By Nevers Sekwila Mumba President, New Hope MMD
This Message is dedicated to the Zambian Youths between 15 and 35 years old: I want every young Zambian to look into my eyes and listen to me with both your ears and your hearts. You represent the largest group of cowards Zambia has ever produced. You have proved to be spineless. You have watched the country you are going to manage in a few years get wrecked and you are silent. I sometimes wonder if you have any interest in your country. How shall you lead this country without passion and courage? I know you are angry at my words. Yes, I want you angry. I repeat You are a bunch of COWARDS. For some reason you think the country does not need your input. You are afraid of being arrested, imprisoned, and ostracized. Somehow you believe good things come cheap.
If the current crop of youths were the ones we had in the early sixties, we would probably still be under colonial rule. But our fathers were fearless, resolved to secure the freedoms we now enjoy. They were beaten, imprisoned, and even killed so that you and I can today sing, “ Stand and sing of Zambia proud and free..” we salute their courage and selfless commitment to our country. This early breed of youth grew up differently. They walked without shoes to segregated schools. They used outside latrines for toilets. They fetched water and firewood early in the morning before they could be allowed to go to school. They made their own beds and swept the surroundings every day. They were brought up with strong culture and character. They were warriors.
Your generation grew up in front of the television playing video games. Your world is a virtual one on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. A driver takes you to school and picks you up. A maid makes your bed and someone washes and irons your clothes. With these comforts, some of our youth have no fight in them. You shy away from anything that looks like a fight. Our forefathers fought and delivered freedom for us. To create a better future for yourselves, you too must be ready to fight. Nothing good comes on a silver platter. Stop hiding behind your laptops and strange English accents, come out and challenge us not to destroy your future by our corruption and greed.
Challenge us not to auction your gold. Challenge us not to sell your birthright to foreigners. Challenge us not to insult your intelligence by relying on foreigners to think for us in restructuring the debt we recklessly accrued. If you don’t challenge us, you shall inherit a wrecked nation.
I call for courage amongst our youth. If you belong to a political party, learn to ask the difficult questions to your senior officials. If you are in the opposition ask us to be clear about the future we intend to create for you. Ask us why we wish to assume power.
Challenge us to include you in our planning. If you belong to the ruling party ask difficult questions as to how some of them have become so rich overnight. Ask and keep on asking until they change. It is your future.
We are forming “FREEDOM FROM FEAR” CAMPAIGN Committees in all provinces. These shall demand answers from the government. They shall use all democratic means to get answers from the government. The youth of Zambia, you may not have grown up as we did, but if we are lions who have spoiled our cubs by spoon-feeding you, I have good news for you. Inside you are a real unprovoked lion. I am here to provoke you to start asking the questions. You are real lions.
I invite young people to courageously join our political ranks. I am determined enough to push for 50% of our candidates to be a youth in the New Hope MMD. We need a fresh start as a nation. We need to start the handover to the next generation. We shall soon start receiving applications from those who wish to stand for elective positions like counsellors, Mayors, and Members of Parliament. We want a new and young line up for 2021. It is your time.