We have now been politically independent for 56 years. But what has this political independence brought us in terms of human dignity?
Today Zambia is the fifth hungriest country in the the world after the Central African Republic, Chad, Madagascar and Yemen.
Clearly, without the ability to build a viable economy and bring ourselves out of poverty, the politically liberated would be reduced to a condition that was in many ways worse than their former condition.
When you have been colonised it is not enough that you proclaimed to be politically independent. There’s need for you to be able to feed yourselves.
It is not enough to merely be proclaimed politically independent, the economic subjugation must also stop.
Independence requires that you take care of your economy and give yourselves a better and dignified life.
This hasn’t been done, and the lasting effects of colonialism continue to this day in the form of entrenched poverty.
It is not enough to merely be proclaimed ‘politically independent’ without also providing some method of economic independence. In the absence of some sort of economic independence, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to achieve true national independence.
The primary task of all colonised peoples and nations who seek liberation is to overthrow imperialist colonial rule and to strive for political independence. However, it is far from sufficient merely to win political independence, which is only the first step in a long march. After winning political independence, there’s need to make full use of the political power to go on to win economic independence. Only thus will we be able to thoroughly rid ourselves of imperialist control and colonialist and neo-colonialist exploitation and approach full independence. If, on the other hand, after our political independence we do not continue to carry forward the national-democratic struggle, do not take effective revolutionary measures and actively strive for economic independence, then we will not be able to win the final, secure and full independence, and the danger exists that we will lose our hard-won political independence.
The political independence we won on October 24, 1964 is far from secure and has to be consolidated.
Our former political colonisers have adopted neo-colonialist tactics and are trying to maintain their colonial rule through their agents.
Our situation today is aptly described by the saying: “While the wolf has been driven out through the front door, the tiger has sneaked in at the back.”
Only when genuine economic independence has been achieved is it possible for us to smash the pressure, obstruction and sabotage of the imperialists, colonialists and neo-colonialists and establish secure and full political independence.
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