The die is cast

WHO goes to State House as Zambia’s sixth President following acting President Guy Scott’s announcement of January 20, 2015 as the date for the presidential by-election?

This is probably the question that will preoccupy Zambians until a new President of Zambia is declared after the January poll.

At face value, the Presidential election will no doubt be competitive with the main focus being on the candidates themselves because the poll is not a general election which could have also involved elections at parliamentary and local government levels.

In this case, the presidential candidates are on their own with their past and present deeds being their greatest political assets.

The holding of this presidential poll comes following the death of President Michael Sata who died in London on October 28.

According to the Constitution of Zambia, an election has to be held within 90 days whenever the office of the President falls vacant.

Mr Sata had only served three of his five-year mandate before he died in office.

This was the second time that Zambians were experiencing the loss of a sitting President with the first having been that of Levy Mwanawasa.

President Mwanawasa died in office in 2008, three years before he could complete his second five-year term of office.

As costly as the Presidential poll is, Zambians cannot by-pass the undertaking as that would be going against the legal requirement of the Zambian law.

Therefore, we are urging political parties who are ready for the polls to exercise their democratic right to participate in the election.

As they go about making their promises, they should be mindful that the general elections in 2016 would only be 18 months away from the January 2015 presidential by-election.

The political contestants in this poll should also be mindful that Zambians are at the moment extra expectant.

This is because of the so many unfulfilled promises of the previous political leadership.

Of immediate concern is the Constitution of Zambia which has been a source of conflict over the years because of the so many lacunas.

Currently there is a final draft Constitution in circulation which will no doubt need Presidential political will to ensure that what Zambians want is delivered.

The new President will also come on the scene when so much controversy has been created in the country with no possible solution in sight because late Head of State was largely absent from the public domain to offer the Presidential guidance.

We are urging all participants in this election to be realistic in their promises otherwise they will see themselves out of State House sooner rather than later if they make false promises.

Otherwise, the die is cast.