Analysis: KUMBUKILANI PHIRI
THE just-ended Patriotic Front elections for the Copperbelt leadership cannot go without a comment as there are many lessons we can draw from them.
First and foremost, the election of Nathan Chanda and Christopher Kang’ombe as both provincial and vice-chairperson respectively shows that the power centres have already started shifting from the old and experienced veterans to the youths.
One interesting thing about the two leaders is that they are both below the age of 35 years meaning that Mr Chanda, the current mayor of Luanshya has become the youngest serving provincial chairperson as well as member of the PF’s central committee at the moment.
All the youths in the country need to get inspired by this development. The transition of leadership that we have been talking about for years is now already here.
As youths, we need to build from this new trend and give maximum support to our friends who are leading the way into high ranking leadership of the country.
We should thank the veterans for teaching us the values of patriotism and true leadership and their willingness to support and transfer power to us.
Secondly, the PF provincial conference on the Copperbelt that has ushered in the youths as top leaders is a demonstration that the ruling party is leading the way in showing true democratic tenets.
Our country will only be a true democracy if democracy is being practiced from the grassroots level to the national levels.
The PF top leadership had all the opportunity to handpick leaders for the grassroots and mostly they would have preferred their fellow veterans with many years of professional and political experience, but they let the grassroots choose leaders of their choice which gave a chance to the youths to be elected in these influential leadership positions.
Let us be hopeful that other political parties will follow suit and emulate the PF party for this gesture.
Thirdly, the elections of the youthful leaders on the Copperbelt gives us a glimpse of the trend that we may experience as we go towards the 2021 general elections.
It’s very clear that most veterans both in the ruling and the opposition political parties have already served their best time in political leadership and may have to pave way for the youths to take over.
My interactions with many people over the outcome of both the Copperbelt and the North Western PF provincial conferences has shown that there is very strong approval of the youthful leadership that they have ushered in.
This should actually be a signal to the veteran leaders who have served their time that, it’s now time to hand over power to the youths who still have the energy, innovation, passion, determination and ambition to take over the mantle of leadership and steer our country to even great heights.
Let the leaders heed the words of the PF Secretary General Davies Mwila who said that the youths have now started taking over power and the old veterans will need to pave way and be there to provide guidance from their many years of experience.
All in all, the current PF leadership under President Edgar Lungu should be very proud of themselves for not following shortcuts in as far as choosing leaders at the grassroots level is concerned.
Many parties have lost the people by imposing the top leadership preferred candidates on the people at the grassroots level.
What the PF has done gives hope to the public that Zambia still stands out as a true democracy in Africa. It also gives the PF an advantage to get closer to the people who know whom they want to lead them. This may propel the party to success in the coming 2021 general elections.
The author is a Lusaka-based entrepreneur.
Time for youthful leadership already upon us
Analysis: KUMBUKILANI PHIRI