Greed and nationalism cannot move in tandem as one, irrespective of circumstances.
They stand diametrically opposed to each other, though pretence becomes a challenge at times.
That is the very reason why it is common for greedy individuals, groups or persons to pretend to be nationalistic, when in fact not. These people have no qualms with greed but a feeling of questionable achievement(s), whose surname is vanity.
Sadly and this really must stop, we leave in a society which adores wrong and looks down on achievements of hard work. In fact, some will claim to be ‘working hard’ when in actual fact engaged in white collar crime.
It is only in Zambia where you hear supposedly respectable persons vow that “I will clear anybody that stands in my way” Really? Is this how we repay society, which society has enabled one to reach their full potential?
In Mark 27:3-5 we see the infamous act of betrayal and another act of remorse. Judas Iscariot betrayed our Lord Jesus Christ but showed a deep sense of regret and committed suicide, as a result.
I guess under the circumstances that was the only ‘honorable’ option that faced Judas because even among thieves, in this, our modern era, there is no honor.
If for instance, you betray your country by going to bed with inimical forces and you betray your boss or colleague by cooperating with shadows behind his or her back; then advancing a nationalist agenda will be like stopping a river from flowing along its course.
You can only at best pretend to be a nationalist since your preoccupation is nothing but, to achieve self-importance in pursuit of vanity! Vanity is such a terrible attribute given the reality, politics and trappings of co-dependence.
Last week, I took time to discuss merit as a critical foundation for progress of our society. I also promised to briefly interrogate the “downside” of formal education, as we know it.
You can be learned and yet not educated and in the same vein, you can be educated but not learned. Sounds confusing; but that is how it often times is. Remember, every coin has two sides!
Let’s take the example of a tender notice for goods or services. In many instances, somebody “sees” a business opportunity to link one to a person who is hired to produce a service of putting together the bid documents. The final and polished document is handed over to the “owner”, who probably has no clue of how it is done but has sufficient muscle to make “things happen”.
In this instance, formal education, to the extent of throwing away professional ethics and values imposed by society, has given way to a potential crime that is ‘able’ to take sway of proceedings.
In short, it is very unlikely for a person who is trained, competent and a true professional in a particular field, to engage in intentional wrong doing, unless assisted/guided or counseled by academic mercenaries with a semblance of competence.
The same applies in the case of certain undertakings requiring specific skills.
By way of example, an office orderly or messenger will not be able to put together a complicated bid document for say, purchasing of a mine or sophisticated equipment. But, he or she may be able to collate information to form a bid document, if assisted by professionals competent and qualified in the mining field and related as such.
Therefore, a carpenter, bricklayer, plumber etc with basic formal education, will have the sky as his/her limit in life.
Examples of such accomplished men and women are plentiful and act as a beacon of hope to many who must not despair.
So, it is not true that a holder of say a degree is more useful than a holder of a grade 12 certificate. It all depends on circumstances and the task at hand, because under normal circumstances, every task requires a certain level of qualifications.
But as I said last week, there will always be exceptions that respond to either expediency or address a particular situation. Some honorary degrees are actually conferred in recognition of exceptional instances and the very act can never be a substitute for formalism.
A cursory overview of most areas of human endeavor in Africa shows a worrying pattern of scorn by some political players on the power of education and knowledge.
One of the most unfortunate developments has been the treatment of politics as a preserve of those not so fortunate with academic and professional exploits.
As a consequence, development has suffered to the extent that even though Africa as a Continent has a big political voice, it remains unrepresented on the Security Council of the United Nations and demands for such representation are either deliberately misunderstood or trivialized.
Make no mistake, the Security Council, can never be an issue for a person who finds himself or herself on the political scene by accident or through trappings of patronage!
I have dealt with the issue of merit not because I want to but because I realize that our quest for nationalism is getting compromised by greediness and self centeredness.
The dislike for formal education and propensity to engage in crafty activities, which Lawyers may refer to as misrepresentation, has sadly been on the increase such that commending the new standard setting provisions in our Constitution, is a very good proposition for a Smart Zambia. Watch the space, Zambia is on the move!
There will be contrary views and that is expected. What will not be controversial though is that we all yearn for a Smart Zambia.
In achieving this objective, our Leadership comes in to set the pace. Posterity has shown that the decision by Nationalists to coin the national motto of One Zambia One Nation was correct – and that is more than 51 years ago! So, that is the role of a Leadership.
In our case, President Edgar Lungu and his team have done Zambia proud by giving effect and meaning to the long match towards a Smart Zambia. Many of us cannot really wait.
In the march towards a Smart Zambia and as we endeavor to get all to appreciate the paraphernalia of nationalism, we need to make clear that a peaceful Zambia, devoid of negative conflict, is what we need.
As a matter of fact, together, we stand and divided, we fall. A nation can very easily suffer more casualties from internal hemorrhage than external intrusion.
In this respect, you do not need to be a rocket scientist to know that it is almost impossible to have internal negative conflict without pessimistic elements and agents of doom who may be able to double as mercenaries.
If you must lead a rebellion, you must have a good cause and nothing near greedy and selfishness.
For avoidance of any doubt, Zambia is not for sale and should never be. It is for its nationals – Zambians.
It is common knowledge that Zambians have remained very accommodating to all that come as visitors. Zambia should never renegade on its international obligations, expected of any member state of the United Nations Organization.
It would be very sad for those who come as visitors to turn into mercenaries of whatever description. When it comes to commerce, it would be good for all, Zambians and residents alike to participate. It must be emphasized though that since Zambians are the primary holders of this land, they must get priority and not this thing of “ndalama kamina, ziko kawena” or as one scholar ably put is “Whose Capital and Whose State?”
We know that capital as represented by wealthy individuals and multinationals knows no boundaries and does not behave in a rational manner; hence the importance of state regulation, as contrasted with state controls.
It is a fact that can be verified that in the absence of good laws, society can very easily degenerate into chaos, wherein the doctrine of violence is not only accommodated but used as a political tool.
Many of our people have talked about the negative benefits of violence. It is clear to me that we are all unanimous about a Smart Zambia because that is what I hear all politicians say.
The die is actually cast. President Lungu is on the road pushing for a Smart Zambia. In this respect, it is extremely important to stop and take a deep breath – we now have a new legal order; which order has fundamental consequences for our politics.
Are we not able to see this gigantic development as an integral part of the Smart Zambia? History is replete with individuals who have made earth moving contributions to a particular country. In our case, I would like to state categorically that President Edgar Lungu has done all Zambians proud by putting in place a legal regime that will take care of the rest. Please note, because society is dynamic, no law anywhere in the world is cast in stone.
It is always work in progress. The role of citizens is to be extremely alert and vigilant so that issues of concern are dealt with in the most civilized manner as provided for by our laws.
Let me not be greed. I wish to take this opportunity to thank colleagues and friend who have sent in emails, short message service (SMS) and calls. You have sharpened my tools of analysis and shown me another way of looking at things.
As a matter of fact, through this column I have been able re-connect with former school mates and have made many friends, to whom I remain indebted. Please send your comments and contributions to: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com/mobile 0955776191