Magande Ditches The Presidential Race.
NG’ANDU Magande is a rare breed in the African political scene where political figures vow not to leave any post till they die.
We can easily look at our neighbor Zimbabwe, whose Roberto Mugabe still clings to the throne up to this day.
However, Mr. Magande says he will not contest the August 11 general elections because he has decided to leave the presidential race to the younger generation.
In an interview, Magande, the National Movement for Progress leader, said he was “most unlikely” to contest the polls.
“I don’t understand young people’s interests and politics now. Today’s politics are totally different. You know when you are a senior citizen and you hear somebody young talking politics, I get to wonder and think maybe for these young people, Internet was introduced way too early,” he said.
“There is too much information that they are using to make decisions. So with my age, I have just said no, let the young people continue; if they need me, they will ask me at an appropriate time how to do things, how to maintain agriculture or even how to talk to the IMF.”
Magande, who expressed concern at the manner political matters were being carelessly handled, said he would not endorse any presidential candidate in the coming election.
“We should be having a party meeting by the end of April and I doubt if my party will convince me to stand. Most likely, I will not rally behind or support any of the candidates contesting the elections. Most young people who might still be interested may want to stand under the National Movement for Progress as councillors or as MPs, but not to endorse somebody this year,” he added.
“But with the coming of the 50 per cent plus one [vote threshold], if there will be a second round, if those close to winning come to ask us, maybe we could consider to help them to win if we understand why people want them. May I say that most of the parties now, I don’t know why the youths are voting for them, it might be a time for them.”
And Magande called on Zambians, especially the retirees, to vote for candidates who would commit themselves to addressing unbearable sufferings of the aged in society.
“I just hope they will vote wisely, they will have to consider the future, their’s and also the future of some of us who are retired; are we living good lives or we are finding complications in just how to manage to have two meals per day? So depending on who is offering the blessing, then we should be able to choose.”