Monday, 26 January 2015

Congratulations to Edgar Chagwa Lungu Elected 6th President of Zambia

His Excellency Edgar Chagwa Lungu being sworn in as President of the Republic of Zambia on 25th January 2015.

Compliments to Hakainde Hichilema, Edith Nawakwi and all the candidates for putting up a spirited fight.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Today, you will be with Me in paradise. Luke 23:43.

A reason why people may become atheists and a reason why fewer and fewer may attend services across denominations can to some extent be explained.  Across denominations many people abandon the Church, faith and religion altogether, especially in a world advancing rapidly in scientific knowledge, due to a loss of the ability of religion to distinctively identify and define Spirit. Psychology walked in impetuously and sacked the tangible objects that formed the functional basis for religion that have been handed down through the ages.  The Church that had known the Spirit for eons, allowed psychologists like Freud to march in and re-label Spirit as consisting of id, ego and super ego. The Church was charmed, wooed, intimidated and terrorised by the brilliance of science. De-spiritualisation set in through the exchange of labels inspired by philosophers such as RenĂ© Descartes’ ideas which stated “I think therefore I am”, self-awareness gradually became defined as a biological condition or attribute of consciousness whose function is governed by the science of psychology. When science took over our understanding of the human mind, it immediately evicted the Church and religion from the Holy of Holies, the Sanctuary, like the temple veil being torn in two religion lost its importance and place, to materialistic man. Like the Israelites looking for a place to settle and Palestine today searching for statehood, the Church has ever since been wandering through the wilderness looking for sanctuary - a place to confidently call home. To anyone seeking to strengthen their belief, the Church was now unable to show or demonstrate what Spirit is, precisely. A persons physiological self awareness was no longer Spirit, according to science it was now the ego. When the Church succumbed to this change it lost its ability to identify and present Spirit to its adherents and those who earnestly sought a greater, loftier existence through religion. It remains a fact that humanity was made in the likeness of God and therefore mankind’s self-awareness or small “I am” exists in the Great I am or Jehovah, but the presence of God was effectively physically separated from human reality when it was instead labelled a mundane ego and effectively de-spiritualized by a simple but effective change in name, title, label. What the Church did not see is that changing the name or definition of an object, in this case Spirit into the id, ego, super-ego or any other name anyone might give it, no matter how clever, does not change the object itself. It remains Spirit. Consequently, there is a need for the Church to go back to the Sanctuary, take it back and cleanse it, restore the Spirit by restoring its labels and restoring them to the Church. Science can call these attributes whatever it likes, but when a member of a congregation asks what or where the Spirit is, the Church should have the authority to say to a member of the congregation: it is you, the “you” inside this physical body, your self-awareness is Spirit. Close your eyes, focus on yourself, your presence – this is Spirit. Where is God? Close your eyes again, are you aware of yourself? Yes. With your eyes closed look around your ‘self’. Your eyes are closed, they are no longer seeing the room, this surrounding you feel and observe is the presence of God. Without the presence of God, in which your Spirit is contained you could not be self-aware. You can say “I am”, because you are contained in the Great I am, you exist in the presence of Jehovah. The moment you closed your eyes, felt your own self-awareness, looked around and reached for the presence of God, these inadvertently represent the beginning of prayer and meditation, hence their importance in Scripture. The Bible clearly states the importance of eating the bread or body of life, that is, self-reflection and reaching for or acknowledging the presence of God; without prayer and meditation one cannot become fully self-aware and by becoming self-aware acknowledge the reality of existing and standing in the very presence of God. As this awareness grows through prayer and meditation it becomes what in religion is called faith. Faith itself is not something abstract, it is a force the power of which is increased by one’s greater proximity to God, and that proximity is gained through prayer and meditation. It’s really that simple. It is easy to see why the Church would be terrorised by the empiricism in science, intimidated by advances in modern biology, science and psychology into abandoning Spirit to studies in human physiology. But there are things science cannot explain. Just because you are conscious and self-aware everyday to the extent that it feels mundane and there seems nothing extraordinary about it does not mean it has inherently ceased to be extraordinary. When the very attribute by which you define yourself is taken from you, your lost identity is something impossible to restore through materialism and can only be restored by reaching for a higher place, the Spirit. This is why the average person has a natural propensity to seek God, even though often he or she may not understand the what, why and how of it.

By virtue of our consciousness-of-self, the presence of God is always in our very midst, we have only to reach for it. This consciousness of self is also the Church’s scientific proof God exists. Christ is in this presence, the Holy Spirit is in this presence: you are in this presence; that is, the presence of God. Your mind, your self-awareness could not be unless this was the condition.  It is fantastic yet at the same time boring, mundane, everyday, simple, as the truth tends to sometimes be as it is with Occam’s Razor, lex parsimoniae.

The events at Calvary are an important effort to teach this mystery. When Christ was crucified with the two criminals, thieves or “terrorists” it teaches one very important fact, and this is that Christ is in your midst, he shares your pain, your daily life and experiences. He is not a terrorist, criminal or a thief, that is, he is not a sinner yet he allows himself to share in your physical and psychological pain and in the consequences of your actions. He is with you whether you are with a group or on your own. He is always in your midst, every hour, every moment, every day, every thought. He is aware of you and endures your life with you.  Science is useful, but it is not absolute; there is still so much that is undiscovered and so much to learn. When science is used to change labels from Spirit to materiality through labels such as the ego, it is like taking the sign on a building that says church and replacing it with store or warehouse. If the use of the building does not change, in the same way self-awareness remains self-awareness then though you may change the title of the building, it remains a church. However, this mislabeling may erroneously make people believe the building is no longer a church and therefore there is no God and consequently their self-awareness is the ego and not Spirit. This is scientifically flawed and the Church today has fallen into this pitfall. Fewer and fewer people will enter the building for the most part because they are confused and conflicted about what is going on inside, and are wary about its purpose. The first casualty of this mislabeling will be the intellectuals, a powerful group of members who are always wary of being deceived, next will be those whose commitment is weak.They will be the first to leave in droves failing to see how they have been mislead into drifting away from God and the Church. Self awareness or Spirit in Scripture is represented by water. This is why Baptism is at the center of the Church. Under the water, in the water we are as we are now: self-aware, in Spirit. But what we strive for is to rise above the water into the air. In Scripture the air is used to describe the Holy Spirit. Hence, when we are Baptized we are lifted from simple self awareness up above its waters into the air, and receive the Holy Spirit. We reach for holiness, what is loftier than ourselves, we seek God, Jehovah, the Great I am. The presence of God speaks for itself, it is as real as our very own existence Matthew 13:17. Self-awareness like water and air, require a vessel or medium to exist and this is the presence of God. This is one of the most powerful meanings of the Cross. Whenever you see a Cross it is intended to remind you of this blessed presence and condition. The stronger your faith, the stronger is the presence of Christ of which the Cross is representative. Many people are unaware of the practical link between the Cross and their faith.

