Zambia's President Michael Sata speaks at a Gala Dinner in Bloemfontein on January 7, 2012

I have spent the last few weeks reflecting on the happenings in our country. We have a situation that require sober minds. A situation that require leadership and level headedness. A situation that require sincerity and honesty. I know that politicians, typical of who they are will continue pretending as if all is well, but as citizens we should begin calling as spade as is and not a big spoon.

I have had to reflect on a number of issues among them the closure of the Post Newspaper and arresting of its editor in chief and the issues surrounding this matter, the continued political violence and intimidations, hate speech by different political players and indeed the media and how there are covering this year’s elections. I have found it very difficult to comprehend why we seem to be so ANGRY with each other. We have become enemies of our own brothers and sisters and this is not going down well for our country. Our government is engaged in an unnecessary squabbles with the diplomats accredited to our country.
This year’s campaigns will most likely go down in history as one of the worst in terms of how the political parties are selling their manifestos. They are spending huge sums of money holding rallies to just talk about their opponents and not how they will improve the lives of our citizens. Sadly our politicians are doing this with a clear conscious when most families can’t afford a decent meal. They know this is not right but they pretend because they know no one will bring up these issues. I can predict that we will have voter apathy if politicians don’t change the way they are handling the campaigns.

We have become a careless society that does not care about the wellbeing of our society. We are not paying enough attention to matters of national importance. Our police has become brutal and at will they use excessive force on defenceless citizens. Today we have more TV and Radio adverts talking about violence. One would think that as a nation we should have been doing more adverts talking about the importance of the referendum and people’s involvement in the general elections which will be held side by side with the referendum. Our political leaders have not strongly spoken against violence. From time to time our republican president has called on the police to deal with perpetrators of violence, but until now it looks as though all that is just mere rhetoric from the head of state. Even ‘Christians’ have now started campaigning openly for certain candidates.

The media is not spared. At a critical time such as this we expect the media to be neutral and show independence in the manner they report. This is not the case at the moment as most media houses seem to be politically inclined to one political party or the other. This however, is with the exception of few media houses that are not biased. There is a lot of intimidation happening at the moment and no one from those responsible for these actions seems to care. Lets me mention here also that when we speak the truth we must be ready for victimization because we are dealing with a society that is allergic to the truth. It is in our nature that many times we don’t like to hear the truth and yes what I am saying is true.
Our democracy is at stake and we don’t even show concern as citizens. Those of us who call ourselves ‘activists’ have become even more compromised such that we no longer give proper checks and balances but rather speak for those who give us talk time money. We have forgotten our role in the society and this makes sad reading. I remind us that all we are doing may not really affect our lives so much but our children will be victims of the damage we are so willingly causing to our country. They will grow up in a morally corrupt society.

Our leaders are slowly becoming our misleaders, those who support different political parties have continued supporting their leaders even when they do wrong things. They don’t care what we go through and what we feel after all. They are concerned about their own needs and selfish interest. Politicians have made us insult, injure and kill each other for selfish reasons. Every time I listen and read the news I am greeted by hate speech. Now it has even become a risk to openly criticise those holding political offices because we just don’t know what will come next.
Both the ruling party and the opposition are not helping the situation as they are the ones promoting lawlessness. They see it normal to fund violence in defence of attack. Goodness me! we have sunk so low that we can even record children on video insulting citizens and we see nothing wrong with that. What kind of morals are we really giving to these children? How will they respect us when we are doing the exact opposite of what is expected of us? Why have we found the abnormal to become normal? Where is our conscious when all this is happening in a nation that has been known as a mother of democracy in Africa? These are the type of questions that keep on reappearing on my mind.

For far too long we have sat and observed with pretence that all is well when in fact our country is going down. We are scared of being threatened and victimised when we speak out on matters of great importance to our nation.
My call this day goes to the church, the civil society organizations and the citizenry to stop giving a blind eye to the situation our country is faced with. We can’t continued keeping quiet and watch our democracy die without voicing out. It is a risk we have to take if the future generation is to be protected. We can be insulted for doing right but we should always remember that God will give the final judgement.
I end here for now.
God bless Mother Zambia

David Kapoma
Governance Activist