By Henry Kanyanta Sosala
Questions are the beginnings of discoveries in life since questions can introduce you to answers. And therefore its most important in the current power crisis that our nation is experiencing to pose questions which can lead to answers. We are at the moment being bombarded with an overload of distorted information on the current power load-shedding from every angle.
The question is : is the power crisis we are experiencing the result of gross inefficiency, neglect or some other human failures or is it a natural calamity and far beyond human control? My simple research has revealed that the Meteorological Department had predicted normal rainfall and which means the rain shortfall caught us as a nation by surprise which then means, that the power crisis we are facing falls in the category of natural calamity and is therefore far beyond human control.
On the other hand, who could have had even the slightest idea of the calamity since we have had good rainfall all along and we had even to open floodgates and the excess water had even to destroy the people’s maize fields. I suppose anyone who could have suggested of water cropping before the disaster could have been declared a candidate for Chainama Mental Hospital.
And with the amount of information infiltrating into our brains on a daily basis, we definitely need a filter to sift through the all gamut of information since some people would love the negative weightiness of information to sit idle on the minds of the people. And we are actually being fed with disinformation, misinformation, lies and rumours.
And those information manipulators know that the image of the human mind is infinitely malleable, capable of being reformed, transformed and rectified without limit and thought patterns can be directed to desired ends and whoever controls the mind, controls the man.
On the face value, it seems a lot of Zambians are very highly educated, however, to me it appears that the greatest amount of intelligence exists in that country where people are best able to defend their rights and their liberties as against those who are desirous of undermining them.
But to my great amazement and surprise I have now learned that the Zambian Republican President is also endowed with supernatural powers
But to my great amazement and surprise I have now learned that the Zambian Republican President is also endowed with supernatural powers. And it is very unwise to doubt since this revelation about President Lungu’s supernatural powers came from one of the prominent and distinguished Members of Parliament and he is also among the famous and self-professed ‘’wise men from the East.’’
Honourable Levy Ngoma rebuked his fellow tribesman for the failure to perform the miracles even among his own kith and kin: ‘’People are dying in hospitals because of power outages and there is no one else to blame but the President. It is under his watchful eye that people are being sent to an early grave.’’ (Sunday Post 13th September 2015).
One of the key problems we are facing is capitalism which teaches self-centredness. Has capitalism become a faith which engenders such blind dedication that it can override moral values? And if so, does it destroy integrity and inherent human sentiments i.e., love of extended family, friendship, kindness or charity? The objective temptation capitalism offers is to provide an ‘’easy’’ route to everything as an individual.
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
Why have we as a nation not just accepted this disaster which has so greatly affected the very fiber of our lives, whether it was human fault or natural catastrophe and go forward together to try to find some solutions to cushion the situation? Unless we reform on our own free will, nature will reform us by force, as nature always does.
The Black American activist, Malcolm X once said: ‘’Every defeat, every loss contains its own seed; its own lesson on how to improve your performance next time.’’
In his thesis: Multipartism and Matrilineal Governance System of the Bemba-Speaking People of Zamba: An African Theological Perspective, Dr. Simon Muwowo wrote:‘’Our hypothesis question in this regard is ‘is there a chance for a solution?’’
The answer to every question in African society lies in the concept of ‘Ubuntu’ and that is, ‘human beings have the ability to cut through their differences to the rock bottom identity of interest.’’(Wiewdu 2000). And, on this view, ‘the means to that objective is simply rational discussion (M.Mutiso, 1975:478).
On the capabilities of this means, our African society is very explicit, they say, ‘there is no problem of human relations that cannot be resolved by dialogue (ibid).
This is what Dr. Kaunda, former President of Zambia meant when he said, ‘in our African society solutions were arrived at through consensuses (ibid). Dialogue, of course, presupposes not just two parties, but also two conflicting positions as the ‘Multi-headed hydra’ metaphor describes the nature of a homo Afrikanus. ‘one head does not hold council, nor was any suggestion that one voice might be entitled to be heard to the exclusion of others countenanced for one moment.’ (WIredu, 1996)
A Bemba saying also states,
‘Umunwe umo tausa inda’ (Mpashi, 1970) [one finger cannot pick head lies].
Another states ‘
Amano mambulwa kabili yafuma mwi fwesa yaya mu culu’ (ibid) [meaning: words of wisdom are from one man to the other even more wisdom can come from a pot stand to an anthill].
These Bemba parables presuppose the idea of the principle of consensus as a basic foundation of any successful concept of governance in an African society.’’
Our political luminaries do not seem to understand one great lesson: that all the difficulties and complex problems of each country can in no way be solved by another country’s formula, though it may somehow try to help and only to a certain extent. And I repeat ‘’only to a certain extent.’’ This is because reality does not conform to logic.
