So former president Rupiah Bwezani Banda has finally retired from politics? This took a bit of time considering the fact that he was already above 70 years and had been deposed in the last elections of 2011. However, what are more disconcerting were his utterances when he delivered his resignation speech. If what was reported in the Post newspaper is anything to go by - since this newspaper is now a reactionary news outlet and a mouthpiece of Michael Sata’s Patriotic Front-led government. Nonetheless, the Post had pointed out that Banda had wept when he handed over the instruments of power to the then in-coming president, Michael Chilufya Sata, because he had loved being “addressed as president.” He also knew that he was going to miss the travelling that came with the post and that he was “worried that his friends were going to lose their jobs and therefore their children would not go to school.” How shameless is this? Here is a man who was in Kenneth Kaunda’s UNIP government and had been an Ambassador to Egypt; Ambassador to the United Nations and the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. These positions entailed a lot of travelling and Banda had been to different parts of the globe. So one would have thought that this old man would not have been excited with travelling, especially that it is also a taxing activity, as one grows older. Secondly, it is even sad to note that Banda could admit to the world that the ministers who were supposed to serve mother Zambia were his friends. So they had just been invited to enjoy the national spoils. Because that is what governance is all about in Zambia where all politicians just occupy positions of power to help themselves to national resources and not help the mass of the people who are generally poor.
The SDC is very clear on the question of leadership: that Zambia continues to be bogged down in poverty and bad governance because it is ruled by mediocre leaders. This malaise continues because Zambians choose leaders not because they are capable, but because of ethnicity or other parochial related issues. But more importantly, this generation of old timers, the leaders of the colonial era and post-colonial period need to vacate the political space and make way for the new generation. But they keep on clinging to power and suffocate the young generation. Zambia is stuck because of such mentality which is rooted in what we term a “village mentality”. The world is now dynamic and globalised. This is not 1964 and the tactics that worked then are surely outdated in current times. These old men are also very much in control in the new PF government. We shall soon begin looking closer at this party of, frankly, jokers. In this article we wanted to express our continued dismay of the low caliber of politicians we have had in Zambia. It is just simply shocking.