“We leave behind a better country.” — Edgar Chagwa Lungu
As the 6th President of the Republic of Zambia spends his last moments as head of state, we can’t say goodbye without a little cheer for an end to bitter-sweet rulership and commanding.
Lusaka, Zambia / By Andrew-Knox B. Kaniki
Regarded authoritarian, and out of touch, many would argue his leadership was based on misguided advice by well-placed advisors.
With less than 24 hours to the swearing-in ceremony of his successor, Hakainde Hichilema, we can’t bear but acknowledge the Civil Society, who faced difficult times under the 6th regime. Peaceful protesters, who had to seek refuge from police and unacknowledged general public requests for protection against cadres and most importantly the many calls for honest and people-minded leadership and rulership, with respect to laws and the constitution by the private legal fraternity.
“Zambia, tomorrow you welcome your new President and open a new chapter for the country, and my prayer is that this new chapter will be filled with hope and fulfill the aspirations of all citizens, building on the foundation we laid. Tomorrow I leave the office with a sense of pride, proud of the many achievements that my government scored in the past 10 years under the leadership of our President Michael Sata, and when I took over the reins. Most of these achievements are cast in concrete and cannot be erased now or in the near future. Posterity will look at the infrastructure we have built across the country with gratitude,” said President Lungu.
It is indeed a new chapter for Zambia as we look to bigger things. “Is it just me who thinks that the entire country needs therapy from the trauma we’ve suffered past seven years .....elections are done but both people seem stuck on the hate and hurt ....this actually went deeper than we thought ..we are like children raised in an abusive home where a parent pitted us against each other" wrote Becky Ngoma on her social media page. These are sentiments shared by many who were victims of a lawless and one-sided development economy.
“Churches need to help this country heal ..we gotta bo back to where we can see each other past political lines and it’s not a snap of a finger job", she says in closing.
Edgar Lungu adds, “that is a legacy we leave with you. Today I look back at our 10 years in office with satisfaction, our failures notwithstanding. Yes, there are things we could have done better, but I’m happy that in many aspects, we leave behind a better country. And my heart is filled with a deep sense of gratitude to the Zambian people who entrusted us with the huge and honorable responsibility to administer the affairs of this country. I took this as a God-given mandate and he is the best and fairest, judge. My fellow citizens, thank you and God bless our great nation. We leave behind a better country.”
It should stand as a lesson to all that choose to rule over people, especially in Zambia, that to be successful at anything, one has to be within the law, guided by the peoples’ voice, while creating opportunities for all, and not just one group of people.
This could ultimately be the beginning of the end for Edgar Lungu, his party leadership, his party, and political cadres as we have known them for the last 7 to 10 years in Zambia. We are likely to see the tone down of aggressive and divisive politics and a change on how we see political aspirations.