Dr Sishuwa Sishuwa taking some notes during a public discussion organized by the Oasis Forum in Lusaka on Tuesday evening
Dr Sishuwa Sishuwa taking some notes during a public discussion organized by the Oasis Forum in Lusaka on Tuesday evening

By  Sishuwa Sishuwa

Last Friday, I met a minister serving in President Edgar Lungu’s Cabinet who, upon seeing me, insisted that contrary to my recent observations, given at a public discussion organised by the Oasis Forum, that Zambia is in crisis, ‘the country is doing very well on all major fronts and most Zambians are happy with our record in office, so far. So, I do not know what crisis you are seeing or were talking about, Dr Sishuwa’. My critic did not attend the event and his dismissal of my comments emanate entirely from the bits that he read and heard. Arising from that encounter, I thought I could use today’s column to explain and hopefully persuade the minister – and those who think like him – to better understand my point of view. Instead of engaging with a functional illiterate who operates at a completely different level of comprehension of the distinction between cause and effect, or between actual causes and mere symptoms, I prefer differing with someone who has a good level of appreciation of issues and who retains that intellectual integrity of one who, though not lacking in urging their own opinions, is both respectful and willing to abandon his or her point of view, if its weakness could be shown.

When I talk about Zambia being in a crisis, I am not simply referring to the filthy behaviour of our current politicians that disgusts the middle class over concern with ‘morality’, ‘stability’, ‘respect for the rule of law’, ‘order’, ‘democracy’ and such states of mind. More importantly, and broadly speaking, I mean two things.

First, a real crisis occurs in any community or country when the economy is no longer able to sustain the life of the majority of its people, who usually are the working class and the vast unredeemed rural poor populations, most of whom are eking out a living tilling the land. The social manifestation of this true crisis are extreme mass poverty, widespread national unemployment (systemic, structural and absolute unemployment), and extreme inequalities characterised by the fact of a tiny minority gobbling up a proportionately large share of national income and the vast masses living on a tiny share. In real terms, therefore, Zambia (using 2017 official statistics) is in crisis because:

  • Of the population that is able and willing to work, 53 years into our ‘independence’, 86% still rely on some agricultural activity to survive, only 6% have an industrial job, and a mere 9% are employed in services. According to official estimates, agriculture – a sector with extremely low wages, if any at all – contributes a paltry 5.4% of our GDP.
  •  We are now ranked number 139 on the Human Development Index (HDI) of 188 countries (remember the HDI measures longevity and healthy life, access to knowledge and decent standard of living) and have a youth dependency ratio of 89.7%.
  • Less than 3% of Zambia’s population is expected to grow older than 65 years with the rest of us condemned to very short miserable lives at a time in human history when some countries have a problem of too many old people.
  • We have a high unemployment rate of about 60%, and especially acute among the youth, and somehow pray and hope that a miracle will cure our social ills.
  • More than 54% of our population is poor – very poor – and almost half of our country’s children are stunted. In absolute terms, there are more Zambians living in poverty now than in 2010, when the national poverty rate stood at 62%.
  • We are among the top ten hungriest nations, globally, notwithstanding our natural wealth, illustrated by the fact that we are among the top 10 copper producing countries in the entire world.
  • Our national economy is dominated by the service sector, which accounts for almost 60% of GDP, and yet this sector employs only 9% of our labour force.
  • In terms of household income or consumption by percentage share, the top 10% gobble up a whooping 47.4% while the bottom 10% survives on a tiny 1.5%.
  • To sustain itself, the government spends more borrowed money than it can collect from the people of Zambia through countless and high taxes. We are, therefore, chronically indebted. We are an appendage of our creditors as a country; we are not sovereign.
  • Corruption permeates all levels of our society and has become so entrenched that to be incorruptible is to risk alienating oneself from the majority. Government contracts are inflated, ministers steal from the treasury with reckless abandon, nchekeleko is now a cultural trait, and an incumbent President finds no shame in effectively encouraging corruption, declaring ‘ubomba mwibala alya mwibala’!

It is these figures and verifiable facts which feed and stoke the HIV and AIDS pandemic, nationwide cholera epidemics such as the one we recently experienced, the ballooning number of orphans, festering mass discontent, and a quite useless and impoverished middle class fit for hire by anyone with some money. All this means we have a large share of our population vegetating, with a large number of Zambians permanently hovering over the pit of death.

