I agree :
I disagree :"We should not allow donors to feel that they can interfere in our internal affairs. This is a free, a sovereign country"
"We did not ask anyone to fund the road sector or the health sector, so they must not use that as blackmail."President Banda is absolutely right about the first. Any patriotic Zambian should not disagree with that statement. I am therefore totally shocked and appalled that the President has not been applauded for that particular statement. Attacking the President just weakens the sovereignty of Zambia. Even if we disagree with him on other matters, we should recognise what he said was for our long term benefit.
His second statement if taken at face value is absolutely false because the whole process of budgetary support (as Magande as ably noted) is about begging for donor funds. In this respect the President should admit that we are not economically independent. He would do well to reflect on the piece I wrote in 2007 - Reflections on true independence. There's no need for us to pretend publicly, we need to have an open discussion on how we can become more truly independent. In that piece I offer a few thoughts.
But I say on "face value" because I still have some sympathy with him at a deeper level because I have always seen donors funds as money simply returned to Africa from capital flight to Europe and colonial plunder from some of these nations. So in that sense we should recognise that justice probably places a moral imperative on European countries to give back. There's a moral obligation I think for these donor countries to help struggling African nations. Incidentally this is a point that I thought Moyo also missed - though I never addressed it in my review. The moral dimensions of these debates on aid should never be ignored.