Republican Vice President Guy Scott says there is no common solution to challenges facing individual countries because of the cultural difference.
And Dr. Scott has observed that the country’s “traditional safety net” is threatened due to large scale land transactions involving both local and foreign investors who are raiding rural areas enticing traditional leaders with money for land.
Speaking when he launched the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) report on Global Human Development at Lusaka’s Raddison blu hotel today, Dr. Scott said the country’s solutions to its challenges are different from those of other countries with similar problems because of the different cultures of individual countries.
Dr. Scott explained that just because a solution worked somewhere does not mean that the same solution can work in Zambia even if the problem is similar due to the cultural differences that exist in countries hence the need for the country to apply its own solutions to the challenges it faces.
“The first thing that strikes me is I have a fear of copying what our friends are doing, my other fear is people saying; we have experienced this in a certain sector or a certain part of intervention in Indonesia and we think it should be brought to Zambia and used here.
“The World Bank representative came to me and said let us do that for you(coordinate the drought crisis in 1992) and I complained and asked him if it will work and he answered yes it is working nicely in Indonesia I said yes but I’m not the Minister of Agriculture in Indonesia or the future vice president in Indonesia I’m a Minister in Zambia,” Dr. Scott said.
Dr. Scott added, “I think we should be aware that there are cultural differences within Zambia that you can spend your entire life understanding so the idea that you can go and work outside the country for two or three years and then take the whole baggage of what you have developed and bring it to Zambia or Zimbabwe is something that must be taken down.
He noted, “We can’t solve this problem just by saying 7 billion are people starving or so many zillion dollars is required to be handed out because life is too complicated and reality is too complicated; so I want talk about something more important to the Zambian situation.”
Dr. Scott also called for consistency in addressing local requirements and circumstances.
“At the same time as we have flexibility to the data to local requirements and circumstances. We must also have consistency all the time because the other danger as I see it from policy making and donor interventions especially in Zambia we seem to be experimenting. I have been experiencing it for over 24 years that I have been in politics;there has been the tendency for ideas to run dry. You have a new idea, new words, new concepts and you use words like adaptability, resilience and sustainbility then you give it up after three years or four years,”Dr. Scott said.
Meanwhile Dr. Scott said the country is at a risk of losing its traditional safety net (land) due to investors buying large chunks of land from traditional leaders.
Dr. Scott explained that land has always acted as a traditional safety net for people in the country as it was common for people to go back to their villages after retirement where land was always in abundance for people to cultivate and earn a living but that this is being threatened by the continued selling of land to local and foreign investors who are chasing away local people from their land.
He added that due to indiscriminate selling of land by traditional leaders such as Village headmen, government has put a ban on large scale land transactions until it puts in measure to curb the problem.