Second, a real crisis occurs when there is sustained institutional deterioration and heightened political divisions. In our case, many of our key national democratic institutions such as the judiciary, civil society organisations (many of which have been co-opted or silenced), the police and Electoral Commission no longer enjoy public confidence. In the case of the judiciary, for instance, the crisis is not that the opposition lost a disputed election; it is that the legal mechanisms of, for example, resolving post-election conflicts are largely ineffective: the Constitution is unclear and the judiciary takes forever to dispose of cases that should take little time. There is also a general lack of respect for the rule of law by those in power, intolerance of opposition and critical opinion, intimidation, harassment and arrest of opposition figures on trumped up charges, and tolerance for and active promotion of impunity by ruling party supporters who engage in acts of violence, hooliganism, and can even beat police officers and get away with it.

Elections (an orderly and effective mechanism of maintaining or changing governments) and the Constitution (important in ensuring that everyone plays by the rules of the game) are increasingly under threat, especially under the watch of the Patriotic Front, and this is worrying because these are the institutions that should be consolidating our democracy over time. We are a deeply polarised nation, especially since the 2016 elections, and the actions of those in power have only fuelled this split, which has mainly taken ethnic and political expression. Our leaders continue to bury their heads in the sand when our national unity is at stake, and appear to be punishing people for their voting choices.

There are other significant indicators of the extent or reach of Zambia’s crisis. These include:

  • Uncertainty, expressed through the absence of coherent, concrete and realistic plans of what is to be done to relieve the situation. Our national leaders, from politicians to those in civil society, do not put forward in grounded realistic terms what they will do, nor do they build local structures to realise any plans. For example, it is well enough to talk about supporting small-scale farmers, but is a ground-up structure being created and supported to allow this? The cooperative movement before at least managed this – they supported the creation of local structures that fed into the wider movement.
  •  Fragmentation. This has become a characteristic of Zambia’s oppositional politics. There are certain sectors where it is in the best interest for everyone to pull together, particularly when it comes to guaranteeing the fundamental interests and security of citizens. For example, a unified voice against the exploitation of Zambian workers or the dispossession of rural residents of their land and livelihoods; the prevention of instability in the country by avoiding business deals and political arrangements that would plunge the country into conflict (i.e. uranium mining, nuclear energy, asylum for warmongers etc.) or more debt.
  • Breakdown of the moral order. This aspect of Zambia’s crisis has intensified since Frederick Chiluba and his friends in the Movement for Multiparty Democracy sought to take advantage of the deregulated financial and legal framework for their own corrupt and criminal aims. For the poor, in a setting where the powerful and wealthy are morally bankrupt, they begin to create their own moral frameworks to justify survivalist strategies, leading to the normalisation of subversion of rules and social order – in effect creating a moral crisis.
  • Religious fanaticism. At a time when others elsewhere are talking about a ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’, are we regressing into some of the most backward, primitive and irrational modes of thought, beliefs and practices, thanks largely to a retarded Christian theology colonialism bequeathed to us. This may be unpopular, but the time must come soon when we must ask difficult questions about the impact of Christianity on the native mind in us, and how to grow beyond this. Christian fanaticism is more of a psychological issue in that the protracted, unrelieved experience of suffering leads many people to doubt their capacity to change the situation, and instead turn to magical thinking. In the short term, this provides a convenient explanation (albeit fantastical) for the crisis. In the long term, however, it sets the situation for further social instability as it is exploited by religious charlatans who take the poor’s money for their lavish lifestyles on the false assurance that ‘God will reward you’, and by politicians who, Bible in hand, pander to the interests of the faithful while looting the national treasury.
  • An expansion of a population that does not have access to the basics of decent shelter, nutrition, health, and education. Land, where people could provide even a subsistence for food, has been commoditised (the proposed National Lands Policy aims to destroy any bit left of a commons). The provision of these services is now increasingly being privatised, with the state’s role being reduced to that of facilitating the pillaging or theft of our natural wealth by Western, Chinese and South African multinationals and privatising national assets with little public consultation.

