Letter to the Editor

Speak well of your country, build your country – thoughts from Kigali

Dear editor,
I HAVE advocated that we create a positive narrative about our country, promote that which is good about us, engender that which is thriving, and attend to the deep concerns that have affected our country in a mature and sober way.
With what’s available before us, durable peace and security, a friendly and educated people, rich endowments in natural resources, one of the most urbanised countries in sub-Saharan Africa, great water resources and fertile soils, remarkable wildlife and fauna, we have the hallmark to be the greatest nation in the region.
Yet we are locked in perennial negative narratives that divide us more than they unite us.
And threaten to create a chasm over the unity our people have enjoyed for decades.
We have prioritised political success over development imperatives, championed hate over love and sacrificed our future at the altar of immediate expediency.
Sitting here in Kigali, looking at the marvel and miracle of Rwanda, made me reflect.
Here are a people rising from the ashes of a genocide in which some 800,000 people were killed in just 100 days, who have survived perennial civil wars and conflicts.
The people of Rwanda are building a thriving economy, have restored the ever elusive dual state of peace and unity, clamped down on corruption, and its government has lifted thousands of people out of poverty, as official data shows.
But we as Zambians are great people, an admirable people, a people that has set a bar too high for any country or region in Africa.
We have grown our democracy for decades, a country where the opposition parties have registered electoral victories and actually given power, three times (in 1963, 1991, and 2011).
We have fought for others; democracy, freedom and independence and bequeathed nations with the victory of their right to self-rule.
We are great people….
So to say, lest we forget, that besides the circumstances swirling around us, we are great people.
Let us invest in our people, let us invest in our country. Let us build our country.
Addis Ababa

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