Government Without Levy P. Mwanawasa

levyUntil they are gone, heroes are not remembered. Levy Patrick Mwanawasa SC (MHSRIP) was considered by many Zambians to have been the best President Zambia has so far produced and yet he ran this country in ill health until his death from a stroke he suffered in Egypt at the African Union Summit of Heads of States“Mwanawasa tried  very had to bring about development and to lead with tolerance and a great commitment to fighting corruption in the  government.

He reduced government borrowing, reduced inflation to a single digit and brought the exchange rate to as low as 3,200 kwacha against the US dollar. The result was that costs of commodities reduced significantly. Further, the cost of business did not just reduce, it also opened business opportunities and created an enabling environment to do business. As a result, even a car dealer on the street saw an increase in sells because  more could now afford to buy a car at extremely low cost.

Fiscal management of resources meant that benefits got spread across to people from all walks of life. It is important for all succeeding governments to build upon this foundation Mwanawasa has restablished for our country.
The Mwanawasa administration with Magande as his Finance Minister was able to build on reserves at the Central Bank.
He was a promoter of peace among political leaders and the nation as a whole.

“During his reign there were no suspicious killing of political opponents as we have seen in the past. Whatever led him to do it, former President Chiluba must be commended for his choice of Mwanawasa after his failed third term attempt. Under the leadership of Rupiah Banda, thieves and liars have regrouped.

In the next election we must take precaution to ensure that we do not elect such leaders again”. observed Mr. Muka Mooka  a businessman and a political activist in Mongu. Zambians from across the spectrum are cognizant of the fact that the Late Mwanawasa was not an angel and his leadership profile was punctuated with both successes and failures. The present status quo of the MMD cannot be divorced from the Mwanawasa legacy considering he failed to leave behind a party Vice President. Apparently, he also did not leave the Zambian people with a spirited Republican Vice President and as such the nation is where it is today. Whatever can be said of the man, he ran his race and on many fronts, did the nation proud.

What possibly qualifies him to be the best President so far and distinguishes his from the rest was his desire to do good, even at the expense of losing friendship. Quoting the words of the wise, “ in the laurels of victory, as well as in the dust of defeat, there is glory to be found to the one who has done his best!”

Drawing a sharp contrast between the late Levy and successor Rupiah Banda, the contradictions are too sharp. One was a contemporary  transformational leader and the other seems to be governing by default, full of trial and error. The question to be asked is did Levy  fail to tutor RB or could it be that RB had so much unlearning to do that new learning was a challenge for him? Others believe that is the reason, unlike his predecessor, RB needed to bring in image builders to make him acceptable in the eyes of the Zambians and win him the Presidential bye election.

Go well, Son of the soil and May your soul rest in Peace.

Barotse Times

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