Since 1964, successive Zambian governments have tried in vain to completely erase the question of Barotseland, from the post-colonial Zambian discourse. On the contrary, this issue has constantly re-emerged time after time, more so, after the return of multi-politics in Zambia after 1991. After draconian measures were employed to obliterate the Barotse issue, the question remains: is it one of secession or one of self-determination? This paper casts light on Barotseland’s quest to “liberate” itself from Zambia. The paper further posits the following questions: is Barotseland not about a people’s legitimate cause or right to self-determination? Has it been erroneously interpreted by Zambian politicians and citizens alike as akin to secession? The former are posed in so far as the historical narrative and current realities point to a different scenario, which show that Barotseland existed as a country long before Zambia and Northern Rhodesia, with its own institutions, political systems, economic activities, national anthem, flag and coat of arms, among others. Whilst Europe has allowed many “sub-countries” to become independent nation-states, especially after the fall of the Berlin War in 1989 and the collapse of the Soviet Union thereafter, with minimal bloodshed, Africa is extremely nervous about such a prospect. Many African states seem to treat the boundaries which their colonial masters bequeathed them as sacrosanct. Is this a realistic stance in the twenty-first century? Can the African post-colonial state, in its current form - with vast powers vested in presidents and highly centralised governments in place, which in some cases negate national development – realistic?
Saturday, 29 December 2012
Sunday, 18 March 2012
So former president Rupiah Bwezani Banda has finally retired from politics? This took a bit of time considering the fact that he was already above 70 years and had been deposed in the last elections of 2011. However, what are more disconcerting were his utterances when he delivered his resignation speech. If what was reported in the Post newspaper is anything to go by - since this newspaper is now a reactionary news outlet and a mouthpiece of Michael Sata’s Patriotic Front-led government. Nonetheless, the Post had pointed out that Banda had wept when he handed over the instruments of power to the then in-coming president, Michael Chilufya Sata, because he had loved being “addressed as president.” He also knew that he was going to miss the travelling that came with the post and that he was “worried that his friends were going to lose their jobs and therefore their children would not go to school.” How shameless is this? Here is a man who was in Kenneth Kaunda’s UNIP government and had been an Ambassador to Egypt; Ambassador to the United Nations and the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. These positions entailed a lot of travelling and Banda had been to different parts of the globe. So one would have thought that this old man would not have been excited with travelling, especially that it is also a taxing activity, as one grows older. Secondly, it is even sad to note that Banda could admit to the world that the ministers who were supposed to serve mother Zambia were his friends. So they had just been invited to enjoy the national spoils. Because that is what governance is all about in Zambia where all politicians just occupy positions of power to help themselves to national resources and not help the mass of the people who are generally poor.
The SDC is very clear on the question of leadership: that Zambia continues to be bogged down in poverty and bad governance because it is ruled by mediocre leaders. This malaise continues because Zambians choose leaders not because they are capable, but because of ethnicity or other parochial related issues. But more importantly, this generation of old timers, the leaders of the colonial era and post-colonial period need to vacate the political space and make way for the new generation. But they keep on clinging to power and suffocate the young generation. Zambia is stuck because of such mentality which is rooted in what we term a “village mentality”. The world is now dynamic and globalised. This is not 1964 and the tactics that worked then are surely outdated in current times. These old men are also very much in control in the new PF government. We shall soon begin looking closer at this party of, frankly, jokers. In this article we wanted to express our continued dismay of the low caliber of politicians we have had in Zambia. It is just simply shocking.
Thursday, 15 March 2012
This week we turn our attention to the issue of political parties in Zambia of not having original ideas in regard to governing the country. This is especially true for the ruling party, the Patriotic Front. Due to this, the government of the day under the leadership of Michael Chilufya Sata has been fumbling with issues from day one. We note this as a matter of concern in Zambian politics. The redomination of the Kwacha is a case-in-point. We had stated in our manifesto, long before the PF came to power:
“The volatility of Zambia’s currency, the Kwacha, will be investigated fully by the SDC and prudent solutions will be sought to remedy this anomaly. In addition, the redomination of the Kwacha will be vigorously pursued by the SDC. This will involve the creation of a new unit which will replace the old unit, with a fixed number of old units being converted to 1 new unit. Simply put, the SDC will “cut” the zeroes in the Kwacha. The current situation where large dominations are used for simple day-to-day transactions is simply not competitive or sustainable. A name change will also be proposed as the Kwacha is also the name for
’s currency. An indigenous and authentic name will be sought from the Zambian public through an inclusive and transparent process.” Malawi
The PF rushed to copy this issue but because it was not their original idea, they are finding it difficult to implement this monetary strategy. It is important that Zambians choose people who know how to move the country forward in matters of development and have sound and original ideas on this matter. We shall return to the PF's mediocrity in the next couple of months. Right now we are still watching....