What if Zambia…

The Long road to development

By Gray Soko
The buzz word during the election campaigns has been “ development” but I have some searching questions or observations to make:

  • What if we plan a new road and rail network rather than the annual often shoddy repairs? Not only would we decongest traffic and reduce accidents but also provide quicker transportation. Such a network would also open up vast lands that are lying idle.
  • What if we stopped looking at the number of second hand cars on our roads as an indication of development and planned to establish vehicle assembly or manufacturing plants? Not only would we create employment but also advance our technological knowhow as we would have to compete with the outside world for quality products and become innovative.
  • What if instead of clapping the ears of transporters whose buses ( especially mini buses ) cause so much loss of life through accidents trying to arrive at their destinations on time we looked at developing an efficient and fast public transport system? Who remembers the “rail cars” of the 70s or the mooted underground train systems of years past? Perhaps not too far back, ZCCM tried a rail link within Lusaka ( Matero to Chilenge).
  •  What if instead of concentrating on keeping us alive by building more hospitals, clinics and mobile clinics/hospitals and importing drugs and medical equipment we planned to prevent disease, improve the environment , research on drugs and manufacture high tech equipment for use in hospitals? What if we stepped aside and reviewed the training of our medical personnel to make it the best possible? How has Cuba excelled in this field despite being under siege by the USA for so long?
  • What if we made our central position on the continent our niche? Make Zambia the air and rail traffic hub of Africa. Make the “landlocked” situation work for us. We seem to have lost Lusaka’s niche for international conferences on African issues. We could even plan for Lusaka as capital for the AU, our generations of peaceful existence being our premium. The Lusaka and Ndola “international airports” are less than provincial airports in neighbouring countries.
  • · What if instead of beating our chests on “bumper” harvest, referring to only maize, we develop agro industries to produce maize products like corn flakes which we still import. What if we looked at improving the nutritional status of our children as a goal rather than producing more maize for export. How can we make the school going children from poor families eat better at school ? Is Mount Makulu Research Centre for example adequately funded and are we getting full benefits of its research? Are we giving the other food products that we can abundantly produce adequate attention as we give to getting fertilizer for maize?
  •  What if we restructured the civil service hierarchy, which I believe follows the British model up to now to serve us better. Late FTJ once watched reporting time for civil servants and of course saw what we always see, late reporting from top to bottom. One reason is these civil servants did not have any “work” to do so why go early? Maybe up to 80% just report for work but do no work. Pay is assured though, it is not based on productivity but presenteism. Quite often you still get paid even if you are not there. Once in a while we stumble on “ghost” workers.
  •  What if we came to terms with what has not worked in terms of local government and boldly implemented provincial administration on carefully determined federal system. Can we seriously say the current provincial ministerial system and district commissioners add value? LPM tried to relook at the district commissioners to be technocrats but the political reward mentality of “it pays to belong to …party)was still strong.
  •  What if the districts had counselors appointed on merit rather than elected party cadres who have given themselves the right to curve out land for themselves. What if we had town planning again so that the haphazard “development” is brought to an end? Residential plots on graveyards, houses being built on sewer and waterlines and what should be open spaces or parks. Councils have failed and we cannot be doing the same things that have failed and expect different outcomes.
  • What if we made civic and political leaders accountable to those who put them in power by having the “recall” strategy instead of them thinking the offices are theirs to keep for the term regardless.
  •  What if we added value to our mineral resources and exported finished products instead of making the invitation of investors to open mines and export raw material and profits thereof such an insatiable ambition. So much employment and technological development would result and the youths in technical colleges will have something to look forward to. What do the geologists, mining engineers, metallurgists, artisans look towards for when the employment opportunities seem so finite.

How I wish there would be such a debate, such a leader with vision for a better Zambia and not be content with “continuity” or the status quo.


  1. I totally agree with all the points.We really need leadership that will deliver on ALL these points.The good example given is Cuba and how despite being under seige by the US has managed to train and export so many doctors. We can do anything we set our minds to .Its time to exploit our central position in Africa.We can be a major stopping point for major airlines crisscrossing Africa and beyond.Wake up Zambia! We can do it.

  2. I 100% agree with the author nice point if we implemented such , Zambia would have been a United States of Africa ,now we have the same old folks at the realm of leadership really sad Zed people do we really want to develop or always stay behind , the future of Zambia is in the hands of the youths and not the old folks let vote for innovative people with the initiative of developing Zambia and not these same old corrupt folk they may just be there to give wisdom and not hold Zambia at ransom ,its the youths now who are suffering no employment for us ,its really sad youths our vote is our power 20 sept vote wisely and not corruptly .

