Thursday, June 20, 2024

Setting Goals for our leaders


President Banda flanked by local government minister Ben Tetamashimba and Defence minister George Mpombo
President Banda flanked by local government minister Ben Tetamashimba and Defence minister George Mpombo
By Wesley Ngwenya

The President and his cabinet ministers are undoubtedly the most powerful men and women in our country. These people are responsible for implementing policy, driving the economy
and controlling Zambia’s meager resources. The President at the helm is the overall Chief Executive Officer of the land.

In Zambia, especially, he is so powerful so much so that he is literally revered and somewhat admired by friends and foes alike. How should this powerful man together with his team govern the country?

With the way things are going in our country—it got me thinking. In the corporate world we are subjected to evaluations, reviews, goals, deadlines, and etcetera. Why not have our president give his ministers specific objectives and goals when they are appointed? Why not ensure that the president outlines clear job descriptions that are known to the public. He will clearly give each minister deadlines on what they have to achieve. Then every year, he would sit with each of the ministers and have a one-on-one on the state of affairs in their ministry. If the minister fails the review it is very clear what will happen to him or her.

This approach as a president will force him look for the best of the best to head the various ministries. It will also help the president to be more objective and overlook petty issues and concentrate on real issues. The president will ensure that the ministers do not personalize their jobs. They will be made to understand that as ministers they are custodians and answerable to the Zambian people. I propose that the president should reward the best performing minister with an award and a paid for family vacation to anywhere of his or her choice.

Among the indicators of how best performing a ministry should include; a) the ministry which saved the government the most money by reducing expenses or adopting cheaper and conservative use of resources, b) the ministry which utilized the human capital to capacity by keeping idle hours to a minimum, c) the ministry which avoided workshops, d) the ministry that hired the most qualified and competent personnel.

If these indicators would have been presented to the current ministers we have, I wonder if they would have taken the jobs in the first place. In the back of their minds, these are impossibilities but in reality it just takes common sense and a willing soul. Being a leader, is more than just showing off your power. Our leaders are obsessed with statements like, “I will sort them out!” Daily, in public they display cheap politics and kindergarten behavior.

When basic leadership principles are followed, it is likely that the leader will earn the due respect naturally. The highest office in the land should, at all cost, be the first one of uphold these principles. It is sad when the office displays personnel disagreement in public. How can someone you appointed as a minister and you have been working with for so long suddenly become a devil and be subjected to public humiliation? Since the president has so much power it is just fair that he equally be subjected to the same scrutiny and given goals, by parliament, which he ought to meet during his tenure in office.

Because of the urgency of the situation in our country we need good hardworking men and women. Men and women who will sacrifice their wealth, for instance, to ensure that others’ lives are better off. Can you imagine a Zambia where leaders got poorer after they served in government? That will be Zambia we will all be proud to be part of.


    • Please make a sensible contribution for once and stop haunting us with the same obtuse statement over and over again. I suppose you can do better than that or else I will be forced to conclude that you need a mental check-up.

    • A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government.It can only exist until the voter discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasure.From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasure,with the result that democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy,followed by a DICTATORSIP.

  1. Impressive suggestions. However, this behaviour of a President who is a fellow human being being revered to is very bad. I hope our New Constitution will boost the moral of the Veep and other Cabinet Ministers at any one time.


  2. I like this article because it is the duty of the media to keep the government in check and continue to remind the leaders of who their real status – they were chosen by the people to serve the people. They say with great strength come great responsibilities but especially in Africa, it is has sadly been the norm for presidents to abuse their authority.

    • The average age of the world ‘s great civilisation has been 200 years.Those nations have progressed through the following sequence—- from bondage to spiritual faith–from spiritual faith to great courage–from courange to liberty–from liberty to abundance–from abundance to selfishness–from selfishness to complacency–from complacency to apathy–from apathy to dependency–from dependency back to bondage

  3. is he suggesting this to Nyama soya? its a very positive way to look at future developments but can it work in African Politics? kaya

  4. Good article but do you think the President would dare set goes for her/himself and Ministers? That would signify the end of their political career as most of them would lamentably fair to achieve even 25% of the targets/goals set

  5. Navel gazing if nothing else. You mean to tell me they were coasting along since 1964 without goals? There’s nothing new under the sun, and this is yet more rhetoric…as for suggesting practical solutions, trust they will begin and end at your keyboards.

    It has been a dictatorship, thinly veiled in democracy, for many years already.
    Pay attention. Diaspora, the vast majority of us form the 4th world.

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