By Judith Mulenga CiSCA Chairperson
The Civil Society Constitution Agenda (CiSCA) urges voters to cast their votes based on their own individual personal opinion poll and conviction. Voters should ignore the push opinion polls typically done by a group of individuals attempting to manipulate or change voters’ views. Push polls generally work in a country whose socio economic situation ranges from normal to above in order to persuade the undecided voters. In Zambia the socio economic reality is so stark that a pre-determined set of questions posed to a pre-determined sample size population cannot change the reality of an individual’s personal situation.
The upcoming elections are a core constitutional duty that not only reaffirms our multi-party democracy but also allows us, ‘the people,’ to decide who serve us as our leaders for the next five years at local and national levels. After we choose we cannot reverse therefore we must choose based on how life in Zambia has been for each one of us. If life has been good for you as an individual under the leadership of the current ruling party, then you know who to vote for.
Hunger: If life has been hard for you and you are unable to find a job, and you are unable to afford enough nutritious food for yourself and your family then you know where to place your priceless X on the ballot paper. If in your personal opinion it is normal and dignified for 35,000 people, men, women and children to leave their homes and stampede for food packs being donated by a church and for 8 people to die in the process as happened here in Lusaka the capital city of our nation at the Olympic Youth Development Centre in 2017 then you know where to place your worthy X on the ballot paper.
Personal Security: If it is fine with you for a police service whose mandate to provide security for us citizens, can have a junior police officer open fire and kill 2 innocent citizens. If it is standard practice for police to follow fleeing university students into their hostels wantonly firing teargas canisters resulting in the death of a student who was trapped, hiding and cowering in her room. If it is natural in a nation with functional institutions to have citizens mysteriously gas attacked in their households resulting in more than 43 deaths and still remain unsolved? You know where to place your cherished X on the ballot paper.
Corruption: Before casting your vote, pause and ask yourself if it is in order for a health minister to order expired medicines and defective condoms through a fictitious company and he not only goes scot free but is also adopted to stand as a Member of Parliament yet again! If you are at peace with the gross theft of public funds that the nation has been subjected to in this regime such as the now infamous USD1 million each fire tenders, the Michael Chilufya Sata toll gate, the USD288,000 each ambulances and the many grand thefts as reported by the Office of the Auditor’s General’s Reports year in and year out, you know where to place your constitutionally guaranteed X.
Lawlessness: If it is well with you to have cadres brazenly enter our government complex, the engine of government, manhandle and drag a civil servant whose purported ‘crime’ is being a supporter of the opposition, to the Permanent Secretary’s office who in turn sits immobilised cowering in his seat as a normal occurrence in a constitutional unitary multi-party Christian nation. If it is well with you for cadres to ransack a police station and beat up police officers and simply walk away, then you know where to place your treasured X.
Victimisation of Media Houses: If you have been at peace within yourself of the victimisations of the media houses that provided a platform to all that are critical of the current regime’s leadership such as the Post Newspaper and Prime TV instantly turning scores of young journalists destitute, you know where to place your expensive X.
Absurdity of Campaigns: If you noticed the absurdity of campaign adverts stating ‘no more load shedding’ when you are still experiencing load shedding. If you are puzzled by such absurdity as mealie meal down from K250 to K150 by the same people that took the price to K250 from K45 in 2011, then you know where to place your X on polling day. If you think that it is fine for a nation to over borrow, fail to disclose the full amount borrowed, fail to pay instalments on the debt and make every Zambian born or unborn indebted is sound economic foundation and ‘unprecedented’ development, then you know where to place your X.
If two people are speaking about the same issue but saying two different things, the balance of probability is that one of them is lying. Decide who is lying and vote based on that and not on the push polls, psychotic rants of flip flopper tribal demagogues and fear mongers. Voting is not only a duty but also your constitutional right, exercise it well.