Sunday, November 20, 2011
NORSE FOLKLORE? MAYBE NOT QUITE!
By Namakando Nalikando-Sinyama
I must hasten to apologise for seemingly misleading you with the above heading which has perhaps made you look forward to tales of the epic Viking conquests of Thor and his father Odin or some other legends from the fiords of Scandinavia. You must understand that this was of course by design as I sought to throw off the state blood hounds who might be hot on me tail because of the candid approach I have to issues. I am being paranoid you say? Just sit and wait as i do not intend to pull any punches here, there is way too much to lose so someone has to speak out. I know it is a cliché but i strongly hold that if you cannot stand for something then you will most definitely fall for anything .In time, you will, I hope realise that this piece is more closer to home than previously thought.
We are seeing the first signs or shall we call them symptoms of state implosion on the Zambian political landscape. The current foul-ups, bleeps and blunders in appointments of sensitive office holders with doubtful credentials and their eventual revocations have the potential of threatening national security as we know it. In a very sinister way there is slowly a gathering of astute carrion feeders to ready themselves for what Sting(Gordon Michael Sumner) in his Rock ballad called an imminent ‘feast of the crows!’ In evolutionary zoology there are animals endowed with a rare perceptive sense which enables them survive in the wild by shrewdly sourcing their food in times of extreme starvation. They, unlike others would observe an ailing animal and thus stick by its side or stalk it until it yields to its affliction and they descend on it to have their fill. So far, vultures are the best at this skill and have turned it into an art form! The father of scientific nomenclature, the Swede Linnaeus may have to be called upon to coin a befitting genus and species for human politicians who do this. I propose Homo Politicos Vulturis Hominidae spp. to the Scientific American or any other periodical for consideration. It takes an extremely keen perceptive ability to pick these out.
Am currently listening to some hard hitting Gothic Heavy metal Rock music playing the Pee (Which is the Uric Acid rich Nitrogenous Liquid matter) Eff (Euphemism for a natural bodily physiological function of procreative belly poking!)Manifesto backwards! Yes the lyrics of the song are actually sung or played backwards. You may think it crazy but it is really creatively cool, you should try it sometime. This to those who are even in the slightest familiar with the music genre that is Rock will particularly appreciate what this means and how much of an apt allegory it is when applied to the current administration’s political manoeuvres. Let me see, Windfall Tax no go area now, allergic to corruption? Let me just say it depends on how rich ones vocabulary is to understand what allergy really means to them or what the regime has opted to be its real meaning! The country is running on a constitution which is not adequately equipped to address the concerns of the citizens as has been seen from the many submissions which have been made during costly constitutional review commissions. This, therefore, means that technically we are running on a clinically ailing constitution. The powers of the president may need to be re-looked at as a matter of great urgency. Protecting lowly paid workers against Chinese greed (are you kidding yourself?). Well, at least some workers received a rise in their pecks you say? I do not know whether it is just me or there is an aura of fear that is slowly gripping the citizens in fear of state machinery in UNIPIST fashion.(What else do you expect, BUCHIZYA MUTEPA KAUNDA is the right hand man of the man running the show. This is not because you are doing wrong but there is a growing morbid fear of structures of government which has the potential of stifling free thinking and freedom of expression and thus taking the country ages back in intellectual development. The setting up of careless commissions of inquiry on very straight forward matters at such an astronomical cost to the country is yet another feature of grave concern. Alas, after what’s his name struggled through the budget speech we now find that more money has sadly only ended up in some people’s pockets not everyone’s contrary to the expectations of many. Can someone please explain what is with the government’s obsession with the numerical number 90? In 90 days this, in 90 days that, they have just exposed themselves for their total lack of appreciation of the complexity of some of these tasks they rather naively thought they could achieve in such a short space of time.
The Inquiry into the January 14 Mungu Killings which the inept conveners called ‘Inquiry into the Barotseland Agreement 1964’ is another such example. This was a blatant misnomer of the exercise or commission they called to elicit views from the citizens of Barotseland on the events of that Bloody Friday. It made the most competent senior citizens of Barotseland show up on the day of the submissions fully clad in their traditional regalia almost sounding the inaudible war drums as they carried burning blood of anger in their veins you could actually sense it in their stride. And true to the heading and advertisements in the media they gave the Zambian government a piece of their mind on the matter. It was a clarion call and unity of purpose in typical biblical fashion that the length and breadth of the soil of Barotseland equivocally stated ‘LET MY PEOPLE GO!’ The reason this is a waste of time and money is that some of us already can see where this exercise is headed. They intend to eventually find a few trigger happy unfortunate policemen who were merely following orders, guilty of using disproportionate force and they will be paraded and will effectively lose their jobs in a shameful display of a legitimatisation façade of rectitude. The victims will be minimally compensated and with this they hope the issue will be buried and Barotseland will forget what happened. A small lesson they need to learn and appreciate by internalising is that we are from the Elephant Clan and as such WE NEVER EVER FORGET (There are things we choose never to forget). We have and forever will hold the Zambian Government solely responsible for killing our brothers and sisters. The real perpetrators of those killings are the ‘top vegetables’ in Lusaka as they are guilty of culpable homicide. They are the ones who unleashed and ordered the police to go to the heart of Barotseland in Mungu without any clear rules of engagement but with specific instructions to maim and kill.
