Monday, July 08, 2013

'Dependency syndrome among Zambians'
By Editor
Mon 01 July 2013, 14:00 CAT

Youths for Dialogue liaison officer Kampamba Nsofu says the dependency syndrome among Zambians will make it difficult for the country to attain meaningful economic development.

Kampamba says there is need for Zambians, especially the youths, to be innovative and come up with measures that will help them earn a living. We agree. And handouts, subsidies won't do.

It is not possible for us to build an economy, to develop our country and improve our welfare purely on the basis of handouts, subsidies and entitlements from government. We, as individual citizens, have to make a contribution. We have to have a sense of ownership in what is going on around us. Yes, only the state can do certain things, but the rest we have to do for ourselves. What the government can't do for us we have to do for ourselves.

The good life, the easy life that we seek has to be paid for. It doesn't come free. Somebody has got to pay for it. Of course, we don't seem to care about who pays for it as long as it's somebody else who pays. The only time we seem to care is when we are told to pay for it. This is why some of us have serious difficulties accepting the removal by the government of unnecessary handouts. By handouts, we include the subsidies on fuel and maize mealie-meal.

There are people deceiving themselves and others that life can continue like that, that these handouts, subsidies can continue to flow in our direction forever. Deception is always a pretty contemptible vice, but to deceive the poor is the meanest of all crime. There are people trying to deceive the poor that their government can continue to give them handouts of this and that forever when they know very well that this is not very possible and it doesn't make sense to do things that way forever.

We certainly can do more and protect more of our people from poverty and other hardships by removing unnecessary handouts, subsidies. More can be done with money saved from unnecessary handouts.

We do not believe any fair-minded person would challenge the justice and fairness of doing away with unnecessary handouts, subsidies that effectively only go to benefit a few.

No country, however rich, can permanently afford to have quartered upon its revenue a class of people which declines to do the duty which it was called upon to perform.

By doing away with handouts, we are placing the burdens of running our country and developing our nation on broad shoulders.

Let's not fear to do the right things. And doing the right things sometimes can be strenuous. The removal of handouts can lead to those who were dependent on them to start living a strenuous life. But no one should fear a strenuous life because it is the only national life which is really worth leading.

No country can long endure if its foundations are not laid deep in the material prosperity which comes from hard work, from living within one's means, from thrift, from business energy and enterprise, from hard, unsparing effort in the field of industrial activity; but neither was any nation ever truly great if it relied on handouts for the survival and prosperity of its people.

Our country calls not for the life of handouts, subsidies, but for the life of strenuous endeavour, thriftiness and efficient and effective utilisation of resources.

If we think we can continue to live on handouts and to have the government do everything for us while we stand idly by, if we seek merely swollen, slothful ease, if we shrink from the hard contests where people must win at hazard of their lives and at the risk of all they hold dear, then the bolder and stronger peoples will pass us by and win for themselves greater material benefits from what this world has to offer.

Let us therefore boldly face the life of hard work, the life of no handouts, subsidies. Let us not shrink from strife, moral or physical, within or without the nation, provided we are certain that our hardships are justified; for it is only through hard work and sacrifice that we shall ultimately make our country prosperous and our lives better.

We should not always look up to what the government can give to us as handouts or at subsidised rates. Where do we expect the government to get the money from? It is not the government that creates the wealth of this country. The wealth of society is created by the workers, peasants and working intellectuals. If they take their destiny into their own hands, follow a correct outlook and take an active attitude in solving problems instead of evading them, there will be no difficulty in this world which they cannot overcome.

The dependency syndrome must go. We cannot continue to live under a syndrome of dependency on government and on our government being dependent on donors. Self-reliance should be a must at every level. We should get from the government whatever the government is able to offer. But we cannot be totally dependent on that. We should depend on our own efforts, on our own creative powers and hard work. And as Kampamba says, there is need for our country's education system to teach young people on how to become self-reliant; the dependency syndrome comes from our education system. We need to create a generation of people that will not rely on handout for a living; waiting to be spoon-fed will not contribute to any individual or country's development.



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