 You have to teach yourself to be aware of the presence of God. How? It’s actually very simple. When Christ said he would send the Holy Spirit he was not just speaking figuratively. Learn to pray, close your eyes and learn to meditate. If you can feel your own presence, your “I am” in this space eventually you must also acknowledge the presence of God within and around you because this is part of what it means to be in the Spirit. This communication is called worship.  Faith is not abstract, it is not imaginary, based on hearsay and fantasy. You cannot be an atheist on the pretext that God doesn’t exist, proof of the existence of God is evident in your being self aware, full stop. If you choose to label this as a psychological science which has nothing to do with the Spirit this is your prerogative, but then technically your atheism, like any decision is a personal choice or is self-ascribed. You may ask for evidence of God and yet at the same time you refuse it saying it is evidence of something else, that is, the Id, Ego or Superego and so on. However, when the labels were changed this did not change the substance. For a believer, ask yourself, when you close your eyes and begin to pray in earnest, where do you go? That’s right, theoretically you might think you didn’t go anywhere, but the moment you closed your eyes and your “I am” what science calls your “ego” reached for God with your heart and mind – you began to enter deeper and deeper into the presence of God through prayer.  The Church shouldn’t be robbed of its importance in this aspect of human development. Spiritual development is real, it is as real as the process that educates a person from illiteracy to professional. And like education requires instruction. The congregation needs to be instructed on how to pray, how to meditate, hold vigil and understand its own self-awareness in relation to the God's existence. It is an essential part of human development entrusted to the Church. The Cross is a reminder that God's presence is always there with you, you just have to reach for it. If a person does not understand, acknowledge or appreciate this aspect of the Cross, then it is possibly simply being used as a fashionable accessory rather than a powerful object of one’s faith. This is why spiritually a Cross and evil cannot occupy the same space and time; the consequence of this is the expulsion of evil. This phenomenon concerning the expulsion of evil that is inherent in the Cross is what has come to be termed or observed as “exorcism”.  When the Church allowed the physiological and psychological sciences to alter labels and in so doing remove the real, tangible evidence of God humanity has, it gave away its place and authority in humanity’s development and made something real, the Gospels, and what they promise humanity appear as though it is all a myth. The Church needs to take back that authority by restoring and resorting to the original evidence. Some people, even believers and adherents, think they have never experienced or rarely feel the Spirit and have never really felt the presence of God. This is a significant flaw, as being conscious and self aware is Spirit itself. It is as though they live beside a living stream and drink clean water every day, but when asked by someone thirsty passing by do you have any water and do you know what water tastes like? Their response is they cannot help as they have never really seen water and have no idea what it may taste like. They do not understand or realize that when the Bible says water or Spirit, it is talking about their self-awareness. Instead they say they only have an ego, id or super-ego and are looking for illusive Spirit. In other words they have been de-spiritualized by a distortion of facts. Consequently, many people, even the faithful may sometimes feel forlorn, numb unable to feel God’s presence but still try to hold on to belief because their commitment is strong. This is a consequence of mislabeling. Sometimes, especially during difficulty, some feel alone, isolated and wonder if God really exists. But if you understand; you are never outside God’s presence.  If you are aware of self then that itself is proof God exists because your self-awareness cannot exist outside the presence of God. You can be taught and trained to increasingly acknowledge this presence through prayer, meditation and vigil. Studying, cataloging, researching and offering this training to support this aspect of human development is the responsibility of the Church. This hard evidence is the property of the Church and it should not be beguiled into surrendering it to psychology. Science can be considered a branch of Spirit, but Spirit encompasses science, science does not encompass Spirit. If science encompassed Spirit, there would be nothing left to learn as everything would known. 

Which of the two terrorists are you?

According to the Bible, a consequence of original sin, is that we are, every last one of us, sinners. If the two men at the Crucifixion represent humanity at its worst, then we are all low lifes, every last one of us, are inherently criminals, thieves, and "terrorists". Therefore, we should not be too proud and think we are better than the next person we observe with loathing and disgust.  But even amongst us sinners there are two kinds: Those who want to wage war on others, cause pain and injury who take the adverse position; "Aren't you the Messiah [Prophet] yourself and us!" Luke 23:39.  And those who recognize innocents should not suffer and take the other position; "Do you not fear Allah [God]? We are punished justly, but this man has done no wrong." Luke 23:40-41. "Jesus [Prophet]. Remember me when you enter into your kingdom." Luke 23:42. He acknowledges his faults, abandons his past ways and reaches for Jesus. The Prophet then says to him "Today, you will be with Me in Paradise" Luke 23:43. According to scripture, as humanity, we are all sinners, low lifes, criminals, thieves and "terrorists" there is nothing too special about anyone, but those of us who believe, turn away from a life of sin and reach for a higher ideal are granted salvation, while those who continue on a path to destruction bringing others pain and injury as we see today are bound to misery and guaranteed to see the inside of hell. Be careful not to side with or sympathize with this adversity even in your heart where no one sees your feelings and thoughts, lest you make yourself a candidate for the pit.

