2011 Elections: Zambians Anticipates a New Vision

With presidential elections coming up soon, aspiring presidential candidates have an enormous task to bring together the electorate’s support for radical changes their parties wants implemented in the vision to turn Zambia into a middle income country by 2030. But are Zambians in agreement with the issues the aspiring presidential candidates are campaigning on? Are our candidates really helping Zambians to embrace a national culture of ownership, inspiring and encouraging them to be accountable to uphold values that will enable us become a middle income nation? Are our candidates grappling with concerns on the hearts of many Zambians or are they just talking pleasant things so that they can elected?

Take for example the issues of Zambian youth crises. How many candidates know the percentage of youths 18-30 years-olds who are unemployed? How many know the number of youths who have completed high school in the last three years and have not got a university or college place? How many are telling us how they will tackle these needs. HIV and AIDS is a major cause for the increase of low quality life styles in many families as they are taking up extra responsibilities of caring for the sick and orphans. Most young people start work with added responsibilities of caring for their siblings who have been left orphans. Which of our leaders are saying they will invest into innovative research which will help us find the most effective way to engage these challenges?

Sadly, most of our candidates know that the most effective way to get  votes is not providing facts but temporal relief such as beer to electorates; donation of cement or cash to strategic institutions such churches or schools; and bribing key community leaders with huge gifts. In fact a number of our community leaders are on the take to anyone who will give them a special gift.

There is need to raise leaders in politics who will focus on human development. The church is strategically planted in the community for the purpose of developing people. Jesus was very clear about the mission of the church: Go and make disciples of all nations. Making disciples should be unquestionably the most important aspiration and deepest desire of every church. If indeed this is our desire then our prayers for 2011 election would be “God bless us with men and women whom you have filled with the Spirit of God, skills, abilities and knowledge in politics and whom you have helped us disciple to love God with all their hearts and souls and minds and to love their neighbours as themselves to lead us.”

Do you have people in your church with skills, abilities and knowledge to address the issues of youth, HIV and AIDS, orphans, unemployment? How are you helping them to become fully devoted followers of Christ who will become deeply involved in community issues, serving as president of Zambia or as members of parliament? God told Moses, “See I have chosen Bezalel … and I have filled him with the Spirit of God with skill, ability and knowledge… Whom is God pointing to you in the political arena as the man or woman whom He has filled with the Spirit of God with skill, ability and knowledge necessary to address the concerns of youth and people affected with HIV and AIDS? Is your church really helping people to be fully devoted followers of Christ that they help Zambia become a middle-income nation by 2030?

Lawrence Temfwe