  3. I love your article Gray!That is the premise on which Zambia was founded and indeed the ideals upon which the MMD was born.I remember joining the pluralist side of the debate at the time because we wanted development and fast.Here is the catch Gray:politics and economics are two sides of the same coin!yes its true!politician must always answer economic questions.The U.S.A has done that for centuries hence the development there.RB has a degree in economics and has been answering these questions by rolling out infrasture.we need more!we are hungry and thirsty for development.I believe as of now only the MMD has the capacity to fast track development. Vote wisely!Kachili kasuba! answer economic questions.The U.S.A has done that for centuries hence the development there.RB has a degree in eco

  4. What we need is a good system. That good system is a good constitution. Mung’omba draft is a very good document coz it has majority Zambians representation. If we have a good system, anyone can be a president and deliver coz he will be guided by the constitution, regardless of the academic qualifications. Let’s vote for candidates who will give us a people driven constitution, not the MMD who tried to alter the Mung’omba draft to suit and prolong their stay in power. Unfortunately, no Presidential candidate is talking about the constitution. We cannot trust MMD coz they have proved that they won’t give us a people’s constitution. Let’s try HH or Sata.

  5. # 3 If u read between the lines u will see that the author is saying Ba Banda cant take our country further than where it is now-Does RB operate or sound like someone with a degree?i for one wouldnt exchange my craft certificate in Machining from Lusaka Trades for his degree.

  6. Gray Soko,

    All excellent points. I think I have pushed a few of these ideas too. The problem comes with financing them, as well as the basic inertia of existing power structures trying to maintain the status quo and their agreements/deals with it.

    On financing, it is clear that the Zambian government is losing out on at least $1.3 billion a year in uncollected taxes to the ZRA and dividends to ZCCM-IH. And that is under the current tax regime, without raising taxes.

    It is very profitable for two parties not to collect the taxes due – the mining industry, which is basically operating tax free, and the MMD /Party In Government, which takes I would estimate $200 million a year for not doing their job.

  7. Good
    Points.. unfortunately no current political party/ leadership in Zambia can deliver what you are asking. The start point is Zambia’s constitution needs to be changed. We need to reduce the powers of the president and give the people the real power at council, town, provincial and national level. This will give the people the power to chose what leadership who will give them the development the want…  period

  8. So there’s the problem. The money for infrastructure investment, and everything you mentioned can be collected but isn’t. Making Zambia’s ‘landlocked’ status work for it by becoming an infrastructure hub for South Africa/the DRC/Angola/Mozambique; the beneficiation of minerals and agro products, etc. are all the way forward to develop.

    I am a little leary of devolution from central government to the provinces, because of the risk of simply replacing national elites with local elites.

    However, it is clear that development decisions have to be made from the bottom up – the smaller the unit of government the better, IMO. Thus, we could avoid the $53 million mobile hospital debacle. Local people know what they need, they should be telling Lusaka.

  9. This is a crucial period for Zambia.Its not time to experiment with questionable leadership.RB is the best, but if you insist for change, i would advise you to go for HH.Others like Magande and Miyanda have no following.If you want a thug, nindaba zanu.

  10. RB has degree in economic history or History of economics.This is out dated and adds no value to the current challenges .HH is the man with qualifications and experience that fit the current challenges .Vote beyond tribe if you want to see development.I am Bemba but my wife and i are resolved on voting for Hakainde Hichilema because he has what we are looking for in a leader.He has the passion,discpline and CV to deliver .We can entrust the future of our three daughters in him as President .Viva HH,Viva youth leadership,Viva REAL CHANGE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Gray,
    This is a very good blueprint for development. In fact several politicians have used variations of it in their manifestos. What is lacking is execution, which can only come from political will.

  12. A Soko, this is the most constructive article I have ever read in a Zambian newspaper. You have written it as though you and I discussed some of the issues you have raised. Indeed why dont we have politicians who put down development plans and models and sell that to the people as the platform on which they will rule the land? 

    On roads for example, if a plan is developed which aims at linking all provincial capitals by dual carriage way for example, how can development in between those tows fail to come by?Instead, we have people talking about boyfriends and girlfriends that political opponents have and so on wasting our time

    Any wise politician should seize the ideas herein and have a head-start on the opponents.

    Viva constructive reasoning!

  13. Agreed, that is the kind of debate we should engage in. That is what will take Zambia into the future. RB has set us on the path to those ideals, he is laying a good foundation. Contrast this analysis with promises of manna and pocketfuls of cash in 90 days. On the issue of age as in #2 above, I beg to disagree. The same 86 year old Rupiah is doing the things which are the foundation for a prosperous Zambia and the same old Rupiah speaks to most of the questions raised in the article. I say that development should not be seen in President Banda alone as PF thinks, he lays the foundation and we do the innovation, the work, and the detail. Almost all organisations in Zambia today are headed by young educated technocrats including PS’s, and that’s where the detail lies, I say.