Many today proudly acknowledge and accept that they are sinners. This is largely thanks to an important parable taught by Christ, Luke 18:9-14. When we become too comfortable with our own understanding of morality though, like the tax collector, we accept we are sinners, once again we become too comfortable with the word sinner. More like the Pharisee we begin to look down on another wretched soul hunched in a corner looking to God for forgiveness. When someone is called a thief or criminal for instance, it is not unheard of in modern times to hear that they have engaged lawyers and are pursuing a case of defamation against the antagonist. There are few if any defamation cases where a person is said to be suing because they have been called a sinner. Today it is almost with a sense of pride resulting from humility that people call themselves sinners. It is in this sense that at Calvary, instead of sinner the Bible uses a stronger term; thief or criminal for the crucifixion of the two men beside Christ. Some regard being called a thief the worst possible slight. In today’s context to drive the lesson further still the two criminals might instead be called the two terrorists; since being called a terrorist today, is worse than being called a criminal or thief. Ideally a sinner is a sinner, in the sense that we are all sinners and like the Pharisee should not be so high minded as to look down on those considered our lessers. Therefore the bar has to be “lowered” so to speak to bring the point home. The terms “thief” and “criminal” are used synonymously with “sinner”, although it stands to reason that even today, in the 21st Century, most people would rather be called a sinner, than they would a thief, criminal or terrorist forgetting that the term sinner encompasses these faults. People are as wary of and as offended by these derogatory terms as people were in Jesus’ time.

At the Crucifixion the Bible deliberately uses the lowest and most detested human character; a criminal to teach something fundamental in Christianity to all humanity, a lesson that still reverberates to this day. The two thieves, two criminals or “two terrorists” crucified with Jesus are what humanity regards as the scum of the earth, yet here they represent humanity in its entirety at its lowest. The pain of crucifixion represents the physical and psychological, twisted suffering all of humanity endures, regardless of its place in society. In the midst of humanity, in between the two criminals, is an innocent who saw their predicament and said, I can lift their burden, let me endure this ordeal with and for them. Christ chose to endure this strife and pain with humanity; with you. The ordeal demonstrates he is right beside you today enduring your strife with you; with you even as you read these words, everything you experience he experiences.

Our Lord was scourged, beaten and broken. But the scourging, beating and breaking could not change who he was. In this broken state, hanging from the Cross, the materialistic world thought it had stripped him of everything he possessed, even his dignity. It believed it had left him powerless and yet when one of two men acknowledged what they had done was wrong and reached out to him; he commanded it and instantly paradise was bestowed upon him. Today, you too can see how your cruelty, your selfishness, your own weaknesses; the world and its imperfections have brought you to some of the difficult places you  have been in; but you can acknowledge your faults, lay down your arms, make peace with your enemy, accept you are on the wrong path, and reach for paradise.

Luke 23:43. Our Lord, Jesus Christ was and is……powerful, audacious, inspiring and transforming.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Finding Solutions to Electoral Violence in Zambia

The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has many fine attributes and can be commended for some of its operations such as its handling of the voting processes, voter registration and so on. However, the ECZ needs to begin to address important areas where it is very weak. These include the public vetting of presidential candidates through the facilitation of public debates, interviews and other fora through which the voting public are given an opportunity to examine the mind, persona and qualities of presidential candidates. This substance is very important when it comes to the future of Zambia and how it is managed. The ECZ needs to work to ensure that the plans, objectives and proposed methods by which political parties promise to improve the Zambian economy and society are sufficiently publicized in diverse media and scrutinized through panel discussions and reviews in a format the public can readily digest. Why for instance in this day and age do Zambians still fear the rigging of elections? This should be absurd. It points to operational problems at the ECZ. The ECZ needs to invest in transparency in every official duty it performs to safeguard its own credibility, even something as mundane as importing desks and lamps must be handled with a sense of officialdom with guidelines designed to ease public insecurity about the integrity of the ballot. If necessary the ECZ should clearly brand trucks it hires or have its own for openly and transparently importing such complementary goods. It needs to be able to anticipate how the public will react to anything it does regardless of how miniscule. The ECZ has to do more to safeguard the route to elections, the scope of some of its present operations are too rudimentary, are unsophisticated and leave much to be desired.

Violence in a family can have psychological effects. Violence related to the electoral process in Zambia is no different and affects citizens in many ways, it should not be taken for granted. It disenfranchises people of good will, general workers, the self employed, professionals, people of all walks of life who see politics as mundane and imbued with too much  thuggery to be deemed worth participating in. These citizens, from every corner of Zambia and from all walks of life are the disenfranchised who would otherwise contribute tremendously to the development of the country.  A major concern is violence that results from criminal behaviour, hooliganism and intimidation that tends to dog activities related to elections. This atmosphere of violence disenfranchises many Zambians who are put off by this kind of behaviour. A primary objective of the ECZ is peace during and after elections. Violence deters and negatively influences participation in the voting process and should therefore be a major concern for the ECZ to address. The ECZ management cannot continue to see its strategy for fighting the violent acts related to the electoral process as a passive one whose main thrust is advertisements. Advertisements build awareness, but are not a sufficient deterrent to this kind of violence. It is not uncommon to read of violence taking place at political rallies in the very presence of police officers. Generally a trained police officer will never stand by in public view while criminal acts take place right before them unless there is a lack of capacity, and a lack of capacity indicates operational inadequacies which in the case of elections falls under the jurisdiction of the ECZ. What this entails is that the violence observed during Zambian elections is not a problem of the Zambia Police, but due to operational inadequacies at the ECZ. This provides some evidence that it is not always a problem of man-power. There will always be some kind of confrontation between rival parties, but there is no reason why it should deteriorate into bodily harm and injury. The ECZ is not doing enough to develop and equip itself for peace. It should have a seconded core of specialised in-house officers and serving reservists as an important part of its operations who have been continually mentored and trained over the years on how to enforce peace in such circumstances. The electoral process in Zambia appears to be suffering immensely as people are disenfranchised by the threat of violence.

