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Saturday, 23 October 2010

A portrait of poverty

We stop over at a newly constructed market shelter. The market was built by the former mining giant ZCCM. There is also a community library which lies empty and a play park for children. But the market shelter, which has 24 stands, only has five old women trading there. The oldest of them is 74-year-old Stellia Jere. Stellia had 10 children, but they have all died. The last one died in June. She now takes care of five of her grandchildren. “Most of the people prefer trading from the streets in town, but I don’t have the strength to run away from the council police,” she says when I enquire about the empty stands.
Excerpt from another excellent piece by Jack Zimba -  Living on less than a dollar a day. It paints a harrowing  picture 46 years after independence. Readers will be familiar with my advice that we must always measure the effectiveness of  our policies by how they affect "the grand mother in Samfya looking after many orphans". Stellia Jere is typical of that Zambian woman doing all she can to make a difference in face of impossible odds. 

1 comment:

  1. And we have someone pushing folk to 'celebrate' independence with them...ironically shameless !

    I choose to believe our political/ government leadership is detached from its people, as otherwise would simply mean they are cold hearted and careless when they see what Jack Zimba and I the ordinary Zambian sees.

    We need a saviour, and that saviour is none but ourselves through the ballot in the coming year.

    We need a decentralized governance system that will bring the governor closer to the people, to see the plight of our people.



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