OUT-GOING Kabwata Constituency Member of Parliament Given Lubinda deserves praise for speaking out that he does not believe in spoiling cadres with cash.
Call him mean, stingy, short-handed or a penguin, Mr Lubinda says one of his ‘weaknesses’, which in actual sense is his strength, is that he refuses to give alms, an act some people apparently dislike him for. Mr Lubinda, who is Minister of Justice, is right that he would rather change people’s lives through
community service, a move that has set him apart from some politicians. The governing Patriotic Front (PF) leadership recently affirmed this stance by stopping aspiring political candidates from giving out donations in form of cash to their supporters. Later, the Catholic Church announced a ban on all
congregations from receiving cash donations from politicians. One needs to understand that most of the unruly behaviour by political cadres, both from the ruling and opposition political parties, is driven by money. In a typical adage that ‘whoever pays the piper can call for a tune’, it has been learnt that cadres are ready to carry out any assignment at the command of their pay masters. Some, if not most, of the assignments are noble and well-intentioned. But some tasks are out rightly wrong. It is, therefore, high time political cadres realized that being a supporter of any political party is not an occupation through which one can earn a living. A quick consideration at the new trend of the so-called ‘commanders’ is all about who is controlling a particular gang and what they are worth. While Mr Lubinda was polite to state that he found the practice of throwing money at cadres demeaning of human beings, the culture is corrupting in nature. Money, as it has been said, is the cause of most evil. Reports abound where cadres themselves have differed and fought over cash given to them for sharing. If it is not cash that is dividing them, then it could be beer, especially after being intoxicated. Apart from cadres retiring themselves into beggars, it should be known to them that violence does not pay. We agree with Mr Lubinda that the best way of helping out people is by way of empowering them with life-long projects. This is exactly in line with President Edgar Lungu’s recent initiative to empower youths with 50 fuel tankers which they (youths) will use for business. While handouts may not last, empowerments like the aforementioned will, first, create business and sustain the recipients for a long time. It is true that by teaching someone how to fish, they shall forever feed themselves unlike giving them fish which they would consume and ask for more. Talking of which, the fishing sector is another good example in which empowerment initiatives are providing youths with sustainable sources of income. Mr Lubinda was on point that he has helped connect parents in need of sponsorship to the bursaries committee because he believes that is the best way of empowering people in the long term. Political leaders must take a leaf from fallen
Tanzanian President John Magufuli, who, when in power, reminded his supporters to work hard and
not expect handouts from his government. They should begin to think outside the tradition of flashing out cash to cadres to win support by providing life-long support.