  14. #13 my brother you are right about HH,but the only problem is that he is selfish. Instead of putting the interest of Zambia first he is too tribal that he thinks that only a tonga can make a better leader.

    • HH himself knows that his Tonga tribal party can never ever win not in this life time at least. remember he left the PACT saying he knew he could never win, but was contesting to spoil it for others, he is worse than a tribalist he is a spiteful & vindictive COW and the sad part is he has convinced many Tongas that only a tonga can serve their interests, but the people have seen him for what he is.

    • You man or woman, you are one of the people that need tribal cleansing prayers if not exocism, you are gifted in tribal sentiments, everywhere you see tribalism even when its a mere difference of opnions, shame on you who are busy misleading the nation. HH’s wish that he is better than others which he has demonstrated , just because he is not of your tribe you call him tribalist, in such a country with people with rotten reasoning like yours can we develop??? shame. Are you even able to give an account of what you wrote? Be serious

  15. One of the worst pieces of journalism fantasia I have ever read
    What a load of rubbish.
    Zambia has no money, It is like wondering If a top Manager or sports coach could go to Burundi and resurrect them in the same mould as South Africa in African standards. No That is impossible mister, your country has limited if any at all resources. Whether Obama, Cameron or whoever brought modern day governance it wont change a thing. The country is riddled inheritantly by corrupt mind, people that show mendacity, no regard for the common persons.
    The author should stop dreaming and know that as a journalist he will never own a Ferrari and thus this article is rubbish and so are people supporting it who live in fantasies. If you support it you are pathetic ignorant poor excuse of a human being.

    • You are sick Mushota.you need medical attention!America was not built in a day.Zambia is not as poor as you think .There are turnaround solutions but if you cant foresee them then tondolo musuma! Enjoy your life in the developed world!

    • Ba Mushota I beg to differ with your opinion. 

      The essence of this article is to sway politicians from promising piecemeal development to long-term meaningful ans sustainable development. To say Zambia has no money is being very very ignorant of the resources we have (or just turning a blind eye to the wastae in the country). Tell me, if all ministers used govt vehicles during working hours and went hom in their cars (they get a tax free loan u know?), how much cash would we save? that saving would be enough to finance for example construction of policmen’s houses every year. then if all the tax were collected, this would make the ideas presented work. 

      These are just basic examples but to say the article is rubbish is plain dumb, I am sorry I will use that word with respect.

    • What if you just SHUT UP!  i think this would be a better forum than having some “sick” sister…who only talks about her fiancé, belittling Zambians…not knowing that, she’s the one …who’s… i quote…”pathetic, ignorant poor excuse of a human being”

  16. . The author should apologise for conning and misleading the innocent masses on Lusakatimes readers let alone Times of Zambia My fiancé would lead such a country better than you would although you re Zambian if you ask me. Grow up Thanks

    • I do not agree with in totality.Do more research work before you blog or comment on issues you lttle or do not understand.Will gladly enjoy your contribution if you do your reseach be it in negative or positive but it has to be reseached.

  17. And I also say that some of the things which draw us back as a country are prophets of doom like the New Post which creates so much despondency in the nation to the extent that they will deny the existence of a new school or hospital or road which everybody else can see and touch. All in an effort to prop up personal business empires. Otherwise the achievements of our country would have been double what they are now, I dare say.

  18. A thought-provoking article. Its always good to think outside the box. As one Reverend in Zambia once said, ‘beware not to become stagnant and erroneously call it stability’.

  19. I think we are missing the point. I can see that we are already polarised and as such no sanity can prevail unless after the elections.The problem with Zambians is that we mix up things too much and in the end we get zero.At the moment we have political stability and we then can accelerate development irrespective of who wins but as of now its either Sata or RB for plot 1.now we want development and that means more steel and China is the worlds largest producer and largest exporter of steel.But Cobra wants Taiwan instead of China!Secondly China is the worlds largest producer and exporter of ships.maybe you are wondering why Zambia and ships! On the ship there is a part called the hull which is made of copper since copper has the ability to float in water among other properties.Now tell me

    • Copper has the ability to foat in water?? No. Please re-check your facts. Its actually denser than steel ( Density of Cu = 8.9 Tonnes/cubic metre, and steel is 7.5 Tonnes/cubic meter). I think what you meant to say is Copper does not corrode the way steel does, and so copper sheets make good lining .i.e. protection of the hull.

  20. #4, How can Mr Sata give you a good constitution when he didn’t give you a ballot paper at his “national convention”? How can Mr Sata give you a good constitution when he supported and fought for the third term? Come on guys, let’s think and see beyond our noses, that is why God made us HUMAN BEINGS, different from goats or snakes.

