When desperate and in dire need, any help is welcome. I know Faith Musonda’s K65.3 million and US$57,000 loot is neither enough nor sustainable, let alone is it exactly a very brilliant idea to give it to UNZA. But, still, it is great help for all the university students whose fees are settled for this academic year, from it.

This is an extremely short term but still merciful assistance to a small fraction of the thousands of young Zambians who should be in university but have no one to pay for their university fees. UNZA staff, lecturers and researchers can do with some financial relief too!

And so, without any hang-ups, or apologies to anyone, I say thank you very much President Hakainde Hichilema and Finance Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane for deciding to pay some of the university school fees using Faith Musonda’s stolen loot. Most appreciated, from the bottom of my heart. I am very sure when I say “thank you” I do so also on behalf of all the university students and their guardians, who have now benefited from this stolen largess.

On a lighter note, dear fair Faith Musonda, pretty lady, are you sure there are no other millions stashed up somewhere, perhaps in100 large suitcases buried in a fake grave, say, in Choma? Please Faith, all you have to do is tell HH and Situmbeko Musokotwane that you can get this money “resurrected” on two conditions: one, that of course they should not try to put you in jail because if they do, they will not get any more stolen loot, and two, that once you give them the money, they should again give it to university students for fees, will you? I am sure you want to be a genuine heroin, rather than a celebrated suspected criminal. Just do it!

I disagree, very strongly, with all those who have condemned this decision by government. Yes, there are many pressing needs including simply turning this money over to the Disaster Management Unit to buy food for starving villagers in several parts of Zambia, right now. I would have been just as happy if the money was used this way. However, I must confess, I am much happier the loot has gone to pay university fees.

I am absolutely sure the government has the ability and capacity to sustain funding the students who have been helped by this loot, going forward. What is more urgent now is for the government to reveal its plans for how next year and beyond, it will drastically cut down to zero the number of students who will not enter university because of financial exclusion of one kind or another. Zambia cannot afford to slaughter the futures of its children by failing to put them through school, up to university.

Zambia cannot afford to shred the futures of its children and young people, and therefore Zambia’s very future, by failing to put them through school and university, in this New World we have entered after our 2021 August elections, post the coronavirus pandemic and now the war in Ukraine.
The war in Ukraine is a global game changer. It definitively marks the end of the world as we have known it since 1990, the year arguably the world entered the so called “post-Cold War period”, when the Soviet Union collapsed.

The Russian military intervention in Ukraine consciously provoked by the US and its Western European NATO allies expansionist and imperialist ambitions have unleashed the Third World War we have been dreading. The unprecedented massive sanctions imposed on Russia by the US and its allies will change the global economy, its financial system, and the economic and security relationships between all nations of the world as they adjust to the impact of the effects of the sanctions. The threat of nuclear war is now real.

Speaking last Saturday in Poland at the end of his campaign to unify the US NATO allies in the war in Ukraine and the unprecedented regime of sanctions against Russia, Joe Biden, US President, has made it very clear that the US and its allies “must commit now to be in this fight for the long haul. We must remain unified today and tomorrow and the day after and for the years and decades to come.” The US is determined to fight to the end, to dominate the world. So are Russia and China too.

Countries that will be deficient in technology and unable to rapidly enter the global digital and knowledge economies will be last to recover from the current multiple grave crises unleashed by the coronavirus pandemic and the Third World War, currently underway.

Investing in tertiary education, especially universities, has become an absolute must, for all countries. If Zambia fails to recognise in this moment, the urgent significance of putting all our young people who qualify into tertiary institutions of learning, Zambia must brace itself for a long time of social, economic and political misery and instability because it will not have a citizenry and labour force fit for the New World now upon us.

Countries that will equip their labour force and all citizens to exploit the opportunities, and curve a strategic niche for themselves in the new post pandemic world in which the information revolution and the digital and knowledge sectors are going to be universal key catalytic aspects for social, economic and political recovery of nations, will recover faster and escape the worst effects of the Third World War currently under way.

Now, of course you should ask: are we actually in the Third World War? Yes, we are! The massive economic and financial means the US, NATO and the European Union have weaponised to fight Russia in Ukraine have global reach and impact, are fundamental game changers, and herald a new historic phase in how wars will be fought hence forth. We have entered the era of Supper Power economic terrorism via the use of advanced technologies and weaponised economic and financial instruments.

The world has graduated from the mass industrial slaughter of soldiers and civilians, and the physical occupation of towns, cities and countries, as the means by which wars are fought and won. We are now in the era of the weaponization of the economy and finance and the deployment of digital forms of communication and the digital sectors of the economy, for war purposes; for world domination.

If they understand what is happening in the world today, HH and his government must make it a priority to overhaul our entire education system and its value chains including syllabus/curriculum, teaching methods, materials and immaterial resources (including knowledge), infrastructure, finance and human resources.

A good starting point is creating a small task team to assess what exists, work out the necessary processes, timelines, resources and workplans for producing the new draft policies, laws, regulations, and institutional set up of the new education system. A transitional plan into the new system can be worked out. Zambia has a wealth of experience, expertise and interested citizens who should be mobilised to carry out this work.

Politically, Zambia needs to frame its vision for a post pandemic, post Ukraine war Zambia in which its citizens and labour force will be fully prepared to confront the challenges of the New World we are now in. The most accurate latest scientific knowledge of Zambia’s socio-economic formation and its natural resource base are crucial for any vision. Again, Zambia has no shortage of the necessary education, skills, talent and capacity to do this.

If we do not massively invest in our young people especially in tertiary education, if we do not overhaul our entire education system in line with our vision for a post August 2021 elections, post coronavirus pandemic, and a post Third World War Zambia, we shall pay a great price, including in loss of Zambian lives, while other countries recover.

Again, thanks HH, Situmbeko and Faith Musonda for the loot deposited into university fees!

(Send comments to: kalindawalo2010@gmail.com)