As an American who grew up in Lusaka during the early Kaunda years and has witnessed the ups and downs subsequently, last Thursday’s astounding collective act of civic patience and strength has to amaze and gratify.
Zambia now has a new president as well as a majority party. We will most likely soon have a new African leader playing a significant role in global affairs.
Africa is more than just the cradle of humanity. If successful governance and prosperity are ever achieved, Africa and Zambia, believe it or not, possess the upper hand – the position from which to lead.
The major issues and threats facing humanity are all in dire need of a credible voice from outside the power centers speaking for all. Whether it is peace, nuclear weapons, climate change, pandemic, child trafficking – even the threat of the artificial intelligence singularity, these issues will not be resolved in the USA, China, Europe and Russia. They require a voice from the high ground.
So, please, keep in mind that as you work to better the nation through big and small improvements in financial management, education, roads, medical care, the sewers in Garden and policing in Kanyama, you are together also building a potential world colossus – a most powerful voice.
For those of us in the USA the concurrent eruptions, on the same days, in Afghanistan and Zambia, are two sides of the same coin. One is the most humiliating and pathetic defeat in American history. The other is a most remarkable triumph of the basic values of individual freedom and governance of, by and for the people.
Who provided the hundreds of outside observers to monitor the Zambian election? Who had to put the arm on chiefs and warlords to set aside their differences? And how many American troops had to serve and die in Zambia trying to build that nation?
None. They did it all themselves.
As one tied so closely for so long, it is difficult to avoid getting overly emotional about this. God Bless the Powerful People of Zambia. One Zambia, One Nation.
The Author, Robert B. Kent, Jr. was first in Zambia in 1969, as a teenager, played basketball with the UNZA Monks, and presently resides in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. He has a wonderful Zambian wife, half Zambian children, and a startup Chimoto family farm on Leopard’s Hill Road in Lusaka.