As 2017 draws to an end, we'd like to share some of your thoughts. Here is a reader's letter written by Mike Chimansa from Zambia.
"I took a moment and looked at how politicians are exploiting youths in this country, and frankly speaking, it hurts my soul. It hurts my soul seeing youths at liberty to insult and emotionally injure fellow youths in the name of politics. It hurts my soul in particular. It is evident that our sense of cause as youths is in limbo.
In Animal Farm, a novel by George Orwell, pigs were in charge and used dogs as aggressors and oppressors. The dogs tormented a pig named Snowball, who differed with the leaders. The other animals looked on in silence and uttered nothing as the dogs pounced on Snowball.
The story shows how aggressive and abusive some people are to each other. The able bodied and energetic youths, are mobilized and organized into factions, to intimidate any persons who show disloyalty.
However, the youths who are exploited by politicians swear that there are no other jobs left. Personally, I consider it an insult to get exploited by a politician because I have no job.
I don't want to demean politics. I like politics because they are part of my well-being. I mean, who am I to demean politics when politics have influence on almost everything around me? There is a saying that just because you are not interested in politics does not mean politics is not interested in you. All I criticize is the ruthless behavior of our youth cadres, their hooliganism and abuse of the public order act and the tolerance of being used as tools for propagating violence.
My cry to my fellow youths out there is please let us find time to reflect on what we can achieve if we worked together in a more humane and peaceful environment with regard to denounce the use of violence. We need to learn how to settle our differences in political opinions through dialogue. Let us find our own will and place in politics. Let us ask ourselves: "How else can we be of value politically?"
And lastly, the lack of common sense in us is being used by politicians to gain political mileage. It is high time we learnt how to listen with our eyes and look with our ears, to know wrong from right.
I mean no harm to youths that make responsible cadres, as long as their intentions are good and serve the development of this country. We cannot all be cadres. So the few youths who become cadres must bear in mind that their behavior and actions as youths in politics contributes to how outsiders look at the image of youths in Zambia. If our youth in politics behave and respect themselves, the world will respect the Zambian youths, regardless whether they belong to the opposition or the government. If anyone is hurt by my remarks, you can chose to ignore my words and excuse my charisma."
This reader's letter was written by Mike Chimansa from Zambia.