Our so-called Western donors are at it again.
This time they are again serving direct political interests, instead of helping us develop our nascent democracy.
They are shamelessly sponsoring obscure media institutions, individuals and non-governmental organizations in what has been dubbed as a political “awareness” campaign ahead of the August general and Presidential elections aiming to plant doubts and undermining our governance systems.
Among the immediate targets is the media.
Sadly some of our people, for lack of means of self-sustenance, accept to be abused for material and financial gain in promoting a nefarious foreign agenda.
An impression is being created that only a media house that is virulently opposed to the Government and openly embraces a “ regime change ” mode is worthy of being praised for media professionalism. It does not matter whether such professionalism is earned from publishing dubious stolen documents or indeed sheer fabrications.
We understand that vast amounts of money have been budgeted for the forthcoming elections in these awareness campaigns aimed at discrediting public institutions of governance including private media that do not attack Government virulently.
This is hypocrisy of the worst order.
What has happened to Julian Assange and Edward Snowden?
These men are in hiding from the very same Western governments that want to push a media agenda on Zambia. Edward Joseph Snowden is hiding in Russia because he disclosed state secrets and is now on the wanted list. His mistake was to share with the media secrets that the government would rather have kept under wraps.
Equally WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been hiding in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012. The bill for UK police surveillance has been a whopping £12.6 million. He faces immediate arrest should he leave the embassy.
Assange ascended to notoriety when he used the WikiLeaks website to publish confidential documents from the US State Department supplied by Chelsea Manning. The documents included information on the Afghan and Iraq wars and hundreds of diplomatic cables.
The US wants him to face charges under the Espionage Act, but he is also wanted in Sweden following a rape allegation.
Where is freedom of information which our Transparency International (TIZ) and president of the Green Party Peter Sinkamba are talking about in unison.
And yet the same governments want to support clandestine campaigns that not only question but raise very serious doubts in the minds of the Zambian people about such institutions as the ECZ, police, media and to a large extent the judiciary.
This is not being done in good faith.
We have been in the trenches before and we know what injustice donor money can breed in a nation.
It is this money that caused such needless pain and humiliation under the ill-conceived Task Force on Corruption that consumed more money than was ever recovered.
The donors set up their own prosecution and even chose which judicial officers to handle the cases. Millions of dollars were spent on an exercise that was discredited by the very President who acquiesced to it.
There have been men of principle such as former Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki who refused to join the British government-sponsored campaign against President Daniel arap Moi whom they wanted humiliated in the same manner that Dr. Frederick Chiluba was to the very end.
This foreign influence and meddling must be resisted. We should never allow foreigners to insult our intelligence, let alone the leadership.