Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pioneers: A Zambian Perspective on perseverance and foreign investors

A Zambian Perspective on perseverance and foreign investors from the Jubilee Center...
Posted: 22 Apr 2009 02:08 AM PDT

The Republican President said that Zambia needed the spirit of pioneering if it wanted to get up. But how can Zambia get up when all it hears everyday is that, “You can’t get up on your own. Your hope is in the hands of foreign investors.” A pioneer spirit is not something one is born with, it is taught. How can a Zambian have a pioneering spirit when all that he knows is that of being unprotected, used and neglected? Who will help the Zambian who is asking, “What can I do to come out of poverty?” Who will guide the Zambian young men and women who are asking, “Where do I start to turn my community, my friends, my family and my country around?”

When you consider the president’s speech at Lumwana, it was not the Zambian who was being encouraged to have a pioneering spirit. It was the foreign investors. He told the investors, “We expect you to continue with your exploring programs; be the first company to produce the famous yellow cake seeing that you have uranium deposits on your mine already…” (Post 19, April). It was the foreign investors who were being invited to open processing companies to add value to our raw materials. It was not the Zambian who was being encouraged to take up the opportunity to do business in Zambia but the foreign investor.

Insert Photo: President Rupiah Banda commissioning Lumwana mine

The president acknowledged the spirit of perseverance exhibited by the investor. To practice perseverance means that a person has to be mentally and physically strong, and in unity with others, be committed to a specific goal and vision. The foreign investor was able to persevere because he developed a mutual trust with the government. The government should know better about the Zambians perseverance. It was Zambian persevering lifestyle that made it possible for our suffering freedom fighters to overcome colonialism through non-violent resistance. Can you imagine the power to set this country on the right path that lies in this quality of perseverance if it is nurtured properly?

Who will take advantage of this opportunity of the Zambian people’s attitude of self-control in the midst of famine or floods or HIV/AIDS or unemployment and turn it to hope? The Bible says, “We know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance character and character hope. And we know that hope does not disappoint us… (Romans 5: 3,4). The church must help Zambians especially Christians to take seriously their citizenry responsibilities by discipling them spiritually, morally, economically and socially that they make meaningful contribution to build Zambia into the hub for social peace and economic sufficiency and the conscience of Africa. Pray for a day when a president of Zambia will open a mining company owned by Zambian investors. Pray for a day when a president will tell us of a story of a Zambian fighting hardship and succeeding in running a mining company.

Lawrence Temfwe

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