The Zambian Dream and Patriotism

 I am looking at a medal given to me by an Indonesian Trainer, hailing from a country which has gone thousands of miles ahead of Zambia.

I am wondering, what has gone wrong with Zambia?  I have in the past alluded to the “beginning afresh” syndrome, which too has been referenced by the Head of State. I have also taken time to look at what really led to the exit of the Kaunda led Administration of the United National Independence Party (UNIP).

I have in the same vein, also taken time to look at important publications such as the wretched of the earth by Frantz Fanon and How Europe Underdeveloped Africa by Walter Rodney.

A deep inquiry in Marxist literature reduces some of the wild claims we see in our media as what would rightly be called as Leftwing Child Infertile Disorder.

You want to eat a sweet but vehemently refuse to take it out of the wrappers! Put simply, you cannot on the one hand lead a capitalist and exploitative life style while on the other you preach hard socialism and in the process misuse public sympathy, without shame.

It is the existence of such reasonably powerful pressure groups and individuals (only powerful because society has allowed it) that we are literally having to begin afresh every so often, all in the name “the people of Zambia”.

How can you arrive in Chipata if every time you get to Nyimba, Katete or Petauke, you make a well thought out decision that since you have forgotten a spanner in Lusaka, you must come back to collect it and the circus goes on and  never stops.  Because Dr Kenneth Kaunda’s Administration was found with many challenges induced by the masters of the game, we kicked him out and everything that he stood for.  But, we lamentably failed to dismantle the One Party architecture. We have the same Legal framework, same Parliament, same Judiciary and the same Executive, all with notable modifications, occasioned by individual charm and character.

Zambia was colonized by the British fifty years ago and/but the effect of British colonial rule is still felt. My view is that this is water under the bridge. Nothing more and nothing less.

Japan was destroyed by the atomic bomb and has risen to be the third largest economy in the world. German was destroyed during the Second World War but has risen to be Europe’s economic anchor and giant.

Here near home, Rwanda was bleeding twenty years ago but does appear to be on the mend, in a very strong and impressive manner. Apartheid South Africa is a shadow of the current democratic and progressive South Africa. Namibia and Botwana are bubling with growth and we all know what happened to Zimbabwe.

First, there was talk of regime change then, talk of policy change and the rest is history. As usual posterity will pass its verdict!

What is the lesson? Patriotism. One Zambia One Nation (OZON) motto, in word and deed. In this respect, extremists of any description cannot help our struggle for a Smart Zambia.

No unpatriotic groupings, no ethnicity driven programs and utterances. Nothing, but Zambia, because together, we win!

Now, as a result of problematic bearings, some pundits have wrongly argued that we need strife in order to get things right. I do not agree with this irresponsible view point because there are far too many success stories without strife.

What we need is to interrogate certain happenings, pronouncements, engagements, commit to divine power and keep our eyes on the ball. What is the ball? A Smart Zambia! I have heard cheap and irresponsible arguments that yes, you can build roads but roads cannot be eaten. I thought this is common sense. Who constructs a road with a view to eat it? I have never ever heard any such.

At least I have a heard a former Cabinet Minister trying to discredit a decision he was part and parcel of. This is totally unacceptable and is part of political corruption which requires a patriotic posture, to repel, because, it must be repelled. I wonder what happens to the oath that is administered.

How can your Minister, our Minister, who once flew the Zambian flag have the cheek and audacity to denounce government programs? This is treason of the highest order and requires action and intervention from the powers that be.

I have argued before and I am available for any argument, because I here submit that no right, whatsoever and howsoever done, is absolute. If you know of one, please inbox me and I apologize in advance for such a serious omission; if at all.

On the subject of patriotism, here is what President Obama said recently. I only refer to President Obama because many want to be like him and he was saying this on the African soil in Kenya recently.

Read on “ ..Hoping your President fails is the same as hoping your country fails, and its NOT patriotism. Patriotism is supporting your Commander in Chief, even if you don’t agree with him on everything.”

I want to take this statement further. It is unpatriotic and a terrible miscalculation for any leader, to seek to gain political mileage at the expense of a Smart Zambia.

It is never what you say but how you say what you want to say and in what context.  Washing dirty linen in public is never good. Neither is taking advantage of the democratic space and immunity granted to Parliamentarians.

What normally happens in forcing countries such as Zambia to start afresh is identifying local business people who can spearhead dissent. Their task is to create mayhem, to create chaos using legitimate means.

Many will recall that once, decades ago, unrest, was associated with foreign aid conditionality, which saw mega food riots.  Zambia had a dose of food riots in 1987 and there have been many attempts of other forms of disruptions couched in legitimate demands.

Do you want to be part of making Zambia ungovernable? Do you want to be part of a machinery which is churning out lies and propaganda? Or indeed, fermenting political unrest, as was the case when the house of Vice President Wina, was attacked?

One of the reasons why rebels abduct children to be trained as child soldiers is precisely the aspect of conditioning another human being to act so recklessly against another. Children, can buy literally anything!

Your right ends where my right begins. Some will argue that the Constitution is superior over other laws. There is no quarrel about that.

The existence of specific rights as it were cannot and is not the same thing as making way for the rule by law, contrasted with the rule of law, which governs Zambia.

Many will recall the incident or time when an Acting President ordered one authority that a piece of land be given to government, when such is under  the delegated legal mandate of the Commissioner of Lands. Many will also recall the challenge of Judges over a defective tribunal meant to advance termination.

Whatever happened to that tribunal is history; the point being that in furtherance of the rule of law and not rule by law, procedure is critical. That is what rightfully falls under the ambit of administrative law and all Lawyers and Administrators must know this basic fact.

So damning are lies such that no patriotic citizen would wish to be part of fiction. For avoidance of any doubt, I condemn any act of sabotage to the Zambian menu of values, notwithstanding, who is involved.

I stand proudly, as somebody who has cooperated with government on governance issues as documented in our various campaigns, which include landmark judgments, in the context of public interest litigation for law reform.

We documented abuses not for political spinning but as a human rights campaign upon which many would rely and thereby contribute towards the governance terrain.  It is this aspect of credibility, that made it very difficult for us to manifestly go to bed with any political party, whether in government or not. Times may have changed but not the basic principles of advocacy and engagement.

As always, I thank you for your educative comments.

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