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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 31, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta Thursday, October 31, 1974 THE LETH0RIDQE HERALD 5 I Liberated Zambia celebrates anniversary By Colin Legum, London Observer commentator is in many ways the most critically important country in Africa In the 10 years of its dependence the anniver- sary of which is now being celebrated it has survived as the bulwark of the African liberation movement at the dangerous meeting point on the Zambezi river where Black Africa confronts the white-dominated countries of Southern Africa If it were not for Zambia's firm stand (backed by its close ally, Tan- zania) Has doubtful whether the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (Frelimo) could have successfully challenged the Portuguese colonial ar- mies Its success and that of the PAIGC in Guinea-Bissau contributed massively to the historic withdrawal of Por- tugal from Africa. Zambia has served not only Frelimo but is also the centre for the other liberation movements in Angola, Namibia (South-West Africa) Rhodesia and South Africa. At the same time it has kept up a relentless pressure against its neighbor, Isr. Smith's Rhodesia, despite the fact that landlocked Zambia has had to depend heavily on the rebel colony for access to the sea across the communication lines of Southern Africa. Goaded by Zambia's policy the Smith regime attempted two years ago to strangle its neighbor by closing the border. Nevertheless, Zambia sur- vived this attempted blockade and, at huge expense and with great difficulties, switched its imports and exports through friendlier African neighbors For once fortune smiled on the brave, and the un- precedentedly high price of copper (Zambia's principal source of foreign earnings) enabled it to survive economically. One of the out- comes of this confrontation was Zambia's decision to join with Tanzania in accepting the Chinese offer to build a railway line that would no longer make it hostage to the railways and ports of hostile regimes Besides its role as'the Berry's World 1974 by NEA "Afraid that's the way it goes these days young couples can't afford 'nice little honey- moon cottages.'" African spearhead of liberation, Zambia has carried through three other major policies. It brought un- der state control the entire colonial economic structure it had inherited at in- dependence. This included the two giant mining cor- porations, the Anglo American Corporation of Mr. Harry Oppenheimer and RST, which is controlled by American Metal Climax. This revolutionary step was taken with generous compensation and carried through without damaging mining production or profitability The second major success was in transforming a white- dominated economy into one controlled entirely by Zam- bians. This feat is especially striking since Zambia at in- dependence had one of the least educated black pop- ulations in the entire British colonial empire. In the last 10 years it has increased the enrolment of children in primary schools by 214 per cent and, even more im- pressively, that of secondary schools by 450 per cent. It has built a modern university and greatly expanded technical and vocational training. Zambia's third contribution was to convertan essentially divisive multi- party political system into a single-party state without seriously impairing national unity. It succeeded in retain- ing a majority of its in- dependence leadership headed by Dr Kenneth Kaunda and its ruling party adopted his policy of an original political system matched only by President Nyerere's policies of egalitarian socialism in Tan- zania. Humanism is a political philosophy combining Chris- tian tenets with GandhTs ideas of non-violence and socialism. It rejects both capitalism and communism. It sets itself the objective of achieving socialism as a step towards the ultimate humanist society in which all men will become equal, in which there will be no ex- ploitation between one man and another, in which in- stitutions will shrink to the lowest possible'units of par- ticipatory democracies, in which prisons will give way to reform schools whose func- tion it will be to educate and not to punish, and in which man will be able to fulfill himself in the state of perfec- tion which is God's true inten- tion. This goal of perfection of man is not set as an achievable objective within any measurable time, but is the guiding line for the nation's development, es- tablishing the criteria by which its achievements are to be measured. All these achievements belong to the credit side of Zambia's first" decade of independence But Zambia's is-by no means a success story. The negative side of its record to date is considerable The aim of a participatory democracy in which power is to be transferred to the people has clearly not been brought Indeed, the con- centration and centralization of power is greater now than it was 10 years ago. Instead of socialism the country has primarily a state capitalist society. In place of-exploita- tion by whites of blacks there is now intensive exploitation of blacks by blacks. The ex- ploiting black bourgeois class has grown apace, and .class distinctions have been inten- sified. Greed rather than ser- vice characterizes the