We welcome labour minister Fackson Shamenda’s criticism.
He has called us to virtues, and as the Chinese say, ‘with virtue you can’t be entirely poor; without virtue you can’t really be rich’. We therefore embrace the moral affluence that accepting criticism comes with.
Shamenda says we sometimes exaggerate, that we sometimes go to extremes.
Well, we may not entirely agree with him, but we shall not conjure flimsy libel lawsuits in order to gag him, no! In fact, we shall encourage Shamenda and all citizens of this great country to give us their honest criticism.
We seek not praises; the best things in life are not born from a façade of respectability but from the fire of the hottest furnaces. The harshest of criticism will forge us into steel that can hold a roof of morality and integrity.
And as we accept his criticism wholesomely, we also beseech Shamenda to continue to preach tolerance among his government and party colleagues.
His words that, “you are not doing that bad and this is why we have not closed you down” smacks of an attitude of intolerance.
The culture of thinking that the media exists at the pleasure of those who wield power, the government, is a tested and failed analysis.
Our calling and mission is to serve the nation with integrity in the pursuit of justice and equity.
We aim to present a fair picture of the political, economic and social landscape of the country.
We have witnessed all manner of charlatans speak loudest on anti-corruption, honesty, responsible leadership and good neighbourliness when their characters are shaped by dishonest accruement of debts, hatred and intolerance.
These are people who are all too ready to dish out all manner of advice to individuals and the general public but are not themselves ready to receive the slightest hint of alternative thought.
Despite preaching high values of tolerance, the slightest criticism beckons them to primate intolerance. If they hear anything about them that they do not like, they litter their newspaper with insults against those who call them to values, and mobilise all manner of discredited individuals to comment on them.
If they think their diatribes masked as editorial comments are not enough, they turn to the courts and seek vengeful exaggerated financial reparations which are intended not to reward them for the supposed damage but to excessively punish and cripple those they do not agree with.
This is the Zambia we have come to live in, the Zambia we have allowed the cartel, not the imaginary tribal clique, to create.
But this should never have been the case; a nation should never allow itself to be held to ransom by criminal elements who have abused the public through neglecting to settle what they owe public coffers. Elements which have so much hatred against individuals like second Republican president Frederick Chiluba; a man who even in his death they chose to describe in the most uncouth terms.
Tolerance is what will build the Zambia we seek; a prosperous Zambia for all Zambians.