School dropouts are dangerous
President Milton Obote of Uganda made the mistake of making Idi Amin, a school dropout, commander-in-chief.
Most people thought Amin was a simple, amiable buffoon who made light of everything and made tasteless jokes until he took over power and unleashed the most murderous regime ever seen.
Obote spent his exile here in Zambia, from which safe zone, he witnessed droves of refugees flee Uganda while those who failed to escape the regime were massacred and brutalised in the most inhumane manner possible.
It will be very naive for Zambians to vote into power people who have dubious academic qualifications because they will turn out to be a vindictive rogue bent on making up for their academic failure.
The academic requirements in the Constitution have a very firm basis and nobody should underestimate the capacity of those who are challenged and would wish to exert their illiteracy by using state power and authority to exercise their power over those they believe to be subjects.
If you add vindictiveness to this equation, then you arrive at the oppressive banana republics that dot this continent.
For our friends in Uganda, what started off as a joke has been a tragedy of the worst proportions. We should not risk a similar thing in Zambia because if we do and the worst comes to the worst even those who will feel victorious will not be spared from the wrath of a wounded illiterate.
Eric Shultz, give us a break
Mr Eric Shultz, going by your logic, there is nothing wrong for the FBI to investigate Hilary Clinton the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee even as your country goes for elections in November, yet there is everything wrong with the closure of The Post because Zambia goes to the polls in August this year.
Please, give us a break and stop these double standards! What is good for the goose must equally be good for the gander.
America must be ashamed that it has brought no peace but chaos wherever it has intervened and we don’t want our peaceful nation to be a part of those statistics.
The shame of political violence
Violence according to the dictionary is explained as behaviour or treatment in which physical force is exerted for the purpose of causing damage or injury.
And this is what has become the order of the day in our politics today because some political leaders have become awfully ego-centric and will not stop at nothing to get into State House.
The fact on the ground, however, is that God has already chosen ONE leader for Zambians. Thus, no matter how much turmoil others may create, they are merely wasting their exquisite time.
So my call is to the Church to turn to prayers in earnest so that Zambia remains a peaceful country before and after the elections.
Some political leaders have already covenanted Armageddon and bedlam for this great nation but with God in front of us, He will fight these forces of darkness which are all intent to see human blood all over the land.
Remember nobody can fool God who will ultimately put an end to both the food and stomach. God bless mother Zambia.
Lessons from arrested UPND cadres
Ordinary Zambians were horrified to learn that police had arrested nine armed UPND rag-tag thugs involved in the defacing and removing of PF presidential campaign posters and billboards along Cairo Road, Lusaka (Daily Nation, July 5, 2016).
The general public expressed concern that with the August 11 election campaigns underway there was need for multi-pronged and concrete measures to address the UPND perpetrated political violence.
The question before us two days after the outbreak of electoral violence in Cairo Road, Lusaka, is straightforward – what have we, as Zambians, learned?
Then again, thinking about the concerned citizens’ demand that the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) and Judiciary must set up fast track courts to deal with matters of political violence where perpetrators of these heinous crimes would be sentenced to work on prison farms where they could productively expend their youthful energies tilling land other than political violence, perhaps the question is – have we actually learned the right lessons?
When electoral violence breaks out along party lines and it becomes about revenge and counter-revenge, any measure that brings about hope for peace becomes immediately desirable.
So the arrested of the UPND cadres should be expeditiously arraigned and sentenced to prison farms.
In the August 11 polls, the most important unit of democracy, the ballot, could be invalidated by the UPND who might not concede defeat because they claim to have overwhelming evidence of some planned electoral malpractices by the PF administration.
If the vote is not taken into account in the polls, then what follows can only be a caricature of democracy.
If democracy is the first casualty, justice would be the second. What started as peaceful election campaigns have actually become, by sacrificing both democracy and justice, an incubator for political violence?
For a society to break down, the watchdog institutions that normally stop a nation from toppling over into the abyss of political violence have to fail at a fundamental level.
But the UPND and its top honchos must take collective responsibility for the political criminality they have created and perpetrated.
There is one more unlearned lesson – it is that the Zambian political landscape has shifted over the past 25 years.
But the current UPND as a political party is different only in name from the Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula’s ANC of the pre-one-party state era.
The mindset of some of the current top leaders in the opposition party is that of instigating violence yet, no one within has made these leaders answerable or transform.
If we are to learn lessons from the rag-tag thuggery that characterised the defacing and removing of PF presidential campaign posters and billboards along Cairo Road, in order to struggle for democracy with social justice, then we have to return to political campaigns that put the country’s peace first and do not leave it out of the electoral process.
The lesson then is as straight forward as the question – any action that undermines peace, democracy and justice is not a solution at all.