IGNORE THE PEOPLE’S CRY FOR A BETTER LIFE AT YOUR OWN PERIL
By Faston Mwale, MCC – The Socialist Party
If the UPND government continues to snub pleas to address the deepening cost of living crisis, the people may resort to more open and more rigorous forms of expressing their resentment.
The molecular buildup of anger and frustration in the masses will ultimately reach a saturation point and transform into open protest demonstrations against the crippling cost of living. The destruction of the poor people’s livelihood earning strategies and the systematic exclusion of the youth from labor processes validates the fact that the “Bally Will Fix It” campaign slogan was nothing more than a romantic idea crafted to delude the suffering masses.
It is ironical that a country touted as the 8th largest producer and exporter of copper in the world could be enduring weird rates of poverty. 60 percent of Zambia’s population lives under the poverty datum line while 48 percent has been consigned to the unimaginable worst forms of existence. Headcount rural poverty averages 78.8 percent.
By any standards, these are very high rates of poverty. On the contrary, a small greedy ruling class elite is becoming richer every day at the expense of the sweat and tears of the toiling masses. The inequality gap between the rich and the poor is unjustifiably too wide.
One day, our people will muster courage and openly denounce this contradictory social order. Given an inequality index of 0.69 as of 2015, Zambia ranks as the one of the most unequal countries of the world. Such a status is a disincentive to the creation of a truly democratic society.
The deceptive politics, the negation of democracy and the progressive erosion of the rule of law compounded by economic mismanagement is in a large part the cause of frustration and disillusionment of the masses. This is what is stoking resentment in the masses.
The molecular buildup of anger in the struggling masses will at last reach a saturation point and tip into open protests if the government continues to close its eyes to the growing predicament of those whose lives and livelihoods have been ravaged by the crippling neoliberal capitalist policies of the UPND government.
While the leaders are everyday alluding to the debt burden as a reason for our dilemma, the ongoing corruption and the brazen abuse of state resources is tacitly being ignored by the same leadership. The UPND government claims to be a listening government but why are the leaders not listening?
My beloved comrades, brothers and sisters in the struggle, a time to crystalize new forms of struggle has arrived. If there was ever a moment in our history when we needed a new vision to bring our people together in the fight for justice, equity and peaceful co-existence, this is that time.
Change is inevitable but change that does not open a new chapter is superficial. What we need is a decisive shift from a socio-economic system that ‘soaks’ the poor to enrich the rich to a system that is less ugly but more beautiful, less discriminatory but more inclusive and less dehumanizing but more humane.