I must clarify that Zambia’s crisis did not start with the Patriotic Front or President Lungu – though its degree in certain areas has increased considerably under them. The country has been in a protracted crisis since the early 1980s, but one that grew in particular intensity from the 1990s when Chiluba and his government set about dismantling the forms of social protection that mitigated its worst effects – hunger, illiteracy, destitution and ill-health. In short, the failure of our economic and social system to sustain over a prolonged period of time the lives of the majority of Zambians and the deterioration of state institutions has been an incremental process, stretching over a long historical period. The current trajectory, however, is worrying because we are not seeing a rebalancing towards ‘normality’. In addition to the increasing intensity of our national crisis, whose features I have already mentioned, the balance of forces is pushing us towards this becoming more severe.

Resolving these challenges requires a competent, qualified and effective national leadership that acknowledges the existence of a crisis in our country, that understands its form, content and nature, and that seeks to take corrective measures, including uniting and coalescing our energies towards a shared or common goal. In other words, the solution to any crisis is to be found in the very economic system that is failing the people and this requires us to carefully identify the actual causes of our crisis, not the symptoms. A fundamental weakness of the discourse on ‘crisis’ is the problem of confusing causes and symptoms, and how these feed into each other – the middle class and so-called ‘experts’ of all hues do tend to overemphasise the social manifestations of crisis, its expression in social and political instability, at the expense of unravelling the real foundations of any crisis – the mode of production of the material means of life and the system of ownership – which then are reflected in the social and political life of the community or people. As a result, leaving the mode of production of the material means of life and the system of ownership intact but tinkering with the social and political arrangements does not resolve the crisis. This has been our experience of ‘independence’ in Africa. After some time, the accumulated unmet social and political needs from an untransformed economy catch up, inevitably throwing the entire system into a cycle of instability, disorder, civil wars, military coups, and so on.

So, my dear minister, there you have it! Send your counter response and I will have it published on this page next Monday.

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62 COMMENTS

    • We are in deep trouble, those that are supposed to uplift the millions from poverty only care for their pockets and that the the tragedy of this. Edgar and his cabinet have no capacity whatsoever to stir this country to prosperity.

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    • Just take this content and put it in a plagiarism detection software, even the cheapest one online and you will be amazed just how much of a copy cat this whole article is.

      Nothing original about it, bits and pieces picked up from all over. I wonder how he graduated from Oxford or has Oxford now lost its gravitas???

      This is not a national crisis but an intellectual crisis. From bishops asking for revolt and burning of tyres to professors plagiarizing articles.

      The name says it all … this Sishuwa is really Not Sure of what’s going!!!
      Heaven help us all …

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    • @BR Mumba Sr, please address the facts as presented …is it not a fact that 50% of Zambian children are stunted? is it not a fact that unemployment is 60%, is it not a fact that only 22% of Zambia are connected to the power grid? Is it not true that 70% of people in compounds have no flashing toilets? Please get serious for once and address issues ( we already know your love for Edgar and PF but these facts are beyond partisan interest, they are a Zambian problem)

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    • Well said @ obatala the stupidity of some people here is amazing!
      The lack of objectivity is scary.

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    • @ B R Mumba
      I was with you until you decided to go after the author’s name. What has that got to do with what he is talking about? What about everyone else who shares the same name as the author, should they not be taken seriously because of their NAMES?
      Your contributions are always great when you stick to argument. On this one you decided to go ad hominem and it waters down everything you’re trying to say

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    • @Chilankalipa … my apologies!!! That’s a lapse of judgment on my part. You are totally right, I should not have added that.

      @Obatala … I want you to put money where you mouth is. Do me a favor, run for the next elections and I will support you for President.

      And once you get in there, I want you to immediately within 5 years make all our 50% children tall, I want you to employ everyone and I want you to electrify the entire country all at once.

      When you do that then we will talk. Badala, don’t be hypocritical!!! Rome was not built in a day. You and Finger are being very subjective wanting to sound otherwise.

      You’re expecting miracles out of mortal beings, my take is this government is doing more in 5-7 years than what MMD did in 20 having destroyed what my UNIP endeavored…

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    • @Obatala … one more thing, we have no sources cited in this lengthy article. Zero, none … for I know Prof could have been dreaming when he wrote 60% unemployment, for instance.

      And criteria did he use to arrive at such stats if we have no credible sources provided.

