By Dr Lubinda Haabazoka
Vienna was just voted in as the best city to live in. It has held this rank before several times.
What makes Vienna so peaceful and liveable are the ethics and aesthetics appreciated by its people.
To develop a country, people are not supposed to have a 5 year or 10 year plan. The country needs a 100 year plan in which everyone fits in. Various players can argue in terms of ways to achieve a 100 year plan but not change the 100 year plan.
Now we can’t plan as a country when the majority of citizens are illiterate. When people are not educated, they are unable to plan because they don’t have an overall grasp of what it takes to move a country to greatness.
In a society where the majority remain uneducated or are not exposed, you can’t a an effective democracy because citizens can make a well informed decision on which candidate is better placed to represent them at any level. Democracy in Zambia therefore does not produce the best political leaders. For this reason, the majority of educated Zambians shun politics because educated people can’t make sense to the uneducated in most cases because they are simply at different wave lengths. For educated Zambians who brave it to go into politics, they drop their narrative to suit the narrative of an average voter but immediately change once they get into office.
Democracy as practiced in Zambia also creates a polarised country. People simply don’t understand that have different political views is normal. Supporting different political parties doesn’t make people enemies. But in a democracy like Zambia, people from different political groupings are rivals ready to even kill each other! So countries like Zambia forever remain divided on party lines. A divided country cannot develop because to develop, everyone has to come on board with the 100 year plan that never changes!
If I may ask today. Do Zambians know what democracy is? What is our 100 year plan? Even if we put street lighting in all roads, the uneducated section of the population will vandalise the lighting. But when you live in Vienna for example, the number of people that are likely to vandalise public property are fewer. So their infrastructure remains intact. In a society where the majority are educated and are exposed, you don’t even need conductors on public transport as the case is in Vienna. People themselves pay to use the transport even when checks for tickets happen once in a long time.
We cannot have fountains in the CBD, clean streets because our population won’t simply appreciate those things. Imagine we even have a relatively large educated population now than at independence but we still think it’s normal to have open sewers, soak aways instead of central sewer systems among other things.
When you look at the discourse ok social media ok Zambia, what gets public attention is gossip, one is arrested, shenzo is drunk, etc. Important things in Zambia don’t trend.
The illiteracy among our educated population is also very worrying. We need an exposed educated population. Imagine educated Zambians think that knowledge from school doesn’t make sense and what is important is practice. Therefore because of not following guidelines, we build substandard infrastructure and half baked economic solutions to the country.
Europeans, Americans, the Chinese travel to much. Learning about Shaka’s cow horn formation or the geography of Canada can never be a waste of time. History repeats itself and knowing the world helps you easily get by. If you have no background about a people, you can’t lead them because you won’t know their nature. That’s why we have to know history.
Unless and until 99% of our population get education and are exposed to the whole world, we are not going to go anywhere. Unless we unite, we shall never go anywhere!!
Keep this message for me and remind me after 20 years! We shall still be in the same place because we are very ”SERIOUS ABOUT MEDIOCRE THINGS AND MEDIOCRE AT SERIOUS THINGS”!
Development doesn’t come by accident. It needs to be achieved!!!!