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Friday, 22 August 2014

On the Kindle

We are currently kindling 'Journey toward Justice : Personal Encounters in the Global South' by Nicholas P. Wolterstorff. The greatest moral philosopher alive today. What he observes about injustice in Honduras is fascinating:
"..It is commonly said that the failure of Honduran officials to deal with crime against the poor is due to corruption—graft and bribery...Though there are indeed corrupt officials, the fundamental problem is not corruption but fear and a pervasive lack of trust. Poor people do not trust the police, the judicial system, or the bureaucracy. The police do not trust the prosecutors; the prosecutors do not trust the police. The result is that the poor are afraid to take action when they are the victims of crime or illegal treatment; they fear that if they file a report with the police or some government official, the person or organization that wronged them will retaliate. The police and prosecutors likewise fear that they will be the victims of retaliation if they take action. There is plenty of evidence that these fears are warranted. What I saw, more clearly than ever before, is that justice in ALL its forms is impossible in the midst of pervasive fear and distrust.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Facebook Debate : Is Zambia a loser country?

Zambia Is  A Loser Country 
By Anonymous

Ours is a loser country. Everything about this country is depressing and uninspiring. Here, everything is politics. The whole lot of Zambian leadership is an inferior species incapable of moving forward. We deserve the poverty we are experiencing because of the leadership we have allowed to govern the country. There is an erroneous belief that our pitiful condition is the result of lack of money. No. Progress is not a priority here. No amount of money can develop this country. Poverty has become part of the Zambian culture.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Eurobonds : weighing the risks against gains

Editor’s note: A recent article from Albert Halwampa (ZIPAR) on the costs and benefits of external borrowing through Eurobonds. It argues for a comprehensive legal and institutional framework to address the risks associated with this form of debt instrument. 
There has been recent media speculation about the government issuing another Eurobond – the third in two years. Earlier this month, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock talked about the possibility of floating a bond to plug the US$400 million financing gap in agriculture. This has resulted in apprehension in some quarters of the economy regarding the risks associated with this seemingly allure of Eurobonds. I therefore attempt to weigh some of these risks.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Kabimbanomics

“Members of parliament go through difficulties and I know the distances because I travel across the country myself, if we want MPs to serve the people to the degree that we expect them and promote democracy and interact with the people we should facilitate...How do we facilitate that, we facilitate that through emoluments. If you want to curb corruption, to ensure that our MPs do not fall in category of people who do not have the interest of people at heart then we should look at the issue of emoluments. You can justify the demands [for a pay rise].”
WYNTER KABIMBA MP
(PF Secretary General)

There are three problems with. Kabimba's misguided argument.

First, Kabimba argues that additional wages would reduce corruption among parliamentarians. That is a myth. Empirical evidence decisively concludes that the "systematic evidence on the relationship between pay and corruption is ambiguous". Most importantly, paying higher wages reduces corruption, if and only if, the monitoring apparatus is effective. In other words, wage incentives might reduce bribery and corruption but only under a well functioning enforcement apparatus. This apparatus is essentially good effective institutions. Lets get the ACC and DEC be more accountable in following up parliamentary corruption. This is what Kabimba should focus on, and then we can look at higher wages if necessary.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Why Do We Have Members of Parliament?

When former Msanzala MP Joseph Lungu resigned and joined the PF in 2012 his only reason was that he wanted to “ensure development of Msanzala which had lagged behind for some time”. Mr Lungu said he felt he could not take development to his area as an independent parliamentarian.

A year or so later Howard Sikwela became the the first parliamentarian to abandon UPND in this parliament. He said, "One asks a question, where would an MP get resources to develop his constituency? Of course it is from the Government of the day. An MP must think development, talk development and dream development. It is with a heavy heart that today I have to announce my resignation as area MP and as a member of UPND”.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Zambia's Quest for Real Develoment

By Henry Kyambalesa

With a Human Development Index (HDI) score of 0.561, Zambia is currently ranked 141st out of 187 countries – a rank that falls within the 'medium human development' category. And while there was a declining trend in the country's HDI between 1980 and 1990, there has been a rising trend in the Index between 1990 to date. This is certainly a good trajectory!