Aug 1, 2012

Sharing information

As a result of the Zambian draft constitution radio series I recently hosted, I have been approached by various people to share audio, notes, etc. This has been gratifying because I’m happy to see people interested in the public review process and gathering their own thoughts on the various provisions, after all this was my original intent.

This sharing of information and ideas is critical, in my opinion, because it allows us to debate divergent views and come to an understanding of what we as Zambians feel to be the most important issues that should be enshrined in our constitution, be it gender equality or better defined powers in the executive.

It has always been my view that such participation is incumbent upon us as citizens; we cannot continue to sit back relying on others to feed us information and to dictate the dialogue. We have enough past, sad experience that shows what happens in the absence of our active participation.

Beyond this particular issue, there is a bevy of other areas that require open dialogue, sober minded analysis and suggested alternatives. We need to keep on sharing information and arguing constructively regardless of our political leanings; politics are too often front and centre and act as a distraction to meaningful progress.

This is perfectly exemplified when one peruses the daily headlines that are mostly dedicated to inane subjects of “this person insulted the president,” or “the president hits back.” These are not the issues that matter to most of us, and since many media houses continue to fail in their responsibility to report thoroughly and objectively, we have to get creative and lead intelligent discovery and debate of issues. Let them follow our lead.

Zambia’s future should not be driven by a short sighted minority who cannot look beyond what food is on the plate in front of them. We are so much better than that; let the silent majority be silent no more.


Interesting stuff indeed. For me, in referendums, the critical question is on the campaigning and information environment: Whether there will be campaigning and information restrictions, or efforts to coordinate argumentation?

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