For example, the western development programmes that are deliberately imposed upon docile Africans fail to transplant successfully in Africa, just because no gardener would ordinarily transplant a fully grown tree to a new site. Rather, he would plant a sapling or a shoot and be content to bide his time until it grows to its full dimensions. In fact, this is one of the major problems in Africa, since the accumulated foreign ideas to which we hold dearly are not related to the real problems facing the continent.
Chairman Mao related to the vision of the will as all-powerful, even to the extent that (in Mao’s own words) ‘’the subjective creates the objective.’’ That is, man’s capacity for both undergoing change and changing his environment is unlimited once he makes the decision for change the entire universe can bend to his will.
But again the controlling image is the sense of revolutionary immortality that confers these vaulting capacities upon the mind. And during the Great Leap, Chairman Mao declared that there was no poor soil but poor thoughts.
For example, Clifford Spencer, one of the UN Foundation experts said:
‘’Africa as a continent could theoretically produce all the energy the world needs, but only 16% of the continent is electrified as at now. However, in the Sub-Saharan Africa it is 8% while Africans spend up to 70% of their household income on energy (diesel, kerosene, charcoal), showing that there is a pressing need to remedy the situation.’’ (New Africa No 490 December 2009)
And indeed, Zambian politics does not induce and sense of reality and one current notable feature is that politics is based on reactions to issues and not on principals or on sound reasoning.
politics is based on reactions to issues and not on principals or on sound reasoning
politics is based on reactions to issues and not on principals or on sound reasoning
I believe that political intellectuals lacking the revolutionary Marxist concepts are not a match for political activists. Marxism is not a dogma, but a guide to action. And Herbert Aptheker writing on Max and American Scholarship said: ‘’Indeed, the greatest American intellectual figures — and this is part of their greatness — not only to uphold the right to study Marx, but insisted upon the necessity to study him if one was to have some grasp of reality. They acknowledged in Marx as one of the outstanding geniuses in world history and therefore knew that any ‘university’ which barred Marx could only be a place of mis-education; that any ‘teacher’ who ignored or caricatured his ideas could only be a fraud and any student who was kept from those ideas was being cheated in his efforts to get at the truth. And they held to this notwithstanding vituperation and persecution. All the great scholars repeatedly referred in their lectures and writings to the ideas of Karl Marx….. they were not themselves Marxists, but they dealt with Marx respectfully and with a sense of responsibility. They did not use Marxism as an epithet, rather they treated it as one of the great seminal systems of world thought.’’ (The Era of McCarthyism pp. 216/217).
The political scenario appears to bear hallmarks of simple blind and personal struggles and hence with no ideology to sustain it except the monotonous recitation of insults and the use of political thugs to bulldoze innocent people during election campaigns.
Ngande Mwanajiti wrote: ‘’Those who resort to unpalatable language and insults are just not capable of dealing with issues at hand in a reasonable manner. It is not any different from the case of war lords or terrorists who measure success by the number and level of destruction.’’(Daily Nation 1st July 2015).
It is far beyond normal human comprehension for blood-thirsty political leaders of competing parties to deliberately and purposely create combustible atmosphere in which they delight to see the spill of human blood when they send trucks full of desperate and unemployed youths to go and maim, kill each other and other innocent villagers just for the sake of gaining parliamentary seats. Have you ever taken time to look critically at all those characters vying for the presidency? The majority of them have absolutely nothing to offer, but for their appetite for the fruits of power and the way I see it, we shall definitely end up with the most formidable, elusive, unrestrained, impersonal and cruel tyranny the country has yet seen.
The reality is that the entire nation is on the same intellectual and political wave-bands which was easily identified by the South African Communist Party Secretary-General, Dr. Blade Nzimande, when he visited this country and met the leaders of different political parties and the civil society groups in separate meetings:
‘’What is disappointing in Zambia is the extent to which virtually all the major political parties that will be contesting elections this year (i.e., 2006) are effectively committed to a path broadly similar to that of Chiluba.’’ (Sunday Post 9th April 2006).
And Alpheus Mason in Politics: Art or Science wrote: ‘’Politics is a struggle for power among men who do not respect power. It results from the effort of each human being to do his will and, conversely, not to be himself induced, persuaded or compelled into doing theirs.’’
And Henry Demarest Lloyd in Wealth Against Commonwealth wrote:
‘’We have given the prize of power to the strong, the cunning, the arithmetical and we must expect nothing else, but that they will use it cunningly and arithmetically…… and until the people take their proper place in the seat of sovereignty, these pseudo owners – mere claimants and usurpers– will, by the very falsity and iniquity of their positions, be pushed into deceit, tyranny and cruelty ending in downfall.’’
The most unfortunate trend in our nation is that we are not ready to sacrifice for the common good. In fact people are ready only to sacrifice if the cost of avoiding it is higher than the cost of the sacrifice.