Things Zambia Should Outlaw
By Wesley Ngwenya
There are many things that Zambia could live without. I have been thinking about the following things for some time now. I think that these things would make Zambia a better country. Their existence is not doing this country a favor. As a result, they should be outlawed.
Salaula and all imported clothing
I think it is about time we pulled the plug on this one. In as much as Salaula brings branded clothing and Chinese poor quality clothes are cheaper it is all detrimental to our own industry. Imported clothing has created an inferiority complex to Zambians. We have all become accustomed to what is foreign. We think foreign is better than local.
I propose that we ban Salaula and other clothing imports altogether or increase the tariffs on them (We may need to go naked for a few years). In their place, we revive the local industries in Livingstone and Kabwe. We can begin making our own shoes, jeans, shirts, hats, and so on. In addition, there are many Zambian designers who are struggling to make a mark on the market. CEEC could empower these with loans and encourage all of us to support them. It will not be long before we export our clothes to all our eight neighbors.
Second hand vehicles
The problem of used Japanese vehicles is that they are not only creating a traffic nightmare on our cities but causing senseless deaths and unemployment. Zambia should ban second hand vehicles. Yes, this will mean that if you want a ride you go to the showroom and pick a brand new vehicle. This will mean that only people who seriously need a ride will be on the road. Unroadworthy vehicles will cease being on roads. There will be less traffic. Instead we shall create employment by using public transportation. We shall encourage investment in commuter trains. We shall encourage motor companies to set up plants in Zambia—thus creating long-lasting jobs. And maybe, we shall become more innovative and come up with our own effective mode of transportation.
English Soccer on TV or TV Completely
DSTV is one of the worst things that ever happened to Zambia in the last decade. This has made Zambians to be lazy and stop thinking altogether. Every week, we crowd in bars glued to screens and watch white people chasing a ball. People we don’t know. People we will never meet. And people who don’t care about us. Meanwhile, down the street our local league suffers from lack of spectators at their stadiums. They lack sponsorship. What is wrong with us?
I suggest that we ban television in Zambia for at least 10 years. Instead of watching soccer on television we go and watch live soccer at Nkoloma Stadium. Imagine what that would do to our league and players. It will not be long before we start importing players from other countries. How about other programs on TV, you may ask? Seriously, when was the last time you watched something sensible on Zambian television? How about we save ourselves money by closing all the useless television stations and go back to the good old radio?
Even better every school going child should be forced to read at least one book of his or her choice every week. The child will then give a report to the community librarian. Those who don’t read will face some kind of a penalty. Imagine what will become of Zambia—a nation of smart people.
Now, this is a sensitive one. I could get killed for this one. Zambians love their alcohol. Zambian Breweries is one of the most profitable companies in our country. Alcohol does not do this country any good. I suggest that alcohol be banned for 10 years so that each one of us focuses on developing our lives, communities and country.
We waste so much money on alcohol at the expense marriages, school fees, food, and other essentials. Every weekend marriages are broken and lives lost because of alcohol. Even the new laws of closing bars and clubs at certain times are not being adhered to. Let’s ban it for a certain period and see if it does our nation good.
I still don’t get this primitive custom of paying for (buying) a wife. As long as a man “buys” his wife there will never be equality, in this country, between men and women. Abuse for women will never stop. Therefore, women can be protected if this custom is outlawed altogether. If I had one, I would never sell my daughter to anyone. This is also a way of making women get more independent instead of always looking up to men for everything. Many Zambian young women aspire to be nothing. They don’t work hard at school and instead bank on marriage as a form of security for their lives.
Parents are also quick to accept Lobola money because times are hard. Daughters have been auctioned to the highest bidder. Lobola continues to be a modern form of slavery. I know a cousin who was not allowed to divorce her husband simply because my uncle did not want to pay back the Lobola money. Meanwhile, this lady was beaten up with scars all over her face. I even suggest we constitutionalize this issue.
When was the last time national exams served their purpose? Is it 20, 30, or 50 years ago? National Exams are useless and not objective at all. Every year, we subject our students to exams in grade seven, nine and twelve. Our exams are intended to punish not assess progress. The same is done in college. Twenty years ago, we talked about changing our system to continuous assessment and yet nothing has changed. Continuous assessment ensures that students are tested in various kinds of work at school—projects, reports, reading, group work, tests, writing and so on. Teachers are able to adjust their assessments according to the progress and ability of the children.
Times have changed and it is about time our country changed to stay competitive in today’s changing world. I am always shocked how a UNZA graduate is unable to operate a computer or write a business proposal. Let us teach our students things that are relevant to our nation. By the way, those outdated syllabi need to be thrown away.
Hate Speech and Tribalism
Many will agree with me on this one. This could not come at a better time than now when our country is at crossroads on this issue. It should be against the law to utter any hate against a member of any other tribal grouping. No parent, friend, teacher, politician, or president is allowed to demeanor another tribe. There is no small tribe. Therefore, all tribes should be treated equal. This means that government jobs should be given to all tribes of Zambia because there are many who qualify. Cabinet should reflect the diversity of tribal groupings in Zambia.
Feel free to add your own…