By Martin Mwango.
To ask what is Democracy to a country or people who have experienced and enjoyed Democratic type of leadership for over 20 years may sound useless but I think it’s wise to remind ourselves of things that we are enjoying today before losing the direction and its meaning.
Democracy is a system of governance wherein the people elect their rulers, which literally means; “rule by the people”. In this system of the government every person is given chance to choose a leader of his\her choice from total liberty and one’s decision wrong or right valid and respected.
Besides, positive criticism in this type of governance is welcomed with the goal to develop the nation together with the current government, which is not the case today in Zambia in most of criticism we have experienced for the past few months.
I would love to bring to your attention my fellow Zambian citizens, the criticism that is prevailing in our nation today. Why do we have criticism like this more than ever? Can it be the individuals who are in opposition parties or perhaps Zambians have come to realize the mistake they made some few months ago by entrusting the nation to the Patriotic Front?
All these may be possible thoughts but we have to think deeper. It is now getting out of hands, where everyone want to criticize the government in the name of enjoying the freedom of expression. If we analyze logically so far the criticism that some people have made, you will agree with me that most of them are out of frustrations and personal interests.
To criticize the government unnecessarily goes against the nature of Criticism in Democracy. If someone has a criticism it means he want to give the government the feedback on what it’s doing for them – that means giving the opportunity to the government to learn more about the expectation from the people it’s working for and how to convert them into a satisfied citizens or foreigners.
Besides, criticism means both the opposition and the government can work together towards a better outcome. For a play or production in many sectors, it might mean getting to know what the nation actually wants.
But this is not the case in Zambia today. People are criticizing with their hidden agendas to disturb the plans of the current government which is a drawback for our nation. The Patriotic Front has been given a mandate for five years and with all respect, we have to give it chance to deliver its manifesto to the nation. If one means to criticize, it should be for the interest of the nation.
Allow me to quote the words used by Forum for Democracy and Development president Edith Nawakwi, when she attended the “Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, in Brazil
“We need to step out of our political cocoons and see what others are doing. I will criticize when that is due but we need a pool of knowledge to take the country forward. We can all contribute to national development in various ways,” she said.
But it’s a pity that this voice is one out of a million because some opposition leaders are suffering from unknown fears. Hence, the only option they remain with is to talk and criticize even where it is not necessary. Before our memory fades away let me remind you that; the freedom we are enjoying today was not there few months ago, your voice was not heard in public media but am yet to hear the opposition to give merit to the current government for that development.
In Zambia we need more sensitization especially on how to come up with some criticism concerning the governing of the nation otherwise it will hinder us from developing politically and economically.
With all respect to Zambian people who in their freedom and pure conscious gave chance to PF, let us try to come up with the criticism that will bring up progress. On the hand, my word to our current leaders; don’t take it personally if someone doesn’t immediately like your work. Even if you feel you’re being criticized unfairly, don’t retaliate with an extreme knee-jerk reaction or else you can irreparably damage your prospect of working with that opposition and can even harm your reputation as well.