  21. We keep doing the same old things and expecting different outcomes. It’s not only the govt and politicians to blame.It’s all of us.

  22. Good afternoon

    I’m beginning to like Gray Soko. A beautiful article for a Sunday. After all the debate on presidential elections, what we need at the end of the week is a completely open and honest summary of the status quo with no pretense of modesty or decorum. The author has done just that by asking “What if…”.

    The restructuring of the civil service alone is an important issue that requires serious consideration by our leadership. If we simplify procedures on government level, it will be much easier to implement all other points on the compelling list of ideas above.

    To add on another: What if we had to create our own qualified and competitive workforce instead of relying on expatriates and foreign investors to drive our economy?

  23. Gray Soko – this is excellent reading and really timely advice to all of us and not just politicians. All the points raised are achievable within a very short period of time and it does not require external money as highlighted by some ill informed chaps like Mushota above. With more than $1billion intentionally uncollected so that they could share $150m in bribes, we could develop Zambia at unpresidented pace if that money was ploughed in our economy. The points can be done by Zambians with the help of few carefully selected and imported expatriates. The notion that foreigners can develop us is just being delusional. Thanks Gray once again

  24. A good example of a country that posed such serious questions on itself for the betterment of its people is China. Its a major economic power today such that the USA feels threatened.
    Successive govts in Zambia have taken the people for granted and that makes them (politicians) feel accountable to themselves only.
    MMD has been in power for 20 years, just 7 years shy of UNIP rule but compare the accomplishments..
    Though UNIP could have achieved much more than it did, In all fairness, more was done and achieved by UNIP in 20 years than MMD would ever dream of.
    The major achievements for MMD’s 20 years in power have been more poverty, disease, corruption etc..

  25. I am amazed how some buffoons like #3,#23 Caf-u would want to play cheap political points on an article which is really non- partisan and represents everybody. The author’s points started with ‘What if’ which implies all points have to be thought through for all Zambians and benefits irregardless of who is in power. For once please lets think positively and steer away from inferiority complexes. We can do it as Zambians

  26. @katie goodie
    Neither did the MMD vote for RB at their convention as a presidential candidate.The MMD are not to rule zambia anymore,talk a about foreign direct investment ,when the foreign investors bring their workers and externalise all their profits leaving zambians poor.We have copper prices which have gone higher,instead of maximising on the current prices knowing that its a non renewable resource and its price always flactuates,we only saw RB flying all over the world and doing last minute projects.In short,the whole system in zambia is sick,we need a new constitution,not the trash that kunda tried to give us.

  27. I’m not sure wether to call it a good article really,me I have heard 99.1% of this before. We had so many years of corruption and laziness that a complete cultural change to the way we live needs to be looked at. Look at #26s name. Such is our mentality.my daughter asked me what that name means,cant answer.
    Since I came to Uk 10 years ago now,it’s clear we are a lazy people who reap where we did not plant and never want to hear and say the truth.

  28. Hi,bloggers. i must say the ideas floated in the name of WHAT IF,are so challeging and inspiring.I think these are the issues we ought to be debating and i believe most of the people blogging are young and intelligent.I must admit too that this is the first time am seeing such contructive debate looking at issues that will drive our great and cherished nation forward.Finally, i wnat to thank all of you that have contributed positively knowing that one day,we gona put to word all good ideas God willing.Thank you once more.

  29. Actually to me this article is like two family members saying-” how I wish my dad was the president so we can be driving nice cars than this Honda.Then we could be going to siavonga too for holidays and shopping in the US on Govt tickets.we could even buy guns so no one can fool around with us in the night clubs like Castro used to do.we would not even live in state house but build a castle in Lusaka west……”
    It fine to go on day dreaming but believe me this blog never brings any tangible change.we need the Govt that can first change our rotten culture as citizen ,then good policies.from the way you shouted at Mushota,you don’t want to continue dreaming so go on then dream all the way after all it’s a beautiful Sunday.

  30. The points outlined above on what if Zambia are very much achievable with a strong will both from the government and politicians.Zambia has what it takes to be a country of reckon and all countires around would make us a role model.

  31. Those who do not see any sense in this article are indeed free to criticise but please let us not do so in a way that is damaging to the spirit of constructive debate on this forum. You can single out a point and bring up your credible arguments against it, don’t just trash the whole article along with the author like #18 Mushota has done.

    The author is at his best journalist behaviour by posing the question “what if?” – he is simply challenging you and me to think, so why get offensive and start attacking him? And so what if he’s a dreamer? Martin Luther King also had a dream which he never lived to see. But his words came to pass.

