Let’s do away with politcs of handouts

 Let’s do away with politcs of handouts

By Francis Chipalo

It has generally been observed that Zambians love handouts and can easily give a vote to someone based on that.

And as long as this trend in our politics continues, the people of Zambia will continue having wrong individuals occupying some of these key offices as those of Member of Parliament (MP), Councilor etc.

The sad part is that we have some politicians encouraging the electorates to receive handouts hoping that the recepients will vote otherwise on election day.

That is wrong in my view and leaders should begin discouraging this practice.

As we approach August 12 General Elections, already we have seen a number of aspiring candidates/leaders making all kinds of donations either in material or monetary form all in the name of aiding people especially during this corona virus era where the cost of living has no doubt become expensive due to a loss of income.

Well, maybe that can be justified because we can all feel the impact that this disease is having on all of us.

It is only in African states like ours where campaigns are rarely issue-based and those seeking public office take advantage of people’s ignorances and capitalize on that to fullfil their selfish agendas.

However, we need to realize that problems, challenges or indeed calamities will always be there whether there is an election or not, so some of these donations we are seeing from individuals seeking public office can be concluded as a means to lure the electorates.

For me, most of these aspiring leaders moving from one area to the other in communities, making all kinds of donations and promises to the electorates simply do not have a message to the people apart from a selected few with traits of genuine leadership qualities but the majority of them have nothing to offer apart from the handouts themselves.

None of them are talking about their manifestos be it those aspiring from the opposition or ruling party and that is why we are likely to have the same leaders continuing again because those seeking public office have no message to offer the electorates, much as they may have cash to flash out.

Zambians have been subjected to mediocre leadership in the recent past because of these kind of politics and they too should take part of the blame because they are the ones who vote.

However, the Zambian people have a chance this year to change all that and retire politicians who have outlived their usefulness and bring in people who can move this country forward.

Let us begin following leaders because of their manifesto and because we believe in their messages and let us challenge those busy campaigning by giving you handouts because they are not going to lead you by that, I mean, for how long are they going to give you handouts?

Open your eyes and critically scrutinize these individuals coming to you with money and trying to buy your vote otherwise you will be doomed again!

No hard feelings aspirants but we do not need your handouts but tell us your manifesto as to how best you will do things.

The author Francis Chipalo is a Lusaka based Journalist and Freelance Public Relations Practitioner.

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