Thursday, May 29, 2014

Magande urges PF to improve governance
By By Allan Mulenga
Sun 05 Jan. 2014, 14:00 CAT

NG'ANDU Magande has asked the government to put its house in order to achieve economic development.

Giving his expectations from the government in 2014, Magande, who is leader of National Movement for Progress and former finance minister in the MMD government, said the government performed badly last year in terms of governance.

"They need to bring back the democratic governance, so that all Zambians can feel proud that this is their country and participate in economic management of the country. 2013 was very poor in terms of governance and I just hope they realise that," he said.

"Stopping other people talking and interchanging ideas does not help the national development."

Magande said the government needed to provide the governance system that gave freedom to every citizen to exploit their ideas.

"Technology is there on the Internet to be downloaded and the role of government is to have a proper governance system that gives freedom to every citizen to exploit their ideas. That is not what has been provided so far because they were always talking about the opposition not meeting. The opposition is made up of Zambians," he said.

Magande called for co-existence between the government and leaders of opposition political parties.

"It is not a special qualification, no. It is actually somebody who doesn't agree with you and wants a conversation. So if you deny him the opportunity to talk to him, you may be missing a better way of doing your own idea," he said.

Magande said economic development could only be realised when there was good governance.

"Governance really has to improve in order for the economic aspects of development to be done. And we saw that when Levy Mwanawasa was around. People started being proud of driving small cars from Japan. They started being proud of just owning few chickens from Kalingalinga. They started being proud of owing two-roomed house in Chipulukusu," he said.
"That is what we need. A governance system can be an environment that can be used by the citizens to exploit their ideas to build things and own things in their own country."

And Magande said the proposed re-introduction of the industrial development corporation (indeco) would take the country backwards in terms of economic development.

In his New Year message, President Michael Sata said the government would establish the industrial development corporation which would focus on developing labour-intensive industries and enterprises in key areas of agriculture, construction, manufacturing, tourism, science and technology.

"I am also very surprised by this announcement about the industrial development corporation. Because we seem to be going the same route we went before and you saw the disaster that came around. This time with the technological advancements, where people can even go to the moon, I would expect the government to help people to get there instead of them thinking of doing things for the people. That is what is completely surprising," Magande said.

He expressed doubt over the efficacy of the indeco, saying that it brought about its own challenges in terms of economic development.

"He President Sata is just re-introducing indeco, it is not his initiative. He is just repeating what happened before. Even if today somebody would come to us and say there will be a flood like in Noah's days, get ready now, the ark that would be constructed now would not be like Noah's ark because of technology," said Magande.

"So, re-introducing things in the same old way, we are not moving forward. Some of the initiatives are not really for 2014, they are for 1969. The environment is different; in 1969 we had very few technologically educated people. This time we have millions of people with brilliant ideas."

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