Thursday, October 11, 2007

LETTERS - Mwanawasa, Fuel, Education

Levy, the changed man
By Dr Daniel Maswahu Cambridge, UK
Thursday October 11, 2007 [04:00]

So President Mwanawasa has declared that he is a changed man after returning from New York. I can only make an intelligent guess as to the sort of 'Damascus' experience Mwanawasa had while in New York, but there is no speculation involved in telling that whatever happened there has clouded his discernment of the difference between sedition and treason.

I will, however, not bore anyone by explaining the difference.
Mwanawasa's new academic title may perhaps have somehow clouded this simple distinction that is very clear to any first-year law student but the over-zealousness to deliver a punishment that far outweighs the alleged crime remarkably demonstrates his true colours over the constitution review process and is in stark contrast to remarks made several times in the past when he pleaded with us, Zambians, to trust him on the matter.

Some naive souls never expected this apparent change of face, but for those few initiated in the arts, the picture comes as no surprise at all.

We can also speculate that the New York 'Damascus' experience involved rubbing shoulders with persons of a less than user-friendly demeanour as this demeanour appears to have rubbed off.

The NCC and those that sanctioned it for the explicit purpose of devolving little or no power to the people must remember that soon, and sooner than they expect, they will be on the other side of the legal fence they are cowering under like the cowards they truly are.

They must bear in mind that they will not be in power forever and when that day comes, their actions and the seeds they sowed while in power will take root, sprout and deliver fruit containing the same bitterness and strife they held in their hearts against the people and nation they were entrusted in stewardship to look after.

My last particle of speculation is that the over-zealousness to administer the punishment of a greater crime than that committed arises from a realisation that the privilages that were available in New York will only be available for a short while, hence the panic to punish those perceived to be responsible for the termination of these privileges, the long-suffering Zambian people.

Arresting people for treason because they are speaking their minds about a document that involves their very own welfare and future will only confirm what we already know - that Mwanawasa and Mugabe are the same side of the coin of brutality and disregard for their own people and, by default, places the aforementioned in the same infamous bracket of failed statesmen that litter the lesser nations of the world. In this there is absolutely no guesswork or element of surprise.

Fuel woes
By Concerned citizen
Wednesday October 10, 2007 [04:00]

Someone once said that it's only in Zambia were people who cannot perform their duties are left to keep their jobs.

One does not need to be an economist to know the effects of a fuel crisis on an economy. But just in case common sense is not common to our leaders, I will give a simple example. It has become the order of the day for employees in organisations to get permission so that they go and look for fuel.

What does this imply? It simply means there is loss in man hours of production and as the saying goes 'Time is money'. No wonder that we are not developing. There is no way we can develop when we have no fuel because fuel drives the economy of every nation.

Please put competent people to handle the energy sector.

Education sector problems
By Concerned Citizen
Thursday October 11, 2007 [04:00]

I wish to add my voice on the prolonged closure of the Copperbelt University (CBU). I find it very difficult to believe the demands from education minister Professor Lungwangwa for CBU management to compile a report on what led to the closure of the university.

I also hear that there is a task force that has been set up to look into the root cause of the closure of the university. What does the minister want when every citizen knows that the university was closed because students became riotous? Their riotous behaviour was as a result of missing lectures.

It is a common practice to temporarily close a university when students become riotous and the management was right to temporarily close the institution in order to bring peace and also to give management a conducive environment to negotiate with the striking lecturers.

It is common knowledge that CBU is a very stable university. Yes it has had closures but not long ones like the current one. CBU has a stable management which is level-headed.

What Prof Lungwangwa is trying to potray to the public and what the public may not see is that CBU and UNZA are equal in terms of management failures.

Prof Lungwangwa was deputy vice-chancellor at UNZA and he and his boss Prof Serpell failed lamentably and could not be given a second term of office while Prof Musonda has performed exemplary at CBU as Vice-Chancellor. As a human being he may have made mistakes but he has been given a second term of office outright without any competition.

CBU produces graduates who are highly sought by the mining industries and delaying their completion is delaying the development of the country. Let the minister swallow his pride and reopen CBU.

All the press statements that CBU management has been putting up in the local press are just meant to please the minister. Otherwise, I know that CBU management is for the idea of reopening the institution.

My word of advice to the government is that salaries and conditions of service in general should be negotiated within a stipulated time frame; not beyond the month of May every year.

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