PRESIDENT Edgar Chagwa Lungu’s first term of office was essentially setting a platform for the next generation of inclusivity. His next Government after his re-election is certainly to be an all inclusive Government which has regard to the diversity of the Zambian society.
Even under difficult circumstances, his first term had majority of youthful characters in Government holding sensitive positions, his choice of officials was responsive to gender balancing. It is the Youth oriented approach which has made young people to have the sense of ownership of the Government and PF ruling party.
Ideologically he was receptive to political diversity (that’s why he was accused of allegedly appointing new comers) among other attributes of inclusiveness. In the past, youths and women had the sense of suspicion of their explosive exclusion from the corridors of power but not anymore.
Against all odds, national interest came first and he utilized every talent irrespective of the political parties they originated from. This decision had injured greedy politicians who thought they had a monopoly when it comes to service to the nation.
In 2015, he made efforts to appoint MPs from Southern province such as the youthful but useful Greyfold Monde and his colleague who held the defense portfolio. Others included Mr Dawson Kafwaya from Solwezi who served as provincial Minister for North Western province.
However, their service to the Zambian people regrettably led to their expulsion from the UPND, coupled with loss of their seats which prematurely cut short their service to their country. However, despite not having any MP in Southern province, President Lungu has used his prerogative to nominate and appoint the son of the soil Edify Hamukale who is currently serving as provincial Minister.
The lessons we learnt from the expulsion of Honorable Monde and his colleague for merely accepting to serve in ECL led Government was that political will by the President to be inclusive will only become a reality if Zambians too play their role.
In this regard, they should provide him with the reliable reservoir of available human resource.
This is the message that we continued to send in North Western and Western provinces as well as Southern province. As things stand, PF will increase the margin in those provinces which also give us assurance that the party will consequently produce MPs who will be considered to serve in the next ECL Government. This will give every region a fair chance to be considered for appointment.
On the participation of young people, President Lungu has broken the norm and provided an enabling environment and a platform for youths to be heard. He has also allowed youth led businesses to be empowered, sustain and grow their businesses.
It is only that he is let down when social media is used as a battering rode to communicate unpalatable language as opposed to progressive ideas which would enhance quality delivery of service.
Further, a progressive step to take a corrective action by affirming this commitment through constitutional reforms. Among the steps taken was entrenching the guarantee of youths having their safe seats. However, greedy politicians sabotaged this effort of promoting inclusive government.
It is therefore ostensibly clear that President Lungu is determined to promote inclusive governance. Once re-elected, inclusivity will be the hallmark of the next generation of his government.
Marvin Chanda Mberi
Youth Rights Activist