Over the next eleven weeks, you will hear, from my opponents or competitors, how our country is flourishing, how happy we all are, how we trusted our government, and what bright perspective are unfolding before us.
I didn’t accept to be the presidential candidate of the Socialist Party so that I, too, would lie to you. Our country is not flourishing. Zambia is 123rd in the overall Prosperity Index rankings. Since 2010, Zambia has moved down the rankings table by 12 places.
A country once proud of its educational standards now spends so little on education that it ranks so low in the world. Our country which used to rank so low on the corruption index today is among the world’s most corrupt nations.
Today we live in a highly contaminated moral environment. We have lost our values, principles, standards and common aims. We learned to ignore each other, to care only for ourselves. In Zambia today love, friendship, compassion, equity, justice, solidarity, fairness and humility have lost their depth and dimensions.
When I talk about the contaminated moral atmosphere, I am speaking about all of us. We have all become used to a corrupt and intolerant system and accepted it as an unalterable fact of life, and thus we help to perpetuate it. None of us is just its victim; we are all its co-creators.
We urgently need a new type of politics based on morality, principles, values, standards and common aims. We need to teach ourselves and others that politics should be an expression of the desire to contribute to the happiness of the community rather than of a need to cheat or rape the community. Let us teach ourselves and others that politics can be not only the art of the possible, especially if “the possible” includes the art of speculation, calculation, intrigue, secret deals, and pragmatic maneuvering, but that it can also be the art of the possible, that is, the art of improving ourselves and the country.
We have a duty to struggle for a more just, fair and humane society. We should dream of such a Republic.
President of the Socialist Party