Since 1891 when Cecil John Rhodes and his company, the British South Africa Company, colonised this territory, we have been on the capitalist path.
We have never really veered off from capitalism. Even under the honest and relatively progressive rule of Dr Kenneth Kaunda and UNIP, we were still under capitalism – with some elements of ‘state capitalism’.
We have never experienced anything else other than capitalism. Continuing on this path will not bring a better life to our people. We have a unique opportunity this year to chart a different path and establish a new economic, social and political order. And those who fail to see this will have to answer to history for it. I hope they will accept their responsibility.
We must choose a clear, intelligent, effective solution – not head toward Calvary.
I think we have been struggling uphill long enough. We have suffered not only the torment of Calvary but also that of Sisyphus, who had to keep pushing the boulder up a hill and every time he was about to reach the top, it would roll back down and he would have to start all over again. Our situation is worse than Calvary because Calvary was climbed quickly; we have been climbing our hill for a long time, and we keep on having to start over. Calvary is preferable to Sisyphus’ torment, and we had our Calvary, we should also have a resurrection.
What we want is real change, not just any change; what we want is to find a real solution to the problem, but what will happen is that reactionary forces, those benefiting from the current order will try to deceive our people and prevent real change. They have divided people into petty political parties that brought no guidance to the nation. They will divide the ignorant and mislead people into factions supporting unscrupulous and greedy politicians. They give some little money, bicycles, mealie-meal, salt, sugar, chitenge materials, t-shirts here and there so that each will remain with his or her own Calvary – and not even a Calvary, but with the agonising torture of pushing the boulder up a never-ending hill. But one day the people are going to demand, ‘How much longer do we have to put up with these conditions.’ And they will find real solutions.
I prefer an orderly solution; internal and external unity; and a real, definitive solution for our people’s problems.
Our people are becoming truly desperate. The situation is much more terrible, more desperate and hopeless. I can see this. It’s only a matter of time, because this neoliberal capitalist path we are pursuing is creating an enormous time bomb in our country. Are we going to wait for it to explode before we start thinking about real change, real solutions to these problems?
There’s no future for our people under this order, and I think the politicians and all progressives and democrats in this country have a basic duty to pay it all the attention it requires, or we will all become slaves.