and poor health but also takes away our human dignity.

Alice Nachilembe

Alice Nachilembe is a Journalist who yearns for a better country with leaders being accountable to their mandate without oppressing the governed.

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