Ackson Sejani says the waging of a second liberation struggle is an “inescapable reality” for Zambia. We agree.
Economic freedom cannot be sacrificed if political freedom is to be preserved.
Sejani says that 54 years after gaining its political independence, Zambia has not yet attained economic “uhuru”.
“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? Where is the love of mother Zambia?” wonders Sejani.
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 supermarkets 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 unity for you to prosper. Well I felt schooled and I’m 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.”
Noam Chomsky wrote: “Why should workers agree to be slaves in a basically authoritarian structure? They should have control over it themselves. Why shouldn’t communities have a dominant voice in running the institutions that affect their lives?”
For the millions of working families who are the backbone of this country, this economy isn’t working. These families are working harder than ever, but they can’t get ahead. Opportunity is slipping away. Many feel like the game is rigged against them – and they are right. The game is rigged against them.
If we get a government that reflects more of what this country is really about, we can turn the economy around.
An honest study of what principles under-laid peace and prosperity will conclude that the only way to achieve societal well-being was through a system of economic freedom.
Expanding economic freedom should be the North Star – the guiding light – of our government policies because it is the best way to achieve sustained and broad-based prosperity for all.
Lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic growth… these are one and the same fight. We must connect the dots between water scarcity, energy shortages, global health, food security and women’s empowerment. Solutions to one problem must be solutions for all.
We do need a new economy, but one that is founded on thrift and care, on saving and conserving, not on corruption, excess and waste. An economy based on corruption and waste is inherently and hopelessly violent, and social and political conflict is its inevitable by-product. We need a peaceable economy.