By Mainda Simataa | General Secretary of the ELA | 12 February 2018 | Lusaka Zambia | Comment on the Unbecoming Behavior of the Zambian Army, www.elazambia.org
A Stunning Revelation – Shock of 2018!
And so, after 53 years of sham independence, it has final dawned upon Zambians that the Army was never created to protect the poor masses, but to oppress them the moment their economic interests clashed with those of the friends of the ruling capitalist Political class! The smashing of the poor’s stores and merchandise has been extended to the ghetto door-steps of the poor compounds! And the reason for smashing? Following orders – politically motivated orders!
A Soldier without any Political or Ideological Education is a Potential Criminal!
It was the late Captain Thomas Isidiore Sankara – Revolutionary Soldier, assassinated President, and tireless defender of the cause of freedom, peace and prosperity for the oppressed people of Burkinafaso who once said; “a soldier without any political education is a Potential criminal!” Today, these prophetic words that were uttered more than 30 years ago have come to characterize and apply as true, to the lost Zambian Army!
The Zambia Army; and it must be mentioned that this is an Army that has never fought a single all-out war since its foundation in 1964, and thus has no battle-ground experience to boast about, nor can it even match the experience of rag-tag rebel outfits like Boko Haram in Nigeria; has nonetheless decided to flex its muscles and bully innocent Zambian civilians on the streets of Lusaka – tomatoe and banana trading women for that matter!
The Zambia Army Has Joined Forces with the Ruling Political Class!
The Zambia Army has totally lost it! The Zambia Army has shown by its misdeeds on the streets; by harassing the civilian trading population and innocent bystanders that it has joined forces with the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) in oppressing and harassing the Zambian people! By allowing its troops to be used as political pawns of secret PF capitalist agendas, and as ammunition against PF’s opposition, the Army has been reduced to a mere appendage and armed vigilante wing of the equally lost but still ruling PF government of embattled, unloved and unwanted President Edgar Lungu of Zambia.
The Zambia Army has lost its code of military ethics, lost its integrity, and lost face in the eyes of the Zambian People – the poor people especially, by allowing itself to be drawn into the pro-capitalist and pro-rich Politics of chasing street vendors in the name of combating Cholera; when we know that the truth is that the corrupt Patriotic Front (PF) government is clearing our people out of Lusaka City’s trading centre in order to create more room and ‘sanitized’ trading conditions for the big and medium-sized multinational foreign businesses and mega shopping malls spring around like mushrooms in season!
Zambia Army Happily Waging a War Against the Poor!
The PF and Zambia Army’s on-going war against the poor and street vendors in Zambia’s capital Lusaka, a war that is being mercilessly carried out with brutal bullishness in the name of eradicating ‘Cholera’ in the Zambian capital of Lusaka, has revealed a very ugly, unsightly and most unprofessional side of its new enforcers – the Zambian Army! The Army has proved that it is Partisan, and that it has no moral spinal code but panders to the dictates of a man drunk with power in State House! The Army in the hand of Edgar Lungu is nothing but a tool of oppression! Life in Zambia has gone from bad to worse ever since Zambia’s fiery-tempered tin-pot Dictator decided to break with tradition, and ordered the mostly quiet and reserved Zambia Army to go and reinforce his renegade band of Party misfits to go and fight his personal wars against street vendors!
Zambia Army: For the People or for the PF?
The Zambia Army, its Commanders, along with its highest appointing authority and paymaster – the Commander-in-Chief, and more fittingly the Terrorist-in-Chief of Zambian politics, President Edgar Lungu, have collectively violated a most sacred Military code of ethics; assuming of course that any of his military commanders or advisers attended any reputable Military Schools like Sandhurst in England, or WestPoint in the United States, to know anything about the purpose, morality or philosophy of the military’s existence in society!
The Zambian Head of State and the entire Zambia Army Command, or the PF Army and its Cadres-in-military-uniform to be precise, have hijacked the Zambia Police’s role of keeping public order; and gone off to war against its own people trading on the streets – the poor, defenseless and unarmed people whose only crime is poverty, and whose only means of survival is selling their merchandise on the streets! These are the people who voted the PF ingrates into power in 2011, and these are the same people whom the PF has discarded and thrown to the mercies of clearly miseducated, misguided and may be even frustrated trigger-happy bullies and foot soldiers.
What is most shocking and disgusting about these PF cadres-in-military uniform, is that they are taking delight in slapping and spitting in the faces of poor women and men on the streets! These PF cadres-in-uniform have not taken a moment to think if what they have been deployed to do on the streets of Lusaka is right or moral! For them, smashing and demolishing stands and make-shift stalls is part of the job, even when smashing civilian stalls is nowhere listed on the job description of a soldier, assuming they even have a job description or know what it is!
One may sympathize that since they are soldiers, these PF cadres clad in military regalia are simply carrying out orders to clear and declare the streets free of litter and filth! But when one looks at the ruthless means used to carry out the Cholera command by beating people with the bats of assault rifles, all such sympathies evaporate into thin air! These Soldiers are simply sadists who are enjoying their free-range role in inflicting misery on the poor! These PF cadres-in-uniform are literally running a regime of terror on the streets of Lusaka and its surrounding compounds; a regime of terror and oppression sanctioned, sponsored and blessed by a political party that is digging its own grave, and is determined to take the integrity of the Zambia army down with it in the dustbin of Zambian history!
Zambia will Never be Ruled by the Gun!
The Zambia Army must be reminded that ideally, it exists to serve and defend the common good of all Zambians, not to defend the common rot of the ruling Party of the day! If they cannot help being dragged along on the self-destructive path that the PF is on, then some day in the future, the men in uniform will find themselves court-martialed by the masses, and stripped of all their ranks. All power belongs to the masses, and the masses-in-arms, whether armed or unarmed, are simply unstoppable because they fight for a righteous cause!