THE tone, both in political and economic terms, has been set.
Without a doubt, Zambia’s President-elect, Hakainde Hichilema, has laid down the pitch of his administration on how the United Party for National Development (UPND) intends to implement its dreams for the country.
Anchored on two main pillars, the desire to reunite the country and the resolve to rebuild the economy, Mr Hichilema’s administration seems determined to pursue an inclusive system.
In his first media address yesterday, after his declaration as Zambia’s seventh Republican President, Mr Hichilema has shown his way forward.
Under the area of reuniting the country and its people, Mr Hichilema’s pledge to constitute a Cabinet made of members from all the 10 provinces of the country is commendable.
This is because in every region, there are men and women of integrity who could be ready and able to contribute to the national development in various capacities, including as ministers.
In fact, the president-elect is so blessed in that he is spoilt for choice in terms of who to pick for what positions in that the UPND has picked MPs from nearly all, if not from all provinces.
He may not need to ‘poach’ any MP from any opposition political party like it has been done in the past by some other leaders, to try and achieve regional balancing.
The wide continuum of areas where his MPs are coming from gives him an opportunity to run a truly-inclusive government administration which will not leave anyone behind.
Indeed, every citizen should feel part and parcel of the government administration through wide representation of various interest groups including geographical background.
We agree with Mr Hichilema that the two main qualifications should be that the candidate for any position, at all levels, should be, firstly, a Zambian and, secondly, that the candidate is qualified for the job and capable of delivering in the position.
The rest are, indeed, irrelevancies.
Under the rebuilding the country pillar, a lot needs to be done and in our view that is where Mr Hichilema has a huge opportunity to leave an indelible legacy, given the current state of the economy.
We are sure that Zambians are confident that he is capable of delivering in this front, given his performance as an accomplished business executive.
It is indubitable that the current economy is in poor state due to many factors, external and otherwise, as well as avoidable and otherwise.
The poor performance of the economy has been evidenced by the economy’s posting of a negative growth rate or contraction, last year.
The UPND, therefore, has a huge responsibility to turnaround this economy from the negative to the positive trajectory.
This is the only way Mr Hichilema and his soon-to-be-unveiled administration can address the many challenges it currently faces.
Truly, that is imperative if the new government is to address the current unemployment level, education for all including the underprivileged children and the provision of other social services.
Yes, there are high expectations of the youth of Zambia who are looking for job and business opportunities.
Connected to the growth of the economy for the government to create these opportunities the fight against corruption is cardinal as espoused by the president-elect.
Trying to grow the economy while leaving corruption to flourish is, indeed, like trying to fill up a leaking container with water.
A corruption fight coupled with the rule of law to ensure fairness is a must engagement for any administration desirous to the revival of the economy.
After all, investors, whether local or otherwise, abhor corruption and lack of rule of law because these vices are inimical to their investments.