ACKSON Sejani says the waging of the second liberation struggle is an “inescapable reality” for Zambia.
A onetime local government minister in Frederick Chiluba’s administration, Sejani observed that 54 years after gaining its political independence, Zambia had not yet attained economic “uhuru.”
He asked of what use political independence was for if the economy was still in foreign hands.
“Inevitably the waging of the second liberation struggle becomes an inescapable reality. Coming to the current situation in Zambia, one is forced to ask ‘why is it that under a supposedly ‘Patriotic’ Front government we seem to have slid backwards into neo-colonialism with the Chinese having a field day worming their way to the heart of our economy?’ Where is the love of mother Zambia?” Sejani, a former Mapatizya member of parliament, wondered.
He further asked who in a society,determined who got what, when and why.
“In other words, who is in charge of politics in that society? The one in charge will be answerable to many of the questions above,” Sejani noted.
He added that if banks, prime land, commanding heights of the economy and other factors of production were in foreign hands, the politician had some explanation to do.
“Even the type of curriculum being followed in the country, the politician has some explaining to do. [An] education system that doesn’t produce inventors and other skilled people, who creates it? Having posed these questions, the worth of an individual is a triple heritage, in my opinion,” said Sejani.
“A person’s worth is determined by birth and upbringing, education and orientation, the political environment they are operating in. How enabling is this environment? What sort of policies are being pursued?”
Sejani’s comments are a reaction to an anonymous Zambian who posted under 2WICE, on WhatsApp, the following: What is our worth as Zambians?
“I spent part of my afternoon interacting with an Indian friend. We were discussing some business ideas and somehow she managed to make me think deeply about our worth as a country.
She asked me rhetorical but fundamentally challenging questions. 1. Which bank in Zambia is owned 100% by Zambians? 2. Which of the big super markets belong to Zambians? 3. Who controls the mines? 4. Who are the largest commercial farmers in Zambia? 6. Who owns the telecommunications companies? 7. Which curriculum do you use in your schools?
8. Do you manufacture any medicines and if you do, do you own those companies? 9. Who is in charge of all the prime land? 10. Do you have a national agenda and if you do, what’s your national agenda?” he said.
“These were too many questions for me to answer and she told me she did not need answers but just wanted me to think about it. She went further to tell me that if you can’t control capital and the means of production, the only thing you can be is labour. If you can’t own land and have titles to it, you are squatters. If you can’t control the financial sector then you are simply pawns in the financial scheme of things and that’s why money is so expensive in this country. Last but not least, you need to have national pride and unit for you to prosper. Well I felt schooled and am still contemplating as to whether we understand our worth as a people. This is not new to me but it felt new coming from a foreign national who has been in the country only for a short period.”