HON. FELIX MUTATI, MMD PRESIDENTIAL ASPIRANT
ADDRESS TO MMD MEMBERS IN SIAVONGA, APRIL 25, 2012
The biggest challenges facing Zambia are unemployment, under-employment and poverty. There is already an accumulation of frustration among our youths. The state of unemployment in the country, especially as it affects the youth of Zambia, has been moving from a crisis to a paralysis. Unless measures are taken, this is a time bomb waiting to explode.
Felix Mutati spells out his vision
The 300,000 or so youths offloaded on the labour market and require jobs annually need practical answers-jobs, jobs-jobs! Over the last six months of PF in Government, we have seen contradictions and inconsistencies. The youth of Zambia are demanding for labour-absorbing activities and not mere Government assurances.
The youth are demanding for indicators of the jobs promised by the PF Government. The youth are demanding to know the number and quality of jobs created, the rate at which they are being created, labour intensity and composition of economic growth and how Government is addressing lower income inequality and poverty. It is wrong for Government to victimize Zambians trading on the streets.
As a matter of fact, these people are making efforts to earn a living and put food on the table. We are mindful that street vending alone may not absorb youths in need of earning reasonable income but that is no reason to push them left, right and centre. Government must commit to unleash the creativity of our people, in government and throughout Zambian society. In the words of US General George Patton, “Never tell people how to do things. Establish what you want to achieve and they will surprise you with their ingenuity”.
Budget intentions are irrelevant if they cannot translate in Government investing in people as the productive and creative core of the economy, especially the poor majority of Zambians. Mere words from the PF Government will not create employment on a massive scale.
Good statements by the PF Government cannot transition the country into a powerfully competitive Zambia and Zambian economy. Government is failing to invest in the youth in order to improve their quality of life. Government committed to serve as an efficient, responsive and effective instrument of delivery and empowerment, able to serve all Zambians while directing government resources primarily to meet the needs of the poor majority. This is not happening.
The PF Government cannot continue recycling the blame-game by pointing to the MMD for its failure to deliver. They must start assuming responsibility for failing to deliver on youth employment and underemployment. The youths are crying that they cannot eat words any longer.
While the PF Government is busy issuing nice statements, Zambians know what MMD did right and what remained as unfinished business. In terms of growing the economy, our record is unprecedented. We set the plat form to unleash economic freedom and opportunities the existing and emerging entrepreneurs, students and unemployed youths.
In economic governance toolkit, we had no space for trial and errors. We cannot waste the next four and half years pursuing political unproductive avenues. I am proud of MMD and will remain MMD. So my fellow country men and women and the youths represented here, I came to announce that MMD shall be back.