What the ECZ needs to immediately induct is a high ranking Security Commissioner and its own Security Commission as its in-house security mechanism for neutralising threats that are specific to its mandate. This approach is not unheard of. Lusaka City Council (LCC) has its own specialised police, strategic parastatals in Zambia have their own in house security that focuses on the organisation's primary objectives. Similarly the ECZ must create and induct its own in-house security wing that consists of highly professional officers seconded from the Zambia Police force and other relevant security wings that are given ongoing training on how to handle diverse political factions, parties and interests as well as the different forms of confrontation they would be expected to subdue, who are able to offer security from the grassroots right up to aspiring presidential candidates especially where there are gatherings with high potential for confrontation where diverse political interests may threaten violence. In addition it should be the role of this team to diligently follow up and investigate any person or institution that receives or makes the threat of electoral violence in a manner that makes the voters feel safe and the public feel free to participate in every aspect of elections. This in-house team of specialised officers can be called the ECZ Police or ECZ Security Peace Force (ESZ-SPF). It may consist of two units, that is, a core unit of full time officers seconded to the ECZ and lead by an ECZ Police or Security Commissioner of high rank. Officers in this unit should have the necessary status, remuneration, hardware such as branded vehicles, riot gear and other prerequisite facilities to enable them to perform their jobs effectively. The second unit will consist of serving police officers nationwide who are able to become ECZ-SPF reserve officers. Becoming an ECZ SPF reservist should be prestigious, serving officers who aspire to, qualify and are selected should understand they are important and are an asset to their country. Achieving this sense of duty amongst seconded officers is the responsibility of the ECZ and should be part of its operations. These reserve officers would first undergo specialised training by the ECZ to qualify them to become serving reservists and periodically attend relevant camps, workshops and training during the year. Handling electoral violence, understanding how best an officer maintains duty to government, equally to the ruling party and diverse political parties or factions requires specialised methods and skill-sets which should be taught to these lead officers. They are called in whenever and wherever in the country the ECZ needs additional officers to ensure peace, this can be at rallies and other large gatherings that require increased man power. In such venues some aspect of their regalia can be added to, to show they are specialised ECZ police officers there to keep the peace.

These well trained officers would be equipped to understand what their presence entails at political rallies, polling stations, gatherings and any other venue where the potential for electoral related violence is possible. They are taught to understand crowd control, how cadres think, the best methods for appeasing these specific kinds of hostilities.  In cases where electoral related violence takes place it is the role of this ECZ in-house lead security wing to have the resources, skills, and training to fully and impartially investigate the cause of violence, pursue the perpetrators, make arrests where necessary and allow justice to take its course in a manner that re-assures the public. However this kind of swift action against electoral violence cannot take place without the ECZ proactively  developing its own, in-house seconded officers and equipping them with the remuneration, skills, job security and mind-set to be able to ensure peace prevails during elections and in the years that build up to elections. With strategies such as this electoral violence that disenfranchises Zambians would certainly become a problem of the past.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Who will be the next president of Zambia?

Wishing all aspirants to the Zambian presidency the best.
Having good intentions is not a sufficient credential to become president. After all, it is often said, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. To understand politics it may be necessary to at least try to psychoanalyse the human desire for higher office or leadership and the voter’s mind that seeks salvation through the ballot by observing what an aspirant might regard as difficult questions. Why would you reading this or anyone for that matter want to be president?

No sensible person who truly understands the challenges of this job would want it. For anyone to stand up and say they want this job, they must either have delusions of grandeur, that innocuous penchant for prestige and  wanting to be “the boss” or “the toast of the town”. A person may not have fully understood the magnitude of this position, is likely to have misunderstood the purpose of this role, or is unable to see how, in rising to this position, the entanglements of patronage, owing favours and limited resources will be obstacles to the majority of developmental objectives in mind. A person may have romanticised the relationship between the limitations of political power and what is truly achievable or have a misplaced psychological messianic or martyrdom complex that makes them desire to sacrifice themselves for a role and purpose they themselves may not fully grasp.

It is likely a leader will only begin to come to grips with this quandary after their first few years in office when they realise that despite all the good intentions, everything they have changed and achieved they are denigrated, despised, opposed at every turn and met with general ingratitude from a fickle and ungrateful public or rabid opposition. This means that the reality is that three quarters or more of the people who offer themselves as presidential candidates “need to be delusional” to desire this role and its limelight. Why would anyone subject themselves to this kind of pain?  The beauty or folly of democracy is that being delusional does not preclude a candidate from filing in their intention to run. No single person, even the best credentialed, has the answers to a nation’s problems such as poverty, how to deal with scumbags, unemployment, bad roads, inadequate education, low salaries, slow growth, lack of peace, meagre understanding, conflict and so on. Sometimes the delusions widen into the belief that they themselves don’t need to have the answers, when in office they will simply magically make everything o.k. by being “nice” people. If this is not an option they will find someone, the best brains in the business, a well-educated professional or accomplished person “out there” who will provide the answers, when the truth is nobody living has perfect answers to a nation’s problems in an environment where everything is open for debate. The candidate is highly unlikely to solve the problems he or she proposes to transform from bad to good hence the need for self-delusion to convince themselves they can take on this task.

