Monthly Archives: September 2012

Kalaki’s Korner: Ukwa in New York

Kalaki’s Korner: Ukwa in New York

Dear Kenneth Kaunda: “I was There…”

Since 70% of Zambia’s population is below 30, it means a majority of Zambians were born after 31 October 1991.

Here is my side of the story.

I was there when civil servants were personal servants of Nkwazi House and at midnight they could be transferred to another district or another town or another province. This was simply because the Ward Chairman so wanted.

I was there when our women, with

babies on their backs, would wake up at 01:00hrs to go and line up at Mwaiseni to buy a bottle of cooking oil.

I was there when the journey from Lusaka to Kasama used to take 3 days, with a long wait at Mpika in a UBZ bus.

I was there when the State controlled all companies that never made any profit for decades of operation.

I was there when our young girls used to be raped while on the queue trying to buy mealie meal.

I was there when the Zambia Airways stopped flying people for profit and became a personal private flying company for the party and its government.

I was there when people’s movements and liberties were restricted. You couldn’t move from one house to another without first getting permission from the Ward Chairman and his stalwarts.

I was there when people’s liberty to worship was severely curtailed and churches had to register as companies in order to operate and worship God.

I was there when sugar was as rare as a diamond and salt was as scarce as platinum. I was there when the people who used to sell small packs of sugar were known as “ba Choir”, because at the Twatasha market there was no freedom to sell or to buy. The market had to be controlled by Nkwazi House and its tributaries.

I was there when entrepreneuring Zambians were treated as de facto criminals by the State. I was there when trade was severely restricted.

I was there when school children would miss school in order to go and line up the streets to dance for the only Man there was. This feat would be repeated each time that the Man and his loyalists were around.

I was there when you needed permission from the party and its government for everything.

I was there when soldiers would enter your house, without your permission and do a “clean-up”.

In 1986, as a child I saw a soldier slap and abuse the government driver who was transporting us from Chipata to Chililabombwe since my dad had been transferred by the State. His only crime, was that he had not stopped by one of the many military stops that dotted the route to Chililabombwe.

I was there…and the very thought that Zambia is returning to that state.

Makes me sad!