As an American who came of age in Lusaka during the good early Kaunda years, and watched the ups and downs since then, one has to be both amazed and gratified by last Thursday’s extraordinary collective act of civic patience and strength.
We now have not only a new president and majority party in Zambia. We will likely soon have a new leading African nation playing a major role in world affairs.
Africa is not only the cradle of humanity. If there is ever developed successful governance and prosperity, Africa and Zambia, believe it or not, hold the high ground – 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.