CASES of elected leaders abandoning their people once they assume their positions of power and begin to enjoy coffee in their posh offices, are becoming too frequent lately.
This could be due to Zambia becoming a home of many ‘sit-in’ leaders who either abuse their power or cannot be bothered at all.
Take the recently reported residents of Kimasala ward in Solwezi, North Western Province, who have taken on their area ward councilor, Nephan Kamwandi, whom they have accused of failing them, as an example of poor leadership styles.
The residents say their area has numerous challenges which need the attention of the civic leader who they now claim has failed to avail himself to the people to discuss issues affecting the ward.
As if that is not bad enough, Mr. Kamwandi has even the cheek to tell off the people who voted for him that he was too busy and would respond to their cries at a later day. Sure Mr. Kamwandi?
The Solwezi issue might be an isolated one but the truth is, Zambia has many such leaders at all levels who cannot be bothered once they enter their cozy strata of power.
A good number of our Members of Parliament have been caught in this web because of their failure to serve the people who put them into power.
We think it is such happenings where dissent is crashed, and alternative views are discarded, culminating in low accountability which further deteriorates leadership and reinforces corruption.
Mr. Kamwandi can only ignore the Community Action Group which brought the matter to the fore at his own risk because to ignore people’s problems in the manner he did does not augur well with his status as a civic leader. The issues of poor road networks, lack of clean and safe water, dilapidated bridges are on the lips of people these days, especially in rural areas, and essentially the attention of our leaders.
There is a popular idiom: “do not bite the hands that feeds you”. And there is evidence suggesting that this is true for many of our leaders.
There is also a high chance that some leaders who act against the interests of their people, the bosses, will have very little to benefit from the communities they purport to serve.