This is article 1 of 6 in the series ‘ A Critical Analysis of the Imperialist Driven Constitution by Chief Chitimukulu ‘
- A Critical analysis of the Imperialist Driven Constitution Part 1- The Preamble
- A Critical analysis of the Imperialist Driven Constitution Part 2 – One Man,One Vote
By Henry Kanyanta Sosala-Chitimukulu
It has been said that the world is three days i.e., yesterday, today and tomorrow. And if you do not know yesterday, you won’t know what day today is and surely tomorrow will take you by surprise.
And General Ignatius Achempong of Ghana said: ‘’Anyone who has a quarrel with the past losses today and risks to lose the future as well.’’
The past, present and the future are entwined together such that one affects the other. We cannot make decisions or actions in life that are in one way or another that influence or affect the past, present or future. The future is something you mold with every move you make in the present. The future is very valuable to all of us because whatever we want to achieve in the future is usually defined by what happened in the past which dictates how we build our future that we dream of.
However, here is a warning: Those who fix their eyes on the past risk a severe collision with the future; those who only see the future can hit much too hard the speed bumps of today. Only those who fix their eyes on God can effectively negotiate the right pace of life.
A concerned citizen wrote some sticking words illustrating the truth that evil schemes cannot and will never succeed: ‘’There are few citizens in any given country of this universe whom God preserves to stand up to call a spade, a spade and sound the alarm when evil starts taking root and His people are taken for a ride.’’ (The Post 1st November 2002).
I had all along pushed the issue of the Constitution at the back of my mind, but I have finally decided to come in on the strength of Martin Luther King’s words, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
And indeed, the peasants who fought and died for this country’s independence cannot just be de-franchised by a gang of imperialist-stooges because during the struggle for independence, the African political wisdom was summarized in the slogan, ‘’one man, one vote.’’
Zambia has undoubtedly become one of the most unequal societies in the world. The so-called Zambian modern era is marked by the individual; his autonomous conscience; his psychology; his personal conflicts and interests. The type of ‘’homo oeconomious’’ emerges whose egotism and hedonism are the driving forces of society and whose individual gain becomes a measuring rod for what is regarded as socially acceptable. Consequently, those who have neither riches nor wealth are devalued, considered worthless and useless. Hence the 1991 political change is just a shadow of a failed revolution __ it’s a parody.
I am a free-thinker; a predator and not a victim to the whining and victim-type mentality and unlike the majority of intellectuals who are automated like machines or those who think with breaks on, which therefore puts me in total control of my thought-life or one determined to employ my mental faculties to the maximum. And I feel totally liberated because one of the tenets of being a free-thinker is the ability to tell people what they need to know, rather than what they want to hear. I believe in the biblical teaching that all men are equal and this has behooved me to understand that it means matching brain-power for brain-power with anybody.
On the face value, it seems a lot of Zambians are very highly educated and in fact 80% of educated Zambians of whatever level refer to themselves as intellectuals, geniuses, philosophers etc. However, to me it appears that the greatest amount of intelligence exists in that society where people are best able to defend their rights and their liberties as against those who are desirous of undermining them.
In fact, education has its main function that is the boosting up of knowledge of the people, but mere theorization and sermon devoid of practical base bears no fruit. The central motive behind education is to fulfill the needs of a particular society. And therefore any knowledge and especially at this critical period in Africa, which does not come down to try and break the vicious cycle in a peasant’s life, no matter how brilliant is an illusion. Education will only prove valuable when we grasp its essence and properly apply it to our daily realities. It is not the acquisition of knowledge, but the application of knowledge that counts.
And having gone through the mill at the hands of President Michael Chilufya Sata and Professor Nkandu Luo, I am now fully aware of the famous Japanese proverb that says, ‘’The nail that sticks up gets pounded down.’’ However, the American President Theodore Roosevelt once said: ‘’Patriotic men do not shrink from danger when conscience points the path.’’ Che Guevara said: ‘’It is better to die standing than on your knees.’’ And after his death Che has become an icon of worldwide socialist revolutionary movements.
I believe that it is just because socio-political life is more valuable to man than physical life that is why people find it more honourable to die for freedom than to keep themselves alive in slavery. This is why I admire the dignity of Sam Sharpe, who uttered these noble and revolutionary words just before he was hanged: ‘’I would rather die in yonder gallows, than live for a minute more in slavery.’’ And indeed Malcolm X, the Black American civil rights activist expressed this unavoidable truth before an assassin’s bullet ended his life: ‘’The prize of freedom is death.’’
