The poor continue to be poor, and the gap between the rich and the poor widens at very alarming rates. The children of the influential, wealth-amassing and greedy few that are in authority have their future by oppression and injustice. Not that the poor man's child is not intelligent, and not that they cannot work, do they continue to remain stagnant economically.The real cause is that while every effort and penny is expended to ensure that the poor man's child is given a future, the opposing forces of oppression and injustice are beyond the mere effort that the poor parent can put in. They do not have legal representation and so many are the cases decided against them. They do not have the political connections that the greedy few have, and so they cannot get the smallest of contracts even through the much-sung about ‘transparent system of public tenders.' They cannot acquire land at a fair price because land deals are controlled by political cadres.When the time comes for elections, the same poor man and his children are expected to vote for the greedy, power-hungry few. Bicycles and household goods are flown around in an act of ‘generosity' that is not meant for good at all. As soon as the elections, again conducted to the detriment of the masses, are over, the promises made to the poor all vanish into oblivion. The greedy few are back in office,
From a lamentation by Lubemba of Kitwe in The Post. The quote helpfully capture the fundamental challenge facing Zambia's poor. Its not that just that they are trying to get out of poverty, but don't know how, but they are effectively involved in a perpetual struggle. On one side are the majority - helpless and poor. On the other side are the minority - rich and corrupt Zambians that hold the nation in the palm of their hand. Eliminating poverty will therefore only come once the majority secure sufficient power to shift the policy direction in their favour. The challenge for the poor is to solve the "collective action" problem. Come together and push for rapid transformation that addresses the problem Lubemba identifies. For their part, the rich are working hard to daily divide the poor in fragmented units and prevent that "collective action". That is why popular demands like "50% + 1" are so opposed by Zambia's elite. That is why campaign reform and other measures that level the playing field are opposed. It is the fear of the poor. The elite fear the poor may find a voice, and just may be upset the status quo. So the battle continues..stuck in a perpetual retrogressive equilibrium.