Saleya Kwalombota: Zambia is blessed with vast God given resources yet its people remain poor. I am pissed off to read and hear of the elicit wealthy accumulated by some people belonging to the party in power amidst poverty for the poor majority.
The current situation strengthens the argument that Political independence did not equal economic independence in Zambia, notwithstanding the peaceful prevailing atmosphere and high number of human capital.
Poverty is of own creation by virtue of plundering the country’s resources through theft of public funds by those in power coupled with very poor leaderships.It seems corruption is a curse in Zambian society. This culture of corruption in Zambia’s ruling elites is slowly turning into an epidemic that calls for serious measures to curb plundering of tax payers money with impunity by those in power.
With the pronouncements of national development plans by all successive Zambian governments, there has been little thought for economic growth since independence! Zambia has been riddled with dictators and thieves who see the presidency as some sort of enterprise where the government is a silicon valley and investors invest in their political campaign (the incidence of Chinese investors in Zambia) who are now getting returns on their investments and consequently ripping off the Zambian resources.
Since the reintroduction of multipartyism in 1991 Zambian politicians have been part of the corrupt elites of the “African character ”. The person of the president in Zambian politics fail to adapt to normal thinking of accountability and as servant of the people in the running of the affairs of the country. It is irrefutable that Zambia is not only a very Christian country on the African continent but even a more devote one on the surface of planet earth. Yet it tops the list among the most corrupt and highly indebted African countries.
The only thing the person of the president in Zambia understands is Consumption. Understanding the importance of creating and building wealth is no where near, except for clan based ministerial and government job appointments! With all the sentiments of alleged corruption in the ruling party by its former ministers , I have no doubt corruption exists, of course, with evidences of wealth that some of the named persons can not account for!
When in power, the president and his ministers go on holiday abroad, buy houses abroad, school their children abroad while the children of poor citizens are at home because of cholera outbreak which is avoidable if there was a responsible government.
They go for medical treatment abroad instead of spending this money in their own country to benefit their citizens. The ruling elites thrive in stealing from their people and send the money back through contracts awarded to the Chinese firms where the country borrowed the same money from.
Zambia is rich in resources and this is indisputable. But resources do not translate automatically into riches for benefits of the communities vis-a-vis poverty tag of North western province, despite being the country’s highest contributor in terms of GDP as indicated by the 2017 provincial GPD report.
In view of this, the question is, how can resources be used to benefit broad economic and social development and avoid the corruption and authoritarian rule? Zambians need to look inwards otherwise Zambia will continuously remain poor and its place in history as the worlds second major copper producer will remain on paper.
The key issue is always going to be the local population, the local leadership, the local press, and NGOs, non-governmental authorities must demand for openness and transparency in the governance affairs of this country.
Source: Zambia Reports