Interesting misguided policies that may have escaped your attention in recent weeks. We will try and do this more often, which in effect will try and pick on some of the main policy bloopers flagged up via our Facebook Page (do please "like the Page" to keep up with exciting debates there) :
Agriculture Minister Emmanuel Chenda announced earlier this month that GRZ has exhausted the K300 billion budgetary allocation for the crop marketing exercise. FRA has been authorized to BORROW money for buying maize from farmers. This happens all the time. We are borrowing to subsidise farmers and later export the maize at a loss. It's not good enough. The policy madness has to stop surely. It's totally unsustainable How long are we going to continue?
Government is planning to establish a Civil Service Bank to enable civil servants access low interest loans, according to Education Minister John Phiri. The rationale seems very poor. There are many ways of getting loans to civil servants without creating a bank! It is also wrong priorities. Why only civil servants? Surely we should be trying to widen credit access to the 70% living on less than $2 a day?
Chief Registra Clement Andeleki says that Government will soon take forward new legislation that will ensure de-registration of political parties that "fail to gain political ground within two years". He thinks this can be done by an amendment of the Societies Act chapter 119 of the Laws of Zambia. He says that most political parties in Zambia are just there to endorse other parties during election time and also gain donor funds. Out of 47 political parties in Zambia he says only about six participated in elections. Andeleki's figures are actually misguided. More importantly, though the idea of sorting out ghost parties is good in principle it is dangerous to make such an amendment through Societies Act and give a political appointee like Clement Andeleki such powers. It amounts to regulation of political parties - surely such principles ought to be laid out in the Constitution to start with? This issue requires significant public debate. What's the rush? People should reject any political regulation by the back door - even when it comes dressed as an angel of light!