Still working in cotton fields

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By Hope Nyambe

I travel up and down this country, and most of the things I see, experience make me wallow in both pity and disgust with the state of this country. I have the answers to the so many questions I ask, and I am sure I am not the only one. The only answer I need now is why do we continue to wallow in this cataclysmic enslavement of poverty, debauchery and pure savagery?

My motherland is endowed with vast natural resources which by most comparisons make us far much wealthier than countries we refer to as developed countries. And yet our existence is so disorganized, shambolic and near barbaric. I ask myself, are there fundamental differences in our way of thinking, in our way of doing things with folk in the developed countries??

The fundamental answer is YES. Our scope of thinking is usually based on the premise of NOW.R egardless of how important a decision is, and its future ramifications, decision making is usually based on the immediate benefits as opposed to the long term effects or consequences. That explains to a great extent why even after 54 years of independence, it is hard to out rightly say that we are free economically or politically.

It is common knowledge that all major industries and companies which should be the bedrock of any economy are foreign owned and controlled.

Rampant allegation of tax evasion and externalization of profits from these same companies is rife. Private sector Zambian owned businesses occupy a miniature scale in the economy, whose influence remains very insignificant. It doesn’t stop there, what seems to be left of our industries is now up for the loot by new Chinese investment. Many have expressed reservations at Chinese investment and it future repercussions.

Politically, we are the regions referral to the concept of democracy. A democracy achieved without a drop of blood we are told. Yet, a forensic examination reveals a far sinister democratic dispensation. All ruling political regimes have displayed one trait in particular, the failure to adhere to the rule of law.

The law is simply for those outside the corridors of power. Unalienable rights such as the freedom of speech and movement are the preserve of the ruling elite. How many times have we heard of interest groups being denied permits to hold rallies or meetings, and yet cadres from the ruling elite can talk and walk at any time without any police permit. If anything, the police are conditioned not to uphold the rule of law against the ruling elite. We can hardly say we are politically free when political freedom is the preserve of the ruling glass.

It’s easy to bask in adulation of our alleged political and economy freedom, and yet in introspect, were are just an advanced species of the 18th Century slave. Still enslaved by foreign interest that economically and politically dictate our destiny. They might have given us 40 acres and a mule (resemblance of independence), but in reality, we are still picking cotton in the field.


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