    Unless Africans gang up with revolutionary ideas to change the status quo, the rich nations will continue to frustrate us by many means.

  32. Another mistake that most of us make is thinking that Africa or Zambia in particular is poor. I strongly refuse to accept this notion – it is a misconception stamped on our minds by the opressor to make us believe that we cannot make it on our own.

    We have land in abundance, we have minerals, we have a friendly climate, plenty of water and fertile soil – most of these things the west does not have, so who is poor?
    Poverty is relative. Lacking the materialism found in the west does not equate to poverty. Trying to compare the 2 lifestyles is just not fair. Our people may not have western luxury but when it comes to enjoying certain things like natural food,the certainly live more healthy, happier and satsfied. I never knew what depression was until I came to Europe.

    • The answer to our situation is within among us,corruption ,tribalism and other negative vices are taking us three steps back each time we have made to steps forward. We should first look for the starting point.

  33. @18 Mushota, how are you? If you disagree with the author then what in your opinion is the altenative and the way forward? You may think that this country does not have enough resources but that is very subjective. We may not have enough finaces but we have enough natural resources that we only need to exploit to bring us the economic greatness we so desire. in fact the greatest resource we possess is in the heads of the 13 plus million Zambians. If this country is as bad as you portray it, why then do have more people wanting to invest here?

  34. What frustrates me most is that we as zambians do not want to change our way of doing things.we want someone to blame all the time hence we are cheating ourselves.corruption and tribalism is a cancer that we need to fight.How on earth can some one tell me that at this era we live in Sata is the best president.who can see that he lacks so many modern presidential attributes?HH is the better of all of them but because he is tonga we are blinding ourselves.During his time with Chiluba,Sata showed us all his colours,he was so powerful at one stage but did nothing apart from being his masters crusader yet to day even you the intelligent bloggers believe he can change things as early as 90 days.
    We shall continue dreaming and going in circles.

  35. Another impulse:

    When Nehemiah was rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, there were proud and haughty scorners (so called critics) who looked upon him with contempt and tried to hinder the good work that was being done. However, Nehemiah was not discouraged by these people, he knew that he always had to watch against spiritual enemies.

    He was driven by the desire to excel. He divided the work so that every one might know what he had to do, and did not mind his critics. He withstood contention and never rested until the walls of Jerusalem were built.

    Moral: we should not expect that our critics will be quiet until our work is ended.

    Have a good Sunday all. I’m out.

  36. Thats great article soko.. Lets put aside who can do what, conform our mind and start thinking in the line Soko has put it. It all starts with the mind and tell our potential leaders what we want and what we expect. These politians travel alot abroad and have seen real development, example at one time we where at the same level with Singapole, now we are miles away.
    Good work Bro… Lets put pressure on our leaders. VOTE WISELY…

  37. Nine Chale Great words of wisdom once more.

    I hate to say this, but a lot of people that critices me, without any point whatsoever just merely barking without any coherent words coming out of them. If you have nothing to say, dont say it, If you have an opinion back it up simple

    excessive exhaustion and character assasination sums up anyone that does it without explaining their point of view.

    I stand by my criticsm of the articl. It is wishful thinking and anyone that thinks It is a ‘great article’ needs their head examined. They are ignorant , end of…


    • Every great invention starts as an idea. Before he defined the laws of gravity, Newton asked himself why the apple fell from the tree and from there we have the laws of gravity. What the article highlights is what are called dreams which have the potential to be turned into the real thing. 

  38. Mr. Soko,
    Excellent synopsis.Kindly log in to “Mwape’s Radio show” right now i’m silently listening to. Amazingly very intelligent professionals are dissecting it line upon line with unbelievable articulation. There is China based Billioneer Enock Mundia, Professor Richard Mbewe (Poland), Moses Chama (Russia), Phinias Shichongwe(Switzerland), Rabson Lungu (USA), Musaba Chailunga (Canada) , George Chimumba(USA), and  Kelvin Chishimba (USA).  

  39. Gray, great stuff. But let’s not debate. Talk is cheap. #45 where is Mwape s radio show? And what are all these guys doing in the diaspora? Jesus is coming back soon. Let’s do something with our talents lest we be punished for failing to utilise God given talents.

  40. Excellent article. It dwells on issues that should put us on the right track of an economic boom. I have always wondered why we still import such things as cars, knitting needles and even corn flakes. Every great stride starts as an idea and it is not always the case that everybody will grasp it immediately. Food for thought…. . 

  41. Guru,

    Google ” James Mwape” for his radio. With easy you will get his talk-show or alternatively search and call him on Skype. There are interesting business plans there. It clear Zambians meet and deliberate in teams Zambian opportunities. These guys have been tripping to Zambia on business trips.

