Editorial comment of Wednesday 08/03/2017: Zambia at the crossroads

We are at the crossroads as a nation, as a people. But being at the crossroads does not necessarily mean we should despair. Being at the crossroads means we have reached a point where we have to make a choice about where we want to go, which direction we must take – we must choose a route.

There is a lot happening in our country right now that brings us to a point where choices must be made about our present and future. There is a clear failure of leadership on the part of those governing our country. The country is being destroyed in every way – economically, socially, politically and otherwise. But all of us individually and collectively have to take responsibility for the situation our country finds itself in today. If we do not like what is happening today, we should hope for a better tomorrow because the future is not built in the future; it is built on the threshold of what we do today, on the decisions and actions we take today.

Today, we have allowed a very brutal and extremely corrupt regime to take charge of our present and our future. What can we honestly expect from this regime? This regime has clearly failed to give us a present we desire and can be proud of. Is this a regime whose decisions and actions we can expect a better future from?

While those in charge of government affairs are getting rich by the day, the great majority of our people are becoming more and more impoverished. Zambia is today among the most unequal countries in the world. The top 10 per cent of Zambians receive 52 per cent of all income, while the bottom 60 per cent of the 16. 2 million population gets just 12 per cent.

We have reached a point were Martin Luther King Jnr advised: “I want to ask you a question, and that is: What is in your life’s blueprint? This is a most important and crucial period of your lives for what you do now and what you decide now at this age may well determine which way your life shall go. And the question is whether you have a proper, a solid and a sound blueprint. I want to suggest some of the things that should be in your life’s blueprint. Number one in your life’s blueprint should be a deep belief in your own dignity, your own worth and your own somebodiness. Don’t allow anybody to make you feel that you are nobody. Always feel that you count. Always feel that you have worth, and always feel that your life has ultimate significance…Secondly in your life’s blueprint, you must have, as a basic principle, the determination to achieve excellence in your various fields of endeavor. You’re going to be deciding as the days and the years unfold what you will do in life – what your life’s work will be. And once you discover what it will be, set out to do it, and to do it well. Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be the sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or you fail. Be the best of whatever you are… And finally, in your life’s blueprint must be a commitment to the eternal principles of beauty, love and justice. Don’t allow anybody to pull you so low as to make you hate them. Don’t allow anybody to cause you to lose your self-respect to the point that you do not struggle for justice…Let us keep going toward the goal of self-hood, to the realisation of the dream of brotherhood and toward the realization of the dream of understanding goodwill. We must keep moving, we must keep going. If you can’t fly, run. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, crawl. But by all means, keep moving.”

It is said that the snake that cannot cast its skin has to die. As well as the minds, which are perverted from changing their opinions, they cease to be mind. Friedrich Nietzsche once advised, “No one can construct for you the bridge upon which precisely you must cross the stream of life, no one but you yourself alone.”

The truth is our country is in trouble. And its main problem is leadership. Some people may not want to hear this. But sometimes, people do not want to hear the truth because they do not want their illusions destroyed. They say to live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.

It will be impossible for this regime to improve things in any way. Things will get worse and worse in every sense. This is not leadership for a country, this is banditry.



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