Post-election lessons: Let’s learn to archive events

Filed under: Politics,Special Comments |

By Joe Mwansa Lombe Kaluba

Those who have studied Roman or British political history you will agree with me that our friend’s politics can be traced to many years ago. This in turn serves as a reference for anything that might happen or that is happening in modern politics.

The British, the Romans and the Greek among others believed in achieving their work and the happenings in their Kingdoms, Republics or Empires. This in turn even today as I highlighted above serves as reference and more importantly helps those doing research in these fields. I also think this helps to prevent election or any political related misunderstanding and conflicts. Art comes in movies and song done. This only happens when we have a solid reference.

In August we had elections which in my opinion exposed a lot of things about us as a country. We claim to be united but yet divided due to political affiliation. We claim to be peaceful yet the election aftermath has shown that most of us just hide in the name peace. We claim to speak one Zambian “Language” yet the elections have shown that we don’t and the aftermath has shown that we are either hypocritical or judgemental.

All these sentiments were brought out because we don’t learn and we don’t archive our political happenings. We believe in the “Fikaisova” (let it come it will take care of itself) syndrome. I think this is not healthy for our politics, our democratic consolidation, our peace and more importantly for our coexistence.

I have argued in most of my writings and opinions that this peace we so claim to have requires a lot of work and that work should start from taking reference to/in past events and happenings. No one will tell me that this is the first time we are talking about tribal issues after elections. No one will tell me that this is the first time we are talking about or accusing a given group of people for voting the way they chose to.

Every other election especially when it is involving voting for the President the issue comes up. My question is why? The reason is very simple. It is the Fikaisova kind of thinking. There is either little interest from political or developmental players in looking at ways of understanding the different attributes related to this cause.

I know President Edgar Lungu has appointed a commission to look into this matter. But believe we can appoint as many commissions and committees but as long as we don’t learn from these reports or the past we will be just chasing the wind. President Lungu and his government can not do this alone.

Government, political parties, Civil Society Organisations(CSOs),Faith Based Organisations(FBOs), professional bodies, students, the media and other interest groups should take keen interest in investing in research on matters like what is happening now. Let us not just write reports but also publish real issues that might prevent or rather threaten our peace. Doing this starts from stopping to sugar-coat things. Though I caution how we approach things we should call a spade a spade. If something happens we call it by its name.

I think it is not fair to claim that people for voted how they did without understanding their culture or their voting history. It is not fair also to justify a way of voting without any reference or intelligent reason. Both elements do not hold water.

Politicians will always take advantage of voters and voters will always remain blank and victims if nor proper research and archiving is conducted. To fill that blank or remove the dilemma CSOs should come in to help. Political parties should have a research desk to help them plan and counter certain elements. Academicians should take keen interest too. Politicians should take responsibility and as citizens we should be vigilant and seek to do our part. I can’t over state this. Keeping records is the most important thing to do in all sectors.

For example if I went to our universities both private and public I don’t know if I will find any publication highlighting a given political pattern or way of voting. Another example though not political in nature is the Sondashi HIV/AIDS Formula it just came and went with the water. What about the Clive Chirwa underground project. The Enoch Kavindele North Western Railway project. We can never develop in some sectors in any way if we don’t have or know where to pick up from.

As I said I also think that as a people we should also take keen interest in some of these elements. Some of us know more about other people or countries than we know about our individual or national lives or happenings. If we have to say something ours is to just criticise our own country or communities.

Today some groups of people feel like victims maybe because they are selfish or maybe they feel not protected. Today other groups of people feel like others have betrayed other Zambians maybe because they don’t understand the reasons behind this or maybe they are right. We can only find these answers if we invest in research. We don’t need popcorn type of doing things. Order and selflessness in what we do is key.

You can only find the cure if only you understand the attributes of the “problem” to be cured. You can only understand that by researching and archiving findings as you seek to find the remedy and prevent future predicaments.

As Zambians we long for not only physical peace but also that mental peace. Thinking that the other person thinks of me differently due to my political affiliation or my tribe then we have a big problem in front of us. We can not say we are One Zambia One Nation if we mix politics, religion, tribe, sex or race. If that happens we have to find out why this is so and archive it for future reference.

The author is a PhD candidate-Political, Gender and Transnational Studies at the International Postgraduate Centre (IPC), Faculty of Social Sciences at Goethe University Frankfurt


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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31