Thursday 18/05/2017

Raising tariffs is savagery

Dear Editor,
Without doubt, the new electricity tariffs will trigger a vicious campaign for salary increments. This is because prices will go up and the general cost of living will go beyond average earnings.
This will push the inflation rate up and put pressure on the kwacha against other currencies.
In short, the value of the kwacha is likely to tumble as a result of this increment. At the end of the day we will have made a full circle, ending up right where we started only bruised and in tatters.
The decision to increase electricity tariffs in these already harsh economic conditions is savagery and shows lack of sensitivity for the plight of the poor, who are going to be worst hit by the effects of such a move.
No caring leader could have increased tariffs by such a huge margin when people are already suffering.
Our leaders, or is it our masters, need to be more sensitive to the suffering of the great majority of the people. The disconnect they are showing is worrying and indicates greed and selfishness on the part of the masters.
J Mwandila

All systems broken

Dear Editor,
I find it very difficult to understand our justice system in Zambia.
If my memory serves me right, Lusaka Central, Munali, Itezhi-Tezhi and a few other seats were nullified on account of election malpractice.
A month hardly passed before Margaret Mwanakatwe, and Nkandu Luo went back to their constituencies to campaign. They started speaking loudest and initiated little campaign projects here and there.
Without the courts publicly reversing their judgements, they have gone back to performing their duties as members of parliament.
May someone more enlightened explain to me what this means.
Or should I take it that in Zambia, the executive arm of government is superior to all the others?
Manyando Silumesi



Where has the student voice gone?

Dear Editor,
I agree with a letter you recently published pointing out the fact that student militancy has diminished, that their role in national politics is as good as done and that their voice is nowhere to be heard.
UNZASU, COBUSU and EHCOSU played a more meaningful role in national affairs than they do now, which, in my view is unfortunate. Contrary to general belief, student involvement in politics and general governance is  actually a good thing. Students represent the best and most active minds and their participation in national issues can actually bring progress and direction to the country. The student voice is also a critical part of civil society in any country. A vibrant civil society is an important ingredient of any democracy. For a democracy to stay healthy and thrive, civil society has to be fully functional and unabated and uncompromised in their operations.
Reducing the student movement to a toothless, compromised or divided entity is actually an assault on democracy. Students should be able to express their views on national issues and should be able to come up with a united voice on contentious national issues without fearing to lose their bursaries or fearing to be expelled. And our leaders should not use the issue of withdrawing bursaries to silence students. The money for those bursaries does not come from the leaders’ individual pockets but its the people’s money. The leaders are mere administrators.
I’m really looking forward to a day when our students will be allowed to take back their role as a part of civil society capable of voicing out on crucial national issues. Students, where is your voice?
Love Silwamba


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