Thursday 10/08/2017

Reasons behind Kagame’s landslide election victory

Dear Editor,
Contrary to assertions that the Rwandan vote may have been rigged, I believe President Paul Kagame deserved and earned that landslide win over his rivals.
It’s not difficult to understand why Kagame has remained his people’s favourite leader despite the numerous allegations of heavy-handedness on his part.
It’s not difficult to see that Kagame has put the interests of his country ahead of his own personal enrichment. In the ‘short’ time of his rule, Rwanda has been transformed from a genocide-ravaged state on the brink of being a failed state like Somalia to becoming an economic powerhouse with modern buildings and facilities.
He has given the Rwandans their lost dignity. He has retrieved Rwanda from the abyss of war and poverty to what it is now. Rwanda is still on the upswing in terms of development. People vote for leaders who are genuinely concerned about their welfare. They detaste selfish leaders whose only goal is self-enrichment at the expense of the general citizenry.
This explains South African President Jacob Zuma’s rapid fall from grace. Unlike Kagame, Zuma has embraced corruption. Thanks to the South African system’s strong checks and balances, Zuma was made to ‘pay back the money’ he used for personal security upgrades at his village home.
South Africa has seen a decline in economic growth since Zuma’s ascension to power. At some point it even lost its place as the number one economic powerhouse on the continent to Nigeria. Because of his failure to put his people first, the cost of living for South Africans has gone up. As a result, he has become hugely unpopular and has faced harsh criticism from the opposition.
The same thing can be said about Zambia. The cost of living for the ordinary Zambian has been on the upswing. Zambians are paying almost double for electricity and fuel than they did under the previous government.
There is growing frustration about government’s failure to address economic issues and improving the standard of living. This has resulted in harsh criticism from the opposition, with arrests of some opposition leaders being recorded in an attempt to hush criticism. But such an approach only leads to even harsher criticism. The only way to stem such criticism is to give the people what the people want – real development. And real development is not only infrastructure development on borrowed funds. Real development is boosting production and raising the GDP and not the debt level. Borrowing for development never works. It is enslaving the people. It is also an admission of failure.
Mwene Batuke


Hats off to the US govt for the Lusaka water project

Dear Editor,
Moving around the city of Lusaka and looking at the massive work being done by the US government in the city’s water and sanitation project, one is wowed by the scale of the project.
Lusaka has been in need of a shot in the arm in that area for a long time.  The Sanitation and drainage system of the city has been pathetic. Every time the rains set in, floods would also start even in the main central business district. In peri-urban areas like Kalikiliki , Chawama, George compound and others, flood water would cover both pit latrines  or soak ways and septic tanks and boreholes. In short, drinking water would mix with sewerage water. The Lusaka City Council seemed incapable of addressing those very serious water and sanitation challenges. Whatever money was allocated for such programmes seemed to end up in emoluments without achieving much on the ground.
It’s a great relief to see the Americans doing what our own council has for a long time been failing to do. Personally, I’m looking forward to the successful completion of this massive project and see how it improves  the lives of our people in compounds who have to endure unsavory sanitary conditions and who often have to walk long distances to fetch water.

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