Don’t force nation to mourn your friends

Don’t force nation to mourn your friends

When someone dies, it is expected that all normal people will be sad.

But no one should force other people to mourn.

Feelings of bereavement are personal.

But why is it that politicians want to impose their grievances on us?

Two days ago, a politician Justine Mukando died. He was a minister of agriculture sometime in the distant and dim past.

President Michael Sata, who was also a minister or whatever title he had in that same era, ordered the nation to put on sack cloth and roll in ashes because a great man has passed on.

He also told the family of the dead man to give government the bill for funeral expenses.

He ordered that there will be three days of national mourning. What that means is that in these three days, some government programmes will be put on hold.

It means no activities of entertainment nature should be conducted for three days.

Government controlled TV and Radio stations, ZNBC, has been ordered to play solemn and or gospel music through out.

Now, Sata and his friends can mourn and burry their dead without involving the entire country.

This mentality of trying to include the whole nation in personal affairs is barbaric and belongs to the era of chiefdoms.

As a country, we must agree on which events should be funded from national coffers and which ones should disrupt our daily routines.

Former minister Mukando should have been buried silently just like he has been living quietly from the time he left office.

Why should the nation be forced to mourn someone who more than half the nationals do not even know?

Someone wondered on Facebook: who are we mourning for all the stations to be playing gospel music. A friend answered: some dude from the UNIP era. The first person continued: yeah I have heard UNIP but why state funeral?

There should be guidelines on who qualifies to be given a national mourning. It should not be just anyone who once held government position. That is expensive and costly to government programmes.

And why mourn for three days? What are we really going to achieve by that?

In fact, the whole concept does not work as people are actually not mourning but just complying-publicly at least.

It should not be left to the president to decide who to accord a state funeral. If the president is given that prerogative, he will abuse it as well.

He will give his friends and relatives such honours at the expense of deserving heroes.

Was it not Sata who used this year’s Independence Day to honour party cadres?

Sata and who ever wished can go and mourn their friends and donate money but they should not abuse their power to nationalise their friends’ funerals.

We should run the country on rules and not personal attachment and feelings.

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