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Zambia is still in bondage from outside forces – Siamunene

FORMER defence minister Richwell Siamunene says Zambia is still in bondage from outside forces because she lacks a proper definition of her own national belief, values and attitudes.

Siamunene also says democracy in Zambia has only exposed enmity within citizens in the communities because it was an external concept that was forced on Zambians without being properly incorporated with local beliefs – systems.

Speaking after donating assorted items to Maramba Old People’s Home in Livingstone, Siamunene said it was indisputable that the country was still under siege from foreign forces going by certain beliefs imposed on Zambians which had great impact on the country.

“Zambia is still in bondage from outside forces despite having attained political independence 55 years ago because the country lacks its own proper definition of her own national beliefs, values and attitudes towards all human spheres,” he said. “We are still relying on outside help. Even the so-called churches, a majority of them have their headquarters outside Zambia and these are institutions we expect to teach our people morals and spiritual matters.”

Siamunene said true independence would only reflect in Zambia when the country has its own indigenous national beliefs, values and attitudes towards human endeavour.

“This dependency syndrome will make our country not to be independent. In short, Zambia is not independent,” he said.

He urged Zambians to take advantage of President Edgar Lungu’s creation of the Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs to come up with beliefs that would help distinguish the country from others.

“Today we are seeing an influx of fake prophets and pastors commonly known as ‘papas’ who have come into Zambia because they have seen that we don’t have fixed beliefs that are not in violation of their magic. We have seen vulnerable women being sexually abused by pastors in mountains where they go for prayers while some people have lost money from pastors who dupe them. We need to strengthen national beliefs and values. All we say about ourselves as a country is that we are a Christian nation but is this helping us and is it our own culture or belief?” Siamunene asked. “President Lungu in his own wisdom created the Ministry of Religious [Affairs] and National Guidance but as citizens we have not taken time to really understand how this ministry can help us to craft our own national beliefs and values that we can be identified with even when outside forces impose their beliefs on us.”

He said Vision 2030 won’t be realised if people’s attitudes don’t change.

“Like in UNIP people believed in coupons, MMD was ‘nichekeleko’ and now it’s ‘BOMA iyanganepo’. We cannot search for prosperity outside when our country is endowed with national resources. As long as we don’t have the belief of prosperity, we’ll continue suffering,” Siamunene observed.

He said Zambia would not succeed unless it does away with imported beliefs.

“We don’t know who we are until we discover ourselves by coming up with beliefs that will empower us and make us realise our potential,” he said.

And Siamunene said it had taken time for Zambians to understand democracy because it was a foreign concept.

“Democracy started in America no wonder it is working for them. But us, we are still fighting here because we don’t understand it. We don’t tolerate each other because for Americans, it was embedded in their value system no wonder it has taken time for us to embrace it. Maybe that’s why our forefathers had a one party system,” Siamunene said.

He said democracy in Zambia had brought about regionalism and tribalism because citizens had misunderstood it.

“Because of our political divide, even when someone says something positive those in the opposite side will not accept it. That kind of mind makes the country static. For the country to move forward, its people must work in harmony,” he said. “God Himself allowed the devil to exist even when He had power to destroy him. But us the democracy we practice has only made us to see enemies within ourselves and not to be tolerant to each other.”

Siamunene said if the political approach in Zambia did not change, to where citizens start tolerating each other’s views, the party in government won’t learn anything when they go wrong.

“We can’t have a situation where every time the opposition is just condemning everything about government even when it has done good things. It’s important for political players to understand each other. We have taken democracy wrongly because it was not our own belief hence we needed to do a study and see its positives and negatives before embracing it,” Siamunene said.

“We needed to see if it was going to bring divisions in our society, that’s why today we are grappling with political violence and intolerance. And some of us even lost parliamentary seats because people viewed that I’m against my tribe when I was just expressing my views. Democracy has destroyed our unity which was preached by our forefathers. If we are not careful we may generate or drift to tribal wars.”

He said the way forward was to look at the country’s beliefs and find means to incorporate them into the democratic dispensation.

Siamunene also said there was need for people to cultivate the spirit of love and sharing.

“I’m calling upon all politicians and those that are able to help the needy in society and to learn to cooperate and not only focusing on 2021 elections. Come and serve the underprivileged like I have donated to the aged in Maramba and not focusing on 2021 elections,” said Siamunene. “Our belief system must change from individualism to community. Let’s look at issues that will develop our people and not retrogressive politics.”

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