Animal farm is a fictional novel written by George Orwell (1945) which simply illustrates that all human beings are equal before the law, but others are more equal than everyone; they are above the law of the country. It is a story which illustrates how some animals were enjoying more freedom than others, sleeping on beds while others slept on the floor, having plenty of nice food while the rest were in critical poverty, having six meals per day while others hardly had a meal. There was a clear distinction between some of us (more equal) and others (the rest). The ‘some of us’ were able to take control of everyone. They controlled the judicial system. They punished the rest but them were not punished for breaking the law. In other words, the ‘some of us’ were the rulers, kings and queens of the farm and nobody ‘coughed’. Law was only applicable to the rest of the animals while them were breaking the law at will and whoever tried to talk, they were punished severely and mercilessly. Those that left the ‘uppers’ (special animals) were made to be in misery to the extent that they would come back to the rulers. Everyone lived at the mercies of the more equal camp (group of animals) in the farm.
As one writer pens down, there is no permanent situation in this world and as opined by another, time changes, as the fictional story comes towards the end, the ‘some of us’ are no longer continuing enjoying the privileges as it was earlier. ‘Some of us’ are lonely and no one wishes to befriend them because of their past.
Bringing down this story to present day scenario, we have heard and seen how ‘some of us’ have ended up in their lives. Some of them include people such as Idi Amin, the ‘Conquer of Britain’, one who had no fear for anyone worldwide ended up living in exile in Libya, Iraq and in Saudi Arabia in 2003. Hosni Mubarak of Egypt exiled in Europe. Many of his subordinates were jailed. We have Omar Al-bashir of Sudan, a well trained General, one who lived in a well protected military camp, well connected with latest technology in terms of protecting himself from any external threats was rounded up by his own people who turned against him. Whoever was a friend to these people was free to break the law and run into the armpits of these renown leaders and they had freedom. Whoever was against their wish was dealt with heavily and mercilessly, the animal farm way. We have had people like Charles Tailor who left his beautiful mansions and was exiled in another country, running away from his own people he presided on.
In Zambia, we have had colonial masters, those that deemed us as machines that have no blood or brains. These people thought that they would rule Zambia forever and ever. They abused us, overused and degraded us to the same level of their dogs as some of our ancestors were made to eat dog food for their survival. These guys didn’t know that their time would come. Thanks to fearless men and women of the Dr Kenneth Kaunda error, our gallant soldiers who fought without fear or favour. They fought without the best arsenal but through words; animal was no more.
Currently, the leadership we have can be compared to the animal farm. We have seen and heard how those that dine with our leaders are able to break the law and walk freely in our streets. The common Zambian is being squeezed left, right, centre and round. Those that have committed cases are running straight into the umbrella of our leaders for safety because they know that they will be protected. Those that have spoken against our leaders have been squeezed and those that are faint hearted, have gone back to the same leaders to beg for forgiveness so that they can be saved from the dungeons of the prisons. We have witnessed how our leaders have amassed riches at the expense of the common man (remembering P.K. Chishala). When we question how they have acquired all that, we are threatened to be squeezed to death. We are suffocating, yet our suffocation is their enjoy. We have seen the breaking of morals where the youths have been recruited by our leaders and are given power more than the law enforcers. These youths are able to insult, beat with any weapon available, and kill without them facing any consequences. Indeed, this is exactly the prototype of animal farm where some people are more human than others, where others are more equal than others.
The caution is, one day, things will change. Like it has happened in the past, so it shall happen. We need to live well. Let us mean it when we say we are a Christian nation, a name derived from Christ, one who cared for the sick, poor and the needy, not his pockets or purses. We need to think of how life will be after we are obsolete, when we shall not be in power. Certainly, whether we like it or not, time is coming when we shall leave the leadership positions. We can still do the Nelson Mandela way, the Barrack Obama way, living their lives freely after their time in office. All people should be equal, not the animal farm way.