Man, of the poor?

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Objective criticism helps the leader

I have been criticized by many bloggers for almost always being critical of the leadership, especially the leader. I wrote about the need for a President to care about what he dresses, and the response was that he can wear anything, that clothes do not illustrate a good or bad leader, it is the brain that does. That is your opinion. Some bloggers continue to ask for my identity as in name, yet, I don’t have theirs. We all have different ways in which to advise the leadership. Some are soft and prefer even to tell lies or pretend that everything is fine. Like in the emperor’s new suit story, they will go a long way to tell the leader that everything is going well. Or they will say nothing to discourage or educate him. And that is how the African leadership and its followers often works. They hate dissent or different views and will go a long way to find words of putting off those who try to help. For example, how can you accept that the leader must wear shirts like the one he wearing in the image? This is cheap populism of showing that he is like the poor women. The poor women know that he is the leader therefore expect that he should be better dressed.

President Edgar Lungu buying vegetables at John Chinena during the tour of Chibombo District in Central Province
President Edgar Lungu buying vegetables at John Chinena during the tour of Chibombo District in Central Province

Don’t just buy from them, leave them with cheap but descent shelter

And African leaders accept the culture of not being criticized. They prefer to be told that everything is going on well until disaster strikes. I prefer to help before that happens. In the image above, I have a different issue to raise. There is nothing wrong in the leader being with the poor, chatting with them and even buying their produce although this image is taking place in the period when the nation, including the sellers of tomatoes are still mourning their friends and relatives who died and continue to die from cholera. It is supposed to be time for teaching these poor sellers hygiene and selling their merchandize in clean places. It is time for leadership to educate, and more importantly to lead by example. How does the leader know the health state of the vegetables and tomatoes? Just because they look clean does not necessarily mean that they are free of cholera. The market place does not have signs of good-looking toilets. Obviously, they don’t have. It is this part of the story that breeds cholera.

I’m not saying that the leader should not buy from the poor women. Of course, he should. But from a good environment which he should encourage, not from dark age shelters. One good example means that the leader goes to this road market place, sees the bad state of the market and leaves it with some descent shelter including clean and good-looking toilets where the poor women will sell. If he had come for a political campaign meeting to address all women selling at markets or the roadside, or in their villages, the leader would have been doing it in a small but nice shelter built by his people to ensure that the leader is speaking from a cheap but descent place. In the same way, the leader can easily ask his council or other responsible people or the army to build some cheap but nice shelters with modern equipment and leave a clean place with cement where these women can sell from instead of simply showing that he is man of the poor people who buys from them but leaves them in the same poor state that he found them in. It will also make more political campaign sense to leave permanent structures for poor women to sell from than to simply think they will remember the leader who buys from them. Surely, how much would it cost to tell each council to build these shelters along the road for these poor women?

Conclusion

In concluding, it is we Zambians who should be tough with our leaders to help them do better. All we do is criticize them politically, spend all the time reacting to articles about partisan politics. Comments are about UPND and PF rather than issues. Let us talk about leadership including criticizing them when they don’t dress properly, when they buy from dirty places and when they practice cheap public relations. We should only encourage our leader to go to dirty places if only to enable him to improve them later, not simply to play the cheap politics of man of the people. We should help him to be modern and impact modern-ness to his poor including poor ones. Otherwise, what is the point of simply passing through and buying vegetables and leaving the shelter the way it looks.

By Economic. Governance

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29 COMMENTS

  1. I wish there was another system of governance. Why do people rush or even kill themselves in trying to SERVE . We are told politicians are our servants. Why do they rush to serve us?

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    • Why have Africans trained their minds to believe that been poor is good? Why should someone celebrate been called a man for poor? People wake up and train your brains to think big, this been poor song is only a ladder some people use to get political power.

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    • PF has been in power from 2011, why is Edgar Lungu still president of majority poor people? Data indicate that more people have become impoverished that when MMD was in power…it bogles the mind why someone can with pride say he is man of the poor….

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    • In short in doesn’t want anyone to become rich or lead a comfortable life, otherwise how do you call him man of the poor when people are comfortable, is this why he hates men and women who are striving and working hard to improve their status in society.

      It just boggles my mind why certain people just feel good to be called poor.

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    • The author is a good pretender or an ignorant full. He is basing his criticism on the picture rather than the message ecl took to those people. It’s well documented in the public domain already that ecl went there to talk about relocating those high way sellers to a modern shelter with good standard hygienic facilities away from the highway. Of you want to draw all eyes to the picture and write a story accordingly it’s only gullible s who hate ecl to respond to your trush article with insults. Millions who remembers the message beyond the picture knows that you are trying to mislead people.

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    • Edgar should send soldiers to clean up at John Chinena too, he toured streets in Lusaka just like that. Man of the poor.

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    • To be honest with the author,I do not see what message he/she wants to convey.President Lungus dressing,no toilets at the roadside etc are all being heaped on ECL.UPND LEADER HAS EVEN GONE FURTHER TO BLAME ECL for the dry spell obtaining in some parts of the country !!!. Regrettably,these have become Zambian style of politics at play.
      A number of us come from villages where toilets are non existent and I believe all of this is because of ECL.
      If everything is on ECL,what then is our role in improving our own livelihood?

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    • The auther is 100 % correct and that picture of lungu at a market that looks like one put up in a hurrey by refugees from Congo is a disgrace……and just shows why people are drinking dirty water and dying of cholera ……..lungu found the residents of chawama drinking dirty water and he left them drinking dirty water while he was MP
      .