  42. #33 xxx, The MMD is unanimous on their presidential candidate and maybe PF on theirs too. But the point that I make is that there was a lot of democracy at the MMD National Convention than at the PF “national convention”. If you want proof, you only have to note that even Ms Sylvia Masebo was voted National Women’s Chairperson at the MMD National Convention, there is simply no parallel with the PF “national convention”. The bottom line is that Mr Sata cannot give you a constitution, not even a bad one, because he does not like rules, in general dictators DETEST rules. The evidence is there for all to see, who in Zambia does not know Mr Sata? Why do you want to waste time debating the obvious?

  43. As for those who keep on squealing and whining about the nonsense on mining taxes, how many times do we have to tell you that even Mr Sata has expressed satisfaction (in writing) at the current mining tax regime? Mr Sata said so in unambiguous terms, once in a letter to RB (August 2010) and then in an interview with Reuters News Agency (just two months ago), and I do not know who else he has told that but obviously not his own cadres or they don’t read. The good thing about Mr Sata is that he likes to have what he thinks recorded, ask the Post, the Dutch journalists, and of course our very own Chanda Chimba III!

  44. Mushot, can you please shut your trap for once?! Bwatu, bwatu, bwatu, even when the topic under discussion is basic even for a village i.dio.t to appreciate. What is so complicated about what the author has put forth for you to simply sh1t on it? My goodness! Anyway, since you feel people who at least have half of their brains functioning are “…pathetic ignorant poor excuse of a human being…”, you are equally a “pathetic little twit” to the extent that you have deluded yourself into thinking too highly of your opinions and accomplishment for nothing. How sad!

    I think Scotland is no richer than Zambia in terms of resources, but there you are always boasting about how developed Scotland is. Well guess what? Some Scottish leader with foresight built what you see there as devlopment

  45. What if we all stopped dreaming and pointless academic discourse and instead dedicated ourselves to developing our little corners of the village!

  46. Mushota Chi color, never mind this fool.
    Soko these are excellent point and i would suggest we push them in Parliament. like someone said it sound like you and i had some discussion of some sort. As a matter of fact i was on train from washington DC to New Jersy and i just appreciated the sense of convinience and sober atmosphere that people enjoy as they travel. I 100% agree on how that would reduce on the urgly Bus that clatter our cities. Also i 100% agree on food sufficience that we should step aside and think more on providing different varieties of corn products. On Mount makulu, yes we need more funding in research, science and technology. This is excellence piece of article. Please push it futher to the policy makers. I’m copying it and email it around.

  47. This Mushota is a distractive spirit. Those of you who believe in Christ will understand. Why would some be stupid..anyway i can imagine. These is a devil. Soko please try to find this article in policy making process. look at Rwanda, they are using blue prints and inputs from mare individual like you me and every one to foster development. Excellent piece man. Keep it up.

  48. May be Mr Soko you should form an NGO, a pressure group of some sort that presents such good ideas to the goverment and thus, the goverment can be forced to be accountable to the nation. Besides your NGO should not seek for funding from anyone coz as the saying goes, “he who pays he piper calls the tune.”

  49. These are dreams and we may not like it, but the majority of people in politics want to do just that. This is a nice long shopping and wish list but if Gray could tell us how we can make money to increase our budget to not less than K30 trillion, to grow the economy by 15%. There are 13 million Zambians and we need a per capita GDP of $10,000 to really see the difference in the lives of Zambians, otherwise we can have all this infrastructure like South Africa but have a great number of our people living on scraps. I have seen more poverty in South Africa than in Zambia inspire of the development there.

    • Come on The Saint, dont be a defeatist! Gray has simply laid out a “mission statement”. It is up to Zambians to come up with ways and means of achieving the mission. That can only be done if Zambians adopted a “can do” attitude. Passing the buck back to Gray, with statements like “Gray could tell us … ” is not helpful. Poverty exists everywhere. It is the prevalence and numbers of those affected against the national population that requires addressing. These things can be done.

  50. @Mushota, u say your boyfriend can run this country while calling other bloggers pathetic excuses for humans, I seriously feel sorry for you. If you know anything you should know that running a country is a wee bit more complicated than giving head! It seems like you get off on belittling other people, which I think is pathetic, but then we all have our source of jollies!
    By the way Scotland sucks when it comes to weather and people

  51. 16 Katie Good
    MMD have been in power for 20yrs yet we have 80%unemployment and 80 to 90% poverty levels.
    Just because of last minute panic projects by RB does not mean he will deliver us. Zambians are not fools and the 90% poor for 20 years whant change.

