Our homeland is quickly drifting into anarchy and disorder. Our police service is being abused with officers ordered to shoot at and kill people that they are supposed to be protecting; the judiciary and other related institutions are, through selective promotions and subtle coercion, systematically compromised; corruption has become pervasive in key government ministries with the finance ministry taking the lead; PF party cadres and functionaries have become the law and demigods holding the entire country at ransom. The list of these atrocities is endless.
The worst aspect of this development is that state institutions and agencies are at the forefront of this decay – they are facilitating, abetting and many times collectively behaving in a way that is highly destructive. The damage caused is therefore huge and in some cases irreparable. We find ourselves on the same path countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo (then Zaire), Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia and the Central African Republic found themselves at a certain time of they history. The end result is highly predictable.
The masses of our people are experiencing and sensing this calamity. Over the past week that I have been on the Copperbelt, our people in the rural and urban areas of this province have explicitly expressed their anger with failed and compromised state institutions. They are dismayed with the poor quality services they are getting from local government authorities. They talked about Zambia’s successive political leadership having failed and betrayed them. More than in any other province, the people on the Copperbelt feel they are worse off today than three decades ago! This is not the Zambia of their dreams. It cannot be the Zambia of their future. In short, we are dealing with angry and disillusioned masses.
The combination of a failing state and disillusioned masses is highly explosive. It will require just a simple spark to send the country into a spiral of unstoppable violence and anarchy. Zambia will never be the same after that. This country’s elite will run away and enjoy comfortable lives in their villas abroad. It is the masses of the people that will be left behind fighting and killing each other. The ruling elite never fights its wars; it incites and sends the poor masses to fight on its behalf. And at the pace we are moving, this is bound to happen in Zambia.
Can we stop this calamity? I think there is still some chance – though it is dwindling by the day. The first step will be to vote out the current government from power on the 11th August this year. The second step will be to intensively work towards rebuilding our state institutions and bringing in sanity. This takes some 10 to 15 years. And third, instil and actualise the socialist values of equity, honesty, humility and solidarity in the economic, social, political and cultural transformation of our homeland. It is a mammoth task but doable and it MUST be done. It is the only hope for our survival as a nation.