Headline Matters: Nothing

There are days like today, March 17, when I feel like doing and saying Nothing. After all, whether I do or say something, Nothing happens. I simply have no power in this territory!

I surmise that’s how most of us feel today. One might have been feeling so yesterday and others may feel so tomorrow. There is Nothing to worry about; we are Zambians. I have no obsession for meandering topics, I must say. So, don’t convict me for making you read this article full of Nothing. Read on, nonetheless!

In Zambia, obviously like everywhere else, people dedicatedly comment on matters of public and national concern. In our adopted hackneyed word, Zambians CONDEMN bad conduct. That’s very good! If you are in a position of authority, especially elective, you are ‘restrained’ from acting illegitimately for fear of being condemned by ‘patriotic’ Zambians. Here, criminality is STRONGLY CONDEMNED and thereafter the criminal is clean. Nothing follows you! Maybe our memory is not like that of an elephant!

When one inflates public procurements, for instance, they know it’s illegal and it can result into their jailing – under an ideal political environment. But they are comforted by the fact that, apart from being condemned by ‘patriots,’ Nothing more will happen. Criminality is equal to condemnation here! But only a small portion of this country’s population will shake for being condemned. If anything, what is condemnation compared to the millions of dollars, public money, that someone walked away with for those 42 fire engines whose aggregate total was ridiculously US$42 million? There was condemnation but Nothing happened! A lot more illegalities have happened and expectedly, Nothing has happened.

Without necessarily pricking anyone’s emotions and while attaching due respect to life, I can remind you that we did Nothing when a life of some young lady was lost, at the hands of a subjective police in 2016. Here, political attachment determines how worthwhile your life is! If you are attached to those who ‘will never rule,’ you will be abused in any way and Nothing will happen. Conversely, if you are well connected to those ruling, the only issue to worry about is whether you will enter heaven. Otherwise, the rest of stuff under the sun, in Zambia, is guaranteed to you, legally or illegally. There is only fleeting condemnation to fear, Nothing else, thereafter.

Here, maybe currently, you can “steal” and build any kind of imposing flats, lodges, casinos, shopping malls, start up highly mechanised farms, within a month, and be the most opulent from Chililabombwe to Livingstone, from Chipata to Sikongo, from Kazungula to Nakonde. There is only one thing to fear; being condemned. Beyond that, Nothing else and you will be celebrated and the initials of your name will be emblazoned on one or two materials. Illegality walks hand in hand with Nothing, insofar as response from citizens!

There is no reservation that we are a ‘good’ people, so ‘good’ that we cheer corruption and decency. If one can recollect, there was a haughty defiler in this country who received considerable amount of public condemnation. But while we were still gnashing teeth to condemn him more, the citadel of political power insulated him and he is safer than me today. In short, Nothing happened to him. What’s wrong in this country? I hope the answer is not Nothing. If it was possible and logical, this country should have been ‘closed for renovations.’ We can all go to neighbouring countries until the renovations are done!

Then we have a Republican Constitution whose significance is Nothing but a joke. On January 5, 2016, Act No. 2 of 2016 was assented to by the infallible His Excellency and ‘almighty’ superman of our land, ba Kateka. Three years down the line, this “AMENDED” Constitution, which for political reasons “others” refer to as the new Constitution, is subject to another amendment. Why? Because it means Nothing to a normal human being. Even the amended one that will come out of the one amended in 2016 will mean Nothing. There is Nothing in this country!
Don’t forget that the topic of national dialogue is a Nothing, for now. Pledges of combating corruption mean Nothing. Even assuring that Zambia is food secure is Nothing but an executive lie. There will be severe hunger because there will be Nothing to eat; it may not be you to feel it. But let’s all wait and see! I’m not being a prophet of doom, like those in the corridors of power like to call anyone who pinpoints their shortcomings.
It’s 14 days since Prime TV was shut down by the ‘Independent’ Broadcasting Authority on March 4. I don’t know whether to laugh or not! Independent? How can an institution that doesn’t even have offices of its own be independent? Independent from who? There is Nothing here! Various voices have condemned the 30-day long ‘closure’ of Prime TV and indeed the suspension of the broadcasting licence for Valley FM radio of Nyimba district. What has happened so far? Nothing! I would have written about the other tragic issue that will end in Nothing but it’s in court. Lol! If you think about The Post newspaper that was closed by the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) on June 21, 2016, you will fail to understand that Nothing happened.

Before I stop, I’m thinking of constituting a team of some crooked minds that will be fixing football matches in my name. Don’t worry, guys. Nothing will happen to you. But once caught, be ready to be condemned by Zambians for two or three weeks. After that, we will be in big money and Nothing will stop us from going for holiday in Kuala Lumpur or wherever!

We are where we are because most Zambians have an attitude I have described in the first paragraph. I can go on and on lamenting but I’m wasting time and newspaper space; Nothing will happen or change. There is Nothing I’m saying, after all.

#We need to do something, together; too much of Nothing.

The next version of Headline Matters will be on Sunday.
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