Finding, choosing and voting for a genuine president is also a difficult task. It has to be difficult. Men and women presidents have been known to ruin countries or transform them into magnificent hubs of industry or leave them the way they found them. Success and failure to manage a country is due to the fact that the best person for the job is the man or woman who truly understands what a president must sacrifice and achieve for his or her people. A president who understands the magnitude of the responsibility of this role must by default reject it, as a child that touches something hot would quickly withdraw the hand; otherwise it is doubtful they can do this job or that they are the right person. Jesus demonstrates that he understood the magnitude of the sacrifice it would take to be called Messiah or King. He does not see the glory alone, but more importantly acknowledges the personal suffering required to be a leader at this level. In so doing he rejects the role. (Luke:22 42) saying, "Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done." This is the mark of a true leader. First and foremost he or she must understand the magnitude of the task at hand. If this is not the case the wrong person may be elected into office, for instance a leader who eventually becomes crippled by “egonomics”, that is, a leader willing to impoverish a country and see its economy deteriorate simply because their ego is too big to see the faults in their chosen path or ideas; a leader who places his or her preferences and needs before that of the people and therefore choses conflict over peace; a leader who clings to power at any cost to the detriment of the people; a leader who tailors a constitution to personal selfish ambition rather than public good; a leader who fails to deliver on election promises, like a new and just constitution, not because these promises are now outdated, but for fear they may weaken their chances of re-election; a leader who becomes so cocooned in the trappings of power and  a presidency that he or she forgets the discomforts and sufferings of the common person. A president who understands his or her role needs to be prepared for personal sacrifice, to lose popularity, to lose an election, to lose wealth, to lose health, to lose….if this sacrifice is just. This is an important disposition. It is a well-known fact that economies today must be run with a business approach and ideal that is tempered, restrained or “controlled” by human rights and public social responsibility. A nation must be productive, it must be commercial, but it must also have a soul and heart through which the gains of commerce are shared with humanity. Jesus taught about loving your neighbour and sharing, but he also gave many sound and hard-core teachings that it is imperative to manage resources, commerce and productivity effectively. Similarly a president cannot simply want to see the end of poverty without a sound strategy for this objective neither can he or she bankrupt the government to soothe human suffering, he or she must provide the strategy by which justice, commerce and productivity will end human suffering and economic demise. A president who, through debate, interview and public discussion, cannot clearly demonstrate and articulate he or she understands what it entails to soundly transform a country through strategy in productivity and commerce should not be voted into power by voters as this kind of person likely wants the job of president, but doesn't know why they want it.

The voter on the other hand hears what he or she wants to hear and makes a decision on whom they best believe will deliver undeliverables. Countries, in terms of governance are in an ongoing state of delusion. Marx may have got it wrong, it is not religion that is the opium of the people, the reality is that the delusion is very much a persona of society in its quest for a perfect form of governance without exercising the correct or precise tools by which to test the competence of a presidential aspirant.

Delusional voters are easily swayed by swanky adverts on radio and television that are inherently meaningless when it comes to the criterion by which a presidential candidate is selected. Zambia is very much in its infancy concerning the methodology by which the electorate selects leaders. The electorate has few if any credible tools for determining the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats each presidential aspirant poses to them and their country. This is a weakness the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) must begin to address as one of its most pertinent and important functions. It cannot see its role as simply hosting elections, building awareness  and policing electoral rules while politicking takes place without substance as it does in a banana republic. If the ECZ continues to fail to provide the public with the platform for thoroughly and credibly assessing the competence of presidential aspirants, it is letting Zambia down. It must also develop the methodology by which presidential hopefuls are put on the public stage and assessed as the means by which the public diligently examines potential leaders. Slogans, rallies, adverts and lofty speeches are good for publicity and drumming up support but the electorate must be careful to separate reality from delusion when they make their choice. The only means to do this is for presidential candidates to engage in live televised debates on national matters. How eloquent are they? How do they speak? Have they taken the time to learn about or inform themselves about economics, commerce, business, justice, public health, natural resources, law, governance, politics and so on that are pertinent to the country? At what level is their intellect? How do they react when asked a question they cannot answer or when aggressively pushed into a corner about their ideas? This is like a national job interview that voters must insist on in Zambia. Fine, we enjoy the feistiness of competition, but where is the substance? Presidential aspirants must be seen to take each other on directly in debate. How do they react and perform under pressure? They must be asked both easy and difficult questions on a stage that allows the public to assess the depth of their knowledge, their levels of tolerance, their level of maturity, the reasoning ability, ideas and temperament of a presidential aspirant need to be churned to the surface for the public to see the quality of a candidate. The nation must see and hear who they are electing on radio and television on the battleground of debate, interaction and strong interviews. Interviews are important, but having the candidates subjected to open debate as well as tough question and answer sessions where they are grilled by questions from a moderator and the public is even more important.

 The man or woman who seeks to be president must first and foremost accept that we live in an imperfect world and its imperfections will either prevent you, as president, from bringing about any meaningful change, and by some stroke of luck should you succeed in bringing about positive change these imperfections will somehow seek to unravel it. Only having acknowledged this internally does a man or woman in the developed or developing world become ready to be a genuine presidential candidate because they understand the enemy of true leadership is an imperfect world; something no mortal leader has the power to reverse or change. The first steps out of the mists of delusion is a sound methodology by which the traits of leadership are tested on the public stage for the electorate to adequately decide which leader has sufficiently prepared themselves for the role of head of state.

Thursday, 30 October 2014


Mr. Sata, is a leader who showed great promise, he will be missed by a nation that will most certainly feel he was called to the Lord before fully implementing all the good that he wished to see in a country he loved dearly.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Pope Francis demonstrates that innocence is not only an object for observation but also a virtue of perception...

Pope Francis leads the way.

15And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 16But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Allow little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. 17 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein. (Luke 18:15-17) Many are rebuked and turned away, but Christ calls on humanity to receive others as would a child.
In a world driven to war, hate, desperate acts of violence and misunderstanding as a result of failing to tackle intolerance this gesture is a breath of fresh air. Pope Francis blessing the marriage of couples recently is described as a new openness as reported in the media; however, thankfully, it is not altogether new, Christ himself called this openness innocence. Not only is the Pope inspiring humanity to receive children as innocents, but that by the Church and humanity itself being inspired to receive others with the same innocence Jesus proclaimed many more can be brought to Christ and saved.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Israel and Palestine : Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right

Siize Punabantu

The last attempt in Christianity to conquer the world through Jihad or Holy War was the Crusades. The Crusades were the beginning of the unraveling of the attempt by Christianity to create a worldwide religious state or government based on religion in a hope that it would in so doing gain the power to evangelize to the world and bring everyone to Christ. Islam today faces the same dilemma Christianity faced many years ago. Like Christianity, some Islamic movements hope to spread the message of the Holy Koran throughout the world and some believers would hope to do so through a global Islamic government that would be powerful enough to gather the faithful using politics as a tool for conquest. Like Christianity did with the Crusades there are eminent people in Islam who believe the only means for achieving this is through Jihad. 

