Zambia, like many other countries across the globe commemorated the international Labour Day which falls yearly on the 1st of May and underlines the importance of the worker’s rights, their hard work and remembering that labour is the backbone of any economy and life in general.
However, getting down to the nitty-gritty, the speech which was presented by his Excellency Mr. Michael C. Sata, president of the government of the Republic of Zambia can not go without sound debate and analysis. Having taken enough time to read part of his verbatim as reported in several online news tabloids, I have been subjected to critically digest his speech in the hope of finding its relevance vis-à-vis the international Labour Day commemoration.
By and large, his Excellency’s speech did not seem to rationally address the many challenges that the Zambian labourers are facing on a daily basis such as low incomes, dangerous working conditions, demotivation and ill-treatment by investors that himself once called “infesters” to name but a few.
Rather, his speech opened up a “Pandora’s box” of political bickering, mediocre comedy to some and demonization of his political opponents whom he alleged to be ashamed of the lies that they have been peddling about his health, hence shunned the commemoration. Why would his healthy become a subject matter at such an important international event? His Excellency has forgotten that while in opposition, he is the one who made endless and provocative fun at the health of his predecessor Mr. Levy P. Mwanawasa SC. (R.I.P) and always wanted it to be in the public domain.
The president should have been able to distinguish between an international commemoration and a political party event. In as much as he has got the prerogative to express his feelings, there are always better avenues where such matters could be addressed without attracting much debate and criticism from other political players.
Your Excellency, this is not the time to irrationally scold your political opponents but rather fulfil a mammoth of promises you made prior to your election as the president of the Republic of Zambia as well as instil lost hope and confidence in your governance system.
Lee Elias Tembo,