Saturday, June 13, 2009

Zambia comes to a standstill

COMMENT - There is direct link between the coming to power of a neoliberal free trade party, and the massive increase in corruption. If Zambia wants a good government, then it will have to elect into power nationalists. People who can stand up to the IMF and World Bank, and any kind of other neoliberal pressure.

Zambia comes to a standstill
Written by Mwansa Kapeya, MP Mpika Central
Saturday, June 13, 2009 3:53:00 PM

Zambia needs leaders who are good at
1 Formulation of sound developmental ideas acceptable by all citizens in order to push the country forward;

2 Where these ideas are being questioned, there must be something wrong with the leaders

3 Zambians at Independence and those of today are different.

4 Whatever plans or ideas from politicians or leaders, people today will scrutinise and make conclusions on such ideas whether viable or not;

5 Why is it that Zambia has stopped moving forward'? We cite some examples.

- Misappropriation of public funds in government ministries, departments

- Pilferage has become the in- thing in every sector of the society;

- Everywhere you go people are criticising the running of government;

- Government leaders instead of unifying the nation, are busy issuing threats to its citizens, for instance, MMD cadres on Post Newspapers;

- People disobeying the law and doing things the way they feel like, for example. building houses in the middle of reserved roads and on top of sewer pipes;

- Poor drainage in all major towns

- Everyone in the public sector is busy minding about self livelihood and not of the general public;

- Pilferage is everywhere- ask shop owners, landlords, farmers, industries,manufacturers, transporters and many more. The story is the same.

6 The question, is what has caused all these negative attitudes in the country?

7 Zambia has had two types of governments since independence. At independence we had a multiparty system under the philosophy of ‘One Zambia One Nation’. The UNIP government did very well in relation to national development.

- Though leaders were not highly-educated, they were very disciplined and capable of pushing the country forward. They had the people of Zambia at heart and were focussed at developing the country

- They controlled national assets on behalf of the people

- Their prime concern was to unite the tribes of Zambia under the philosophy of ‘One Zambia One Nation’. They built schools, hospitals, colleges and university. Indeed, development was at its best.

8 One party state was a total dictatorship where everyone obeyed whatever the king wanted things to be. No opposing views, then you were declared an enemy of the State. Elections where there for the sake of maintaining the so-called One Party Participatory Democracy. This was the time when a parliamentary candidates would be made to stand in any part of Zambia, it was indeed, One Zambia One Nation at its best.

But the country suffered heavy shortages of all types of essential commodities.

9 In 1991 the country witnessed the rebirth of multipartism, with MMD I taking over the leadership of the country.

- Most of the leaders in government positions were highly-educated

- The shortage of essential commodities came to an end

- Zambia became a trading centre for most South African goods and a good number of South African trading companies came into the country.

- The sale of parastatal companies, council government houses and mines was encouraged and most equipment in such companies were removed by those who bought them.

- Corrupt practices were both in government and private sector

- Looting of national assets was the order of the day by those in top leadership of the country despite being educated.

- Revelation of secrets to the public, for instance, the tunnels

- No firm control on government leaders, hence the free-for-all syndrome.

10 In 2002 the MMD 2 came on stage and started revealing to the Zambian people how MMD I had looted the wealth of the country.

- The philosophy of One Zambia One Nation started fading away and regionalism was slowly gripping in

- Fight for corruption was mounted

- Former leaders in MMD I were being prosecuted for theft of public funds and obtaining wealth by corrupt practices

- Misappropriation of public funds was on the increase in both government ministries, departments and missions abroad

- Reveal of Zamtroop account and

- Removal of immunity for MMD I president

- Collapse of Railway systems of Zambia

11 2008 MMD 3

- Failure to live up to campaign promises of reducing mealie-meal prices and fertiliser

- Failure to improve the agriculture sector

- Failure to stabilise the Kwacha against the foreign currency

- Importation of GMO maize, against the philosophy of continuity

- Closure and job losses in the mines

- Defending wrongdoers in government

- Starvation in the country

- Increase in the loss of human life in road traffic accidents due to poor maintenance of roads.

- Transport, building, construction of roads contracts being given to foreign companies.

- Rampant strikes by teachers are on the increase due to non-payments of housing and hardship allowances.

- Removal of windfall tax on mining of minerals

- Non-creation of jobs, resulting in high levels of unemployment in the country

- Increase in college and university fees

- Professional health workers continue migrating to other countries due to poor conditions of service in Zambia

- No national airline

- Rural Zambia continues to be neglected

- Economy of the country being run by multi-national companies.

- Accusing MMD 3 government for wrong arrangements in acquiring mobile hospital equipment

- Threats by MMD 3 to continue harassing and beating members of the media house who do not support their cause

- Revelation of misappropriation of public funds continuing at a large scale in almost all government ministries

- The element of tribalism being perpetuated by the ruling party and opposition parties and

- Donors losing confidence in the manner their funds are being misused. In vice of the above tabulations. Zambian people have completely lost trust in the political leadership, hence the rejection of every development idea floated by the government. The result being that the country is not moving forward, it has come to a standstill.

The way foward

The country is therefore in dire need of a strong, trusted leadership with a sharp vision in order to push the country forward. Who is therefore supposed to provide the said leadership for the country? The answer lies in the hands of the Zambians themselves.

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