A story of Robert Mugabe from Zimbabwe is told in April 1980, shortly after he sovereignly won his country’s first elections for prime minister. It is said that after he formed his government and put it into office, he received a delegation of two white officials whom he met in torture dungeons when he was a “terrorist”.
It is said that Bob looked up from his files to greet them and asked them what had brought them, to which they replied that they had come to file their resignation because they said they knew what they had done to him “before” . and knew there was no way he could trust them to work under the new government.
The new prime minister just laughed and told them that he had seen how they treated him when he was It was a “terrorist” and he wanted them to continue the work he had seen.
Fast forward to last month and Hakainde Chikilema (HH) took over as the brand new President of Zambia and almost drove Immediately proceed to purge all ranks of the military, police and security forces of all top men who served under his predecessor ssor, Edgar Lungu.
There is an obvious disproportion here: The first case concerned officials of the old minority regime , clearly and tenaciously anti-African colonial officials, while the second case is of individuals falling under an independent African state established since 1964. How could you trust the former more than the latter?
The answer might be awkward, but I’ll try. The Smith regime was that bare, transparent settler colony whose only protection of existence was the continuation of racial subjugation of the majority of the majority of the Zimbabwean population, and for which there was absolutely no pretext for the will of the people. So if she imprisoned thousands, killed many, and tortured others, including Mugabe himself, that was her job. These were honest people who worked for an unjust system.
Compared to the colonial Rhodesian security forces, the Zambian security forces, who did what the colonial security agents had done before them, were dishonest thugs, who did just that People killed they were supposed to protect the very people who supposedly brought them to power.
It is a sad reality that our countries are grappling with. At the time of “independence” all of our post-colonial states inherited the old instruments of our former masters in bulk, unconstructed, except for the skin color of the oppressor.
So the old repressive colonial laws were recorded in the law books, sometimes even still Made more hideous to cope with new challenges brought to the fore by the new realities of fragile tribal states.
So did most of our rickety states in the 1960s – and those that, ironically, did which followed heroic liberation struggles – are most identical in their barbarism and theft. They are technically at war with large parts of their countries where their ethnic groups are not in the majority, and their main activity is to steal their countries’ natural resources. They are very difficult to distinguish from the former colonial oppressors, except that they are mostly black, like most of their people.
Well, in our specific situation, how does a country organize political competition and thus the formation who manages to convince the people to vote to form the next government? In very few exceptional cases in African countries, this will be allowed because the incumbents will do everything in their power to ensure that those who are outside never get in.
They will rig elections by all means who can invent deceiving, including the disenfranchisement of entire groups of people, the declaration of a large number of candidates for disqualification, the corruption of all electoral processes or just stealing entire elections and running into the night with them.
And who does that for our rulers? ? “Security,” a term loosely used but encompassing all kinds of thugs in private militias who soon themselves abandon the pretext of serving the state and become fixers for the person who controls the Treasury and pays them
That’s why I have doubts about HH when he throws out the crew he found in Lusaka, as I suspect that he will soon be surrounded by his tribal boys and girls who are their ” It’s “it’s our turn to eat” on their minds. Some observers have indicated that when he was inaugurated there appeared to be signs that he was trying to do things his own way, ignoring government structures and processes, and this could cause him problems very soon.
Our states and their structures are definitely fickle, weak and fragile. But they are all we have; It is important to strengthen them, not to strangle them. The developed states of today have built themselves up over the past decades, even centuries.
When new rulers emerge to destroy everything their predecessors did, we become eternal beginners with them nothing to show for a few centuries.
But in the case of Hakainde, if the plan was to set up a private militia from the start, then the die was cast early.
Jenerali Ulimwengu is now on YouTube via alionline tv. Email: [emailprotected]