By Mingeli Palata I remember being at the 2008 Miss.
NIPA function at Smugglers in Ridgeway, hosting a couple of American friends from California talking about Barack Obama and the US election.
Through out the world, the 2008 elections of Barack Obama and John Mccain brought American politics in a whole different light. For the first time in history, a black was this close to becoming the most powerful man on earth.
Think about it, the man went against all odds and truly changed the course of history and every black man, Obama’s election was an endorsement on the Black race. It meant recognition that Black people are able to do it and in no other place than a place best known for committing the worst known atrocities to the black race.
Besides which if you have read Obama’s books, he introduces his political philosophy that of compromise, appreciating and working with difference.You will grasp why Joe Biden, Bill Richardson, Hillary Clinton and others who opposed his Presidential bid all in his cabinet, including why he has a habit of putting arm around George Bush when ever the two meet.
For many Zambians, Obama is the best President they would never have. Imagine having all those Obama attributes in a Zambian man or woman running for the highest office in the mother land? How about that? Let me tell you how? It would mean having a Presidential candidate who believe in tolerance; accommodating opposing views, a President who believes that simply having views different from his makes you an enemy- Michael Sata playing golf with Rupiah Banda kind of thing, how about that for a change?
For once dear Zambian, we wouldn’t have anything like Southern province voting in the same fashion or a Presidential candidate telling people to vote for him because he or she comes from the same province as them. No tribalism- one Zambia and truly one Nation. We would have a President whose economic policies are only influenced by the voters and not those who funded his or her election, so no funny salary increments when the teachers are not paid. I like your smile.
If Obama was a Zambian then the dignity and relevance that UTH and other public health institutions would be restored and all rich people would not be rushing to Morningside Clinic in South Africa every time they had a heart attack or their CD4 count went low. Its all because Obama would make it a point that the money spend on buying party chitenge materials and buying cadres chibuku is channeled to buying drugs for the clinic in Kalinglinga and the chalk for the students in chamboli. Come guys, isn’t that the change we need?
Maybe the economy would be regulated to the benefit of everybody, tax exemptions for companies that create a lot of jobs for Zambians and more funds for the emerging small scale business persons.
Hey stop dreaming, like I said, Obama is the best Zambian President we will never have!