Here Comes I980s
Zambia Council for Social Development (ZCSD) is concerned about the rate at which the Zambian economy is declining; with living standards speedily and freely falling down to 1980s scramble for survival. Here comes 1980s!
The Economic Management of the current government is actually worse than the UNIP Economic Management. UNIP government focused on Black Empowerment with a very honest political philosophy, “The Humanism”; with the PF economic philosophy not clearly. The UNIP Humanistic policies had meaning at a time and benefited all Zambian Citizens both in government and ordinary citizens. We have observed that if the economy is booming, it is only booming for few pockets, going by statistics of those living in Extreme Poverty. The UNIP Government Infrastructure development drive (roads, schools, university, teachers colleges, nursing schools, agriculture facilities etc) was based on a long term framework and resources were available at least for 14 Years (By 1977 the government had completely exhausted its foreign reserves). The UNIP government ran the most disciplined Cabinet with an enforceable code of conduct. President Kaunda also inherited a very rich economy. UNIP was also the only Political Party and thus there was certainty in terms of policy management. The PF government has depleted the economy within the two years in power. “Constructions do not mean building and neither does it mean development.”
Therefore, it will be an economic disaster to think that the PF government will implement all the development projects within its given mandate of the 5 years and leave an indelible mark in the Zambian political dispensation. This is very unlikely!
Therefore, Zambia Council for Social Development (ZCSD) predicts that:
1) In the next two years, there is going to be a decline in the living standards of most Zambians and all social services will be non-functional with poor quality of education, health water and sanitation and other service;
2) There is going to be Poor performance of all productive sectors, including agriculture largely due to high cost of inputs including fuel, which is skyrocketing. This will lead to high cost of basic commodities which will be unattainable by ordinary citizens.
3) Civil Servant Salaries will reach unmanageable levels as government continues to respond to ever going up Cost of Food Basket. Government will then resort to wage and employment freeze. This means no teacher, medical officer, Agriculture extension officer; No medicines, No drugs in hospitals etc.
4) Zambia’s debt burden may continue to worsen as “catching” up with its payments continues to worsen as the economy will be unable to sustain.
5) Lastly there will be need to amend the current constitution to allow for increase in the tenure of office; from 5 years to possibly 8 years in the name of completing projects the PF government has initiated.
As a responsible civil society organisation that has been there with government even before independence we wish to call upon the President, His Excellence Mr. Michael Chilufya:
1) To allow the professional freedom of Civil Service in the pursuit of the PF Manifesto. We believe that development must be historical and any ambition to develop this nation must be anchored on professional freedom. Political cadres must not intimidate the well-meaning civil servants including the Police command.
2) To promote inclusive governance of the National Economy and be receptive to all stakeholders even those with genuine opposing views. PF was not elected by those who are wearing party regalia now but by ordinary citizens whom the party cadres have decided to intimidate and ignore; and
3) To call for a national indaba where people will be allowed to debate on the major issues that are affecting this nation such as the Constitution Making Process and falling living standards majority citizens.