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Monday, 29 July 2013

Random Thoughts, 3rd Edition

Ministry of Health recently released more information on the new 650 health posts which are due to be constructed around the country. The posts will be constructed over the next two years and will be "prefabricated". They are being funded under a "grant" between Zambia and the Indian government but the details of the grant are not publicly available. ZNBC says around "3000 jobs will be created once the 650 health posts" have been constructed. But then it says "50 people are expected to be employed at one health post in their various specialties". One does not have to be a genius to see that 50 x 650 = 32,500 jobs. What we need is a ministerial statement on this programme to clear the hubris.

SADC's favorite dictator Robert Mugabe recently vented some fury at the organisation: “SADC has no power. Let it be known that we are in SADC voluntarily. If SADC decides to do stupid things, we can pull out. For now we have a SADC that has good sense. Although from some quotas there was a stupid, idiotic woman saying elections cannot be held by July 31. Did such person ever think as an independent country we would take such utterances which were stupid and idiotic".  The woman in question is spokesperson for the SADC facilitation team on Zimbabwe Lindiwe Zulu. Sir Bob of Harare is not very happy with SADC leaders over the upcoming Zimbabwe elections. SADC leaders want a free, fair and credible election and believe this is only possible with strong reform in place.

A serious incident occurred recently that fills many independent voices with fear and concern. The arrest of the two journalists in particular sparked MISA to sharply observe : "We consider the raid on the two journalists’ homes and their subsequent confinement at Zambia Police Headquarters as illegal and an indication that Zambia’s human right record is deteriorating. It is worrying that the two who are not criminals were subject of an early morning Police Raid although there is no state of emergency in the country where people’s human rights can be suspended..".  We all need to remember that there's really no development without freedom. It is therefore the duty of every Zambian to safeguard the freedom that was purchased at such great cost during the independence struggle.

Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba recently said PF / GRZ will not support a constitution that is "tinted with a foreign image".  But what does that mean exactly? How do we distinguish a foreign idea from a domestic one? Is it 50% + 1 a foreign concept? What about dual citizenship - what is so Zambian about that? And the whole idea of having chiefs - is that a Zambian idea or where chiefs as currently constructed a product of the colonial process? It is pretty obvious to everyone that Zambia's history is inherently influenced by foreign ideas - and disentangling what is Zambian deeply problematic. Even the "official" national language English which is established in the Constitution is foreign! So where do we start and stop to meet Mr Kabimba's concerns? 

Chola Mukanga | Economist | Writer
Copyright © Zambian Economist 2013

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