By Lee Elias Tembo (Czech Republic)
In the recent past, Zambia´s political landscape has witnessed the massive birth and perpetuation of petrifying undemocratic tenets such as nepotism, greedy, misplaced priorities, political witch-hunt, alleged corruption within the ruling party elite and most principally, lies on the part of those given the constitutional mandate to run the affairs of the country. The prevailing state of affairs vis-a-vis the political, social and economic atmosphere speaks for itself.
Within a year of the Patriotic Front´s government in office, Zambia´s political, social and economic outlook seems uncertain and bleak.
Plainly speaking, all the successive governments we have had since independence in 1964, have had their own achievements and failures.
However, getting down to the nitty-gritty, the current government has made a mammoth of very un-realistic policies, pronouncements and decisions that might have a ripple effect on the general welfare of the people in the not-too-distant future.
The protests by irate farmers in different parts of our country due to government´s non-payment of the last season’s maize sold to Food Reserve Agency (FRA), incessant Zesco power blackouts countrywide, mealie meal shortages on the Copperbelt province, fuel crisis in Chipata and Mpika, University Teaching Hospital water crisis in Lusaka, unreasonable exchange rate of Zambian Kwacha against major currencies bears true testimony of the uncertainty regarding the direction of our country.
Not long ago, we saw the Patriotic Front (PF) government soliciting for billions of money in parliament for the construction of Mr. Sata´s retirement house.
This is a clear violation of our statute. The Benefits of Former Presidents Act number 21 of 1998, chapter 15 section 4.a, plainly states that: “assigned to a former President within a period of not more than two years from the date of ceasing to hold office, a furnished executive house built or bought in Zambia by the State at a place of the former President’s choice”.
Since when did our president cease to hold office and as such be entitled for the construction of a retirement house? If the president had any sense of morality and a heart for the majority poor and fulfil his bunch of unrealistic promises, he would have firstly concentrated on making sure that irate farmers across the country and retirees are paid their dues.
The problem with our African leader´s style of governance is that it is based on “personal monetary enrichment” and those very close such as family members and tribesmen while the masses who gave the elected leader constitutional mandate to effectively and fairly run the affairs of the state continue walloping in extreme poverty. Because of greedy and selfishness on the part of a few, our country´s monetary resources are being wasted on irrelevant by-elections. The just ended Mufumbwe by-election is a case in point. Posterity shall indeed harshly judge them!
In conclusion, it is such a pity that the euphoria and hope for a better Zambia that had once engulfed the majority Zambian citizenry following the dramatic September, 20th presidential and parliamentary elections has indeed not only been a pain and a bitter pill to swallow but also an eye-opener on how cunning politicians could be.
The Author Lee is a Zambian English Language Teacher based in Ostrava,Czech Republic.