If you have the slightest interest in the politics and economy of Zambia there is one blog and/or facebook page you need to follow. It’s called “Zambian economist” and the author is just that. Here he not only breaks down complicated issues of how economics and politics are intertwined but explains it in a way so that anyone can grasp it. He occasionally gives space for people to contribute and the piece I’m sharing here is from an anonymous reader and the responses that followed. The following extracts are taken from the Zambian economist facebook page>
15 aug 2014
A LOSER COUNTRY
Ours is a loser country. Everything about this country is depressing and uninspiring. Here, everything is politics. The whole lot of Zambian leadership is an inferior species incapable of moving forward. We deserve the poverty we are experiencing because of the leadership we have allowed to govern the country. There is an erroneous belief that our pitiful condition is the result of lack of money. No. Progress is not a priority here. No amount of money can develop this country. Poverty has become part of the Zambian culture.
It’s the ‘kombonik’ management at national level that continues to fail us. The misguided socialist policies of our first president laid the foundation. Next came the kleptomaniac. While looting the national coffers, this person had the audacity to stand in front of the nation and declare it a Christian nation; whatever that means. If you ask me, it is nothing short of blasphemy.
This country cannot be representative of the kingdom of God. We are a failed state. The countless churches at every corner are just a reflection of the consequences of our self-inflicted suffering. We can blame it on the IMF, World bank, or ‘imperialists’ but deep down we know it is us who have made the mess. It is us who have failed to advance.
Zambians are not a strong proud people. It’s a consequence of poverty and hunger. The humility you see is actually humiliation. It is defeat and hopelessness. The only thing that some education has done to people here is make them speak some English but no real meaningful productivity. We are experts at consuming foreign goods but cannot mend a pothole even after over decades of independence.
A Zambian will laugh at you for wearing third rate Chinese clothes but cannot produce anything. Your national state-owned media says everything about who we are: backward. But don’t worry. Elections are coming soon so we should be able to see goods being handed out. Living in this country is scary and depressing. It is like living in a house where no one is working but somehow you are managing to pay rent and utility bills. Grace of God? I don’t think so. It’s just our ‘kaponya’ culture. With its filthy ugly disorderly towns, it is no wonder we are not patriotic.
(Author : ANONYMOUS)
A shocking assessment of the state of #Zambia.
Is Zambia a loser country?
18 aug 2014
Here are your three best responses that dealt with the substantive issues raised by the Anonymous author :
RESPONSE 1 : SYDNEY KASANDA
Zambians, and black people in general, have failed to adopt the ‘Capitalist Nigga’ mentality. We have a depraved attitude towards development and glorify anything foreign especially that which emanates from a white country we deem superior.
We have a low regard of our own achievements and bash anyone that exhibits some semblance of success through hard work unless they gain their wealth through corrupt and illegal means.
Yes, we are a loser country that has no pride. Fifty years of independence and we are no better than when we bought bread through windows. Our political landscape shows no advancement since our colonial masters left. We have adopted a cadre mentality and branded ourselves as national leaders.
Each one of us has a responsibility to turn this around but our poverty stricken outlook is represented in our disposition. We are no better now. Foreigners see the potential in this country yet we are comfortable being employees who cry foul when mistreated. We have only ourselves to blame.
(Author : Sydney Kasanda)
RESPONSE 2 : JOHN TEMBO
I am always torn when I read such articles because I agree with them and also because I disagree to a certain extent. I think Zambia is developing slowly not because of its leaders but inspite of its leaders. The entrepreneurial spirit and the peace loving nature of its people is what gets us through.
I think the people are also too passive sometimes. They are not willing to sacrifice, to protest and fight for what is rightfully theirs. They are content with the status quo and the scraps that fall off the politicians table. Only looking out for ourselves and not the nation as a whole. Above all complacent and lazy!
But having said that I have seen Zambians who in their small ways are trying to change this country for the better and that gives me hope. We are a losing country at the moment but I think we are slowly turning this around. We won’t be like this forever. Change is happening slowly but surely!
(Author : John Tembo)
RESPONSE 3 : BILL MOPOA
I may not agree with some of the things pointed out by the author especially on religion as we all need God whether we like it or not. But he is very right on other aspects. This is a country which has a lot of potential, but conditions are very appalling from political to economic, social to sport, religious to culture.
Zambians have no sense of pride for their country and they would rather trust and love a foreigner and foreign stuff, than love their own. Zambian have an inferiority complex and lack confidence in themselves. Everything is about who you know to get what you want, ati “nchekelako”, but thats corruption. I agree with the author. We need this kind of thinking maybe we can wake up. We have a beautiful country but wonder why this is so.
Going further, from the political point of view, one thing we need to do is to sort out our leadership and governance issues to promote accountability in top leadership and stop corruption. There is no way you can allow a wife of a former president to be running around with £28m. Then just know that there is a problem somewhere.
This is just one of the many problems we have in Zambia corruption in highest places. Zambia needs a constitution that is pro-people power and remove most of the power from the central government. The constitution that will strengthen government institutions and become independent of the government.
We also need to educate ourselves about certain acceptable values in society and maybe we can change our mentality. ZNBC should be at the forefront airing such programmes to educate the masses about how we should be proud of our country, our attitude to work, our country and to one another. Anyway, I have a lot to say, but I end here. Thanks for this article ZE.
(Author : Bill Mopoa)