  52. What if,what if…and coulda,woulda,shoulda that is classic zambia for you.The problem is not the problem.The problem is the attitude towards these problems.Change the attitudes and zambia can be all it wants to be.

  53. Brilliant thought provoking article, sadly the current crop of leaders are not pragmatic enough, long sighted enough to observe issues from this point of view. Do they have a benchmark to work towards….don’t think so…only Mwanawasa had a plan of action. The word “Development” itself has been lost in translation and has been over used by this government. 

  54. Yambayamba

    I agree with you when you talk of Scotland not being richer than Zambia in terms of resources. Its very true Zambia is much richer than Scotland. The problem we have here is our failure to exploit the resources God gave us to our advantage. Our pathetic attitude of hero worshipping our bad leaders is also not helping our situation. In Zambia we can grow crops throughout the year whereas in Scotland they can only do that in 3 to 4 months a year.

    I know the place very well because I did my postgraduate studies there. I could not stay there despite being an FCCA because of the obvious reasons. I did not want to be working in Tesco parking things or as a bookkeep with my ACCA and MSc in Investment Analysis. So don’t fear those who are out there because you too can be there.


  56. Zambia needs a paradigm shift. We should now be talking about politics of development. It is a known fact that Ghana and South Korea had the same GNP in the 60s and were receiving the same aid but today South Korea is the 14th largest economy in the world whereas Ghana has even gone backwards than where they were in the 60s. What happened between these two countries? Culture is the answer. The Koreans developed a culture of hard work, devolopment and getting to the top. What then shapes culture in a nation? These things – Religion, Family, Education, Media, Arts / Entertainment, Government, and Business. Infrastructral development is good but we need all these areas with good leadership starting from family with dads who have good morals, good systems in all these areas and good leadership

    • 68 Quantum,

      ” It is a known fact that Ghana and South Korea had the same GNP in the 60s and were receiving the same aid but today South Korea is the 14th largest economy in the world whereas Ghana has even gone backwards than where they were in the 60s. What happened between these two countries? Culture is the answer. ”

      This is one of the many myths that Cambridge econmics professor Ha-Joon Chang dismisses. You should first check out his book “Reclaiming Development”, available at Amazon.

      Culture is not the answer, the answer is economic policies. The South Koreans protected their markets from outside ownership (‘investment’), especially manufacturing. They had strong government involvement in the economy – check out the terms chaebol or keiretsu (in the case of Japan).

  57. I have read Mushota’s posting and think she is more insane than she was before her marriage/honeymoon ( if she ever was married. She probably is conceiving,reason she is ranting again) Maybe nor sooner she was married than she was ditched, i won’t be surprised). To hell with the Mushota business. Paragraph 2-Zambia was assembling Fiat cars 127,128,131 131special in the 70’s, with graduates of high calibre who have excelled the world over we should not be assembling cars in the 21 st century. We should be making our own ‘Zambiana V02’ Porsche. The last paragraph is contradicting the second. We are able to make finished goods. 

  58. Interesting questions but the answers to them are already in the UPND manifesto. 

    Be blest all.
    Matt 6:33.
    Keeping the promise

  59. 8 Quantum,

    ” today South Korea is the 14th largest economy in the world whereas Ghana has even gone backwards than where they were in the 60s. What happened between these two countries? Culture is the answer. ”

    You need to check out Cambridge economics professor Ha-Joon Chang’s book “Reclaiming Development”. He lists the myths about various people’s culture, and how they changed over time to fit their economic development.

    The answer is not culture, it is economic policies. The South Koreans had chaebol, which were large family owned concerns that were heavily supported by the state, based on the Japanese keiretsu. They closed their markets to foreign producers – only Koreans and Japanese can make cars in their countries. In Zambia, even the major banks are foreign owned.

  60. I like it you people have wide travelled and read books,you dream really sweet dreams apart from mushota who is wide awake and refusing to dream on.But as I suggested early on please avoid insults so we can all enjoy our dreams.

  61. LT or any one who know GS, please link me to this great man. I am glad we have reserviors of your kind Mr. Soko in this time and generation. At one point we had powerful Oasis Forum with sharp biting teeth that made Govt sweat, yet today its gone into oblivion. You dont stop here GS, your spectacles are the sight for Zambias’ solutions 100%. Believe you me, you have Zambia to support you should you wake up to establish another ‘Oasis’ for mother Zambia.
    Stay blessed Sir.

  62. This article is a complete breath of fresh air. We need the Government and the opposition to look at issues in this manner and think outside of the box. If society always listened to doom preachers ar saddists, the world would not have developed the way it has.