      Did he account for gainful, formal and/or informal. Street Vendors are gainfully self-employed, for instance but can’t easily attributed to collectible income tax such as PAYE.

      So, if just jumped in responding without know the credibility of his sources, I would not be intellectually honest … and that basa, I cannot do.

      Twalumba kapati basa …

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    • BR Mumba ulichona when they deport you, you will die of depression due to the appalling conditions pa zed.You think zambia reports and smart eagles are reliable news sources all they are good at is cheap properganda.
      Your relatives are using pit latrines eating one meal a day,dont have jobs and wechibakulufye tribalism and muzungu anikonde is all you know !be objective.

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    • @ BR Mumba… I have a problem as well with articles without citation. In as much as the author means good for the country, he is not GOD. God is the one who would do un-cited info and tell you.

      I think some people think we are all villagers! NO Sir! We ain’t! The minister who spoke to you like that is stupid! that I agree. What I do not agree is you coming in here wanting us to get information from you because you are a DR like bible truth… This goes without saying “F” you!!!!

      According to the IGC (2012), as recent as 2012, Zambian cotton supported an estimated 21 percent of the Zambian population, whilst also accounting for 19 percent of the national GDP and 32 percent of the value of main agricultural exports.

      This is how you counter with facts SiSHUWASHUWA!!!

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    • “According to official estimates, agriculture – a sector with extremely low wages, if any at all – contributes a paltry 5.4% of our GDP” (Sishuwa shuwa 2018).

      WTF… if cotton alone can contribute 21 % to GDP… where the “F” are you getting 5.4%

      Right there… my respect for you is off in flames just like the stupid minister who approached you!!!

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  1. I may have listened to the doctor but I know that he has an agenda for upndeez. At that point I cannot listen any further. Look, if anyone tells me that upndeez and h.h are a viable option for Zambia, first I am dis.gusted . Second I look at the speaker, usually the name tells it all, these guys can have doctorates, professorships but all that is misaapplied because of their bias. Look at how much credibility the two infamous professors have become, I will not name you know them. So even if Sishuwa became a professor its the same bias, I don’t know where they get their spectacles from but you cant take the village out of them.

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    • This is cheap mentality! Why always see things in the eyes of this or that party? The Doc. has put issues on the table. Just debate soberly; unless you are devoid of any intellectual acumen. These are not issues of street party cadres and hapless so-called ministers serving in this moribund pf govt. This is solid stuff!! Bravo! Doc.

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  2. Edgar this Edgar that will not help YOU or US, all because of the bias. Just come back to your five senses and contribute to Zambia.

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  3. One of the major issues this country is suffering from in the actual intellectual crisis. We have a body of so called intellectuals which is devoid of substance. When see an intellectual talking like a politician then there a big problem. For activists and partisan political warriors, this is understandable. In politics, it makes sense to identify a villain in form of a person to whom one can attribute all the problems to. This is because the aim is clear – to get rid of government. Not for intellectuals.

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  4. This writer has a negative opinion about Zambia and PF. A lot of his analysis here is based on Watchdog stories.
    Zambia is moving forward nit backwards. Our electro system is far better than that of Russia and even USA going by the Trump came to power.
    Very poor analysis. Clearly a UPND sympathuser.

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    • How many countries have changed power peacefully from incumbent to opposition twice, twice transitioned successfully after the president dies on this continent?? In RSA, it is now criminal to peddle hate speech yet here we see insults and hate speech daily and no one is arrested. NGOs incite revolt and they walk freely?? Only in the most democratic countryin Africa-Zambia!!!

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    • Any one who thinks our system of elections is better thsn USA and RUSSIA must really have their heads examined!

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  5. We need to question this received wisdom. May be it is time to break the chains of the intellectual diet we have been fed on for far too long and begin to question the assumptions behind our arguments

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  6. And the solution being what, your learnedness Sishuwa?? Your opinion and advice is skewed and biased. Asians, South Americans did not develop with skeptics like you, it was their positive and hopeful spirit that uplifted them from poverty. Africa, Zambia included, is evolving. We are all aware of the challenges, but focusing on them will everyday dampen the will to succeed and be better. Even in life, because you fail one exam or a business fails, SHOULD THAT CONDEMN YOU TO ETERNAL FAILURE??? No, you learn from you failures and drive on and achieve better. BR Mumba says it like this, “Let’s Roll….” God bless Zambia!!!

