Yohane Mbeeya Moono
Some dictionary meaning of the word Cadre is that someone trained for a specific purpose. Well, the word in Zambia has attained a certain political status in the period from 2010 to date. In recent days social media has been awash with news about cadres; from the Presidential U-turn upon hearing that Cadres are back in some markets in the capital to Some Cadres harassing an innocent and defenseless civil servant in Kasama.
After the UPND victory in the August 12 elections of 2021 and the President vowing to end Cadreism, the latest incidents brings about two groups in the nation on the matter. There is no neutrality on this matter. It is either you are part of the Nipano Tuli: they thought governing is easy or you want the government to do more to end Cadreism and justice for that Civil Servant.
What that Presidential pronouncement of no Cadreism at any level did is to plunged people who survived on this undertaking of constantly flashing party symbols and be revered as the King makers into serious financial distress. For close to 11 years people thought this is a new lucrative way of making money and they were most surviving on hand to mouth basis believing that it will always be business as usual. Many were blinded by the fact they will always have money each day they went into the Central Business District of the towns they were or are based in. And if there are people who would easily change allegiance are the same cadres because theirs to find means of survive and being relevant in the political landscape.
There are a number of possibilities about this scourge emerging again. Firstly, it could be those who belonged to the Reds the past 6 years are losing patience of not seeing the benefits of supporting the ruling party like the colleagues from the Greens. Secondly, it could be those who were part of the Greens have changed the uniforms and gone back to their old ways from the previous regime. Thirdly it could they have team up and become one group from both the Reds and the Greens. All in all, Cadreism has been perpetuated because political players tend to give impetus to these individuals to do what they do by paying a blind eye to their actions.
One that should be commended is the desire by the President to end this cancer which is a danger to society because of the violence it comes with. However, much needs to be done and that these people need a new source of livelihood to survive on and support their families. Victory in the fight against Cadreism can not be fought by the President alone because then it means members of his party tolerate the vice. This is why question like: If the President left the party, is Cadreism going to come back in full swing? The political will shown by the President should run off to all government officials, Party officials and citizens at large.
Political players should always remember that all citizens are important in the Nation. The vote from the Cadres and the ordinary citizens all amount to one vote per individual. No vote is more special than the other. If Cadreism is allowed to come back, the consequences may be dire when there is a change of government.
Every citizen whether you believe in Nipano Tuli or that Cadreism is dead should always condemn any violent conduct. Zambians belong to every Zambian and no individual has more voting rights than the others. All citizens are King makers and should be treated as such.
Remember that Zambia belongs to all of us and that is we are One Zambia One Nation.