Under the Patriotic Front Zambia is losing its values and aspirations

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There are three important questions that Zambians need to ask themselves, that is, where we are coming from, where are we going and where we ought to be. The answers to remind us what we’ve learnt from history, our patriotism and the aspiration for our country. A country UNIP united with the “One Zambia, One Nation” motto. A country the MMD opened up to multiparty democracy and private enterprise. With this background what country have we become and what are going to leave behind for our children?

There is no doubt that we’ve made mistakes, but as a progressive society we have corrected some of them, sometimes with a bitter pill. KK defeated the economic injustice of colonisation with evenly spread development. MMD squashed one-party state and pioneered multiparty democracy. Mwanawasa fought depravation by fighting corruption. A progressive society does not submit to wrong things, it makes corrections in order to have a better future. That is why the narrative of “let’s move on” is useless if we carry along the same mistakes or don’t uphold our values and disregard our national interests. We can’t carry along garbage like tribalism, lawlessness and violence for the sake of moving on.

The national deterioration is apparently happening on all fronts especially the in executive, independent institutions and the judiciary. We are returning to the rife corruption, just by the way ACC and DEC have ignored about 600 cases reported by the Financial Intelligence Centre. We are going towards a one party state by shrinking the political space for the opposition, civil society and independent media. The tribalism that our intermarried society has diffused, is being systematically introduced through discriminatory political appointments, an unbalanced cabinet and a selective development agenda. To claim we are progressive is far-fetched.

Our reaction to these blatant or subtle indicators of division and corruption has been unsurprisingly docile. Somehow Zambians are just folding their arms to the clear absence of accountability or rule of law. People holding influential, independent and protected constitutional positions are either cowards or connected to the PF. Why can’t we hear from the Chief Justice regarding the continued disregard of court orders? Why can’t the ACC Director General explain to Zambian why corruption prosecutions are now scarce? Why is a Finance minister so weak that he can even be hounded out by hooligan PF cadres? Why is the DPP made to look stupid in court with embarrassing charges? Why is the ECZ not enforcing the electoral code at critical moments? Why do all these officials and institutions with clear constitutional safe guard prioritising PF survival over national progress?

The Zambian are also guilty of double standards and short memory. We label others tribal and deny our own biases. We label others bitter but forget to demand answers for ourselves. We have forgotten the warnings to the current government about having no plan and borrowing carelessly. We have forgotten how the PF used to complain about the public order act they are currently abusing. We have forgotten, mostly because it is just convenient for the political party of our choice.

The other problem we have is an impotent president who refuses to accept his responsibilities. The Zambian presidency is so powerful to end violence, speed up corruption investigations as proven by Mwanawasa. Unfortunately, Lungu only applies this authority serve his personal political interests and dodges everything else in the name of none-interference. If there’s anything Zambia have learnt from Lungu is his shameless hypocrisy. A person who has shown us a glimpse of his inner cruelty by the way he treats his political opponents and somehow Zambia ignore this truth for political convenience.

The moral fibre of this country now has strands of hypocrisy, arrogance, violence and diminished religious leadership. We know that there are people helpless in hospitals but we continue for dance politicians. We know there’s deliberately delayed justice for selected Zambians but scream there is rule of law. Disobedience towards court orders and ignoring qualified auditor general reports is new normal. The major danger right now for Zambians is our own lack of sincerity. Truth is not embraced even when it is in black and white. Somehow we are cowards who have to look over our shoulders and whisper the truth. We have suppressed our values and aspirations and are obsessed with political affiliation. The enemies are the people who pointing out PF mistakes. There’s now a notion that the losers are those who lose lections and not the unemployed or the under-treated patients. In other words, some Zambians have become in love with their political parties more than their country.

What are future generations thinking about the current leadership? An ever increasing external debt of $9.3 billion, an economy with limited opportunities, a constitution which is being abrogated and still under surgery, a government with credibility to comply with its own laws. Is this the hope PF is providing for youth? In the words of HH, “Zambia is a rich country but with poor citizens” which means leader should be more resourceful than dependent on borrowing or charity. The usual word of Lungu asking the nation to maintain a moral fibre at the core of having an honest and accountable leadership than what is prevailing. There is no need for people to have cognitive dissonance because it is okay for a person to support PF but criticise corruption because the Bible warns in Proverbs Proverbs 29:24 – The partner of a thief hates his own life; he hears the curse, but discloses nothing.

Richard W

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