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  7. How does one Kalima Nkonde do it? He is able to attack the Government and yet remain credible.

    And this new comer leaves much to be desired and has a lot tolearn, despite being an intellectual you would think. This is what I call intellectual laziness purely bordering on plagiarism, and selective picking of facts to make his case. Surely you can’t today stand and say, in a blanket fashion, that Zambia, since Chiluba days has been on the downward spiral and just select a few facts to make your case. This is the intellectual laziness we talk about. Too lazy to zero in on an aspect and make your point!!

    I can easily zoom in on construction and tell you that Zambia is booming. I can easily zoom in on ICT and tell you that Zambia has more people online now than in Chiluba days and…

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    • … so making progress. See my shallow point? This is the intellectual laziness am talking about. You just go out and grab half baked facts and scream wolf. We expect better from an intellectual and no wonder people are seeing the opposition UPND in the writer. Talk about debasing one’s hard earned credentials for cheap and shallow popularism.

      Disappointing indeed.Every coin has two sides, as an intellectual, you need to present both sides and let the people conclude. You are a Doctor, I presume you have a PhD and have studied Philosophy and you surely know pretty well that truth is paradigm relative. I think you have not sat down as an Intellectual, someone much order to try and understand what the minister was talking about. Not made an effort to understand his world, despite…

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    • .. despite being the bigger person in this debate. As somebody asked , what lenses are you using? I hate PF and I rest my Case. I dont’s like UPND either. Am MMD chief Booklicker, signing off.

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  8. This is hate related, insala nindiminwa tepulilwa and its not easy with UPND to deal with the truth and its not easy to change them. We had 20 wasted years with MMD with no infrastructure development like roads, schools and hospitals. HH and UPND should truthful about what is not working in their party, stop making excuses and start making results.

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  9. If these are the caliber of lecturers in our public Universities, then there is clearly a very big problem and a disjoint between the real world today and rhetorics and its high time the recruiting authorities of these lecturers where scrutinized or disciplined. Reading this article clearly reveals that the author is a serious sponsored opposition supporter who instead of preparing our children (students) for today’s real world expectations, such are totally engaged in advancing political agendas of their masters in the opposition! Is it a wonder that the students graduating from these Universities are as good as a grade twelve failure?
    My point is, today, with advancement in industry and technologies in the Western world, why would an emerging country like Zambia be cheating itself…

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  10. This character has been schooled to believe that the social arrangements (economic systems, political institutions, and cultural norms) of the Western world are the global standard that everyone should adopt for their own good. We are tired of this kind of thinking. Whatever the motivation this writer has; this narrative shows that Zambia is opposed to enlightenment and progress. I am not surprised because, a broad spectrum of Western institutions; universities, think tanks, diplomatic missions, mass media, etc. are designed to promote that status quo.
    He is quick to condemn everything in this country – our political leaders, our public institutions, our ways of doing things, etc. This is not always an entirely wrong accusation even though it is an overly SIMPLISTIC ONE. And the song he…

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  11. My point is, today, with advancement in industry and technologies in the Western world, why would an emerging country like Zambia be cheating itself that it can industrialize to the extent of competing with the advanced countries? Its common knowledge that Agriculture is an economic game changer today and any serious country with good Agriculture policies can compete and thrive economically. How on earth can a lecturer dismiss Agriculture advancement and improvement for the viable economy? Let me illustrate this. The Western world has serious adverse weather conditions which if Zambia studied and crafted very well, it can be exporting massively by taking advantage of the seasons and time zones differences. For instance, Dubai is now the hub of economic activities in the world, meaning its…

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  12. Listing criteria of low income status countries is missing the point about the developmental debate. What works, works. Just build what you are capable of building. Is it a business enterprise? Is it a charity? is it a Non profit Making Organization? Is it a Church? Is it a Mosque is it a school? Is it a university? Zambia is still building public infrastructure. Zambia is still building peace. Zambia is still building confidence. Having said that, the developmental debate must start with a political system founded on democratic principles. These include transparent, regular, free and fair elections. This is fait accompli. Or should it be ‘mission accompli’? Number 2: The foundation of the economic system must be a blend of open economy based on competitive, individualism and free…

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    • What you say is true, not sure about democracy. That is the western world’s we are adopting and really do not think Africa should model it. Africa has it’s own model the western came to desmanlte
      and that was the one with chiefs in power… we can model ours where the chiefs are responsible to the president and made to account and oversee development in their areas.

