Friday, June 01, 2007


Zambian economy
By Concerned citizen
Friday June 01, 2007 [04:00]

Does it take an economist to see that the state of the Zambian economy is in shambles? The buying power of the majority of Zambians has been dwindling at an alarming rate. Those with dealings with government departments are quite familiar with the song of there being no funds.

There seems to be something seriouly wrong with Zambia's liquidity situation.
The impression one gets is that there is just no money in general circulation. If this is not the case then whatever money might be there seems to be circulating in very few privileged pockets, as opposed to circulating in the economy.

There must be an empirical way of assessing how the economy is doing.
The regular pronouncements from the Bank of Zambia that the economic indicators are good sound like statements made by a bank that operates in a different economy from that experienced by most people.

At the rate we are going, the new deal government is likely to come out as the worst manager of the Zambian economy that this country has ever experienced.

Search for leadership
By Concerned citizen
Friday June 01, 2007 [04:00]

It is encouraging to note that we have realised the need for us Zambians to have a hand in the search for leaders to lead the MMD and Zambia.

With due respect to the opinions of the other readers who wrote on this subject, I feel leadership is a solemn and heavy responsibility which should only be entrusted to people with the calibre and credibility.

We need a leader who is eloquent and confident in speech, who is credible, somebody who has a national character and not closely linked to an ethnic grouping, and above all somebody who has a clear manifesto of what he wants to do, whether that person is young or old.

We do not want a leader who would spend thirty minutes of an hour's speech defending himself, that he is not tribal leader or somebody who after becoming president would not believe that he is president.

In 2011 we need substance. There is no way we can continue admiring politicians like Obama, Sarkozy and others from other countries.

Having said all this, my wish list for Zambia's potential leaders whom MMD should also consider is as follows, Willa Mungo'mba, Patrick D Chisanga, Emily Sikazwe, Rev Japhet Ndhlovu and Sakwiba Sikota.

Any fair-minded person has seen the contributions of these men and women. To you The Post we wish to request you to take an active role in identitfying our potential leader.

Keeping Lusaka Clean
By Cortez
Friday June 01, 2007 [04:00]

I think that the Minister of Local Government and Housing Sylvia Masebo deserves to be commended for the good job she is doing in trying to bring sanity to the city of Lusaka. She seems to be an action-oriented woman who takes tough decisions, some of which hinge on risking her life.

She should not rest until those ugly, illegal buildings instigated in the corrupt Chiluba regime are razed to earth.

I can only ask her to ignore the retrogressive criticisms coming from certain quarters. Mwanawasa should not shift Masebo from this ministry until she finishes her job.

New constitution, a must
Thursday May 31, 2007 [04:01]

We have been fighting for the adoption of a new constitution for a very long time now. In my view, this fight is not for the opposition, the churches, the NGOs, LAZ, and other institutions alone. The fight is an issue for all of us as individual Zambians to get involved in a practical way. I am sure there is no country in the world where people have wasted so much precious time and resources just talking about one and the same thing in vain.

The Zambian people have talked about the need for a new constitution for so long that any well-meaning president would have responded to their demands. Unfortunately, Mwanawasa has arrogantly dismissed these calls because it is in his interest to continue abusing this country and its people.

To do this, Mwanawasa is using the same excessive powers the new constitution seeks to reduce.
In case some people did not know, these are the same powers with which the master dribbler, Chiluba, got intoxicated until he dribbled himself into the fire.

It is with these powers that Chiluba managed to turn this country upside down and even destroy the lives of many imaginary enemies. From Chiluba’s conduct, it might not be far-fetched to think that he may have suffered from a very serious inferiority complex. I guess it is not so easy to be president of a country and at the same time be semi-literate, not so tall, possess a cloudy or contentious origin, etc.

So, when the Zambians ask for a new constitution, it is not for fun. It is because they do not want a repeat of Chiluba’s insanity. They want progress that benefits all and not only one man and his family tree. From what we have seen so far, no amount of talking will make Mwanawasa respond to the demands of the people. Only action from all Zambians will put a stop to this arrogance and dictatorship.

