VJ calls for leadership development
By Staff Reporter
VETERAN politician Vernon Mwaanga says elections at whatever level, are and should not be tantamount to war or hatred.
Mwaanga, in a press statement titled ‘how can we prepare today’s youth for tomorrow’s leadership?’ stated that today’s young people were supposed to be better educated and needed to be trained in leadership skills and qualities which tomorrow’s world would require.
Mwaanga stated that every country went through generational changes of leadership and skills development, which included collective intelligence, innovation, skills connectivity, empathy among others, be it in politics, business or the professions.
“The most successful countries prepare young people for tomorrow’s leadership roles. Unfortunately, we are not doing enough of this in our country and in many other countries around the world. The net result is that we end up with the wrong leaders, particularly in politics, who get into politics for the wrong reasons. We must pay more attention to leadership development,” Mwaanga stated.
“The leaders of tomorrow will face many more daunting challenges than the present generation and among them will be the acquiring and developing of technology friendly skills and abilities. It cannot be denied that we live in a fast-changing world where the government, professional and business environment never stop evolving.”
He stated that leaders of tomorrow would have a much greater role to continually adapt to changes and challenges.
“The challenge will be for these young people to develop personal skills to lead, innovate and create teams and layers of leadership at various levels, which will input into the final decision-making. They will need to have clear visions, establish clear goals, set specific targets and how to achieve these targets,” Mwaanga stated.
“Competition in politics, the professions and business in the future will be huge. This is necessary as we build modern societies which work and serve the people’s and not personal interests. I interact with many young people who aspire to go into active politics, because they are under the impression that they will get rich. They have seen politicians get rich at the expense of the people they are supposed to serve.”
He lamented that it was not unusual to see young people being funded and sent by senior politicians to areas where there were elections or by-elections sorely “to harass or attack political opponents.”
Mwaanga cited reported clashes between the UPND and PF in Lundazi, Sesheke and other areas, where there are parliamentary or local government by-elections.
“Young people of nowadays are setting very low and wrong targets for themselves. Instead of setting high and noble targets for their future, they are agreeing to be used as agents of violence during elections or by-elections, thereby take part in undermining the democracy for which my generation fought so hard and sacrificed so much to achieve,” Mwaanga stated.
He stated that political parties participating in the February 12 parliamentary and local government by-elections must accept blame for the ongoing skirmishes.
Mwaanga stated that it was in view of the current politically instigated violence that inclusive national political dialogue was so important and desirable today, not tomorrow.
“Politicians must dialogue and make a commitment to zero tolerance to violence among many other issues and even agree to give a credible electoral commission, power to disqualify candidates whose political party cadres are using violence,” he stated.
“What kind of future are we preparing for future generations, if the only thing they are being taught is violence, which is an enemy of peace and democracy? Elections at whatever level, are and should not be tantamount to war or hatred. Elections should be treated as a mere contest of ideas, where voters must freely make their choices and hold politicians accountable for the election promises they make during their campaigns.”
Meanwhile, Mwaanga stated that instead of using young people for unwholesome purposes, this generation and particularly the politicians, should be telling young people that “if you cannot be a bridge to connect people, then do not be the wall to separate them,”
“If you cannot be a light to brighten people’s lives, then do not be the darkness to cover them: if you cannot be water to help people’s crops sprout, then do not be the pest to destroy them: if you cannot be the vaccine to give life, do not be the virus to terminate it: if you cannot be a pencil to write people’s happiness, then be an eraser to remove their sadness: you must always be each other’s keeper and you collectively resolve to make our country, our continent and our one world, a better place for all and not just a few. Never give up on your dreams for a better future for all, because the best is yet to come,” stated Mwaanga.