      Let us not throw away where we came from, we are Africans and African ideals and models are the best for Africa.

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  13. For instance, Dubai is now the hub of economic activities in the world, meaning its the world’s meeting place and the only thing a country like Zambia can do to tap in this opportunity is to export its horticultural and livestock products to Dubai because the demand for food is unbelievably high. The same applies to countries that are prone to prolonged and severe winter, where do you think they get their food, its from importations and Zambia, if SERIOUSLY took Agriculture as a business, will make Billions of Dollars in each year! This is true and our expectation is that lecturers lithe author of this useless article needed to be seriously researching on and encouraging Government to embark on and ultimately make students see this untapped economic potential as such.
    To bring it back…

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    • @Malinso … you’re exactly right about agriculture. Growing up on the Copperbelt in the 70s and 80s, it was a regular perception among kids that if your Enterprise was agriculture, you were automatically considered poor.

      I guess Prof here doesn’t even know that the 1st largest economy in the US is California and 50% of CA GDP comes from agriculture followed by Silicone Valley, tech; and entertainment, Hollywood etc.

      Stand alone, California is the world’s 6th largest economy, meaning if California was a country on its own the entire US without it would not even be the largest economy in the world, it would 4th behind Germany.

      Texas is the 3rd largest economy in the US and about 40% of TX GDP is agriculture driven or combination thereof with ranching taking a lion’s share.

      The…

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    • Continued…

      The 4th largest economy in the US is Florida. 75 to 80% of FL GDP is agriculture followed by tourism, etc. The entire state of Iowa is agriculture driven with 95% IA GDP emanating from that sector. Corn being the largest product followed by cattle.

      And yet every future President of the United States whether Democrat or Republican has to have the approval of those farmers first because they hold the first primary.

      Well organized economies understand the importance of agriculture because a nation that feeds itself and then others always tends to be both healthy and wealthy in the long run.

      Your reference to Dubai is impressive, but even locally 60 to 80% of fresh vegetables and fruits in both Botswana, Angola and Namibia comes from RSA. We haven’t even talked DRC…

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    • Continued…

      We haven’t even talked DRC. These are our neighbors we can take over that market.

      Most of Europe experiences snow up to 4 months in a year but they make full use of the remaining 8 to the fullest potential and still have a food deficits. Fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers are imported every day.

      With Zambia Airways we can supply fresh produce almost on a daily basis but we can’t grow the export side of agro-sector without logistics completely under our own control.

      The Prof here reminds me of young town dwellers Ka Ma Yard I grew up with who constantly denigrated the dirty farmers who always put food on their tables.

      He also, sound very ignorant … he may have mastered History at Oxford but he has very limited world exposure in order to understand the…

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    • Continued…

      He also, sound very ignorant … he may have mastered History at Oxford but he has very limited world exposure in order to understand the geo-political attributes of what makes this world turn around.

      Sometimes it’s not the Civics of Presidential politics and governance that matters but the Physics and Mechanics of what works, not just what is perceived.

      Prof here is just going through a mid-life crisis and he is extrapolating that onto others, let alone the rest of the smart people of the Zambian Enterprise. Been there done that, this too shall pass.

      Zambia Is Greater Than Any Single One Of Us ~ B R Mumba, Sr.

      Original Content, No Copyrights Reserved.

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    • @ BR Mumba – well analysed. I will subtract “this too shall pass” from your content!

      Because that is King Solomon

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  14. Having said that, the developmental debate must start with a political system founded on democratic principles. These include transparent, regular, free and fair elections. This is fait accompli. Or should it be ‘mission accompli’? Number 2: The foundation of the economic system must be a blend of open economy based on competitive, individualism and free enterprise. This blended with public enterprises operated by a accountable technocrats. This sector is also growing.

