By Steve Mark Misori Nairobi, Kenya.

WHAT drives Africans into seeking political leadership? Just why would one resign from a good paying private company for public office? Leadership should be a calling and not a decision to be actualized at the ballot. Every other five-year cycle, Africans confirm a gang of electoral thugs, peaceful criminals, a crowd of hecklers and perpetrators of economic crimes for public office as honorable members. Once they assume office, life goes on and electorates wait for another five years to ‘discipline’ those leaders who failed to perform their role of legislation and oversight.

It is painful that African citizens have always dimmed their hopes for a better tomorrow by accepting bribes and handouts from political aspirants and players. The decision on the ballot has always been rushed and a predetermined follow up on who paid how much hence leaving out integrity, accountability and public service as victims. Today, Zambia and Kenya experience a myriad of challenges not because they have no patriotic citizens but because the clergy has ignored the solemn calling to be fishers of men and instead joined the bandwagon of fishers of contracts.

Africans are on their own as opposition leaders abandon their constitutional mandate for government appointments. Sixty years after independence are so many years for citizens to continue struggling with high cost of fuel, high cost of essential commodities and insecurity. What then is the need of electing leaders into public office when pressing needs are not addressed during their political tenure? The big talk on the campaign trail about fixing the economy, addressing youth unemployment, reducing tax rates and the cost of essential goods finally become hot air on assumption of political office.

Today, hardly three years after Zambia’s Hakainde Hichilema assumed office, majority of Zambians believe former president Edgar Chagwa Lungu was a better leader. It is the same story back in Kenya where barely six months since they went to the ballot, there is talk of a better Uhuru Kenyatta. The citizens of these countries had a constitutional responsibility to elect leaders of their choice and sure they did. Their sudden preference for former presidents could be an act of desperation and continuation of deceit and political gambling. It is upon religious leaders and civil societies to check the government of the day since the opposition leadership has consistently failed to protect the ordinary citizens.

To be specific, a number of Patriotic Front leaders long joined the ruling party UPND in the name of ‘looking for development’ for their constituents. In Kenya, a number of opposition leaders have announced their readiness to work with the government in parliament hence dealing a blow to the very meaning and sense of checking the government. Who will question the government’s atrocities?  Who will reprimand the government on the skyrocketing trend of essential goods? Who will demand efficient service delivery to citizens? Just who!


Alice Nachilembe


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