The problem is Lungu, not his ministers

Meeting traditional leaders in Mwense last Saturday, Edgar Lungu told them he would consider ‘changing his friends’ in Cabinet because they had continued failing to explain to the public the causes and solutions to stalled infrastructure projects.

“If ministers fail to explain to the people why projects have stalled and what we are doing about it, ‘nicinjeni abanandi’,” he said.

Edgar said failure to timely share information with stakeholders would result in the people voting the party out of government.

“I will make sure you go before I go,” Edgar warned his ministers.

Frantz Fanon said, “Everything can be explained to the people, on the single condition that you want them to understand…Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalise, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief.

The unpreparedness of the educated classes, the lack of practical links between them and the mass of the people, their laziness, and, let it be said, their cowardice at the decisive moment of the struggle will give rise to tragic mishaps…

Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill it, or betray it…

They realise at last that change does not mean reform, that change does not mean improvement.

To educate the masses politically does not mean, cannot mean, making a political speech. What it means is to try, relentlessly and passionately, to teach the masses that everything depends on them; that if we stagnate it is their responsibility, and that if we go forward it is due to them too, that there is no such thing as a demiurge, that there is no famous man who will take the responsibility for everything, but that the demiurge is the people themselves and the magic hands are finally only the hands of the people. A government or a party gets the people it deserves and sooner or later a people gets the government it deserves.”

Amilcar Cabral taught us to always remember that the people are not fighting for ideas, nor for what is in men’s minds. The people fight and accept the sacrifices demanded by the struggle in order to gain material advantages, to live better and in peace, to benefit from progress, and for the better future of their children. The so-called development projects are hollow words devoid of any significance unless they can be translated into a real improvement of living conditions.

These corrupt projects of Edgar hide a lot of truths and because of that they are not easy to explain. Again, Cabral told us: “Hide nothing from the masses of our people… Tell no lies. Expose lies whenever they are told. Mask no difficulties, mistakes, failures. Claim no easy victories…”

Edgar’s projects are nothing but conduits for stealing public funds. They are not changing our people’s lives in any meaningful way. If they did, no one would need to explain them; it would the people themselves explaining how their lives have changed, improved.

Edgar’s ministers are not all that dull. The problem is not with them but with him. He is trying to make them explain what cannot be positively explained.

It will not help Edgar much to change his ministers. The problem is not his ministers; it is himself. The person who must be changed first is Edgar himself. He is a failure, the worst president Zambia has ever had and must go. Some of his ministers are far better than him. What has Edgar got to offer? Dancing! Threats of crushing his opponents like a tonne of bricks! Intolerance and cruelty? Corruption? Abusing the police and other law enforcement agencies? Compromising the independence of the judiciary? Drinking?

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