Zambia: We need Enlightenment to end this instanity

Zambian blogosphere continues to grow and bring diverse voices and opinions online. New Zambia writes about education in Zambia in his post, “Educated but poor”:

A majority of youth in Africa today have completed more years of schooling than their parents did but have limited opportunities in employment and remain poor, according to the The World Youth Report 2007.

He also writes about the Open Thread – NCC Allowances :

Some interesting comments / reports on the National Constitution Conference (NCC) allowances in the media this week. The Post on saturday reported the extent of the proposed allowances: The NCC delegates are entitled to a sitting allowance of K500,000 persitting and subsistence allowance of K650,000 per day. They are also entitled to transport allowance of K100,000 per day and transport refund of K300,000 for those who reside outside Lusaka.

The National Constitutional Conference (NCC) was held to prepare for a new Zambian constitution.

Issues Over Matters discusses the state of Zambian economy and politics:

Whatever happened to that age-old gem of wisdom that we always spat out when we realised someone was about to take advantage of us as youngsters in playgrounds in Kitwe: takuli kuliilana amasuku pamutwe guys in Bemba.
In the Zambian society today, ukuliilana amasuku unfortunately has become part of the national culture, and if anybody at any level for that matter, manages to eat fruit from someone else’s head, he assumes heroic status and the victim is deemed ukupwalala or sleepy.
A good example is the way former President Chiluba who is appearing in court for various offences allegedly committed while in office, is today seen as a victim rather than what he should be treated, as in The people Vs Chiluba.
Politicians in government, politicians outside government, senior civil servants, junior civil servants, private and parastatal company chief executives, junior employees, NGO leaders and just about everybody, including tuntemba owners, are fleecing and want to fleece everyone else.In short, crime in general and corruption in particular, is endemic in the nation. The dominant criminal element in society has impoverished everyone else to a point where being “clean” is considered abnormal.
When I was a student just over two decades ago, we used to band about statistics in Kalingalinga and M’tendere taverns that 95 percent of the nation’s wealth was in the hands of five percent of the population which was then associated with UNIP.
Two decades later and 17 years of the MMD in power, I am sure the statistics have shifted: 99 percent of the wealth is in the hands of only one percent of the population.

The recent contest for the ANC presidency between the South African president Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma drew a global attention. Zambian blogger, Ndlovu, writes about the contest in a post titled THABO BRUISING A LESSON FOR AFRICA. He writes:

The election of Jacob Zuma as ANC leader is a good sign for Africa, that democracy can prevail even in ruling parties across the continent used to leaders who grow roots in the seats of power. Not that Zuma is the best man for the eventual job of South African president, but Thabo Mbeki is to blame.

ICT Journalist looks at the state of ICT infrastructure and policies in Africa in the context of the Africa Telecommunications Day:

The lack of main energy supply in many rural and remote areas is a major obstacle to deploying telecommunication infrastructure.

When we look at the theme for the Africa Telecommunications Day whose theme this year is “Applying emerging technologies to empower rural communities towards attainment of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),” we see the digital divide between rural and urban area.

To bridge the rural digital divide there is need to strengthen human and institutional capacities to harness information and knowledge more effectively. Africa needs to address the following key issues to reduce the digital divide that exists.

When we look at content package on the Internet, it is all in Africa’s foreign languages which are either in English, French, Portuguese, Spanish or Japanese to name but a few. There is need for African communities to locally adapt content and contextualise it. Also there is need for the communities to share content that will build on exiting systems to address diversity.

Rural dwellers however will also need capacity building on the importance of ICTs and how they can benefit from them. It is also important for the rural communities to partner and participate in the World Summit on information Society (WSIS) process.
It is also time for the rural communities to have a realistic approach to technologies and work on the high cost and financial sustainability. Hence, Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Community Based Organisation (CBO) and civil society’s role should also help increased awareness of ICTs in rural Africa.

The fact that globalisation and the new technologies (ICTs) are fast transforming all aspects of development and how information is shared is the problem that makes rural societies in Africa to lag behind. Communication is now a priority for an international community, which makes rural societies in Africa increase the need to improve the flow of information.

GRACE Research Zambia is a blog that looks at the nexus between the women, development and mobile phone service provision in Zambia:

This Research Project aims to explore the various factors involved in the dynamics of provision of the communications service, the Research Process involved probing the effects of the service on the communities which had previously not had the technology, observing the cultural, social and economic changes which have been observed and can be related in a way to the provision of the service.

The project also intends to find the place of women in the process by questioning their position at the various stages of provision or decision-making. The following sectors have been a major focus of the research: Government, Interest Groups (Ruling and the opposition Parties), Civil Society, Mobile Cellular Phone Service Providers and Ordinary Mobile Cellular Phone Users.

Mwankole kumushi Kulishani asks, “When will Zambia attain the age of enlightenment?”

The lack of rationality in the manner Zambians continue to view both their constitution and national resources might evoke the question – how long before our nation attains the age of enlightenment?
How long before the correlation between the individual and the state is widely appreciated?

There is perhaps no better demonstration of the popular expression “insanity is doing the same thing over and over yet expecting different results each time” than Zambia’s constitution review process. We have had the
i) Mvunga constitution review in 1991,
ii) Mwanakatwe constitution review in 1996,
iii) Late Lucy Sichone’s call for a constituent assembly,
iv) Mung’omba constitution review in 2003,
v) Levy Mwanawasa’s Indaba 2003
vi) And now National Constitution Conference.

I expect at this point, that an eminent citizen like John Mwanakatwe or Wila Mung’omba would spearhead an intellectual movement of the Enlightened and advocate reason as the primary basis of authority and straight talk to average Zambians to end this insanity!
We know what Zambians want and expect in their constitution, why should an authoritarian president continue to trample on the greater rights of common Zambians.

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