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Friday, 1 August 2008

When hichilenomics met the "dedicated fellow hypothesis"

Hichilenomics: the thinking largely advanced by Hakainde Hichilema that better competitive wages and extra funding are the way of reducing corruption.

Dedicated fellow hypothesis: no matter how many good policies political parties promise, or how much institutional reform we undertake, character is paramount to delivering development to Zambia.

These two ideas
clashed this week in the National Constitutional Conference (NCC) public accounts committee on how to ensure employees of the Office of the Auditor General did not fall victim to corrupt temptations. The Auditor -General, Anna Chifungula, reckons that the best way to achieve that is through renumeration packages (hichilenomics). But Finance and National Planning Minister, Ng'andu Magande, disagreed and instead thought that all that was needed was for officers to change their attitude towards work and not how much they were paid (the dedicated fellow hypothesis).

Both views are too simplistic.

For reasons why hichilenomics is not the answer read
here. Incidentally, I thought Anna Chifungula was onto something when she mentioned "competition". For one minute I thought she was calling for greater competition for posts in the civil service in general as a way of attracting the best talent, and also reduce "political capture". But clearly she only has "competitive wages" for her staff in mind.

For reasons why the "dedicated fellow hypothesis" completely misses the point read here.

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