It’s been a hectic week in Zambia with elections that, after a four day wait for results, saw incumbent Edgar Lungu, of the Patriotic Front (PF), declared winner. Without the right to vote I still had my own opinion on which party I saw more suitable to lead our government but little did I realise to what extent I had become emotionally involved. Let me just say I did not sleep well on the night before final results were expected to be declared! Once we knew the results I felt overwhelmed with anger and disappointment. The thought of another five years with PF just felt heavy. Disappointed that people can vote for them knowing they’ve seen no positive change in their community. Angry that so many just simply see the roads and schools built but fail to understand it’s built with borrowed money and that the Chinese contractor was always favoured over any local. Now a couple of days later I do accept that we won’t have a ‘new’ president. But when everything comes around, we can’t know if there had been any real change had we voted out PF. It is easy to put ones hopes up for a new face and opposition always seem to have the answers. In the case of opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema of UPND, a self-made millionaire, he has earned support and respect in the business sector. But he didn’t run for president alone, next to him we saw what looked like half of late president Sata’s (PF) cabinet, so what change would that have brought in real terms?
The reality is that Zambia’s economy has been sliding in the last couple of years and it has affected everyone in one way or another and for it not to get much worse we need strong leadership with the right priorities, I hope we will see that come through under PF.