It is only from the position of a traditional ruler that a person can have the opportunity to see how a rural villager, being on the lowest rung of society is cruelly exploited in every area of his poor miserable life and of how his welfare is of no consequence to those on higher rungs. The silence of the rural communities always stays with me. Their vulnerability is the measure of their disadvantaged position. They seem to have no public identity. And in what free-thinker radicals refer to as ‘’militant philosophy,’’ it is said that in algebra, one does not work out X, but operates with it as if he knows it. In politics of exploitation, X stands for the anonymous poor masses and this accordingly means operating using X without worrying about its actual nature. Here are people who are unable to defend their interests; to somewhat unionize; to petition; to speak out; to challenge and demand. I would rather die fighting along-side the suffering poor masses than make a butchery of my conscience.
In fact, it was the great Greek philosopher, Socrates, who felt that it was necessary to create mental tensions, so that individuals could rise from bondage of political myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative and objective analysis.
And therefore the poor masses living in the remotest parts of the rural areas should not perpetually be subjected to perverted blinding politics where rhetoric takes precedence over reality.
The authenticity of one’s understanding of the political system must be promoted by his ability to understand, at least, the falseness of the conditions under which political games are played so that he can rise from the bondage of falsehood to the majestic heights of understanding.
Professor P.B. Harris in Studies in African Politics wrote: ‘’ …The word ’imperialism’ stands for ’domination.’ In one sense if one discounts the simple fact that ’whiteness’ constitutes imperialism, it could be reasonably argued that the problem is simply one of domination by a group of white skinned individuals, whereas, in fact in Africa today, such domination is found, though the case now is obviously that of domination by women and men with black skins.’’ I have usually asked people, which one is more painful: to be mistreated by a white man or your fellow African? And class colonialism which is far worse than tribalism has emerged on the African continent.
In the first place: how can one define an imperialist? Irvin Babbitt in his book Democracy and Leadership wrote: “…..the man who stands for nothing higher than the law of cunning and the law of force, and so is, in the sense I have sought to define imperialistic.”
Cecil John Rhodes the man who had our countries named after Rhodesia, but renamed Zambia and Zimbabwe in 1895 wrote: ‘’I was in the East End of London yesterday and attended a meeting of the unemployed. I listened to wild speeches, which were just a cry for ‘bread, bread,’ and on my way home, I pondered over the scene and I became more than convinced of the importance of imperialism…the Empire, as I have always said, is a bread and butter question. If you want to avoid civil war, you must become imperialists.’’
The philosophy of white ‘’imperialism’’ stands for white domination and racism. Basil Williams in Life of Cecil Rhodes wrote: “God was obviously trying to produce a type of humanity most fitted to bring peace, liberty and justice to the world and to make that type predominant. Only one race, so it seemed to John Cecil Rhodes, approached God’s ideal type, his own Anglo-Saxon race; God’s purpose then was to make the Anglo-Saxon race predominant, and the best way to help on God’s work and fulfill His purpose in the world was to contribute to the predominance of the Anglo-Saxon race so bring nearer the reign of justice and peace.”
However, Mr. Russell mockingly said: “Rhodes proceeded to help on God’s purpose of bringing ‘peace, liberty and justice’ through Matabele wars, the Jameson Raid, the Boer war, the subjection, first of the northern Negroes and then the Boers to British domination and the creation of a vast system of political corruption both in England and in South Africa. Throughout, quite sincerely he regarded himself as the agent of God.”
On the other hand, we have black imperialism and class colonialism. The Zambian society is split into the minority class of economic winners who inhabit a cosmopolitan world of affluence and a growing underclass with little or no hope of economic ascent.
John Hatch who like former FDD Chairman, Mr. Simon Zukas and Mr. Andrew Sardanis fought for African independence along-side the nationalists and this is what he wrote: ‘’….nevertheless, like others who participated in African campaigns against colonialism, I cannot shed my urge for a just African society is at stake. And those who fought colonialism did so, not only because they preferred to see black rather than white faces behind ministerial desks. We all fought because we hated the indignities and inequalities of colonial rule, because it stems from the principle of innate inequality between human beings. But the fight was concerned with African people not simply with constitutional changes or the replacement of arbitrary colonial administration by equally arbitrary African oligarchies.
