Zambia cannot be said to free in the midst of poverty, Kalaba

By Staff Reporter
FORMER foreign affairs minister Harry Kalaba says Zambia cannot be said to be free when poverty, among many negatives, is still the underlining factor among citizens.
In his Africa Freedom Day message yesterday, Kalaba, who is also Bahati PF member of parliament, stated that Zambia could not be said to be free if many of its people still wallowed in abject poverty and survived on “less than a dollar per day in a land littered with mineral wealth and vast untapped nature just waiting to be exploited.”
He also stated that Zambia could not be said to be free if media freedoms were kept shaky and often tilted towards protecting the political elite and suppressing objective alternative voices and opinions.
“Zambia cannot be said to be free if free speech which is supposed to be the baseline of the sum of all our freedoms continues to be a privilege rather than a right. Free speech should be the bedrock of all our endeavours, a birth right which no fire should be able to burn, no water able to wet and no wind able to dry. When this ideal is attained, our country will be spared the insanity often bred in the chambers of personal insecurity in silencing the resolved will of a people to express their observations and speak through the riddles of their own imbedded creativity. The good sons of this land such as Pilato belong to a class of citizens who must be cherished rather than admonished for their sensitivity to the observed imbalances in our human structures,” Kalaba stated.
“Zambia cannot be said to be free when the channels for exercising that freedom remains the preserve of the political elite and political machinery. How is it possible for the citizens to enjoy the fruits of their freedom when the very essence of freedom is wrongly anchored in the fabric of an archaic law such as the public order Act?”
He added that Zambia could not be said to be free when most of its economic opportunities were segregatively aligned for foreign investors.
“The few that succeed can only do so by aligning themselves to a political party or system. The true spirit of enterprise and commence have been charred to dust and citizens rendered mere spectators in the grand scheme of things,” he noted.
Kalaba stated that to attain the true meaning of freedom, Zambia needed efficient machinery in the form of a well lubricated Constitution.
“We must admit that the times of mass demonstrations against the mutilation of true freedom are over and well-placed in the annals of the past. In this day and age, in this information age all we need is quiet and irresistible action and this can only be brought about by the strictest of discipline in our ranks as a people. Our entitlement to both opportunity and protection must be laid bare in order to be acted upon by all who care,” stated Kalaba.