By Nkonkomalimba Kafunda
While it is undoubtedly healthy, right and proper for citizens to take keen interest in affairs of governance, to treat government with suspicion, misgiving and apprehension, seeing criminality in almost all transactions and initiatives undertaken, tends to defeat the whole purpose of upholding checks and balances.
Understandably, endemic scepticism after a seven-year kleptocracy is to be expected even, to some extent, accepted. However, not all leaders go into government with nefarious intentions. There are exceptions to what Africans have come to accept as the rule.
Listening to radio call-in programs, a habit I should have embraced much earlier, I hear callers, uninformedly and without basis, accuse the government and by implication, the President of awarding contracts to friends, associates and acquaintances as reward for bankrolling last years election campaign, among other things. The people’s ignorance is exacerbated by an orchestrated, concerted malicious social media misinformation campaign whose core objective is to paint the president black. An unfortunate outcome was gullible youths blatantly, impertinently insulting the head of state and getting their just deserts. Well done Zambia Army. Human rights, freedom of expression notwithstanding, our values, norms and cultures remain paramount. Privately, most of those calling for action against the Army officers seen disciplining the errant youths, would prefer they be given medals.
Devoid of facts, callers talk of fertilizer supply contracts tendered and awarded opaquely, major road projects being given to friends of the president, KCM being handed over to Vandetta and so on.
While the Sowers of these seeds of hatred, ridicule and contempt rub their hands in collective, malicious glee, matching malevolent grins in tow, the Zambian people are denied an opportunity to buy into the bigger picture, a picture painted on a canvass of hope, rejuvenation, vitality, prosperity and good will.
Granted, the Patriotic Front reign of illicit jollification has left more than just a nasty hangover in our people’s collective psyche, it has left Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), but that does not mean the country lacks good, honest, upright leaders with pure intentions.
Let these few good men lead you, fellow Zambians, to a place you deserve to be: progressive, prosperous and peaceful.