Veteran politician Vernon Mwaanga says 2017 has been a year of mixed blessings filled with hope for a few and disappointment for the majority citizens who continue to wallow in abject poverty.
VJ said in an interview with News Diggers! on Thursday that the one year of PF in government had been disappointing and marked by the widening gap between pronouncements and actual performance.
“The last one year of the PF government has been disappointing and has been marked by the widening gap between pronouncements and actual performance. We have heard glowing statements about a million new jobs which have not been forthcoming. We have seen disregard of tender processes for large projects and infrastructure development, which have been given to user friendly preferred bidders. We have heard consistently inconsistent statements by political leaders on issues such as the negotiations with the IMF and excessive borrowings, which have re-created the debt trap which had been resolved by the MMD government. We have witnessed a drop in Foreign Direct Investment; late payment of salaries for civil servants; delayed payment of allowances to students in our institutions of higher learning,” VJ observed.
“Political intolerance to opposing views; shrinking of space for the independent private media; inability to address reforms of the Judiciary; reforms of the police service; lack of progress on Constitutional reforms, among other things, to increase the representation of women in Parliament and Local authorities; inability to reform the Public Order Act to create a level playing field for all political players and civil society organisations; reconstitution of the Electoral Commission of Zambia; reconstitution of the Constitutional Court which has been the cause of some of the Political problems in the country; lack of a carefully thought out agricultural policy, which takes into account government support for the farmers to produce and market their produce at viable prices; inability to establish a permanent mechanism for dialogue among all political stakeholders; inability to tackle the energy deficit, by investing in solar energy as countries like South Africa , Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia have done.”.”
He said every country which had gone through what Zambia went through after the disputed elections, needed a healing process.
“There is perceived corruption in government and some of its institutions, which does not seem to be investigated or taken seriously. Some Senior people in government have acquired sudden wealth which cannot be supported by their incomes at all. It has been a year of mixed blessings filled with hope for a few and disappointment for the majority of our citizens, who continue to wallow in abject poverty. On a scale of ten, I would put their seriousness and performance at four out of ten. Disclosures being made by people being dismissed about corruption and functional ineptitude should be taken seriously,” said Mwanga.