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Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Random Thoughts, 6th Edition

Government last month launched the Lusaka 400 kilometres [L400] which involves rehabilitation and construction or upgrading of selected Lusaka urban roads. The L400 project will cost US$348.8 million and is expected to create 500 temporary jobs during the construction phase. This is a great project though it seems to be rather expensive. It also raises the question on whether the real problem with out roads is not the deficit of local authority accountability. 

There has been some renewed momentum to hold to account the corrupt. Edgar Lungu recently announced,“In view of allegations of corruption levelled against the copperbelt provincial commissioner Ms Mary Tembo that she received a motor vehicle from some mining company for her personal use without declaring it to her superiors, His Excellency President Michael Chilufya Sata has with immediate effect suspended her from exercising the powers and functions of her office”. And Brian Hapunda (former PF Southern Province Secretary) is also facing the music for engaging in corrupt activities.

I keep reading : "Open Society Foundation executive director Sunday Chanda said...." I am very disturbed by the repeated quotes of this organisation and gentleman by the Daily Mail and Times of Zambia. Is this another PONGO? It is shameful that these two newspapers have continued the practice from the Banda era of quoting small CSO organisations which produce nothing by way of policy papers or genuine social engagement. All they are sponsored political NGOs (PONGOs). Surely they can find more credible voices?

I suppose I should be more kind. As a longtime critic of journalists at Daily Mail and Times of Zambia, I am rarely interviewed or quoted by them. Calling them corrupt and intellectually bankrupt has not endeared me to them. Hence, I was doubly impressed to see this balanced and excellent article in the Times of Zambia. Particularly since Stanlous Ngosa did not edit my comments about the Education Minister. He is a breath of fresh air! We need more of his kind in these papers.

Chola Mukanga | Economist
Copyright © Zambian Economist 2013

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