THE Movement for Economic Emancipation president Given Chansa says a reckless government will always plunge its citizens deeper into poverty.
Chansa said this year’s Independence anniversary comes at very sad moment for the nation.
“Accordingly, we cannot and must not continue to rely our being a youth nation to excuse decades of failure across many aspects of our national life. As we reflect, our failures, as a nation, are many and have been accumulating over the years. This year’s Independence Day comes at a very sad moment for our nation. This is so because the conduct of our politics reflects a nation that is failing to show the political maturity of a 55 years old nation,” he said. “It’s very sad that we continue to record politically motivated violence and deaths whenever we have an election. This isn’t what our forefathers fought for; it is therefore a great injustice and disrespect to those of our selfless freedom fighters, many who lost their lives to ensure that we are not only liberated from colonial rule but that we can also live as a free people; freely able to participate in our nation’s political affairs without risk of life, limb and or leg.”
Chansa commended the Zambia United Association of Former Freedom Fighters led by Alderman Sikota Wina for their efforts to educate the current generation about the freedom fight and the history of the birth of Zambia as a self-governing Republic.
“The peace that we enjoy now should not be taken for granted and neither should we allow a few selfish individuals to destroy our much-cherished peace and unity. The franchise, that’s the right to elect and to be elected, which we attained at Independence shouldn’t be a source of conflict. We appeal to all political leaders at all levels to exercise maximum restraint and maturity in their conduct of politics,” he said.
He said the culture of militia groups and gang turf wars should be rejected.
“We must all reject the formation and normalisation of militia groups, gang turf wars and the resulting politically motivated deaths and injuries. This trend is appalling and heart-breaking and we implore all political leaders to control their cadres and bring an immediate cessation to these acts,” Chansa said.
He said the constitution making process has failed because those in authority have an agenda
” It’s unfortunate that 55 years after Independence we are still struggling to write our constitution. We have noticed that this failure has been caused by the narrow agenda of those in authority to produce a law that advantages them to the exclusion of others. This isn’t the spirit of our Independence. Unfortunately, the efforts that have been made so far to correct that injustice have been frustrated by the attitude of those charged with this responsibility. The constitution making process has been reduced to a partisan preserve of a few individuals with the narrow agenda of showing their political mighty. They want to celebrate because they have outdone their opponents,” he said.
“We are also a victim of this attitude because we were also excluded from the National Dialogue Forum (NDF) despite having shown willingness to participate through our submissions to the committee that sat at Kafue district. Up to now we are still wondering how some political parties found themselves on that list and we have been left questioning the sincerity of the drafters of the NDF law.”
He said there is no doubt that the economy has collapsed.
“There’s no doubt that we are going through a difficult period. It requires all of us to put our efforts together to find solutions to this situation. Although we can learn a lot from history, it won’t help much at the moment to apportion blame on who got us into this situation without offering well-thought out and workable solutions. We know that our colleagues in government have made some mistakes. What we want is for them to recognise their mistakes and then find ways of how all of us can contribute ideas; they shouldn’t think that they can do it alone. That is why we believe that cleaning up our governance system is among the top priorities towards economic emancipation. A reckless government will always plunge its citizens deeper into poverty,” he said.
He said Zambia cannot make progress with the reactive attitude of those in authority.
“We can’t expect to make progress with this kind of reactive attitude. The way we are managing our electricity sector at the moment cannot support a high growth, aspirational and high productive economy. That’s why we are not surprised that while the two solar energy plants at the MFEZ are reportedly producing power at 3 cents per kilowatt, the Zesco management still thinks we should buy our electricity at more than 12 cents per kilowatt. This is only possible when the people we have in charge do not understand what is at stake. Electricity is one of the major drivers of an economy; its availability at a reasonable cost is essential to a high growth, aspirational and high productive economy, exactly what we need to lift ourselves out of poverty,” said Chansa.