A PRESIDENT is elected in office to run the country’s affairs on behalf of the citizens, but he cannot do so singlehandedly.
This is why the head of State appoints Cabinet Ministers and Provincial Ministers, among other public officers, to assist him to undertake the mammoth task of overseeing national affairs.
In other words, the president and his appointees are supposed to be servants of the people and not their bosses because it is the Zambians that put them in power.
Therefore, Zambians expect those they entrust with the responsibility to run national affairs on their behalf to do so in a manner that will benefit them.
Those that aspire for national leadership should be mindful that theirs is to serve the people and not to amass wealth or for self-aggrandisement.
This is why it is important for leaders to prudently utilise public resources and for their intended purpose, no matter how scarce they are.
Above all, leaders are supposed to help to create more national wealth so that people’s lives could be bettered.
This is because, as President Hakainde Hichilema said yesterday, no matter how loving or caring you could be to people, you cannot share poverty.
Indeed, before you can share wealth you have to generate it!
Unfortunately, as Mr Hichilema has repeatedly said, the United Party for National Development (UPND) took over from the Patriotic Front (PF) a country whose economy was nearly on its knees and in dire need of resuscitation.
To achieve that, the ‘New Dawn’ administration seeks to run the country differently and wants to practically rid Zambia of corruption and mismanagement of public resources.
Inflating prices for Government contracts is one form of corruption and mismanagement of public funds that which the citizens are supposed to enjoy.
Funds which would have been channelled to other needy areas for the benefit of the citizens have ended up in the pockets of a few selfish individuals either because of overpricing of contracts or sheer mismanagement.
We, therefore, welcome President Hichilema’s pronouncements on
curtailing overpricing contracts and generally the zero-tolerance stance against corruption because if adhered to and implemented, Zambia stands to benefit a great deal in as far as saving public resources is concerned.
Going by President Hichilema’s repeated pronouncements, he means well for Zambia, but he cannot succeed if those he appoints do not buy into his vision.
Mr Hichilema has said he will not spare anyone engaging in corrupt practices and we are confident that he will act against the culprits by relieving them of their duties and then let investigative wings independently pursue them.
Cabinet Ministers and Provincial Ministers, as well as other public officers, if truly willing to serve the country, should take President Hichilema’s advice seriously.
The narrative has changed under the ‘New Dawn’ UPND administration so far.
The onus to fully restore sanity in the manner certain things are done in Zambia, however, is not incumbent on President Hichilema alone, but on all patriotic and well-meaning citizens, especially leaders.