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    • Servants is the disguise they assume as they are aspiring for office. They become their arrogant selves once in office and start bossing everyone around

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  2. You will be criticised for this article too… you will be probably called UPND, Bantustant etc etc… this is the zambia we are living in.

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  3. Once upon a time, a chief sitting by the fire amongst his subjects, unaware, his garments caught fire. The chief was wrongly dressed for the setting but could not be advised or corrected. The chief’s garments or him could not be touched by his followers. He went into smoke while his subjects watched in horror. That is our African leaders, they know it all until like Idi Amin, Gaddafi and other dictators in the past all perish. The so called servants of the people become masters, kings and untouchables. Time will tell.

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  4. Mr no name, SHOWS US your name, you are the SAME people who think that THEY know everything about GOVERNABILITY and YET you don’t know the REALITY of being a president and what is involved.check African economic indexes published in 2017 and you will SHOCKED by reality that ZAMBIA is one of the African countries that have STABILITY in economic growth.Method of hygiene is the core responsibility of all Zambians including you Mr cadre . Tell your relatives about the dangers of cholera if hygiene is poorly managed.Always Mr cadre just dream of being in opposition since your birth. BAD GENES.

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    • I would rather have bad genes at been in opposition than having bad genes of perpetual poverty.

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  5. “The market place does not have signs of good-looking toilets. Obviously, they don’t have. It is this part of the story that breeds cholera.”
    CHOLERA IN ZAMBIA IA AS A RESULT OF OVER-YEARS ACCUMULATED FILTHY. MEANING, OUR COUNCILS WENT TO SLEEP. OBVIOUSLY, I CAN BET THAT WHERE THE PRESIDENT IS IN THE PICTURE AT THE MARKET THERE ARE NO TOILETS. OR IF ANY THEY ARE TOILETS THAT NO ONE WOULD LIKE EVEN PEEPING THROUGH AND COUNCILS DON’T MIND. COUNCILS MUST BUILD VERY GOOD FEE-PAYING TOILETS/ABRUSIONS WHERE THEY CAN EVEN EARN HIGH REVENUE. AMA MAYORS BA MU ZAMBIA NI MBUTUMA. THEY HAVE NO CLUE HOW THE COUNCILS SHOULD BE MAKING MONEY. THAT’S THE PROBLEM ZAMBIA HAS.

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  6. A servant with an army of security men while the poor masters are languishing with the merchandise that depict their real status! Kikikikikiki. Mafi fye yeka yeka

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  7. IF I WERE THE PRESIDENT OF ZAMBIA I WOULD FIRST OF ALL BE VISITING THE TOWN COUNCIL TOILETS BEFORE I EVEN GO TO BUY UNWASHED MANGO FROM THE MARKETS. IF I DON’T FIND TOILETS STRATEGICALLY CONSTRUCTED TO SERVICES AND WELL MAINTAINED THAT MAYOR WOULD BE GONE IN A DAY. AND WE ARE EVEN URGING TOURISTS TO COME TO ZAMBIA- HOW? NGA AMPAMFIWA ALEFWAYO KUNYA YOU MEAN HE/SHE SHOULD BOOK A CAB TO FASTTRACK HIM TO HIS HOTEL ROOM? THAT TOURISTS WOULD BE COMING TO ZAMBIA FOR THE FIRST AND LAST TIME I CAN PROMISE YOU THIS.

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  8. Mark Zuckerburg is leader (CEO) of Facebook yet look how simple he dresses with hoodies most of the time.

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    • That is his ntemba, is GRZ your ntemba for you to go to work with a. Ka jacket kwati kachilala mwakanwa kambushi?

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  9. People who see nothing wrong with that image of lungu visiting a structure that looks like a shelter put up by chimpanzees for the night are dirty backward souls …..

    A president should take pride in his sorroundings or the sorroundings of his people …..not this corrupt theif who left people of chawama still drinking dirty contaminated water in up to today…..

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    • I must apologise to PF supporters and to mr lungu for continually calling him a corrupt theif….in the spirit of dialogue and development I will refrane from doing so in reports where there is no perceived corruption like in the above news…….mr lungu was only interacting with the people and calling him such was uncalled for …sorry .

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  10. Please people the author is explaining to you how a leader is supposed to appear. Most of you work and your bosses don’t allow you to come to work dressed anyhow. You represent the company and so you must look the part just like Lungu is not supposed to be wearing salaula. You can see the woman in the picture looking dismayed at his dressing. Kaunda had his dress code which made him look presidential as well as command respect. How are people going to respect Lungu wearing cheap salaula, most of you are fully that when you wear a suit you are going to command respect than when you wearing overoles. The president is also encouraging street vending and bad hygiene, how is he going to stop the masses from encouraging street vending when he is doing especially in the face of cholera

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    • I personally don’t think his dressing has anything up do with conveying good governance…..it is the state of the market……a picture of mr lungu inspecting pit latrines would speak in equal volumes to that picture…

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  11. @Economic Governance, why not talk and write about the scruffy and unkempt hair of the opposition leaders like Akainde?

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  12. This is a leader who has been thieving from the poor. He is richer in two years than he declared when he ran for the presidency and cannot explain his source of wealth. His name or fingers are in every scandal that surfaces; fire tenders, maizegate, road contracts, Topstar migration, uncontrollable borrowing, etc, etc. He continues to preside over a cabal of plunderers. He can continue to hoodwink the gullible, but not for a long time to come. What goes up must come down!

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  13. Why hasn’t his government provided a decent roofing over that Chinena Market? Not Ifyani. This sympathy meant to please the camera needs to be stopped. Help those marketeers with decent services. Its 50 years after independence we should all be enoying independence

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