No one will do this for the Zambians but the Zambians themselves. The action that is required is for every Zambian to get out on the streets and march peacefully. All over the world, this is the only way oppressed people have obtained their freedom from dictators.

It has never happened by talking or pleading with tyrants. Like Mugabe, Mwanawasa is a dictator and cannot listen to anyone. Slavery, apartheid and other forms of oppression were shown the way out by force – not negotiation.

If we Zambians do not take Mwanawasa on, we will remain oppressed for a very long time to come – and we will have only ourselves to blame.

Is it not shameful that today, many of our folk who are non-Zambian, appear to be even more concerned about our plight than we are? Without mentioning names, there are many of these people who are publicly fighting more vigorously than we indigenous Zambians. Now, what kind of timidity is this which is only to our own detriment?

I call upon everyone to unite and fight this evil. We all need to get out on the streets as that is the only way our demands will be met. Without this force, peaceful force, we can forget about the new constitution. Of course, this is not what we want. Let us demand the enactment of a new constitution. Let us begin the peaceful demos now.

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At 4:59 PM , Blogger MrK said...


No offence to my good friends who are economists, but it takes an economist NOT to see it. In fact, central bankers, World Bank and IMF economists, to be precise. A real assessment of the economy, would be a measure of public participation in the economic life of the country. These bankers/free marketeers will always take the inflation rate or some other relatively abstract number over the people's experience in the economy itself. Any real government policy would be strictly aimed at increasing ordinary people's participation in the economic life of the country. So let's stop at thinking that IMF policy prescriptions are in any way good or will 'bring development'. Much used (but not by the IMF) are the Human Poverty Index (HPI).

Here are some indicators other than GDP or inflation:

- Physical Quality of Life Index (PQLI)
- The Human Development Index (HDI)
- The Human Suffering Index (HIS)

Composite Indicators of Poverty and Living Standards:
Development is more than simply increasing economic output i.e.GDP per capita. It is a wider concept than economic growth. Even if a country's economy experiences real growth of GDP it does not mean that economic development is taking place. Nevertheless, wider more meaningful indicators of development are often correlated with GDP per capita.
Read more here...

Here is an interesting article from The Telegraph in Calcutta, from Bibek Debroy, the director of the Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies.
GOALS AND BAROMETERS - Measuring governance and economic development
Read more here...

Maybe if there were more economists, including at the WB and IMF who used these standards for development, instead of their obsession with single digit inflation. And wasn't low inflation a mere indicator, not an objective?


It is time for real leadership to step forward. The fact is that the current system has created many good politicians, but no good leaders who will country forward economically. This is why there was no discussion on policy at all during the last elections. We must hold everyone accountable for the lack of policy debate among politicians in the country - the media, the NGOs and donors, parliament, everyone. There are still 4 years to the 2011 elections. Is it too much to ask to dedicate at least one year to intensive public debate on the nation's economic and social future?

At 5:13 PM , Blogger MrK said...

On quality of life indicators - I would hate for another politician to mistake the indicators for objetives, the way low inflation became an objective for the IMF/WB.

We already know what is needed - food and rural income, through greater utilisation of the 80% of arable land that is not under cultivation and increasing the amount of land that is under irrigation to agriculture no longer depends on rainfall and land redistribution to the farmers.

Jobs in the cities, by empowering and stimulating SMEs.

Streamling government so it only supplies services to the people; fully funding local government by paying them half of national revenues; getting rid of 19 of the 29 ministries.

Eliminating inflation by monitoring all government income and expenditures.

In other words, cleaning up the nation's act, so that all people who want to, can participate in the economic life of the country.

This will also eliminate the brain drain, and might even lead to a brain gain, as money becomes available for more hi-tech ventures. :)

Beyond this, I see the development of Zambia in the direction of being a logistics hub for transportation across the African continent. Wouldn't it be great if at the same time, we had more than enough food to export, conference centers for international meetings, tourist resorts, universities, etc?

All these things will come with money, but basics must come first.


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