By Edith Nawakwi
The re-introduction of INDECO by the PF Government has resurrected the ugly memories of nepotism patronage and wanton abuse and misuse of public resources by a privileged few at the expense of the unprivileged many.
We vividly remember the pomp and splendor with which those at the helm of political power abused INDECO, MEMACO and ZIMCO entertaining themselves and their friends and relatives to extravagance and self-aggrandizement. We remember going through ZIMCO building where a lift was a preserve of the political elites. Even the foreign exchange allocations were only given to preferred individuals including well known criminals who had political connections. What about DC IO with only 5 paid up passengers and the rest of the seats being occupied by the elites from INDECO, MEMACO, ZIMCO and the ruling party for free. It was such abuse that grounded Zambia Airways.
When some of us stood up to persuade the state to have a well guided public- private partnership, our voices were lone voices.
The anger over the looting of public resources through ineffective and inefficient parastatals such as INDECO quenched all manner of reasoning hence the reckless privatization that led to untold misery of joblessness and poverty that our people have been enduring for decades now.
The exclusion of Zambians from the mainstream economic program is what has caused poverty and destitution in our country.
The solution to Zambia’s economic malaise is not uncoordinated and ill-thought polices such as the re-introduction of loss making ventures such as INDECO. The solution is to look at the human, natural and capital resource that we have as a country.
Such an enormous undertaking as the re-introduction of INDECO needed extensive national dialogue through people‘s representatives in parliament. Good governance entails active people‘s participation in national issues hence there was need for parliament to debate the re-introduction of INDECO. Parliament being a representative body of the people should actively be involved every time we want to introduce major social, political and economic changes.
Moreover such policy shift needs to be reflected in the National Budget. One wonders where His Excellency President Sata got the K20million he has allocated to INDECO when such a colossal amount of money was not budgeted for in the 2013-2014 National Budget. Why use such an unbudgeted for expense on INDECO when the country is bleeding with poor health delivery, shortage of farming inputs , desks and other learning and teaching implements in our schools?
Why start a new war when the old ones are still raging? The consequences of these misguided policies will be catastrophic to the lives of the majority Zambians for many years to come.
In any case the Zambian Development Agency (ZDA) is an appropriate body to use in ensuring the appropriate state involvement in running of public enterprise.
INDECO is taking us 50 years back to the days of nepotism and patronage and wanton pilfering of state resources by political elites and their friends and relatives.