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  15. If you can not name it, you can’t fix it. Sichuwa has just named what each and every one of us already know, but never act on fixing. People simply do not want to hear facts, because they see everything through their own political lenses and feel threatened. Let’s not talk about Africa evolving, doing so we will miss the point, our real problems. The point is Countries in Africa are evolving while Zambia is stuck. We are happy to see malls being built, roads being built, our shops flooded with SA goods, and yet our own people are not benefitting. How can we justify 60% unemployment? How can we justify impoverishment after 54 years of independence? Please people, wake up. It’s not an attack on PF only, but we are doing less as a country. Our leaders have no direction.

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    • @ General Kanene … are you sure Sishuwa has provided facts? I am at pains people taking this as facts… As far we most of us are concerned, Sishuwa is entitled to his own opinions and not to his own facts.

      He needs to give us citations just like all of us researchers.

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  16. I agree with you Hibalwa, what the writer of this article is forgetting is that the middle class he is talking about are better off now than they were during the previous regimes ,this is article is purely political, I don’t know when the writer was bone but let me inform him the civil servants of the past regimes lived and worked for retairmemt, had no ambition or dreams of a better life, even the farmers then never dreamed of owning a Mitsubishi canter from his farming bussiness like they do to day,as for a civil servant to build a house here in town was in heard off bwana.
    Articles like this are misleading to some of us who are 50 years and does not help the nation,I wish I can meet the writer in person.

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    • @ Non partsain… it is a fact that the auditor’s report reported a hake lot of misallocation, misapplication and basically embezzlement of funds. The president is also on record accepting this fact that civil servants without any form of business all of a sudden have huge bank deposits.

      Do not think that is proper middle class considering the fact that wages and salaries haven’t moved so much to match acquisitions by civil savants.

      My opinion is that you are stretching the truth here and there is thievery in the country according to your own president and the auditor’s report.

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  17. “Christian fanaticism is more of a psychological issue in that the protracted, unrelieved experience of suffering leads many people to doubt their capacity to change the situation, and instead turn to magical thinking.” Sishuwa Sishuwa, the sentense I have just copied from your article is GENIUS. I would just change at the end to read; MAGICAL EXPECTIONS instead of magical thinking. Please, Zambians, WE HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO CHANGE OUR SITUATION. Lets not wait for God.

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  18. Pf rats above, don’t just get verbal cholera , counter the man point by point……what are you afraid of ? Just shoot down his arguments if it is not true instead of painting him UPND…….

    Hehehehehe badala …..when the PF rats can not handle the truth and are squirming it is funny to watch…..

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  19. Good article! READ AND UNDERSTAND!

    “the accumulated unmet social and political needs from an untransformed economy catch up, inevitably throwing the entire system into a cycle of instability, disorder, civil wars, military coups”

    We only need to look South at our neighbour Zimbabwe for a classic example of this. And North to the DRC to see the process in action.

    But those people in Government are so busy enriching themselves they have no time to see what they are creating, and unfortunately it will be the next generation that has to pay the price. If you value your childrens futures, listen carefully to what this man is saying – and do something about it.

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  20. Interesting article. Since not many people write, let me say congratulations to the author! A few observations. For an intellectual that you claim to be, I was expecting a clear citation of your sources of statistics (saying ‘official statistics’ isn’t enough!). I cannot discuss statistics whose source(s) I don’t know. An intellectual is objective-attempts to show both sides of the equation. When an intellectual (deliberately) gives a biased view, they lose credibility (unless a justification is given). You have clearly failed on this score. This reminds me of a classic book: How to lie with statistics-Darrell Huff. Statistics one choose are just as important as the story one tells from.

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    • Mpundu Mwaume….this a classical case of an intellectual speaking/writing like a politician….!!!!!!!

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  21. Thought provoking sentiments and right on point. This is the essence of education, elucidating facts from fiction and politics from reality. Indeed,we have neglected the true causes and instead concentrated on symptoms which is political fanaticism, religious escapade, tribal wars etc and neglected the main cause which is our economy. We keep churning graduates into a system that is choked with unemployment and keep expecting miracles instead of first dealing with the industrial aspect of it. We are more of a service driven economy as espoused by the Dr here instead of having value addition chains that create massive employment. Viva Dr. an excellent article indeed.

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  22. 2 questions: How long did it take you to put together such a lengthy article? How many orphans and vulnerable children are you supporting?