The Crusades had the reverse effect. They destroyed the institutional fabric of the most powerful organized Christian body at the time, the Catholic Church. Instead of greater power the church attracted great mistrust which contributed to the later resolve in politics for there to be separation of religion and state. There was a time when Christianity visa vie the Vatican held immense wealth, lands, power over political establishments, over governments and kingdoms, even over Kings and Queens in the same way Islam does today predominantly in the Middle East. A consequence of the Crusades and proximity to politics is that Christianity inevitably lost all this wealth, power, influence and territory. Today the Vatican, though a recognized state, is not a political institution, it is the administrative seat of the Catholic Church and its focus has returned to the true and the original purpose of the Gospels, which is to win hearts, minds and souls for Christ. Christianity would have diminished further had it not let go of the Crusades, reinvented itself, relied on public relations instead of militancy and gone back to its original purpose. By doing this the Vatican today is one of the most spiritually stable, wealthiest, most respected and influential Christian organizations in the world with more than a billion faithful. Eminent leaders in Islam can study this process for its leaders gain insights into the strategic management of religion.

The militancy of the Crusades dealt a tremendous blow to the quality, spread, power and wealth of Christianity. If the Crusades had been avoided and the focus of the tremendous wealth and power at the time had remained on winning the hearts, minds and souls for Christ for example through charity, tending to the poor and disadvantaged, investing in profitable businesses to improve the lives of the community and in ventures that would raise funds for the disadvantaged there would be far more Christians in the world today.  It should be understood that the damage created by the militancy of the Crusades wreaked havoc on Christianity and it is the very same kind of damage that militancy of Jihad will have on Islam. The Crusades teach one very important lesson.  The power of religion is not in having direct control of government; in fact religion should distance itself from political power and political office and should swear never to desire it. Religious institutions on earth are the ambassadors of faith, they are essentially public relations institutions (PR) between mankind and God. This means they work to win hearts and minds, which is PR in itself, which is the work of religion. Each individual has the right to choose which belief or faith they dedicate themselves to, consequently winning a soul for God is not the responsibility of religion but the onus of the individual. When a person chooses to be a Moslem, a Christian or Jew, this is their personal decision. The role of religion is not to force people to believe, but to continuously strive to magnanimously win their hearts and minds to God regardless of their denomination or faith by teaching and preaching the holy scriptures. Consequently intolerance, especially religious intolerance practiced by any faith is a blasphemy. It is unacceptable in faith as it entails that the ambassador, in this case religion or the church ignores the rights of the individual and no longer represents the will and motives of the One who sent them to establish the requisite PR on earth. 

Hamas in Palestine, the Islamic Brotherhood in Egypt, Isis in Iraq, bombings in Kenya, Boko Haram in Nigeria, war in Syria show that like Christianity during the Crusades, Islam is spending immensely on power, wealth, political influence and on militancy. Leaders of Islam around the world need to observe what happened to Christianity as a consequence of the Crusades and ask themselves, is this the right strategy for us? Will this strategy strengthen Islam or weaken Islam in future as it weakened Christianity. The true power of religion resides in winning the hearts, minds of humanity of which war, fear, insecurity, intolerance and conflict become blasphemous to the purpose of religion as an ambassador of God’s holy word. These are the exact opposite pursuit and should remain the preserve of politics which is more suited to handle and subdue these vices. Intolerance is inimical to religion as it is an attempt to stifle individual liberty. God desires mankind’s love as a willing choice of the individual, not a coercion that subtracts from the sanctity of one’s faith; which is antagonistic and draws in distrust. Islam and those who wield its wealth in an attempt to finance militancy and influence the world should try to avoid making the same mistakes Christians made through militancy observed in the Crusades. It is a strategy that provides small gains, but significantly greater future losses that may eventually erode the gains of a religion. Changing strategy and reinvention is vital for survival and self preservation. Leaders such as Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela would have failed to achieve their objectives against oppressors had they not understood this and changed course. Eminent leaders of Islam similarly, need to re-evaluate the path chosen to spreading the holy word and its tenets as the path that espouses militancy may eventually be inimical to Islam.