  63. It is always the case with Zambians to think someone must be doing something instead of saying “I” must be doing something.
    If I think that since there is a lot of maize in the country we need to maize related processing firms; the question is who should come up with those firms?
    Do we think that govt should come up with the firms?
    We always cry of policies; how come some people are managing to make crisps within the same country?
    We cry that zambia is not making even razor blades; but if we all cry who do we think was born with the responsibility to make them.
    Until you and me will start to grab opportunities, we will only become experts as were at lamenting and wishing.

  64. Interesting that 99.9% of the people commenting will not even vote because they are in the Diaspora. So on that note, we should accept that it is what it is…

  65. Nice article but what are we doing about it? As many bloggers said, we need to change our typical terrible Zambian attitude of corrupt minds, with no sense of pioneering real economic growth.

    What makes me wonder is how our Leaders behave like they never travel or been to school.

    If we want something good to happen in our country, we the Young Zambians should Change our Attitudes and push these Old fox out of power.

    Those of you that may not know, we used to assemble vehicle in Zambia. Remember the days of Rover Zambia??

    Our country is finished, from Sports to basic recreation. This is why people are busy with Tujili Jili (Pathetic cheap Whisky killing masses in Zade). It is really sad.

  66. I like the article, even though I think it has not been dug deep, there are many many more what ifs that could have been added there.. but its a start… Good Thinking

    I like Mushota too, she knows how to stand out, every person needs to find a way to be noticed, even if it means being unbearably annoying and talking crap all the time.. The chances of her making it in life are higher than a person who fits in all the time, unfortunately, that’s life! Keep it up!!!

  67. Nice contribution Mr K but I am sure you do realise that their culture or way of doing things in their economic policies comes under one of cultral moulders called business with policies put in place by government which is just another cultural moulders called government and they were run by families, even that is another cultural moulder. Those family run businesses have been in families for many generations. Africa doesn’t have third to fourth generation businesses. This means that there is a breakdown in the other cultural moulder called family. We need fathers in families who can direct families in the right direction because whatever direction a father takes, that is the direction the family goes. So you and I are saying the same thing only from two different points of view. Good day

  68. @77 
    How you came up with your 99.9 % only god knows…you being in Zambia, doesn’t make you more patriotic that me, this animosity towards Zambians in “Diaspora” is evident on FB forums like  The Zambian Peoples PACT!! 
    If its not people in diaspora Africans would be still be using wired telephones, ask the African Mobilephone pioneers like Mo Ibrahims and Strive Masiyiwa the biggest obstacles the faced when launching their Mobile phone empires in Africa and they will tell it was from their very own nationals.
    Its a small world whether you like or not we are in it together!!

    • The fact still remains-majority of people making comments will not vote this year because they are not in  Zambia-whether they consider themselves patriotic or not!  Name one Zambian in the diaspora that can be compared to the likes of Mo Ibrahim….until then, lets not even go there.
      I’m not saying the comments are wrong or right- just merely observed that its comments from 99.9% of people who aren’t going to make a difference whichever way!

  69. Let’s not condemn Mushota too quickly before we examine our needless excitement. Most of the ifs are already in process and what we need to do is to identify the best implementers. E.g. town planners are there already but there are people willing to play politics on well meant systems. We know who turned Kulima bus stop into a political arena 15 years ago, don’t we? We are now busy admiring a man who mutilated his party and national constitution by supporting 3rd term & barring KK to stand yet we hope to have a different result if he is president.

  70. …..and what if we had wise and intelligent leaders to put all the above to practice, Zambia would be on the lips of every African. Wouldn’t that be nice for once. We only get on the map if somebody or people of “substance” pass away. Awe kwena!


  72. A family would sacrfice their resources to educate one child from primary school to university.Then the educated child will then get a good job and “plow” back into the family to enable the family to live a better life.If we could practice the same principle as individual African countries. We could pull our resources together to ensure that Zimbabwe gets out of it economic troubles. And then again pull our resources together to help the DRC produce electricity.We could do the same thing until every SADC resident is with a job and the countries are developed.Our politicians will not allow this to happen.

  73. Thanks Lya for the correction,copper doesnt float in water but an important constituent of the hull in ship building.Zambia can make do with our enormous copper resources,what of over a hundred uses of the metal!Thanks Lya for the correction,copper doesnt float in water but an important constituent of the hull in ship building.Zambia can make do with our enormous copper resources,what of over a hundred uses of the metal!

  74. What I am trying to say is that development in your country will be undermined by under development in your neighbouring countries. Ask Kenya about Somalia.

  75. Mr Soko,

    An absolutely superb and well written article . Sir, all I can say is that we badly need more people of your calibre, erudition and clear intelligence in Senior Government today and maybe your ideas could then see the light of day .

  76. Akwasu..Asoko u have shown us that Zambians can think and you are one of them…i’m imprest with your work..Keep it Up ok..Good day.

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