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Gary, The Economy and The Kachasu Fiasco

[Rule of the jungle, prejudice and Torture]

By Dr Canisius Banda

Gary NKOMBO is my FRIEND. I like his dress sense and love for fashion. As his Vice President in the UPND, there was a time I even passionately campaigned for him in his constituency in Mazabuka. I saw a promising FUTURE in him, such an articulate and passionate young Zambian.

But the Gary we are seeing today has MORPHED. I don’t know what he is high on or whether he is using drugs. He seems unhinged. He has become a monster, a dangerous creature that threatens our peace, one we must quickly cage. What Gary did in Garden Compound defies reason. It just isn’t done anywhere in the world. It is a no no. It was excessive, illegal, UNCONSTITUTIONAL, prejudicial, evil and criminal. It was unthinkable.

And Gary thinks he committed that travesty against that poor family alone. No, his injustice was to all citizens, the State and all humanity. It just isn’t done. This is why his apology to that family falls flat. No human being should be made to suffer such DEGRADING treatment and torture as Gary inflicted on those poor, hapless and vulnerable people.

Further, note that apologies are not the required, constitutional or legal provisions for settling crimes. Apologies just aren’t enough.

Hakainde, our Republican President, Gary’s supervisor, only a few days ago went to town and spent hours on end stating that his ‘new dawn’ government respects the RULE OF LAW. Gary, Hakainde, displayed the opposite. Gary broke the law. What Gary exhibited in Garden Compound, is NOT the rule of law, Mr President. That was the RULE OF GARY, barbaric, diabolical and downright evil.

Gary is wrong. Kachasu does NOT kill. His behaviour shows a degree of backwardness that should worry every development-minded Zambian.

Forcing citizens including their children to drink Kachasu against their will is plain torture. And Gary was on duty as Hakainde HICHILEMA’s minister, performing government business. Torturing citizens. Government business?

To promote entrepreneurship, recover the economy and prosper citizens, Hakainde HICHILEMA created a ministry for SMEs. On the other hand, Gary goes to town, with glee, as if demented, kicking to ground, the very paraphernalia, apparatus for economic growth, destroying businesses and wrecking lives, and whilst at it, he persecutes the proprietors.

Gary is wrong. Kachasu does NOT kill. His behaviour shows a degree of backwardness that should worry every development-minded Zambian. And it is this backwardness of thought that has kept Zambia underdeveloped for way too long. What kills is not the Kachasu but the manner of taking it. What Gary needs to know is that most breweries in the world, Europe, UK and Anerica, even close by in South Africa, all started as family businesses just like the ones in that hell-hole, that godforsaken, derelict compound called Garden.

It is NOT a Garden, my friends. More like a dump, urgently requiring, what Gary doesn’t know, a quick upgrade. Here is what Hakainde HICHILEMA must now do.

  1. Legalise Kachasu brewing
  2. Register all Kachasu brewers in Zambia
  3. License all Kachasu brewers in Zambia
  4. Give all Kachasu brewers in Zambia TPINs
  5. All Kachasu brewers in Zambia must undergo business capacity building by ZDA
  6. Link all Kachasu brewers to bigger brewers for further processing of the alcohol, to whom they must sell their commodity [quitecthe way the agricultural out-growers scheme works]
  7. The Councils must teach all Kachasu brewers hygiene and all requirements of public health
  8. Encourage the production of Masuku, Masau, Kwawasa, Banana, Lemon, Guava flavored brands of Kachasu, all local products.
  9. Facilitate the export of Kachasu to Europe, Asia and America.
  10. Form more cooperatives of brewers or to brew Kachasu
  11. Encourage the formation of the Kachasu Brewers Association of ZAMBIA [K-BAZ] to share best practices

I hope Ella’s MUBANGA is listening. Wake up, man! This is the Zambia Hakainde HICHILEMA wants, one which creates start-ups, regulates and thrives businesses. Citizen entrepreneurship is the future of Zambia.

And Kachasu is a multi-million dollar industry. We are aware that some foreign interests, competitors, might want Zambia’s Kachasu industry to die. We know. Yes, what Gary did was not only cruel and backward but it was illogical as well. It runs counter to the spirit of the UPND manifesto aimed at prospering small businesses. Gary, do the same for street vendors, as I propose.

Don’t kick them orctheir goods. If you continue, I, Canisius BANDA, with the people, will kick you away. You see, by their very nature, illicit breweries are illegal.

But the penalty for the guilty is NOT what Gary meted out. It is NOT forcing the brewers and their children, once caught at it, to drink the very same illicit brew, to force them to swallow very thing said to kill, as if attempting to murder them.

Gary, my friend, why? Hakainde is already having headaches and sleepless nights over the unbearable cost of living. And now you lump this social bomb on him! Feel for your boss, Gary. Already, he is a troubled man. But then this is what leadership is about.

A leader needs to know how to manage rebels, dissidents, bandits, law-breakers, prostitutes, thieves, witches, the Garys, ad infinitum, for every society, community, nation, comprises these. Every village has them. These are the citizens
Finally, when all is said, the buck stops with Hakainde HICHILEMA.

It was YOU, sir, that forced Kachasu down the throats of those children in Garden Compound. We, the citizens, are watching you, sir. Clearly, the Ministerial Code of Conduct now lies breached. And your leadership is in the dock.

Fix the country, please.
Do NOT fix the people.

For now, allow me to wipe the tears I have in my eyes. On this KAUNDA Day, I cry for Zambia.

Dr Canisius BANDA
Development Activist