For Hamas, intolerance directed toward humanity is intolerance all the same. There is nothing to be gained from showing intolerance for Israel or Jews made through clinging blindly to statements such as “Israel must be wiped off the face of the earth” or that a Palestinian State and Israeli State cannot live side by side; this is childish, inhumane and it goes against the values of genuine religion – it is therefore not only inhumane it is anti-Islam and will undermine Islam. Therefore, it is not a strategy a wise leadership would follow or encourage. It fosters fear, fear encourages conflict and war is inimical to a true religion as it runs counter-productive to the life-blood of true religion which is to win hearts and minds. Black people do not take kindly to being discriminated against, often they are quick to anger, but this is due to their history. Similarly, Jews do not take kindly to being threatened with violence or oppression, often they are quick to anger, but this too is due to their history. The question here is not – how many times Hamas and Palestine have petitioned the United Nations, or how many times you have complained to the UN Security Council. None of these appeals will be what secure peace and prosperity for the Palestinian people. Hamas needs to ask itself - what has it done to win the hearts and minds of Jews and the Jewish nation of Israel? This is what faith teaches you. One might say why ask Hamas this question? Is Israel not the more powerful military and aggressor who must be asked such a question? But you are mistaken. Israel is not more powerful than the rest of the world combined.  Sometimes there is great strength in being weak and there is significant moral authority in being small. Martin Luther King had to win the hearts and minds of his protractors, Mahatma Gandhi had to do the same, Nelson Mandela achieved victory not through militancy but by winning the hearts and minds of his perceived protractors. Mahatma Gandhi had faults. Scrutiny of some of his writings does reveal that even a person as accomplished, disciplined and apparently broad minded as he was can fall into the trap of conventionalism that finds it fashionable to harbour racist and discriminatory attitudes to those they believe are their lessors be it by race, caste, ethnicity or class. It is dangerous pitfall to say and believe you love everyone except Jews or Blacks or Asians and so on. To this day people and institutions continue to fall into this trap. It is this kind of emotive pitfall of conventionalism where even respectable people and institutions practice discrimination like a fad that needs to be avoided. We have learned enough about Gandhi to know that he would certainly have retracted many of the inappropriate comments he made in order to rise above them and we ourselves should not stoop so low as to believe nothing can be learned from his legacy or that his attitudes could not change. Similarly, Hamas and the Palestinian authority need to avoid conventional attitudes, strategically rise above themselves and learn to genuinely win the hearts and minds of Israel and the Jewish nation as in doing so they will inadvertently win over the hearts and minds of the international community. Palestine cannot allow itself to view Israel as its “enemy” and must understand this genuinely; in the same way Nelson Mandela did not allow himself to view the Whites in South Africa as his enemy. The enemy for Nelson was Apartheid, not White people. In doing this he liberated his people. He was smart and intuitive enough to make this distinction and consequently played a key role in leading his people to liberty. Hamas and the Palestinian Authority need to do the same with Israel. When two children run to their mother to complain about how the other is being abusive, their mother cannot indiscriminately side with one child against the other. Similarly the UN often finds it difficult to solve this protracted conflict. Israel and Palestine can live side by side as political states in peace and prosperity, but  it is Hamas and the Palestinian Authority that need to reassess their PR to develop a charm offensive, not one pushed indirectly through the UN, but directly at Israel and the Jewish people; to genuinely win their hearts and minds. If Hamas and the Palestinian Authority do this they will discover peace and prosperity that will be permanent and eventually most of their demands will be handed over willingly by Israel. The strong wind like an aggressor or Jihadi will make a man cling ever more strongly to his jacket, while the strong sun with its PR will make him take it off gladly, so says Aesop. Israel also needs to begin to support making economic independence in Palestine and the Gaza strip a reality; as long these territories cannot fend for themselves they must look for a benefactor. If that benefactor continues to desire aggression then the rockets being fired into Israel will never cease. Israel therefore has to prioritize the economic growth, development and economic emancipation of these territories allowing the two states to one day cooperate economically. This mutual economic coexistence is fundamental for long term peace since it reduces any negative external interference in the regions peace and prosperity. As neighbors and regional custodians of Jerusalem there are innumerable ways Israel and Palestine can work together economically, religiously and politically without either nation losing its strong identity. However, to get there they need a whole new approach, a new mind-set, a new way of thinking, new trust, new strategy and to be genuine in what they seek. A Palestine in continual conflict with Israel does not help the Arab or Islamic world gain influence in the region or further its interests, neither does it help the international community find peace.

Jerusalem is the birthplace of Christ. Christ is an important prophet of Islam. He is also of Jewish descent. By 2020 there are expected to be 2.6 billion Christians in the world, each one of them longing for the opportunity to peacefully and safely see the birthplace of Jesus. Israel and Palestine are geographical custodians of this treasure of Christianity, and it is not by chance. PR requires that the beliefs of others be tolerated, respected and understood for what they mean to those who have made a choice to walk the path they are on. God is love, and tolerance is one of the greatest expressions of this emotion any individual, organization and government can espouse; Israel, Palestine and Hamas are no exception. The conflict and misery you bring about is by your own hand, your own limited way of thinking, your own intolerance, your own inability to sit at the table with your perceived enemy and see that between you, you have in your possession one of the most coveted gifts, an invaluable boon for tourism more lucrative than oil, gas, gold and silver, a geographical asset many nations have not been blessed to have custody of. By allowing others to take the road their faith has taken them on any religion, organization or government is inadvertently winning hearts and minds to itself. Leaders with insight will know this. Palestine today should be one of the wealthiest states in the Middle East, its citizens should be enjoying a standard of living equal and even better than that enjoyed in Switzerland, better even than that enjoyed by residents of Dubai. Their lives should this very day even as you read these words be the envy of the world. This wealth has already been placed in your hands. The same peace, wealth and prosperity would be enjoyed by Israelis today. But you yourselves first have to open your eyes and learn to see that two wrongs do not make a right.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Open Skies: Easier Access to Space Travel and Flight for the Masses

There was a time before Ford built the Model-T that owning a car was considered the preserve of the wealthy. At that time many believed this would remain the status quo indefinitely. However, improvements in technology and mass production processes introduced to manufacturing revolutionised road transportation making cars affordable to the masses. The same revolution is yet to take place when it comes to the skies.

One of the advantages of driving cars is the ease of operation. Cars for the most part move on flat surfaces and maintain contact with the ground. This makes them easy to steer and control. Planes on the other hand rely on dynamic lift created by wings. They float on air and tend to use engines that generate thrust using air, a precarious substance to remain afloat on that requires a significant level of skill to navigate through, the mastery of which creates pilots. Unlike the road surface the atmosphere is always in a state of flux and pilots; be they for helicopters, airplanes or octocopters must learn how to keep an airplane afloat on a dynamic medium. Consequently, flight that depends on the lift generated by wings is likely to face significant hurdles making it difficult to open the skies to the masses.

There are two areas of human endeavour in technology and investment that I believe will shape the near future. One of these is cheap, affordable energy. The other is open skies created by new technologies that revolutionise access to flight bringing the ability to operate and own vehicles capable of flying to the masses. Congested roads and highways and the need to cover thousands of kilometres quickly will continue to generate the pressure required for the creation of personal flying vehicles that people buy as easily and readily as they purchase cars. What has been lacking in this domain is the technology. Several years ago I challenged myself with what it would take to design a machine or device that would generate lift and allow vehicles to take flight without the use of air or wings. Though it took a few years, I was actually disappointed by how easy it was to design this. Lets refer to it as the Gyroscopic Lift Device (GLD). I want to explain how this simple device works, what it does and how it compares to modern alternatives in common use today, such as the jet engine.

