CHANGE is inevitable; there’s no need to fear it, says Dr Fred M’membe.
Information minister and chief government spokesperson Dora Siliya was quoted in The Mast on Tuesday saying the PF was not ready to hand-over power in 2021.
The minister, who is Petauke Central PF member of parliament, made the remarks at Mwala Hills in Sinda district on Monday.
Siliya was addressing about 300 village headmen and indunas.
She expressed disappointment that in 2016, in Sinda district, President Edgar Lungu got 7,000 votes while UPND’s Hakainde Hichilema got 5,000.
“Napapata (please), we go wrong, we in government, but forgive us, please! Pray for us. We know we have gone through problems in these five years but let’s not lose this presidency because we still have a lot to do with it in our families, communities,” Siliya begged, while on her knees.
“We are not only happy for Edgar to be in State House but to work for us. If this presidency leaves Eastern Province, nobody among us will be alive when it will be back here…Let’s not be lazy.”
She stressed that next year’s elections would not be easy.
“It’s war abale anga (my brothers and sisters)! It’s a war. We should make sure everyone registers as voters and vote on 12th August 2021 or else we will lose,” Siliya emphasised.
Siliya further told the gathering that if the PF was voted out, agricultural systems would not be revamped, the way the PF under President Lungu has done it.
“If Edgar Lungu loses next year, good agricultural system will collapse. So, we have to put on much effort if Edgar is to win next year because we still have a lot to do,” Siliya said.
“For now, we are not ready to hand over power to anyone unless in 2026 we are going to say ‘now namwe a Tonga mungatoleko ici cinthu but pakali pano usogoleri tikali nao nacocita (you Tongas can as well take over [the reign] but for now we still have a lot to do with this leadership).”
Socialist Party president M’membe, in a statement yesterday, asserted that the fear of losing power is widespread among officials in the PF government.
“And it has been openly expressed by many, including the President himself. It has actually become a phobia,” Dr M’membe said.
He philosophised a little on Siliya’s commentary.
Dr M’membe said there is no alternative to meeting the future.
“We have no hope but the changes, advances and improvements that the future may bring. Even if our current leaders want to stay in power forever, they won’t be able to do so,” he noted. “Nobody controls the future. No matter what schemes they may pull, other times will come.”
According to Dr M’membe, the fear of change or changing things is called Metathesiophobia.
“It is often linked with Tropophobia, which is the fear of moving. The origin of the word Metathesiophobia comes from Greek ‘meta’ meaning change and phobos meaning fear,” he explained. “Metathesiophobes often tend to live in the past and may also be depressed. Their phobia makes them unwilling to move, to progress or to change anything. This can severely impact one’s work and personal lives.”
He said the fear of change was evolutionary in humans.
Dr M’membe said since time immemorial, man has liked routine.
He explained that people’s internal predispositions – heredity and genetics – taught them to resist change, mainly to ‘always feel in control’.
“But the normal fear of change becomes a full-blown phobia when it is irrational, persistent and very intense. Fear of being unable to adapt, can also deter one’s adaptability. Insecurity and guilt are other common emotions behind Metathesiophobia,” Dr M’membe said.
“Benjamin Franklin once said, ‘when you are finished changing, you are finished.’ The fear of change is a natural survival instinct ingrained in humans.”
He, however, indicated that in cases of extreme Metathesiophobia, life could become very difficult.
“It can negatively impact one’s work and/or personal lives. Thought of change or adapting to new environment may lead to a full-blown panic,” Dr M’membe said. “Avoiding change, one may go to great lengths, break ties, tell lies or make excuses, manipulate electoral processes, rig elections, commit human rights violations. This can affect many things and lead to irrationality. Often the phobic is aware that his/her fear of change is irrational. However, he/she is unable to overcome it.”
Dr M’membe added that the root of Metathesiophobia was deeply embedded in one’s psyche.
“Many people suffer from this phobia but the key is to accept change as part of life. Nothing lasts forever. Change is inevitable, there’s no need to fear it. We must always prepare for it and be ready to embrace it,” noted Dr M’membe.