As I walk down Chifinga Road, the sights and sounds of Lusaka are intoxicating. Two men straining under the weight of carrying a car engine, huff and puff past me. People cry out after me or put themselves in my line of sight offer me some a plastic watch or set of spaners. After all, doesn’t every white person need them?
Lusaka isn’t wha it used to be. Wirting this post I am sat in a smart internet cafe in the newly refurbished shopping mall, Manda Hill. This temple to money is everything you would expect it to be. South African Chain Stores abound, as does South African money. Ambitious young Zambians walk around in sharp suits. People who have already made their money sit around, chatting, relaxing, doing ‘lunch’. Young girls dressed to the nines, ply a different trade, looking for a bnevolent male to move them from their current situation.
This is Zambia, a country of two distinct halves. I spend most of my time with those that have not. Dusty villages, self sufficient farmers who have just about enough money to feed their families, farm workers who probably coul be treated better. This is whom I am here to reach. I believe Zambia can be changed by these very people.
The problem is, this vision of financial utopia competes for the very soul of Africa. In the last few days, Michael Sata has been elected the new president of The Republic of Zambia. People making the clenched fist of the Patriotic Front political party are now commonplace. His problem is what vision will he follow? If he follows the path of development based upon te pursuit of money, maybe Zambia will end up divided between rich and poor, and possibly just as bankrupt as Europe and the USA currently find themselves. in’t that what my very country, the UK has done?
Alternatively, will Zambia follow the path that seeks to intill responsibility and not simply a reckless pursuit of money. Responsibility will seek to hep those in the rural areas. Responsiblity doesn’t blame the rest of the word for Zambia’s problems, it takes ownership and with dedication, makes those problems better.
Responsibility is a very Christian word and a trait I am committed to instilling in Africa, everywhere. It’s the kind of thing God would want us to do.