PRINCE Akashambatwa Mbikusita Lewanika says Zambia will still have the same problems it had in the previous administration if governance systems are not changed.
In an interview, Akashambatwa said organisational structures, governance systems and values needed to be transformed.
“If you don’t transform yourself, the organisational structures, governance systems and the governance values, you would have actually constituted the same regime with different names for parties, with different personalities for presidents. It is easy to look at the symptoms and address those. But if you don’t address the root causes of the system’s failure, the root causes of the individual motivation, the individual character, the individual values, the individual attitude, you would have changed nothing. Which is the history of Zambia of changing nothing,” Akashambatwa said.
“The problems that Zambians are facing, whether it is economic or political violence, have been there from the beginning of Zambia. If people think that the problems in Zambia were because of (Edgar) Lungu or PF that if you get rid of them, without examining the real issues seriously, then you think you are taking over to a new era. The other aspect is that there have been other changes of government, all the other changes of government made no difference. Therefore, the challenge is that why did they not make a difference? There are many reasons; the fundamental one is that when you change government administrations, the personalities of leaders, the identities of political parties leaving the new administrations and so on without transforming the problem systems of governance and problem system of the economy. If you fail to transform that, you will end up transforming yourself into the same character types that you have taken over from.”
Akashambatwa lamented that two Barotseland activists who were part of those that were recently pardoned by former president Edgar Lungu were kept in prison for six years without a reason.
“The people have been in jail for six years. Among those who were released were two; Afumba Mombotwa and Sylvester Kalima. When they were arrested, there were four of them, one was found with no case to answer so he was released but only after a very long time in prison, one died in prison. And for the issue they were arrested, remains unaddressed. The injustice, the inhumanity, the criminalization of the political issue whose non resolution is on account of lack of seriousness, lack of care, cruelty on the part of the Zambian government. I have always been concerned about political prisoners all over the world,” said Akashambatwa.
“I have always campaigned on the release of all political prisoners. I have campaigned for the de-criminalization of politics, in particular, decriminalizing the issue of the Barotse Land. There have been in various jails and all that was part of the torture so that their relatives cannot visit them except at a great cost. But while I am happy about them being released, I am not confident that we have a Zambian government that is serious about that issue so the problem still remains. When you have a problem like this, it is indigenous to start talking about other things.”