Commentaries and Analyses: year 2004 Index

Celebrating 40 Years Of Independence

LUSAKA, Oct. 14 - The frustrations many Zambians have with the way we have managed the affairs of our country over the last 40 years of independence is understandable.

But this should not move us away from commemorating our independence day and honouring the heroic efforts and sacrifices of so many men and women who gave everything to secure the independence of our country.

In fact, in these times in which we are living, our tribute to these selfless, patriotic and brave men and women will prove lasting and fruitful if each one of us takes to heart their heroic deeds. And all we ask our people is that whenever our country faces a difficult situation, they should remember selflessness, patriotism and the courage of our freedom fighters. Whenever our people face difficult moments, whenever young people, workers and students one day believe that the road ahead is long and the path difficult, they should remember what our freedom fighters did, and how they never lost faith even in those difficult times.

To the millions or ordinary Zambians who make up our wonderful people, from whose ranks have come women like Chikamoneka, Mukwae Nakatindi, Mary Fulano, Lucy Sichone, among others, and men like Harry Nkumbula, Simon Kapwepwe, Munukayumbwa Sipalo, Rueben Kamanga, Arthur Wina, Mainza Chona, Baldwin Nkumbula among others, we issue a call to battle to overcome our shortcomings and solve the problems which depend on us; to face the difficulties and trials that lie ahead with the spirit of these selfless patriots.

It is for this reason that we must face the future with firmness and determination, with optimism. And in our freedom fighters, we will always look for inspiration.

Difficult situations differentiate those who have their feet firmly on the ground. We are absolutely convinced that, as throughout our history, those who vacillate and are faint of heart will weaken, but our people will grow in the face of adversity and again take on the stature of our freedom fighters.

We believe that the time has come to delay no longer in carrying out concrete measures and to be decisive in solving problems that are hampering development, obstructing the normal development of society, and causing well-founded irritation in neighbourhoods, hospitals, schools, villages, farms, everywhere there has been an outbreak of irresponsibility, disorganisation, and a very undemanding attitude toward oneself and others. There can be no putting this off any more.

And so, considering the general complaints about weaknesses, deficiencies and inefficiencies, we wonder if there can be any specific political leaders who on hearing such criticism of the failures of the last 40 years will consider that it is being directed at others and that they are immune to all this that is being pointed out; if there are any who consider it unnecessary, and even to go so far as to refuse to undertake a systematic, in-depth, critical, and self-critical analysis of the job they have been entrusted with.

The interests of our people constitute the highest value of our country, the very raison d'etre of our independence. Those who do not respect this principle, in terms of meeting the responsibility that has been assigned to them should step down and make room for more resolute, more capable people.

However, we must avoid creating false illusions among our people; but it is also our responsibility to ensure that they are not let down in what they can and logically do expect from their political leaders: the leaders must handle resources of the people more efficiently.

Therefore during the 40th independence celebrations, let's show popular recognition and demonstrate that our people are a sensitive, grateful people who know how to honour the memory of their brave patriots, that our people recognise those who serve them. And in these moments of remembrance, let us lift our spirits and, with optimism in the future, commit ourselves to getting our country out of poverty, dependence and backwardness.

Independence itself guarantees us nothing. It offers instead the opportunity to succeed as well as the risk of failure. Independence is both a promise and a challenge. It is a promise that free human beings, working together, can govern themselves in a manner that will serve their aspirations for personal freedom, economic opportunity and social justice. It is a challenge because the success of an independent nation rests upon the shoulders of its citizens and no one else.

By accepting the task of self-government, one generation seeks to preserve the hard won independence for the next. In each society and each generation, the people must perform the struggle for independence anew - taking the principles of the past and applying them to that of a new age and a changing society.

Josef Brodsky, a Russian-born poet and Nobel Prize winner, once wrote, "A free man, when he fails, blames nobody." It is true for citizens of an independent nation who, finally, must take responsibility for the fate of the society in which they themselves have chosen to live. In the end, we get the society we deserve.

So let's have a positive attitude towards the 40th independence celebrations because it is not about celebrating the failures of the last four decades but about the selflessness, courage, patriotism, love, humility, commitment, dedication of our freedom fighters and drawing inspiration from that as we face what appears to be a sombre future.

The Post / allAfrica Global Media

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Archives 2004:

The New Way Of Enlightenment

Bush Re-Election Is A Tragedy

Will The World Now See A Clash Of Fundamentalist Titans?

Let's Emulate France

Renewing The UN System

This Isn't A Zoo But The Promised Land

Four Decades Of Independence

Apologies A Good Trend Among African Leaders

IMF Needs Structural Reform, Not Argentina!

Pentagon Uses Depleted Uranium Shells In Its Raid Against Iraq

Why SADC Decided On Electoral Guidelines

Celebrating 40 Years Of Independence

Visionless Leadership

Unifying Freedom Idea

Bush Trims A Tale

Perspectives Files
2005 2004  2003
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