Nothing can prepare the minds of Zambians to accept that the government means well, unless the high cost of living that has been set in motion with the removal of fuel and maize subsidies does not affect the size of their nshima (staple maize pulp Zambians eat with relish) on the table.
By Ngwende Nyalubinge
Sata knows that his position on withdraw of subsidies is not just unpopular but seriously lacks analysis depth among sensible people. This is why instead of facing the citizens himself, he gets ZNBC's Misheck Moyo, Queen Chungu and some impoverished Daily Mail and Times of Zambia reporters to go into compounds to start giving a government perspective of subsidies to residents who do not even know the meaning of subsidy, then take the influenced comments or reactions, which obviously Sata wants to hear, and tell the whole nation that common people in the compound have accepted the removal subsidies.
We can accept the subsidies withdraw from one maxim," a spoon fed man will one day demand your finger".
Even with that maxim, it will be difficult for Sata and his PF stooges to use the public media to manufacture consent so that people can accept this daft-thought-out economic miscalculation. Nothing can prepare the minds of Zambians to accept that the government means well, unless the high cost of living that has been set in motion with the removal of fuel and maize subsidies does not affect the size of their nshima (staple maize pulp Zambians eat with relish) on the table.
|Blue in red band is expenditure in MMD, Green with red band is PF now|
And when we look deep in the Zambia economic environment you see that it is the person who is feeding us who is finishing the porridge on the plate and demanding our finger. There is abundant lack of fiscal discipline on the part of the Patriotic Front government, in particular President MICHAEL CHILUFYA SATA. He has failed to measure the water in the pot according to the maize meal in the pack, or he has no idea of how to cut the cloth to the right size. The salaries of his cabinet and their deputies has double from K8 billion per year in the previous government to over K15 billion. On top of that Sata is mockingly asking poor Zambians to sacrifice, but cannot hint on cutting his salary and that of his ministers. Selfish leaders!
On top this greedy, here are some areas showing lack of planning by Sata:
1. Sata's political greedy and focus to have parliamentary seats he did not win in the 2011 elections, he is now using our porridge to entice hungry opposition MPs thereby creating by-elections that are costly. He has even gone to take away even the stocks in our cupboard which is feeding to his 88 deputy ministers.
2. We need to expand our education infrastructure at tertiary level in order to open up more spaces for those left out. But in the face of limited resources, Zambia cannot afford to set on constructing three universities at a goal. It needs to open up roads to rural areas, but the kilometres that are supposed to be done should be limited to the finances budgeted for and provided in budget support. Also the cost efficiency of doing these roads must be there so we do not just look at the political benefit of showing off black asphalt to villagers who have not seen this pavement in their life time or since Independence, while the economic benefits may not even pay back the cost of the road in the next 50 years and by then the tar road, probably named after Sata’s wife, could have been eaten away, rutted with potholes.
3. We need to be efficient in the delivery of services, make the process of our workers and those who want to do business easily access administrative procedures. We have not been doing well in this area, but we cannot roll out many districts at one time oblivious of the costs of developing infrastructure for these new administrative centres and paying the establishment. We all know and the politicians have agreed that district commissioners are irrelevant, PF has not just maintained these good for nothing mouths but has gone to increase them without any consideration whether they were in the national budget or not. We have 20 or more new districts, some of them just less than 7 kilometres within Lusaka.
4. It must be said that there a lot of ministerial travels abroad, some which are not necessary. Hardly a week passes without three to four ministers being on a silver ndeke out with a huge delegation trotting the globe. Some of these trips, albeit costly, are not even adding any value to the country's immediate economic needs or social capital in relation to countries being visited. If a budget of one of such trips was floated for young entrepreneurs to compete for using viable proposals for businesses that could create wealth and jobs, today we would have been counting reduced poverty problems and dependent youths in the country. One such useless travel is the use of scarce public resources to pay for Geoffrey Mwamba (Defence Minister) and a crew of over a dozen babies in combat to go and watch military toys in Turkey?
A government with fiscal discipline would choose to reduce these trips, but it is one way to take away more porridge from our plate and feed the political leadership.
When people talked of Sata being a CNP, many reasonable Zambians thought it was just political malice. However, the close to 20 months of the Patriotic Front in government with Sata, not a rail sweeper, but in the driving seat has proved true Hakainde Hichilema’s CNP (Chimbwi No Plan) theory.