As for where I generally see this country going, all I can say is that overall, this country should seriously concern itself with where its political parties get their campaign funds. We do not want them to compromise national integrity by making all the citizens dance to the tune of these funding entities. Remember ‘He who pays the piper calls the tune’ or something to that effect. Look, out of the many trillions of kwacha that are pronounced as budgetary allocations, you are told that something like 25% would be locally funded by over taxing the underpaid poor workers and struggling SME business people crossing the borders while the multi-million dollar earning mining companies are given rebates and tax waivers. What people should seriously look into is where the 75% budget financing comes from and what this implies to the nation and its ability to stand up to the demands of the funding entities. Do you honestly think the Chinese will be under any real pressure to implement better working conditions now after the strangle hold they have now on the politics and economy of your country? Zambia was fooling itself when it begun toying around with the idea of doing away with the Chinese. The Red Army matches on and the whole world, yes, including America are paying attention and they continue to look east for their financial and economic redemption.
Am really feeling for the people whose hopes have been all but nearly shuttered on account of what is unfolding right before their very eyes. They have begun an introspective assessment of their earlier decisions as to whether or not their universal suffrage was correctly employed. I perfectly understand their dejection because in sociology what we have come to accept is this that, “When the banner is unfurled, all reason is in the trumpet.” Hence during the ballot people went in droves to vote out a rotten regime in preference for whichever party regardless of the consequences because what they had before in the so-called leaders was way below par. They had hit rock bottom in standards of national stewardship. The quality of national office bearers had so plummeted that they even started digging the bedrock of poor governance. This is particularly and deeply affecting the citizens of Barotseland who because of the immense anger they felt for a murderous Zambian government administration ended up displaying a voting pattern or character not exactly in keeping with their known cultural vows. This has made them sadly party to all the mediocrity we are now noticing. One just has to feel for them because now they find themselves on the outer fringes of political ostracism or banishment by a regime they tried hard to help bring into office. When it comes to Barotseland Agreement 1964 and its resolution by this regime, it is something I will not hold my breath for or see come to fruition because of Kaunda’s closeness to this administration. It chills my spine every time I see him walking hand in hand with the Zambian president and obviously giving ‘valuable’ advice on how to run the country and solve certain contentious issues. You had no way of knowing this is the way things would eventually pan out even amidst so many warnings from people with a rare gift of premonition! So, now that your euphoric political bubble has effectively burst and the cookie as we say in the business, has crumbled, where are you to look for your shattered hopes and dreams or are you still under the spell of Morpheus to discern the full implications of what is happening?
I do know that my message will not be received well by the DONCHI KUBEBA diehards who display what my most erudite almost-friend so wittily described as ‘KOPALA SWAGGER’. She did not exactly give me her expressed permission to use her words nearly verbatim and hope she has a medical condition of a big heart to forgive me. She called it a new word for the Urban Dictionary 'Kopala Swagga' - Definition; That intangible, indescribable, something, something, that all those born pa copperbelt innately possess. A charismatic, confident air that cannot be faked by those who were not born there (even though they try very, very hard to imitate) it separates us from the rest distinguishes us from the rest and places us waaaaaaay above them too!! So that is what it was, you see I had the misfortune of being born and raised on the copperbelt meself but growing up I did not quite understand what made all those uncouth, Impudent people around me behave the way they did. I most sincerely thank you for enriching my vocabulary so.
Let us face it though, these be my honest feelings. The truth of the matter is these people (government) needed to have hit the ground running but somehow they seem to be dawdling through the issues that really matter. From the look of things they seem to have been overwhelmed by the scale of what it entails to run a modern day country. My advice to them is that they need to carry out regular reality checks on themselves, wake up and smell the cappuccino, the game is on! This country needs to wake up now rather than later. You have to monitor the goings on this administration especially on matters that border on constitutionality for failure to do this will result into a creation of Dr. Victor Frankenstein’s despotic monster you may be ill-equipped to control!
Barotseland, Central Africa
“I tell you a truth, liberty is the best of all things, my son, never live under a slavish bond.” – Sir William Wallace’s Uncle