Mon, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000

By Ngande Mwanajiti

Last week, I talked about political and economic charlatans. They exist in abundance and seek relevance in many ways. In this edition, I shall seek, by implication to demonstrate how these charlatans are not only a liability but a danger as carriers of distorted information.

On 24th October this year, Zambia will be 54 years. The country is moving towards maturity and cannot afford the presence of charlatans and pretenders.

In the 54 years of our existence, we have had big achievements and big disappointments. For both Zambians – individually and collectively have a major choice. For instance, about two years ago, Zambians by choice collectively rejected a Cartel agenda which was clothed in a sheep’s skin. Not much has changed. Zambia Vs Cartel!

In the same way that we kept our eyes on the ball and thanks to our forefathers, who fought for independence; the same Zambians, their descendants/children, correctly informed, cannot bring back subjugation, unless error is allowed to permeate our society.

A few weeks ago, President Edgar C. Lungu embarked on a herculean task of ridding this country of the disgraceful cholera disease. The outbreak was real and so was the response from the Ministry of Health as supported by other government agencies.

I appreciate the calls by some that the Soldiers must go back to the barracks. Yes they will, but in my view only after the job has been done! Now, this is where I would like to appeal for truthfulness.

Are Zambians happy that our own government is accused of so many negative vices by no other than former Ministers? GRZ, effectively brought about normalcy by arresting the cholera outbreak, so that life can continue as we know it!   Are we not proud of the fact that the men and women in Uniform or/and, if you will, Soldiers, did a great job of cleaning up the dirty in Lusaka and other parts of the country? Is this not effective use of Tax Payers money?

Yes, things do go awfully wrong. This is where we need a balance in pretty much the same way that a coin has two sides. It is just unreasonable and grossly unfair for anybody, repeated anybody, to say, insinuate, suggest argue and propose that nothing is happening in Zambia! Just how?

On a balance of probability, I have never supported the Cartel because of its destructive agenda. But there are good things; it does. But those good things are neither supportive of the Zambian spirit nor public policy. Therein lies the danger of its machinations and agenda of doom.

Just in the same way, prostitutes do well for themselves and their immediate family but never for the rest of society! Their vocation offends public policy in as far as morality is concerned.

We all know about the campaign “Proudly Zambian”. For me the campaign makes sense and I support it in the same way that I wish for a Smart Zambia.

Someone must make me understand. We want a Smart Zambia – a Zambia whose GDP should increase, but we do not want to improve or build the necessary infrastructure that supports a Smart Zambia!

The debate about the confirmed coming back of Zambia Airways is apt. Some individuals are saying no, it is bad timing etc.

Well, good or bad timing, the initiative fits in very well with enhanced tourism, job creation, saving on foreign exchange, maintenance of security etc, as well as the industrialization agenda that all political parties have talked about.

Why then are we so negative about literally every government initiative? Is it a case of the Patriotic Front (PF) government thrust Vs an unknown ghost entity? If that be the case, I wonder then why we should reduce government operations or programs to shadow boxing. Dealing with invisible entities! Nay, we should not do this to ourselves.

By the standards of the United Nations and key bilateral countries such as the United States of America and France, our men and women in Uniform (Soldiers and Police) have been commended for great works. Why are Zambians not proud about this very important exploit?

Shortly after independence, Zambia had no choice but to get involved in liberating other countries in Southern Africa. All around Zambia, except on the Tanzanian front, there was instability and hostility.

Yet, with all the challenges, the Zambian government stood firm and kept the eyes of progress on the ball. South Africa, were all roads lead, is now free and because of our divided attitude and double standards, our great work in liberating Southern Africa, have not been stamped.

Come on, let’s for once be proud of our Zambian character and be the people that we want to be.

I was shocked to hear comparisons being made between elections in Zambia and those in Kenya. Friends, I know desperations attract(s) a lot of emotions but I can tell you that there is no basis for the comparison we hear.

Nobody has ever heard United States of America (USA) citizens raise crippling issues after the fact in the election of President George W Bush. In one of the states the election was a disaster but controversy notwithstanding, the American citizens, through their very strong institutions chatted a way forward and the rest is history.

In the very last election in the USA many issues were raised but those issues have not stood in the way of governance of the United States of America. If anything the losing candidate, Mrs. H. Clinton even attended the inauguration of her opponent, now President Donald Trump.

It is the choices that we make! In pretty much the same way I argued last week, we cannot allow charlatans to dictate what is good for our country.

At this juncture and without mentioning names, I wish to commend some men and women in the media who have stood firm on the side of fairness and objectivity during talk shows. That is what the media is all about. To be three dimensional – educate, inform and entertain. There is no reason, whatsoever to serve any other agenda as we know of a few.

In fact what these men and women in the media have done is to clearly demonstrate that they are far from being charlatans. I have heard several give advice to their callers to stick to the topic and I have heard some presenters making it absolutely clear that callers should be civil. That is the way to go.

We must however address the negative postures that dominate most submissions by callers, who you would mistake for non-Zambians/ rebels. Callers decide to distort truth and submit arguments which constitute opinions of destruction. They only amplify falsehoods and distort facts, with intent to making government.

I want it to be known that when I was active in human rights work, I did not only criticize/condemn the government of Dr. FJT Chiluba. I made concrete contributions/suggestions, which are visible and traceable to date.

There was an instance of police brutality which we investigated and brought the results to the attention of authorities. Action was taken and the matter ended up in a Win-Win situation.

I only mention this fact to counter the several claims of corruption which corrupt accusations have not met the basics of civil engagement. How can a whole Minister scream corruption, yet fail to provide the Anti Corruption Commission with the so called dossier and evidence of corruption?

Two things are possible: One, just making a wild political statement about corruption in order to gain political mileage and Two, there is information and evidence about corruption, in which case they should assist any prosecution rather than pointing accusing fingers.

The third and stand alone area, where information will be difficult to get, is where investigative wings have done their work and make recommendations to the Head of State. My view is that were such is conclusive as verified, action must be the only expected outcome.

As I said earlier, charlatans will be many and fed by well oiled machines of deception. Take the example of a Minister who resigns after they have taken oath to be loyal to the constitution and the appointing authority: I am at a loss why the law enforcers only want to act after great national hemorrhage. The laws are clear!

For record (and there are many in this category), many who later supported President Edgar C. Lungu actually opposed him as a candidate. That is how I measure the democratic credentials of President Edgar C. Lungu. He gave room and accommodated those who despised and mocked him – emphasizing his belief in being a President for all. What else do we want? Do we want a blood thirsty dictator as a President? Is this why some known people opposed and campaigned against an improved and enhanced Bill of Rights? (It looks like it was partisan politics at play).

I am making a submission that we have so many good things going for us yet, for whatever reason; we have elected to be so negative and basically irresponsible.

Yes, it is a democratic right to be irresponsible but as a country we are governed by laws. The rule of law!

Friends, let’s celebrate success.

See you next week.

 Comments: ngandem12@gmail.com  Mobiles/SMS 0955776191 and 0977776191 

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