by Mukosha Funga on 20 Apr 2019by Zondiwe Mbewe on 20 Apr 2019by Mukosha Funga on 19 Apr 2019by Sipilisiwe Ncube on 19 Apr 2019
- Goal Diggers
by Abraham Kalito on 27 Mar 2019by Abraham Kalito on 26 Mar 2019by Abraham Kalito on 26 Mar 2019by Abraham Kalito on 26 Mar 2019
by Diggers Correspondent on 19 Apr 2019by Stuart Lisulo in Lumwana on 19 Apr 2019by Mirriam Chabala on 19 Apr 2019by Stuart Lisulo in Lumwana on 18 Apr 2019
by Zondiwe Mbewe on 19 Apr 2019by Zondiwe Mbewe on 19 Apr 2019by Zondiwe Mbewe on 19 Apr 2019by Zondiwe Mbewe on 18 Apr 2019
- Editor's Choice
by Diggers Reporter on 4 Mar 2019by Andyford Mayele Banda on 29 Jan 2019by Davies Mwila on 22 Jan 2019by Diggers Reporter on 17 Jan 2019
by Diggers Editor on 19 Apr 2019by Diggers Editor on 18 Apr 2019by Diggers Editor on 17 Apr 2019by Diggers Editor on 16 Apr 2019
by Felix Kashweka on 2 Apr 2019by Thomas Mulenga on 29 Mar 2019by McQueen Zaza on 26 Mar 2019by Zindikilani Banda in Sinda on 20 Mar 2019
- Guest Diggers
by Dr Munyonzwe Hamalengwa on 18 Apr 2019by Chisoni Mumba, PhD on 14 Apr 2019by Dr Chisoni Mumba, PhD on 28 Mar 2019by Sishuwa Sishuwa on 25 Mar 2019
Incompetent leaders govern with iron fistsBy Diggers Editor on 21 Dec 2018
Former Attorney General Musa Mwenye State Counsel has made a very good observation about how African governments react and treat citizens who criticize bad decisions. He says such oppressive regimes often abuse words like “patriotism” to portray critics as bitter dissidents who deserve no one’s respect. This is wrong, State Counsel Mwenye says, because “patriotism” and “loyalty” mean two different things in a political set-up.
“The word ‘patriotism’ is often misunderstood and sometimes deliberately misrepresented. Criticism of governments or ruling parties and comments adverse of governments are routinely classified as unpatriotic. By definition, patriotism is a devoted love, support and defence for one’s country. Patriotism is, therefore, loyalty to the country and not loyalty to any one person or group of persons. Africa has seen several dictatorial and corrupt regimes. At different times in the history of this continent, patriotism has demanded that those governments, which are corrupt and dictatorial, be criticized and condemned by citizens for abusing the countries we love,” observed Counsel Mwenye.
“The Central African Republic had Emperor Bokassa, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo), had Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga, while Uganda had Idi Amin Dada. Just to the south of our own beloved Zambia, we had Ian Smith in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), who declared Independence from his Kith and Kin in England under Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI). In South Africa, we had the racist Apartheid Government. All the governments cited above were vile, oppressive and dictatorial. In some cases they were also corrupt, incompetent and uncouth.”
Counsel Mwenye added: “In those countries, it was everyone’s patriotic duty to speak out against these regimes and to condemn their senseless acts of oppression and misrule. It was also the highest form of patriotism not only to condemn the needless corruption of some of these regimes, but also to take a stand against oppression and corruption. Patriotism demands us to be loyal to the country and not to an individual, a tribe or a political formation. If acts of economic sabotage are committed by those within our tribe or political formation, we must speak in defence of the country.”
This statement could not have been put any better, and it could not have been any more accurate to Zambia. In Zambia today, the ruling party and its leadership have abused the word “patriotism” with unimaginable proportions. Anyone who opens their mouths to criticise government is not only regarded as unpatriotic, but is also threatened with arrest.
This is what they did to Hakainde Hichilema when he suggested that listing of State-Owned-Enterprises (SOEs) on the stock exchange is as bad as selling to foreign investors, who are the only clique with readily-available resources to buy shares.
In Zambia today, when you say there is too much corruption, abuse of authority and reckless spending by government, those in power claim that such statements are detrimental to the economy. They blame the depreciation of the kwacha on such criticism, and further warn that those uttering such sentiments would be dealt with severely.
These are signs of incompetence; this is how incompetent leaders govern, using iron fists. A working government that knows how to drive the economy can’t be brought down by simple criticism. It is also a sign of insecurity, because only an insecure government fears its own shadow. A regime that is in charge of the system doesn’t panic when it is being criticized; it simply listens and picks what it considers as constructive criticism, while ignoring political haters. A progressive government fears and respects citizens, instead of scaring and demanding loyalty from citizens who hold opposing views.
Look at what is happening in France today. The French government has accepted that citizens do not only have the right to criticize bad governance, but also has the constitutional right to protest if nothing is done about what they are complaining about. We have watched on television how the very civilized citizens of France have poured onto the streets in their millions, burning cars and destroying property. What have the police done? They have fought back, tirelessly trying to restore order, while respecting the citizens’ rights.
Like we stated above, those were very civilized citizens living in a very developed Western country endowed with all sorts of wealth, plus a huge economy. Therefore, it was embarrassing, especially from an African perspective, to see such scenes happening in a country that you aspire to be. Those protests were not a very good political advert about the state of a nation.
But can we say the protesting citizens of France were being unpatriotic to their country? No, they simply refused to be loyal to an individual holding the office of President, while issues to do with their welfare were being ignored. They refused to accept the “unjustified fuel price hikes”. They wanted a France that has favourable living conditions for citizens.
That is what true patriotism means, being loyal to a country, not one individual or political set-up. But in our Zambia, the police only consider members of the Patriotic Front as patriotic citizens who have the right to protest against the opposition and critics. That is what they call patriotism, loyalty to one individual going by the initials ECL.
This is exactly how dictatorships are born, they start by muzzling the press, and then they take away citizens’ rights of expression before arresting political opponents. Then they manipulate the Constitution to tailor it in a manner that grants them leeway to stay in power forever.
About Diggers Editor
The Editor of News Diggers gets to decide what is published. Contact the Editor or send your letters at: editor [at] diggers [dot] news.
- Suffering has a meaning, mwaculeni ba Zambia! - 19 Apr 2019
- It’s Musenge who must apply to join Kambwili’s crusade - 18 Apr 2019
- Roan has shown PF who is foolish - 17 Apr 2019
- Like we said, Kambwili is a very good bad man - 16 Apr 2019
- Mwense accident, ignored, like it never happened, since it exposes Lungu’s hypocrisy! - 14 Apr 2019
Subscribe for email alerts
ArchivesMay0 PostsJun0 PostsJul0 PostsAug0 PostsSep0 PostsOct0 PostsNov0 PostsDec0 Posts
- April 2019
- March 2019
- February 2019
- January 2019
- December 2018
- November 2018
- October 2018
- September 2018
- August 2018
- July 2018
- June 2018
- May 2018
- April 2018
- March 2018
- February 2018
- January 2018
- December 2017
- November 2017
- October 2017
- September 2017
- August 2017
- July 2017
- June 2017
- May 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
- February 2017
- January 2017
- December 2016
- November 2016
- October 2016
The News Diggers
Deputy News Editor
Plot No. Lus/9812/649-MC8
off Alex Chola Road
P.O. Box 32147
Telephone or WhatsApp:
diggers [at] diggers [dot] news
editor [at] diggers [dot] news
Send this to a friend