Regina Musokotwane says adult politicians are to blame for the laziness among youths and Zambians who are clamouring for political appointments from President Hakainde Hichilema.
She says politicians abuse the youths by engaging them in political violence and abuse of alcohol and drugs.
“Coming to what I said last time that the lazy ones will suffer and the strong ones will survive in this UPND administration, it can be looked at from the budget perspective. In that [2022 national] budget there are opportunities for groups of individuals and communities to progress and make it in life. So this budget for the very first time confirms my saying that the lazy ones will suffer and the strong ones will survive,” says Musokotwane. “On cadres clamouring for jobs, the fault goes to adult politicians. We are the ones who used them to hacking each other, drinking too much beer and smoking too much marijuana. It is our fault because we wanted them to be in that state so that they don’t demand their rights. But now they have an opportunity to do what they want to their lives than the one they are living – that of drinking too much, hacking each other. The opportunities as I said are there for individual communities and groups through the CDF (Constituency Development Fund).”
Jose Marti once said, “To busy oneself with what is futile when one can do something useful, to attend to what is simple when one has the mettle to attempt what is difficult, is to strip talent of its dignity.”
For far too long, our country has not guided our youths properly. Successive governments since the dawn of multiparty politics have neglected our youths. Politicians as Regina has rightly observed have wanted youths to be “in that state so that they don’t demand their rights”. Youths have not been prioritised be it in terms of education, jobs, health! The country has been paying lip service to youth needs. We don’t seem to have policy measures designed as launch pads for our youths into the future industry – the complex future economy. All what our politicians have been good at – specialised – in the past three decades is using our youths as tools for mobilisation and ultimately getting into government. Once that politician was ushered into power, the youth’s role was elevated into a hooligan to sustain the party in power.
On this score, Thomas Sowell noted that, “No one will really understand politics until they understand that politicians are not trying to solve our problems. They are trying to solve their own problems – of which getting elected and re-elected are number one and number two. Whatever is number three is far behind.”
But we can’t build a decent future for our youths by perpetuating this wrong. We must change the narrative. We must promote hard work and banish laziness. As Harry Golden put it, “The only thing that overcomes hard luck is hard work.”
Youths must be educated and shepherded to goodness. They must be delivered from base politics so that they start claiming their rights. Only then can they begin to see, appreciate their rightful role, and take that opportunity to do what they want for their lives instead of vanity – indulging in alcohol and substance abuse, hacking each other.
Again, as Marti guided, “To educate is to give man the keys to the world, which are independence and love, and to give him strength to journey on his own, light of step, spontaneous and free being.”
While Sathya Sai Baba said, “Politics without principles, Education without character, Science without humanity, and commerce without morality are not only useless, but also positively dangerous.”
And as Jonathan Sacks argued, “The world we build tomorrow is born in the stories we tell our children today. Politics moves the pieces. Education changes the game.”