On Saturday, 24th October, Zambia celebrated her 51st Independence anniversary. People of all works of life had their own way of showing their freedom. Organisations, families and different political groupings took part in activities around the country. It was also touching to see pictures on social media of Zambians around the world joining the celebration despite the distance. We are all Zambian regardless of where we are.
Important National holidays like the Independence day accords us a chance to reflect on where we are coming from, where we are and where we are going. This is also important for us as citizens to reflect on our individual freedoms and independence. Young people ought to think about their independence and freedom from things that might derail their future.
Forget the role of politicians and think about your role as a young adult. Your role in a society that is a “fertile ground” for selfish people and politicians. Politicians who will use every possible way to show you that they care more for the poor than others. Politicians who will come in your neighbourhood with a smart phone to take selfies with orphaned children to show that they love them. But after leaving the place they will forget about you.
One thing that I hate and despise is people and organisations who take advantage of people, especially children. I have differed with a lot of local and international organisation who use children, women and youth to get funding. It is not only unethical but also not fair to these innocent people. International organisation including United Nations agency use pictures of “poor” children in their fundraising campaigns. And everyone is fine with this because it is the UN.
Those of you who are in the so called developed world will agree with me that there are adverts on Television or Billboards of half dressed children from developing countries. These adverts are for the sole purpose of fundraising for projects in Africa, South/Central America, East Europe and South Asia. Photos of these children are taken without even asking the little ones. Talk about abuse. This is what I am talking about. People are driving expensive cars on the expense of these kids.
It has also become the order of the day to see people even from developing countries posting, making fan and sharing innocent children’s images. To make matters worse politicians have also joined this. A picture of Mr Hakainde Hichilema with orphaned children of a named orphanage in Lusaka where it is reported that he also pledged to pay school fees for some of them was shared on social media.
According to HH’s Facebook page, the opposition party leader said that he chose to visit and celebrate with the orphanage in order to appreciate and sympathise with the children about the current economic hardships they were going through. REALLY!! Hope he didn’t tell the kids about microeconomics and the fiscal policies he will introduce if he becomes President.
I have no problem with anyone giving a donation to people who need a push. However I think HH wants to take advantage of these children to get to state house. If he and UPND wanted to make a contribution why wait for independence day. Did he put them under surveillance to see if they are not dying of hunger. A person who gives from the heart or a person who gives does not publicly say that I have given those people this and that. A person who gives from the heart does not say I am giving you because I have seen that the government is the reason you are an orphan. HH should know that some of these children found in orphanages are there because of irresponsible parenting. Sorry to say this. So to blame the government for everything is not fair and it is unwise.
What is more shocking is that UPND supporters even those who call themselves child right activists are busy sharing pictures of innocent children. Shame on you fake child activist. Shame on all child activists in Zambia who are just noise makers. Children should be protected. Children are entitled to their own privacy. You should not only speak for these kids when it has to do with the state or just because you are looking for funding. If you are such a person you are equally like HH and UPND. No shame and no manners. Children in orphanages or women in those co-operatives don’t just need material support but also someone who can talk to them. Someone who can motivate them. Not someone who uses them to get something. If we don’t do these things then we are just like foreign organisation who came to get pictures of children and later use them to get money for their NGOs.
Every sane person will not use innocent children to get what they want. A sane and true leader will give with the right hand without the left hand knowing. HH and his team should not take Zambians for fools. People know the game UPND is playing. My advise to HH is that he should consider firing his political advisers. Because for me he is receiving wrong counsel. Sometimes I think they are just up to making him fail. I think he is a good leader but the problem is he is scoring too many political own goals. Taking a selfie with vulnerable kids is an own goal which even breaks the net.
Anyone who is close to HH and the UPND leadership should tell them to sit down and revise their political game and tactics. Using innocent children’ will not win them elections. HH and his supporters should not take politics as a fairytale where people who use crook always have a happy ending. If they think so they will be bruised even next year.
Joe Mwansa Lombe Kaluba