The aim has always been to help create healthy, just and democratic societies. And the most profound evidence that Africa has indeed made a false start is that in virtually every African state, the social-economic gulf between the peasant masses and the urban elites is even greater than the gap between those elites and the European and North American norms.’’ (False Start in Africa by Professor Rene Dumont) (emphasis mine).
Immediately after we attained our independence in 1964, the Bemba political hero and Zambia’s ‘’Aristotle,’’ the late Mr. Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe taught the Bemba people three unforgettable and immortal lessons:
‘’You must love your land dearly, because if you lose it, you will not find another. God has stopped creating countries.’’
He reminded us that we should ponder about the past i.e., how we suffered through the struggle for independence. He went on to say,
‘’should you mismanage the affairs of this country, the colonialists will creep in under a new name.’’ (The Kapwepwe Diaries by Gideon Bwalya Mwangilwa ).
And seven years later when he resigned from UNIP in 1971, Mr. Kapwepwe said: ‘’….the revolutionary spirit adopted before independence has gone. Independence is good, but it is meaningless and useless if it does not bring fruits to the masses. Most of the leaders have turned opportunists. We have lost love for the people and political direction. We have fallen victims to the flattery from imperialists. We no longer mind what happens to the people of Zambia or to their children’s future. We have lost the revolution, it may be there in name, but it has no spirit and no strength. Revolution demands sincerity, dedication, selflessness, devotion and pure sacrifice.’’
Zambia is indeed your country, but this country’s wealth belongs to the whites.
Zambia is indeed your country, but this country’s wealth belongs to the whites.
A white South African miner on the copper-belt seemed to have given us the clue to what Mr. Kapwepwe had said when he sarcastically told Zambian mine workers who were celebrating their independence: ‘’Zambia ena kawena, mali ena katina.’’ Meaning: ‘’Zambia is indeed your country, but this country’s wealth belongs to the whites.’’ And he was deported.
And indeed, the colonialist has bounced back and has been ‘’born-again, baptized’’ and has given himself a new name of ‘’investor.’’ Mr. Kapwepwe was merely stating the fact which we at the tail-end of history are actually witnessing today that the colonialist leaves by the front-door, but re-enters by the back-door. Professor Ferdinand Akuffo whom I understand comes from Ghana wrote: ‘’…..in 1964, Dr. Kaunda and many other great heroes fought so hard for Zambia to be independent. They had visions and it’s unfortunate that forty-three years later, a more subtle form of colonialism is taking place.
Foreigners are disguising themselves and making Zambians believe that they have their best interests and yet they are wolves in sheep’s clothing. They are slowly taking control of Zambia by taking what gives Zambians power. Most of the companies, shops etc., are being run by them. All this is being done while Zambians sit down and follow blindly.
For how long will Zambians continue to labour under the shadows of others?’’ (The Post 24th September 2007). Dr. Kaunda wrote: ‘’It appeared that the colonialist had freed Africans in order to make them servants.’’ (A Humanist in Africa ).
Hasham Nazor in Power of Third Kind: Western Attempt to Colonize the Global Village wrote: ‘’If the developing countries’ intellectuals do not soon wake up and challenge the colonizing operation, it will be too late. The process has been activated by the western powers using vast amounts of money, time and planning. Meanwhile, most people in developing nations might not even be aware of its complexity and magnitude. They certainly are not ready for a serious confrontation. Beneath the overwhelming western charm and the power to assimilate, some of the developing nations are already submitting too much….the power to target, penetrate, manipulate and consequently to alter human consciousness through the modern global communications, especially television and the internet is the power of the third kind…..this stimulation of consciousness is the most effective means of global brainwashing.’’ (emphasis mine).
A Catholic priest, Father Peter Henriot warned of ‘’Zambia moving towards economic apartheid ……poverty is not just a political and economic issue, but also a moral problem which can segregate citizens on lines of the apartheid regime of South Africa…..We are moving towards economic apartheid in Zambia which can divide us on poverty lines..(The Post 31st October 2004).
Wynter Kabimba at the formation of the Rainbow Party said: ‘’The levels of inequality in Zambia are equally alarming and you may be surprised to learn these statistics today that the lowest 10% social economic group consumes a bare 1.5% of our GDP whereas the 10% of the elite take up 47.4%. This is a scandal for any country of human beings. These disparities are unacceptable as they pose a political risk to our country..’’ (The Post 16th December 2014)…The political elite of this country has become the worst enemy of the people and survives for the sole purpose of enriching itself.
…………To be continued