By Andrew Kapya
When I saw pictures of Amos Chanda’s Matebeto last weekend, my mind went back in time and I remembered the cartoon that was made from George Orwell’s animal farm. For those that have not read the book or watched the cartoon, Animal farm is a satire that mocks the revolution in the USSR. The majority of people supported the revolution in hopes of a better life where everyone was equal but alas the ruling class had become exactly the same as the people they chased away.
In my humble opinion, we have had a revolution one too many. I will take you back to 1991 when the whole country rallied behind Chiluba and the MMD. I was a kid then but goodness me, it was exciting. There was so much hope you could touch it with your hands. Screams of “the hour has come” where everywhere. Finally we were going to have democracy and a fair country where we were all equal with equal opportunities for everyone.
Fast forward 4 years we started seeing the same traits we hated of the UNIP ruling class. The new ruling class was just as corrupt if not worse. In fact they were worse; I mean they were completely shameless. Who remembers Sata and Remmy Mushota trying to walk out of the Bank of Zambia with 2 billion kwacha in cash? Do you remember the Carrington Maize scandal of Nawakwi, Mezaf Flats? Privatization while necessary became an opportunity to loot. Overnight these guys become stinking rich.
It took us 20 years to decide enough is enough and Zambians were by then fed up and just wanted change. So we found a new motto “Pabwatooo” oh yes and “Donchi Kubeba”. Again exciting times. The Whole line of rail was green. Mr. Action man was coming to power. He was experienced, visionary and a no -nonsense man. “But this guy was corrupt” some shouted, “He is the guy of the 2 billion scandal and Mezaf flats”. And the majority screamed “ Just shut up iwe, we want change and he is Mr. Action”.
And so we voted Mr. Sata into power. Granted he remained Visionary, however we saw the most disorganized government during his presidency. And yes there was no surprise when the country became even more corrupt than during the MMD times. Road construction contracts were being handed out from statehouse to family; friends and cadres who knew nothing about construction of roads. Most departments heads chosen from one part of the country. Even the judiciary was given to a relative. All of a sudden, Cadres were the most feared / important people in this country. They literary got away with murder. Fast forward to today we have people we used to know that are now stinking rich because of political patronage. They own everything in town, they are big buyers, spend weekends in Cape Town and book all rooms at Hotels for their birthday party celebrations, hire huge coaches for matebeto . Wait, these guys are looking exactly the same as the MMD we chased out. No difference. In fact the only difference is these guys are worse. They have forgotten why people voted out MMD.
I will leave it here but with a caution. Any change henceforth must be scrutinized; we must not again change for the sake of it and because we will end with the likes of whom will even be worse than the current crop. Any politician whose has corrupt background, violence, tribalism, theft etc. must never be given a chance. For power will not make them reform; It can only make them worse
( I have nothing against Amos Chanda and I hope that he had a good time on his special day. I was just trying to point out that modesty in leaders is key. A person struggling to buy electricity will be envious and perhaps angry when they see they guys at the top living in what can be considered excesses. People who work close to the president should be modest at least for the duration they are working in statehouse)
God bless Zambia