Gyroscopic Lift Device (GLD)

In comparison the GLD I designed in this example would weigh about 45Kg excluding engine that drives it. It consists of a cylindrical harness with two weights suspended and allowed to slide along a metal rod. The centre of rotation of the metal rod is displaced from the centre of the cylindrical housing or harness. It can be driven by any conventional petrol or electrical engine, for example a 1.8 litre petrol engine found in most conventional cars. A diagram of the GLD is explained below:

Stability would be maintained through counter rotation.

How the GLD generates propulsion and lift is explained below.

The GLD concept is an efficient method for converting torque generated by a petrol or electrical engine into thrust for propulsion. It could even outperform the horsepower transmitted by a conventional drive train from the clutch, through the axel to the wheels. The diagram below shows the basic force ouput expected from the GLD.

This video extrapolates the potential thrust that this simple gyroscopic device could generate. The construct for this example is as follows: Each weight weighs 25Kg, the maximum radius is 30cm and minimum radius is reconfigured to 0. This means the 30cm harness used in the video is assumed to be capable of capturing 100% of the energy generated through the rotation of the rod. The rate of rotation or rounds per minute (rpm) is 1,000rpm to 5,000.  At 1,000rpm the device would be expected to create 82,246.7N or 8,386.83kg-force. At 5,000rpm it would be expected to create 2,056.17kN or 209,617kg-force. The device is estimated to weigh 45kg excluding the engine which would be required to drive it to these rates of rpm.

The GE90-115B engine fitted on the Boeing 777-300ER recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the worlds most powerful jet engine has a thrust of 569kN, this much simpler and mu ch smaller device would have the potential to generate 3.6 times more thrust than the Boeing engine. Considering that each harness contains two weights entails that the thrust output of each device can be doubled, making it 7.2 times more powerful than the most powerful engine in the world.

This video simply extrapolates the potential thrust generated by the device which uses Newton's third law of motion. This thrust or lift force is referred to as levitation here because rather than forcing air out as jet engines do it is created by capturing the momentum of the weights by manipulating centripetal and centrifugal forces to act as the equal action and reaction that produces movement. This movement is captured through the circular harness for propulsion. An additional advantage is that it would not take a very powerful engine to rotate the device to 5,000 rpm.

GLD can offer Propulsion for diverse Environments.

Since the device harnesses momentum as the source of propulsion it can be used in diverse environments.The GLD offers propulsion by land and asphalt roads like a car, over water like boat, underwater like a submarine and by air like a plane and in the vacuum of space like a space shuttle.

The Fastest Aircraft and Most Powerful Jet Engine

Best practice requires that we look at the competition in the arena of propulsion, flight and thrust. The fastest aircraft in the world today is the North American X-15 built by Boeing. "The North American X-15 was a rocket-powered aircraft operated by the United States Air Force and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration as part of the X-plane series of experimental aircraft. The X-15 set speed and altitude records in the 1960s, reaching the edge of outer space and returning with valuable data used in aircraft and spacecraft design. As of 2014, the X-15 holds the official world record for the highest speed ever reached by a manned, powered aircraft. Its maximum speed was 4,520 miles per hour (7,274 km/h)." (Wikipedia 2014). For its engine and fuel the NA X-15 "Early flights used two Reaction Motors XLR11 engines. Later flights were undertaken with a single Reaction Motors Inc XLR99 rocket engine generating 57,000 pounds-force (250 kN) of thrust. The XLR99 engine used ammonia and liquid oxygen for propellant and hydrogen peroxide to drive the high-speed turbopump that delivered fuel to the engine. It could burn 15,000 pounds (6,804 kg) of fuel in 80 seconds.The XLR99s could be throttled, and were the first such controllable engines that were man-rated." 

As the video shows the GLD is a smaller design yet at just 5,000rpm it is likely to be capable of generating 8.2 times the thrust or force of the XLR11 engines used in the X-15. The X-15 is hungry for fuel to sustain this level of thrust (6,804kg in 80 seconds) whereas the GLD can achieve and exceed this level of thrust on a simple four stroke car engine, sustain the same thrust for 5 hours burning only as little as 70 liters of conventional petrol.  Since it generates 8.2 times the thrust of the XLR11 engines, under similar conditions it is likely to be able to exceed the X-15's world record mach 4 speed of 7,274 km/h and sustain hypersonic speeds for hours using very little fuel.

On the other hand most powerful jet engine in the world is the Boeing GE90-115B which peaked at 127,900 pounds-force (569 kN). The housing length is 7.29 meters long, the housing diameter is 3.429 meters long, the fan is 3.251 meters wide. The engine's dry weight is 8,283 kg. The GLD at 5,000 rpm generates more thrust than the GE90-115B, would be significantly smaller and would require much less fuel. 

Advantages of GLD propulsion

The GLD offers a universal source of propulsion that can be applied in diverse environments. As depicted in the cartoon on the youtube video above it can drive cars on roads, boats on water, submarines underwater, fly through the air or through space using the same basic design. This means a vehicle able to withstand these environments could be fitted with a GLD and be able to travel in any of them. 

The GLD is an effective method for transmitting torque. A device of the size in the example illustrated above would only require 40rpm, for instance, to generate the same level of thrust a car engine requires 6,000 rpm to produce. 

The GLD has the potential to revolutionize public and personal transportation. Aircraft and personal cars would be able to drive on roads, rise vertically from asphalt roads into the air and travel at hypersonic speeds as high as or higher than mach 4 traveling long distances using very little fuel. Journeys of thousands of kilometers that today take many hours can potentially be reduced to minutes. There's really nothing mysterious about how the device works either, as shown above. It does not require immense resources to build making it readily accessible to poorer countries and a much wider market.

Improvements in Air Safety

The GLD would not use air currents to gain lift. It would withstand being buffeted by strong currents, be highly maneuverable and very easy to fly as the direction of propulsion can be determined by a simple gyroscope. As shown above the device is of exceptionally simple design allowing it to be built anywhere in the world making this kind of travel cheaper and more accessible to the public. It offers the potential for much safer travel involving flying that would avoid many tragedies that occur in air transportation.