As we approach the New Year, 2022, many of us are drawing up, or pronouncing, our NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS.
The atmosphere we are in as we enter 2022 is different from the atmosphere we have had in the past years. This is because we are just coming out of an election, which gave us a historic outcome.
The 12 August 2021 election gave us an outcome, which we are calling the “New Dawn”.
What is the meaning of New Dawn?
New Dawn means, but not limited to, the following:
– A new beginning;
– A fresh start;
– An important, promising turning point
As we went to vote on 12 August 2021, we looked forward to an outcome that would give us a new beginning, a fresh start, a promising turning point. This is because we were sick and tired of so many wrong things that had been happening in the country.
The 12 August election was therefore a moment of liberation.
The outcome of the 12 August 2021 election was indeed a New Dawn, and for several reasons:
– We just liberated ourselves from an almost failed state that was characterised by bad governance and economic mismanagement;
– We just liberated the country from impunity against law and order, where political and electoral violence was a norm;
– We just liberated ourselves from a police service that had abandoned its duty of maintaining law and order, and instead gave respect to political criminals and hooligans;
– Our vote of 12 August election meant freeing households from the lack of food, where many people go for days without food or just manage to eat one meal a day;
– On 12 August we liberated ourselves from massive unemployment, poor working conditions, and from slave wages;
– It is a New Dawn as we have given ourselves an environment that gives us hope of a better life;
– It is a New Dawn because we have liberated many rural communities from sharing drinking water with animals or drinking coloured water from rivers or streams or wells. Many compounds and townships where water supply is erratic or not even there at all have been liberated;
– It is a New Dawn because clinics and hospitals should no longer be far from the reach of the majority of the people of Zambia, drugs should be in adequate supply and there should be no expired drugs;
– It is a New Dawn because children who cannot access education due to either economic constraints or the absence of educational facilities in their areas should now be in school;
– The outcome of the 12 August election has liberated retirees from destitution, from wasting their time travelling to Lusaka to follow up their pension benefits, only to be told: “File not traced”.
So all these are the benefits of the New Dawn!
Who therefore should take care of the New Dawn?
Who is going to enable us enjoy the benefits of the New Dawn?
Who are the owners of the New Dawn?
– The New Dawn is not for the President, it is for all of us;
– The New Dawn is not for the UPND Alliance, it is for all of us;
– The New Dawn is not for the Ministers, it is for all of us;
– The New Dawn is not for the Members of Parliament, it is for all of us;
– The New Dawn is not for the political leaders, it is for all of us;
– The New Dawn is not for the civic leaders, it is for all of us.
On Friday 20 January 1961, during his inaugural speech, President John F. Kennedy said:
“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”
The words of President John F. Kennedy should be our inspiration, as we make our New Year Resolutions.
In our context of the New Dawn, this is what we are saying to everyone of us:
“Ask not what the New Dawn should do for you; ask what you should do for the New Dawn”.
The meaning of this is that every one of us should take up the responsibility of nurturing this new environment called the New Dawn.
It means that every one of us should get involved in promoting a culture of being responsible citizens.
Zambia is a multi-party democracy. Consequent to this is competition among various actors, competition among political players, competition among civic players, and competition among churches.
However, we should make responsible use of our multi-party democracy.
Therefore the competition should not be competition to out-do others. It should be competition to bring out the best that we are and the best that we have.
It should not be competition that makes the development agenda of the country to suffer.
2022 should be a New Dawn that fosters patriotism in us, the citizens of this country. It should be a New Dawn that should enable us to cultivate a positive attitude about the governance of the country.
It is a New Dawn that should propel us to exercise a high sense of responsibility as we actively participate in the governance of the country at various levels.
OUR New Dawn is therefore APPEALING to all of us to collectively nurture it in our own spheres:
APPEAL TO MUSICIANS
The appeal to musicians is this:
Come up with songs, compose songs, sing songs that are going to propel the people into desiring to do something for the New Dawn and not to wait for the New Dawn to do something for them;
APPEAL TO POLITICAL PARTIES
The appeal to political parties is this:
Mobilise your members into being active participants in nurturing the New Dawn. Do not sway their minds into negativity. Help them to appreciate what is good about this New Dawn.
Help your members to yearn to do something for the New Dawn and not wait for the New Dawn to do something for them.
APPEAL TO THE CHURCH
The appeal to Church Leaders is this:
Help your parishioners, help your congregations, understand their moral responsibilities in the New Dawn. Implore them not to demarcate their lives in segments depending on where they are at a particular time. Inculcate in them moral values that help them to responsibly take care of the New Dawn.
APPEAL TO CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS
The appeal toCSOs is this:
Embrace the New Dawn as you provide checks and balances on government. Take it as your responsibility to ensure that the people on whose behalf you operate enjoy the benefits of the New Dawn.
APPEAL TO THE MEDIA
The appeal to Media is this:
Use the power of your pen to promote the New Dawn agenda. Use your instruments to educate the people about their responsibilities towards the New Dawn. Disseminate widely what people in different parts of the country are doing for the New Dawn so that others in other parts of the country can learn from them.
(If you have any socio-political question that you would like to be discussed on this column, kindly send a message to me either through SMS, WhatsApp or email).
SIMON KALOLO KABANDA