Find us on Google+

Monday, 11 July 2011

MMD Manifesto : Governance and Public Service Reforms

Governance and public service reform is one of the key issues facing Zambia. We have long argued that for Zambia to develop it needs to devise governance and public systems that diminishes the role of leaders to act as rent seekers; encourages fair play; and, acts in defence of the most vulnerable. The civil service and watchdog institutions are vital not only because government is the largest employer, but it is also the largest drain on resources. Billions of dollars continue to be lost through corruption.

Crime continues to shackle the poor, with ever increasing abuses of their fundamental rights, as recently noted in various commentaries around prison conditions. It’s not just that the poor are sidelined in the development process, but it appears that power squarely resides in the hands of the rich who between them keep recycling power for the last five decades. Many of them are mere vestiges of a colonial era, having benefit from the spoils after independence and have not attained it through any special hard work. If Zambia is to change the entire governance and public service infrastructure needs to be re-package in favour of all. This is why this issue is important and what parties propose matter.

What are the main specific policy proposals?

The MMD has no specific policy section on “governance and public service” reforms. However, it has a small section that mildly touches on this: “Consolidate institutions of good governance, financially and legally. Zambia will not gain anything from its economic and social programmes, if there is no confidence in our judicial system, peace is threatened, illegal business activities make a few rich at the expense of the majority and if wasteful usage of national resources is not checked. The MMD government will, therefore, continue to fight corruption, by ensuring that all institutions of good governance and oversight are strengthened legally and financially” (page 45).

Scattered elsewhere is self congratulatory message on how the MMD such as “over the last decade the MMD has introduced laws that strengthen democracy and good governance” and, “the MMD has strengthened institutions of good governance, namely; the Electoral Commission of Zambia, Human Rights Commission, Office of the Auditor General, Office of Investigator General…”. The list goes on!

What is the rationale?

No problems have been identified. Therefore no proposals to underpin any rationale.

What is our main assessment?

The manifesto has absolutely no new policies whatsoever under governance or public service reform. MMD evidently believes the status quo is working well. It does not acknowledge any deficiencies with the current governance and public service arrangements. The electorate therefore cannot be sure of what MMD intends to do in this area. It has no commitments and no plans to develop Zambia in this area. No policy diagnosis. No commitments. No vision for the future.

Related Posts :

Zambian Economist is currently reviewing manifestos of leading political parties in Zambia. All posts in this ongoing review can be found at Manifesto Analysis.


  1. the bit that i agree with here is the strengthening of the judicial system. certainly this is a cornerstone of development. i must say that the A. genrenal's office is not strong enough and MMD needs to do more about this.

  2. This is a fare analysis of the situation. We need a lot of work and improvements in a lot of areas. The first point for the Parties is to de-politicise the civil service. All office bearers should transparently compete for the positions and be appointed on merit. Then institutions to run the country must be strengthened to act professionally with minimum to zero interference from politics. AGs office should be empowered to prosecute abuse of resources forthrightly. Parliamentary committee on public expenditure should also commit culprits to courts for punishment immediately. Police should educate and police citizenry as first step before rushing to guns and threats;Courts of law should be above reproach and handle any situation regardless of who is against the law. Civil service should be remunerated against out puts as opposed to guaranteed salaries even when nothing is done.The problem is huge and should just be checked soonest.


All contributors should follow the basic principles of a productive dialogue: communicate their perspective, ask, comment, respond,and share information and knowledge, but do all this with a positive approach.

This is a friendly website. However, if you feel compelled to comment 'anonymously', you are strongly encouraged to state your location / adopt a unique nick name so that other commentators/readers do not confuse your comments with other individuals also commenting anonymously.