DICKSON Jere is a seasoned journalist and lawyer.
So, his name is of different concerns to the media and the legal fraternity in Zambia.
But in Matero Constituency of Lusaka Province, Jere is not even a journalist or lawyer but a home-grown product.
It is for that reason that Jere, a former special assistant for press and public relations to fourth Republican president Rupiah Banda, is aspiring to contest as a member of parliament in Matero Constituency this year, on the PF ticket.
He shares with Kalemba that he was born and bred in Matero and hence his strong connection to the highly populated area.
He says he started midday school at Matero Community Hall (welfare) or “olofeya” as it used to be called in the local lingua.
“I did my primary school at the then Matero Boys Primary School which has now been transformed into a full-fledged secondary school and changed its name to New Matero School,” Jere says.
“So my formation year was done in Matero and I resided initially at house number 4077B in Maiteneka area before we moved to house number 996 in Chito road where my parents still live. So typically, I am a Matero boy through and through!”
Jere then proceed to Munali Boys Secondary school from grades eight to 12.
“I know most people think I went to Matero Boys Secondary School because I was a fixture in the school study centre as well as playing fields,” he says.
He notes that he just turned 45, something he brands as a golden age.
Jere then delves into his journalism background.
“I started out as a journalist after obtaining a diploma in journalism and public relations at Evelyn Hone College. I practised as a journalist with a number of local and international media organisations,” Jere shares.
“I also practiced as a public relations man when I served as special assistant to the President for press and public relations. Before then, I was a chief analyst for press and public relations at State House. So I am a media guy in that regard.”
Jere then went to the University of Zambia (UNZA) where he studied for a degree in Law (LLB) and later obtained his bar practice certificate at the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education (ZIALE).
Today, he is running his own law firm called Dickson Jere & Associates in Lusaka.
Still about academic credentials, Jere explains that he also studied at a post-graduate level where he did two Masters’ degrees, almost at the same time.
“I hold a prestigious Masters In Intellectual Property (MIP) from Africa University in Zimbabwe and another Masters’ degree in human rights from University of Lusaka where I graduated as best student,” Jere says.
“Professionally, I also studied for membership of the Chartered Institute of Arbitration (UK) and currently pursuing new advanced qualifications of Fellowship of the Institute. So, I am very grounded academically and professionally in both law and media.”
Jere is aware that serving as a member of parliament is not only about academic badges. So he shares his vision for Matero and it’s not short of pageantry.
He notes that his main focus on Matero is to make it a must-visit place in Zambia.
“The same way we flock to Soweto when we visit South Africa is the same way I want every visitor to Lusaka must go; Matero must be a tourist destination,” he says.
“Therefore, we need to improve on security in the area while the private sector sets up best structures. We need best restaurants, sports facilities, car wash and so on… everything must be found in Matero. The nightlife must be next to none!”
He further talks about development, as we know it.
Jere says he has personally done many developmental projects in the constituency.
He shares that he has set up computer laboratories in schools and helped to drill water points in markets.
“I have started building police posts on some areas with the communities and working on improving sports facilities,” Jere explains.
“But the major challenges have been the road infrastructure and sanitation. I think we can tackle that with the central government. I am equal to the task!”
As a lawyer, Jere believes that will help him to emphatically add the voice of Matero in Parliament.
“I love debates and I think I will actively participate in lawmaking in Parliament very effectively,” he promises, further underscoring his dislike for violence.
“I hope we shall play clean politics. So far, I am telling my team to be disciplined and avoid hostilities.”
To be more succinct, Jere points out that he wants to be the member of parliament for Matero because: “I am equal to the task.”
“I have the necessary experience and exposure for the job. And I also I want to give back to my community in a special way like being their servant at their disposal,” he says.
Meanwhile, Jere recalls that in 2016 he was the preferred candidate for Matero but that the PF opted for someone else.
“So, I am ready to give it another shot and I am hopeful that this time around I will be considered,” concludes Jere.
“It will be a great honour to be PF flag-bearer in the 2021 presidential and parliamentary polls.”
Kalemba March 9, 2021