It’s argued that a government will have attained nothing unless it secures for the common man a higher standard of living. As things stand today, the PF government of Edgar Lungu does not need an economic expert to detail them how bad the situation is – just as one doesn’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows!
This is why we agree with Vernon Mwaanga’s challenge for the PF government to outline programmes that address economic challenges the country is facing.
“The economy is performing very badly, the kwacha is on its knees versus other currencies, unemployment is rising particularly among young people, mounting national debt levels, government hospitals have no medicines and patients are being given prescriptions to buy medicines from private pharmacies, energy and petrol, diesel and kerosene prices have gone up,” notes Mwaanga. “Mealie meal prices and all food and other basic survival commodities keep going up almost every other week. The masses are wallowing in poverty, while their leaders are richly constipated in unexplained wealth. I have not heard or seen any programmes to address these burning and urgent survival issues.”
We seriously doubt Edgar and his PF regime know why they’re in government! Any leader or party in government ought to – must – concern itself with the social welfare of the nation. But what we see today is a leadership that doesn’t care about the poverty, hunger, ignorance and disease in the nation. Edgar’s administration is simply preoccupied with entrenching itself in power and amassing wealth.
Here’s a regime that takes pride in impoverishing citizens so that ahead of elections, the filthy rich politician(s) can start distributing branded mealie meal, bicycles, jackets, automobiles and cash to all and sundry!
And Edgar can even afford to mock citizens that they are living well, that there’s money in the economy! Money in the economy but you’re defaulting on loans! You can’t even pay pensioners!
Edgar must find time to introspect; and for once get serious about challenges facing this country.
As Dr Kenneth Kaunda advised in his radio broadcast on July 3, 1967, “Let us remember that we are what we are today because of the common man, and that it is therefore right that he should expect better service from us. Will my life be meaningful to those who died for independence; to those living today in abject poverty and, indeed, to those who come tomorrow, if I will die having amassed wealth for myself, leaving millions of people still suffering? Don’t forget, Comrades, it could be you in their place. The question is – what are you doing to help the common man – your own father, your own uncle, and your own brothers? Brethren, there is a lot to learn from that society of our ancestors – a society in which the chief as an elected or appointed leader of the people held national property like land in trust for his people. The position we hold today – all of us here – we hold in trust for the people, the common man.”
The problem with stolen money is that it will never allow you to keep quiet. This is money one has not worked for, so they do not understand the struggles involved in generating it. The only understanding they have is on spending it carelessly. And because Edgar and his minions claim to be Christians who fear God, we shall remind them about the words of John Wesley, a renowned English cleric, theologian, and evangelist. He said: “Do you not know that God entrusted you with that money (all above what buys necessities for your families) to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to help the stranger, the widow, the fatherless; and, indeed, as far as it will go, to relieve the wants of all mankind? How can you, how dare you, defraud the Lord, by applying it to any other purpose?”
We wish to remind Edgar that the family he has which John Wesley talked about is the Zambian citizenry whom he has to ensure all is well for them. But as things stand, Edgar is not concerned about the nation’s welfare. To the contrary, he is obsessed with enriching himself, regardless of how that wealth comes and what remains in our coffers. But we also wish to warn him that a time of reckoning will certainly come and there will be no one to sing praises for him.