By Theresa Lungu
Two weeks ago I wrote the article, The Immorality of Convicting Iris Kaingu. I was struck by the polarized views the article invoked in bloggers. Despite well-crafted insults directed at me from some bloggers, I was encouraged that for the most part readers mounted a stand on the topic, argued it constructively and offered solutions. To add on, I would suggest that the Judicial system quit wasting time and money on those ridiculous blonde wigs from the English medieval days that they keep clinging to and get going with constituting new statutes to accommodate effective prosecution of emerging crimes brought on by technology.
Well, since there hasn’t been any new sex scandals to write about, I will just go back to writing about the mundane, the everyday norms that we sigh at but deem too complicated or confusing to tackle. I am contemplating a few topics, such as why the opposition MPs are allowed to flee Parliament whenever they lack plausible contributions or the appointment of Willie Nsanda as head honcho at RDA or perhaps try to
guess who the next person President Sata will send into retirement…Ok, I just dropped the latter because honestly I don’t think President Sata himself knows whom he is going to send into retirement on any given day. The man is just spontaneous! I better leave this topic alone before I get a call from Winter Kabimba threatening to shut me down. He may be brushing off his own blonde wig since he is now the Justice Minister. At least we now know what his position in the Patriotic Front Government is. Before, he was just the annoying hanger-on stepping on everyone’s toes and drawing blood.[pullquote]I would suggest that the Judicial system quit wasting time and money on those ridiculous blonde wigs from the English medieval days that they keep clinging to and get going with constituting new statutes to accommodate effective prosecution of emerging crimes brought on by technology[/pullquote]
Speaking of accepted norms from the dark ages, the other day I was watching a news video clip shot in one of the emerging compounds near Chilenje in Lusaka, Mapoloti to be exact. There, over 200 families have set up homes sans bathrooms. They have built their ‘dream homes’ with no regard to indoor plumbing and have now resorted to defecating in plastic bags or the nearby bushes. Then the residents dared go on camera to lament the lack of toilets and Government’s indifference towards their plight. I was very irritated by this particular group of people who think they can just go and settle on piece of land with no planning and then turn around and blame government.
People, bush pooping is totally unacceptable! Not only is it stinky but grossly unhealthy too. Mapoloti is full of unemployed young men who stood in front of the camera that day bad mouthing the government. You know what boys? Dig yourselves pit latrines and use the bush to grow some food, how about that reversal of fortunes? Ask the government for some grain and fertilizer. Scratch that, you have already fertilized the ground, just ask for some grain and perhaps a Mill because Guy Scott is never coming to your house to install porcelain toilets and bidets.
Don’t get me wrong, I am well aware of the many shortfalls of government but as citizens we ought to be fully aware of our own role in improving our communities and turning Zambia into the country we want it to be. The attitude of letting government initiate everything
while we sit on the sidelines and hail insults (Zambians lead the world in insults), is never going to put doctors and medicines in our
hospitals, it is never going to improve our infrastructure, it is never going to stop the brain drain and all the other wrongs that we
see in Zambia. Mapoloti residents are just one example of how we disempower ourselves then turn around and look for someone to blame. In the colonial days, civil servants took and misused BOMA resources to spite Roy Welensky and his cronies. The only problem is, the BOMA is long gone, we just celebrated Zambia’s 48th Independence anniversary
Nonetheless, the culture of ripping off the BOMA is still alive. Austin Liato can attest to this. Hospital workers take linen and medicines, other civil servants misuse office funds and resources and that sort of thing. I remember having a relative in the civil service. He brought home all sorts of things from his office.Typewriters, stationery, even chairs. He always said that those things were for the BOMA and we should all enjoy them.
After misusing public resources we resort to posting notices such as the one found at UTH outpatients department:
Kindly take note that members of staff at UTH work under very strenuous and demanding conditions due to the increase in the disease burden and critical shortages of manpower. Patients and relatives seeking medical attention at UTH should therefore be mindful that it may take a bit of
time for them to be seen by our medical personnel. Assaulting any member of staff is a criminal offence and offenders will be arrested
and prosecuted. Thank you – UTH Management
While Zambia has evolved nicely into the 21st Century with smartphones, satellite TV, Japanese cars and shopping malls, a part of our culture is still steeped in the dark ages. I bet some of you are getting ready to celebrate Guy Fawkes Day right there in Lusaka! Go