Editor's Comment

The truth shall set Zambia free

ZAMBIA seems to be seeing reincarnations of Paul Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi German propagandist who served as Adolf Hitler’s minister.
Goebbels is quoted as having said that “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”
Some Zambians, either as incarnates or as students of the ruthless Goebbels, are evidently employing this tactic of telling lies repeatedly, with the hope that eventually Zambians will believe these untruths.
The objective of telling the lies repeatedly is thinly veiled: they want Zambians to turn against Government, which was elected into office hardly two years ago.
They want people to oppose virtually every activity that Government puts in place; they want people to turn against those that are helping develop the country; and they want Zambians to even sabotage companies that they work for and earn a living from.
These liars have even gone on international platforms in attempts to do as Goebbels did: turn other countries or cooperating partners against Zambia.
Goebbels’ strongest drive was against the Jews. His followers in Zambia have also picked a particular race for their xenophobic attacks and blame for the country’s challenges.
We all ought to know the heart-rending outcome of Goebbels’ propaganda against the Jews. The holocaust should never ever be allowed again, at whatever scale or in whichever country.
Unfortunately, there are some Zambians who are gullibly falling prey to this propaganda. The lies being repeatedly told are being believed by some Zambians, some of them learned enough to surely know better, or at least verify the information.
This is why President Edgar Lungu on Tuesday urged cooperating partners not to believe falsehoods being peddled about Zambia’s debt status.
Surely, who is best placed to tell the truth about the status of a country other than the Government and its head, the President, who said: “Hear it from me, we are not in distress.”
Similarly, the repeated lies about some State-owned enterprises being sold cannot be further from the truth. There are clear and transparent channels through which such entities are sold, so why should one want to tell lies about the status.
The President’s Press Aide, Amos Chanda, underscores this by questioning why the alleged sale of the Zambia Forestry and Forest Industries Corporation (ZAFFICO), for instance, is being perpetrated by some people who participated in the sale of companies in the privatisation era of the 1990s.
There has also been talk about the country’s debt being unsustainable despite the Brentwood institutions – the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank – retaining confidence in Zambia’s economy.
The investments coming into the country and the pledges are a confirmation of the country still being attractive. But this is what the propagandists want stopped, by attempting to paint Zambia black.
When talk about China planning to take over African countries’ assets as mortgage arose, the opposition went to town.
They claimed China was on the verge of taking over power utility firm ZESCO as ransom for the debts the country owes the Asian giant.
This unfortunately has continued to trend and is now turning into xenophobia as some ill-informed citizens are being incited to rise against the Chinese. This is going too far and should be curtailed immediately.
It is clear the opposition and its allies have run out of ideas, hence embarking on a damaging but consistent campaign.
It will be wise for the propagandists to look beyond what they hope to achieve in the short term. They ought to know that their method of achieving their goal is pathetic. In the unlikely event that they achieve their goal, they cannot be expected to have any staying power.
Fortunately, their lies are catching up with them and hopefully, sooner rather than later, more Zambians will realise that they are being hoodwinked into a dastardly campaign.
The earlier Zambians realise that they are pawns in an aggressive propaganda campaign the better for them and the country.
The task of bringing every Zambian back onto the right track is not for the President alone. His Cabinet ministers, Members of Parliament, local government leaders and other clear-minded Zambians should join efforts to counter Goebbels’ aggressive scholars.
This is no time to think that everyone in the opposition will or is guided by civility and truthfulness. There are some who will do just about anything to get into office and for now their weapon of choice is lies.
The truth is the worst enemy for these propagandists, and so the weapon to use against them is facts and nothing but facts. Keep talking about the facts and these shall free Zambians from the liars.

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