Feb 4, 2011

It's my country!

“For first time we feel that the country is ours, and we that have a say in important matters.”
These are the words of a 30 year-old Egyptian who was interviewed earlier this week about why he has joined the anti-Mubarak movement. They are very simple words and yet carry so much weight. How many of us feel disenfranchised in our own respective communities and disconnected from those in power? I am sure that’s many of us. But how many of us have the courage to speak up about the injustices we see around us? How many of us are willing to ACT to get things done.
I maintain, “we have the leaders we deserve.” Every rainy season that brings floods to your neighbourhood because of poor drainage provisions and you fail to act by bringing the matter to your local city council you deserve the poor service. Seriously!
Let us stop thinking that elected and appointed government officials are altruistic in their work and will make things better without being prodded. We have no historic precedent for such illusions, and we need to start working. If anything, history has taught us that real change happens when ordinary men and women stand together and push things forward. Please see independence movements across Africa, the end of civil war in Liberia, civil rights movement in the U.S., abolition of slave trade, etc.
Start taking ownership in the activities that move our countries forward. Being passive and apathetic brings nothing but stagnation and continuation of the status quo.

3 comments:

Apathy in demanding our rights. Apathy in making our political employees perform to expectation. For example there were only 46 complaints to ERB against the Zesco increase from the whole of Zambia!
How many people go to roads dept to find out why they haven't seen a grader since the last election? How many write to their MP? How many ever see their councillor? About anything?
When politicians find out that no-one will complain they can do what they want. Their employment contract is coming up for renewal this year. Lets demand performance!

I completely agree with you. Politicians are like children, continually pushing the boundaries with an eye out for someone to call them out, and when that doesn't happen they're emboldened in their bad behaviour and go further. By the time we wake up and see what's gone wrong the habits are ingrained and ever more difficult to undo. This is why we need to be vigilant at all times! Until that happens we are also culpable for lack of progress.

It's all about taking ownership. When I first used one of the roads in Ndola going to some houses, I asked one why is nobody working on this street, it's going to his house. They told me, we already pay so many taxes, why should we repair this road. To some Point true, so I asked them why not complain to the politicians. And I think here is the problem, on the one hand I don't want to repair the street, I've already paid, but I also don't demand. I only complain sitting with a Mosi and some friend. It's not about MMD or UNIP or whatever else was and is there. It's about complaining to the Politician that is in charge for the field.

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