Open Letter to Sata

Dear Mr. President,

Last year you noted that the Zambia Defense Force (ZDF) comprising the Army, ZNS and ZAF were sitting in their barracks and not being effectively used in the nation building efforts of the country. You also noted that these men and women in uniform where being treated like children where the government fed them for doing nothing. You suggested that these men and women be engaged in many of our national projects such as road and rail construction and be given contracts meant for these projects.

One year has passed and you have not acted on your observation.

Zambia is not a war and has not been in the last 48 years! So our army must be bored to death and looking forward to a good exercise.

Giving contracts for roads and other infrastructure to the ZDF make economic sense in that the money which most often is paid to foreign companies will now be given back to Zambians and that the army that have always been parasitic to the tax paper will for once earn their keep. The other advantage is that the skills and knowledge developed by the army will create a reservoir of trained and experienced Zambians who can then take up the challenge and build construction companies to compete favourable with foreign companies in this sector.

I have noted that ZAF have a very effective air transport system in which their airplanes visit and touch every corner of Zambia as they transport goods, letters and soldiers around. Most of the time these planes fly empty of passengers. Since our domestic airlines are failing to provide an effective transport network and buses are killing Zambians in dozens, wouldnt it be possible to demilitarize some of these flights so that Zambians can pay for the use of these ZAF flights? ZAF in turn would raise the much needed resources to service these planes.

Sir, Zambia is in dire need of workers that can work 24hrs to construct our tunnels for highways, drainages, railways and construct sky scrappers and the Zambia defense Force is well suited for this. In them we have a cheaper and effective way of using the available dormant resource into a productive and useful one.

I hope you will pursue this matter with the speed it deserves.

Yours in national service,

Mthoniswa Banda

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