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  23. Zambians we need to face the truth in order to move foward, its like the majority is in denial, this article is penned for zambians and should get us out of our sorry comfort zone.It is a known fact that our economy is close to the tail end in comparison to other world economies and that alone should worry any patriotic zambian, what makes some countries with less resources better than our beloved country,why is it that if sence comes from a certain section or tribe in zambia its dismissed as gibberish.Patriotism is not trying to convince your own children that there is mealie meal in your house when their is non ,lets us identify problems and proactively come up with solutions.We can use social media to good effect and not for mad slinging.

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    • Bozo – No one is disputing his opinion of the status quo. What we are uncomfortable with are the statistics the man is churning out because they are going against our own research in the matter. Basically, telling us what we know and have researched on is rubbish and only this uncited article is the holy grail.

      His own analysis about events and causality of some issues is spot on, it just collapses when he omits citations.

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  24. The problem we have in Zambia that we only blame the party in government. Most of retardation we have is yo negative attitude by opposition parties, for instance the removing of in organized street vending, the opposition parties want to take advantage of to gain some kilometre.This is what want most of this analysis contains. It would have been an excellent analysis if all people were urged to take part in correcting the wrongs,not only leaders in government. It is even shocking for the right yo outright condemne FTJ that he caused.Do you remember the state in which the economy of the country was?It was a country full of shortages in all areas,including meat,worst the staple food.In less than one year these were corrected. I will remember what Dr Musokotwane said about FTJs government…

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  25. The problem we have in Zambia that we only blame the party in government. Most of retardation we have is due to negative attitude by opposition parties, for instance the removing of unorganized street vending, the opposition parties want to take advantage of to gain some kilometre.This is what want most of this analysis contains. It would have been an excellent analysis if all people were urged to take part in correcting the wrongs,not only leaders in government. It is even shocking for the writer to outright condemne FTJ that he caused this! Do you remember the state in which the economy of the country was?It was a country full of shortages in all areas,including meat,worst the staple food.In less than one year these were corrected. I will remember what Dr Musokotwane said about…

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  26. The whole frustration is on the government because of stealing and making shoddy deals from contracts. Where the economy is performing badly and the leaders show that they are working and suffering together with the masses, you will not see these frustrations and reactions. I remember during Levy’s time, we were told to tighten our belts and sacrifice a bit. Most people appreciated because you could see through the lenses in spite of the pain that there would be benefits. What did we see, unprecedented appreciation of the kwacha against major currencies, improvement in foreign reserves etc. But what we are seeing now are presidential advisers building mansions and showing off their expensive wrist watches in pubs. This is definitely what causes discourse even when there is genuine…

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  27. ROKA – Yes, we need to take them to task. Blaming them when they fail to do what they promised is 100% right. When they come to campaign they always tell us what they will do. Should we sit back and sleep when they fail to do what they promised? What is the essence of multiparty politics? Isn’t it to competition?

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  28. I, for one, read the whole article and find it an excellent summation of Zambia’s situation. I have occasionally alluded to some of them, albeit, in different parlance. Anyone who wants to dispute the article should do so objectively, constructively and with data where needed, as a rebuttal. It is not time for emotive, partisan and uneducated responses. In my opinion, it is time to start proffering solutions to all the myriad of matters that collectively catapulted Zambia into this, frankly, unpleasant existence.

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    • Ok Harold… Can you start by helping the man explain this and then research on it yourself and come back and support the rest of his article please

      According to the IGC (2012), as recent as 2012, Zambian cotton supported an estimated 21 percent of the Zambian population, whilst also accounting for 19 percent of the national GDP and 32 percent of the value of main agricultural exports.

      “According to official estimates, agriculture – a sector with extremely low wages, if any at all – contributes a paltry 5.4% of our GDP” (Sishuwa shuwa 2018).

      So my summation is that If cotton alone can contribute 21 % to GDP… where is the Prof getting 5.4% contribution of agriculture to GDP? Perhaps you can substantiate his figures for us and that is only that statistic am sure if we proof checked…

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    • …. the rest of his figures in the article, it will clearly come to light that all the figures are his opinion. I give him a benefit of a doubt on the employment levels cause it is a well known fact but would be nice to see citations.

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