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Zambia can, and must become free

[By Azwell Banda]

All politics, without exception, is a ruthless pursuit, a single-minded struggle, about and for power, essentially about power to own and control the means by which wealth is created, distributed and consumed. Therefore, real politics, true politics, is about economic power.

Pure politics is the struggle for economic power to own and control the means by which wealth is created, distributed and consumed, period. Those who half-heartedly enter the field of politics end up as followers, choir members and cheer leaders of those who are clear in their objectives: to win political power for their personal and class economic interests, to win the struggle for personal and their class ownership of the means by which wealth is created, distributed and consumed.

To paraphrase a good old, long dead, dearest friend of mine:

“People always have been the foolish victims of deception and self-deception in politics, and they always will be until they have learnt to seek out the interests of some class or other behind all moral, religious, political and social phrases, declarations and promises. Champions of reforms and improvements will always be fooled by the defenders of the old order until they realise that every old institution, however barbarous and rotten it may appear to be, is kept going by the forces of certain ruling classes. And there is only one way of smashing the resistance of those classes, and that is to find, in the very society which surrounds us, the forces which can – and, owing to their social position, must – constitute the power capable of sweeping away the old and creating the new, and to enlighten and organise those forces for the struggle.”

Fifty-seven years after our independence, Zambia is old enough not to continue to be the foolish victim of deception and self-deception in politics and to learn the political science and art of seeking out the interests of some class or other behind all moral, religious, political and social phrases, declarations and promises.

It is my contention and scientifically grounded thesis that politicians in all our Three Republics have cheated the majority of Zambians out of our fair share of what belongs to us.

The excruciating poverty, unemployment and inequalities entrenched under colonialism, sustained in the First Republic under Kenneth Kaunda, deepened under the Second Republic under the same Kaunda again, perfected in the Third Republic under Fredrick Chiluba and this perfection deepened by all presidents after Chiluba and now threatening to be worsened under Hakainde Hichilema are all as a result of the majority of us failing to appreciate that champions of reforms and improvements will always be fooled by the defenders of the old order until they realise that every old institution, however barbarous and rotten it may appear to be, is kept going by the forces of certain ruling classes!

All our administrations starting with Kaunda have been nothing but defenders of the old order, the colonial order, hell bent on sustaining Zambia as a neo-colony with themselves as our supervisors.

Nothing best confirms the ugly fact that Hichilema and his friends are nothing but defenders of the old order which has sustained us in our state of backwardness, impoverishment, unemployment and grotesque inequalities than their rush to normalise and posit the brutal return of Zambia into the cruel financial tutelage of the Interantional Monetary Fund (IMF) by deepening our indebtedness, and presenting this as an inevitable absolute necessity. Nothing can be further from the truth!

Zambia has an alternative to the IMF and its neo-colonial financial strangulation over us: we the Zambian people and our rich endowment of a young population and abundance of natural resources must wrestle ownership and control of these resources from our neo-colonial masters, including the IMF and its global family of vampires, both local and global.

This column, relying on scientifically tested and proven evidence, with the help of modern investigative journalism, is dedicated to exposing why Zambia is poor, suffers systemic and structural historic levels of mass unemployment and tolerates painful inequalities; 57 years after its paper independence, and how we can defeat this fate.

The column, while primarily focused on developing the theory and knowledge of why and how Zambia is kept backward, poor, with mass unemployment and extreme inequalities, will ruthlessly seek to reveal to its readers how to smash the resistance of the defenders of the old order by among other things, finding, in Zambia itself, the forces which can – and, owing to their social position, must – constitute the power capable of sweeping away the old and creating the new. Hopefully the column will also play an important role in enlightening and organising these Zambian social forces for the struggle against our neo-colonial status and its parasites, especially the local ones.

The author is a founding central committee member of the Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party headquartered in South Africa; he also serves as the strategy, research and policy advisor to the national leadership of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), and is writing books on Labour, Politics and ‘youth life and politics’ in Southern Africa. You are most welcome to send your comments and opinions to: banda.azwell@gmail.com.

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