Ndeloleshafye attitude killing Zambia

Dear Editor,

It is with a heavy heart that I write this. Am saddened by the responses I am reading from some of your bloggers. Where does this attitude of us Zambians come from, where we fail to act and use such phrases as “ndeloleshafye”, “let us pray and an answer will be given”, to justify our inactiveness.

We all know that in life to succeed at almost anything, it takes hard work. You have to get your hands dirty at times if not all the time to get something done. When you see something is going wrong around you why would you sit back and say ndeloleshafye or say we shall pray about it when you as an individual can make a difference.

You see in the old African cultural setup, families were all interlinked to make up a society in which every member played a role. The roles played by members were not limited to just one family but could extend to other families. An example is discipline when it came to a child for example. It was up to the entire village (society) to discipline a child where necessary. In fact, it was said that a new born child was a gift to that society as a whole and hence was brought up by that society as a whole. If a child was found doing something wrong by an elder not related to him/her in any way, the child would be disciplined right there and then by that elder. Discipline was not left to the parents of that child alone, but it was a social responsibility of every adult member of that community. We the people of Zambia are that society; we are that parent to the child.

That said, Zambia is our country, our society and home. Government in this case is our child. And just like in any family, there can be more than one child each with a different name born at different times of time. The name of the child can be MMD, NAREP, PF, UNIP and UPND administration etc. We the citizens as adults give birth to these children conscientiously by voting them into power at any particular time. Some children turn out to be good, others not as good while others are totally bad, but they are still our children. It still remains our responsibility to discipline these children should they go against the dictates of our household which in a governance system can be abuse of basic human rights or total disregard of the constitution etc. There are rules in a home which cannot be broken and to break such rules requires discipline be instilled in the offenders.

Discipline can come in two ways;

  1. Self-imposed discipline – where the child using its own conscious realises or identifies its mistakes before or after the action and shows remorse in case of the latter, then apologises to the entire household for the misdeed and embarks on a self-corrective way as would be seen congruent with the entire household.  In a governance system, all the three arms of government act as the subconscious voice which help to administer good governance and ensure a proper separation of power to bring out a good governance attitude and behaviour.  These organs of government have a duty to discipline each other in accordance with the rules (constitution) of this household (Zambia and consequently the world we live in).
  2. Externally imposed discipline – where the child either knowingly or unknowingly goes on to make mistakes and does not show any remorse or signs of it to correct its mistakes and is thus corrected or disciplined by an outsider or external factor so as to embark on a corrective way as would be seen congruent with the entire household. In this case, the individual parts of the conscious mind are compromised and go along with the misdeed as though it were not even a problem. This then requires the interference of the parents to instill discipline in the child. Again in a governance system, this would mean we the parents (society, the people of Zambia) should then take it upon ourselves to correct the child (government) and put it on its right path. We cannot rely on the other children alone (Opposition parties) to correct this one mischievous child (government). After all, they are all children, some are older, others are younger, others are stronger, others are weak and they might not respect so much or accept the advice or discipline from each other. But the ultimate power that these children will yield to is the word of the parents (the people of Zambia in this case) and their set rules (constitution) of the house (country).

In the second from of discipline, we should as a people act to correct the wrong as the responsibility solely lies on us. This is the type of discipline that requires us all to be vigil for it calls us all to defend our set goals and freedoms as a household. The ndeloleshafye attitude or let us pray will not work. We need to act people. And one way of acting is mass demonstration.  Just your presence in a peaceful demonstration is enough to send a message to the government of what you want done as a citizen of these here beautiful lands of Zambia. We the people always seem to forget that the government as our child as long as it chooses to live in our home, Zambia, should follow our house rules which are imbedded in our constitution. If they don’t like it, then they are free to leave the home and live on their own. We the people are the power. The government answers to us and we should not be afraid.

Finally, I know as a country we are a Christian nation and I respect the belief of others in prayer and the likes. But the same bible we read in James 2:14-26 teaches us that faith without works is dead. We can’t just sit back and pray that things will get better! We need to stand up and act while praying in faith.

Jimmy Chankalale. 

Share this post