There is a challenge here to all of us: if we want quality political leadership, we should be prepared to contribute in one way or another to its construction. Let’s take time to participate in the affairs of our country’s political parties. Let’s make financial and other material contributions to the functioning of these political parties as far as possible as we can.
It has taken a while but I now believe we are headed in the right direction in putting a finger on the true source of our problems. We not there yet in understanding the important and well tested principle : we get the leadership we deserve. When Zambians one day realise that politicians are supposed to govern in their interest, I believe that day poverty will be on its death bed.- The Post (Editorial)
I say we are not there yet because the Post Editorial is still emphasizing the financial aspect of the contribution. I certainly do think this area is important because investing in political parties will certainly ensure that we care more about how such political parties are run. This is partly why I oppose public funding of political parties. The last thing Zambia needs is public funding of political parties because it will just extend the "tragedy of the commons" to this already damaged area. But I digress . The main point I wanted to make is that the true source of our poverty, and this may upset some, may well be intellectual. Yes, let us give these already greedy politicians more money, hoping to get a hook in their affairs, but more importantly, we must cultivate an intellectual renaissance. At present our attitude is worse than 18th Century Portugal, where Mary Brearle noted : "the bulk of the people were disinclined to independence of thought and, in all but few instances, too much averse for intellectual activity to question what they have learned".
I believe in all honesty that much of what we need to change is intellectual. We need to gird our people with the right analytical armour. I find that usually Zambians-in-know ask the wrong questions. This is why mediocre explanations by Ministers and other lazy intellectuals can go unchallenged. We need to re-educate our people. Shift their mode of thinking to begin questioning those in authority - to begin thinking independently - we can and must hold our leaders to a much higher standard that at present. A big challenge here is our we get the message out to the rural constituents and chiefs in particular.
By God's grace we shall, that I am convinced of. Mediocre explanations and poor analytical thinking wont solve the deep challenges facing our people. Our problems are too great. Every minute a poor grandmother struggles to feed herself. A child roams the streets. Who will speak for them? It wont be our politicians or our MPs. Its 2010, but yet Zambia has worse housing conditions than pre-World War 1 Europe. I find that totally unacceptable. It is that moral outrage that should spur each of us to ensure that we leave Zambia better than we found it - which is not difficult for anyone born after1980. I am of the view that we don't have to be politicians to do our bit. But to bring about the change we all desire will require greater civic activism and innovate methods for getting the message out to the rural masses.