THE Zambia National Youth Think Tank says there is need for clear direction on the substantive positions held by alliance partner spokesperson, the chief government spokesperson and the UPND spokesperson in terms of their roles and responsibilities.
The think-tank urges President Hakainde Hichilema to speed up the process of recovery of stolen assets so as not to give space and chance to looters.
In a joint statement on the 100 days of the UPND in government, Zambia National Youth Think Tank Western region policy and development analyst Aaron Lyelu and programme manager Sansele Mukumbuta stated that there should be a clear direction on their roles and responsibilities.
“Let there be a clear direction especially on the substantive positions held by the three honourable persons namely; alliance partner spokesperson, the chief government spokesperson and the UPND party spokesperson in terms of their roles and responsibilities so that the general citizenry has got a well-coordinated and a coherent timely information which will ultimately enable them to make informed decision on matters of national interest,” the duo urged.
It stated that the country within 100 days had witnessed a lot of policy pronouncements in areas of education, health, agriculture among other sectors whose main aim was to envision how the new dawn government would implement or manage the economy in line with its party manifesto.
“As the organisation, we have witnessed the appointments of men and women from all walks of life with competences and skills to be part and parcel of the governance system,” the duo stated.
It stated that on the rule of law, sanity in the system had been restored evidenced by the President’s firm stance on not allowing cadres in bus stations as well as market places.
The duo stated that the other issue worth noting was the pronouncement to reforms in the Judiciary, constitutional reforms, the public order Act.
“This is all done in order to return sanity in the system,” it stated.
The duo stated that the decentralisation policy was actualised.
“Indeed this is the real time local economic development or power to the people as this may give voice to the local people because they are the ones who know what is obtaining on the ground and how that development will affect them. For the first time since time immemorial we have witnessed the unprecedented amount of money in form of Constituency Development Funds (CDF) amounting to K25.7 million from the recent K1.6 million which has been allocated to the local authorities in order for them to be given the latitude, space and impetus to be able to manage their own affairs,” it stated. “Unlike what used to happen in the past where we could witness less money given to them against the numerous challenges they have had. This is indeed the real time bottom-up approach towards development and accolades and kudos must be given where they are due.”
The duo stated that the 30,000 teacher recruitment would reduce the high teacher-pupil ratio which had for a long time been an area of concern in terms of providing quality education.
“As the adage goes ‘An educated nation is a prosperous nation’. From now going forward, we shouldn’t see a kid hovering the street because free education has been guaranteed,” the duo stated.
It stated that the new dawn government had placed high premium in the health sector evidenced by recruitment of 11,200 health workers in 2022 national budget.
“For us as the organisation, this is the step in the right direction. Still in the health sector, His Excellency, the President goes further in appointing the presidential advisor for COVID-19 virus a disease/virus which has been considered as the health, economic as well as the social concern because if left unchecked, it would cripple the wheels of the economy,” the duo stated.
It stated that there should not be a one-man show in terms of fighting corruption as it requires multidisciplinary and multisectoral approach to be won.
“Let the line ministries take up the challenge to complement the President’s calls to fight corruption. We understand that the President is methodical with the way he is handling matters of national interests – in terms of recovering the state assets from the people who obtained wealth on suspicious grounds,” the duo stated. “We however, feel that the President should hasten the process because we are also being reminded by the old adage which says; ‘Justice delayed is justice denied.’ Taking time to recover the stolen assets might thwart all the efforts earlier made as this may give space and chance to the afore-mentioned state resource looters to shield everything which they pilfered.”
It stated that if the new dawn administration continues on that trajectory, development was guaranteed.
“They just need to closely work on few pertinent and thematic areas. With time, we are and should be able to see light at the end of the tunnel,” the duo stated.