When government stops working for the people, it’s time to change that government because government exists for the people, says Constitutional lawyer John Sangwa State Counsel.
And Sangwa says it’s an insult to the intellect of the country for the Patriotic Front to let incompetent people like Bowman Lusambo drive the agenda for national development.
In an interview, Sangwa observed that the PF had lost the operating social contract to govern because they lied to the people of Zambia that things would be better if they voted out the MMD in 2011.
“Government exists for the people. When government stops working for the people, it’s time to change that government. That is the reason why we go to elections every five years. In Botswana, the Botswana Democratic Party has been in power since 1966. The issue in Botwana is, ‘why do you want to change the political party if it is working?’ But when the party in power is not solving the country’s problems, there is no need to keep them in power,” he said.
Sangwa said the PF had failed probation for their continued stay in power.
“When you want to hire someone in a company, you first put them on probation, if they meet the expectation of the employer, then they deserve to be given a mandate to work full time. If after the probation period, that prospecting employee fails to meet the expectations, there is no need to keep them. It’s the same with politics,” Sangwa said.
“The Patriotic Front had an social contract with the people of Zambia from 2011. Before they formed government, the exchange rate was around K5 to K7 (rebased). External total debt was only about US$1 billion to US$2 billion. The PF went to the people of Zambia and said “listen guys we can do much better than this. They promised lower taxes and putting more money into people’s pockets. That is the reason why the people voted out MMD.”
He said it was a mockery for the PF to now relegate the national development agenda to incompetent people like Kabushi member of parliament Bowman Lusambo.
“When Bowman talks about development, what does he understand about the concept of development. Development has indicators, it’s not something that happens when you make too much noise, no! Can Bowman explain how Zambia has developed in terms of GDP since 2016 when he joined government? What does he know about the human development index? How has it improved in his Constituency? Can he tell us how interest rates in Zambia have reduced? Can he show us his figures for the country’s mortality rates?” Sangwa wondered.
“Even those who are more educated than Bowman in PF can’t explain the development that they are talking about. When you look at the GDP figures they have, they are meaningless because all the profit that is being generated by foreign owned companies is being externalized. Nothing is trickling down to the citizens.”
He gave an example of how Scandinavian countries were utilizing taxes to the benefit of payers.
“When you look at Scandinavian countries, citizens there are taxed 60-70 per cent. That’s why those countries are prospering. If you get paid $100, the government will get $60 and you are left with $30. But the people don’t have a problem in paying that because out of that, when they get sick, they go to government hospitals which are funded, their children go to government universities free of charge. Infrastructure is top notch and public transport is the best with no accidents on the roads. Apart from that, they have an excellent pension scheme and I don’t need to worry about my retirement,” he observed.
“Now, here in Zambia, I can pay 30 per cent of my income to government, but when I fall sick, I have to go to a private hospital, my children have to go oversees for school. Don’t forget about the fact that this tax I pay also ends up in the pockets of the corrupt. These are the issues we should be discussing as a country, and we cannot have people like Lusambo explaining these things, it’s an insult to to the intellect of this country after 55 years of independence. And this other guy Tutwa! The fact that these people are standing up as torch bearers of this country, it’s an affront, it’s an insult to the country! What do they know?”
He charged that politics had been relegated to an occupation for the corrupt.
“Can you tell me one person who was successful before he went into government? Politics has become an occupation for losers who go in government to steal and win. Now what we are saying is that government exists for the people. When government stops working for the people, it’s time to change that government. That is the reason why we go to elections every five years,” said Sangwa.