Thursday, May 30, 2024

Getting the Act Together is an Inescapable Imperative of Sustainable Upward Thrust

Share

Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda addressing the gathering.
Former Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda

By A.B. Chikwanda

Introduction

The vast and drastic imbalances that are so glaringly noticeable in the wide array of economies on the global landscape should not be rendered a mystery or reduced to convoluted myth-making. The huge disparities in the levels of development and sustainable accumulation of capital including the human component have their origins in the way some countries do things correctly while other countries are perpetually and inexorably off tangent.

Disparities in development across the global chessboard can be accounted for in terms of correct priority ordering versus the mis-priority and right perception of what constitutes development and misperception on the other side of the divide. Significantly, vital elements in the development recipe or script must include dedication and commitment shrouded inappropriate work culture and ethic.

Africa’s Small GDP

The beleaguered African continent is home to 1.2 billion people which is about 16% of the world population. But Africa’s combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is approximately 3% of the global GDP, or about half of the GDP of japan; the surface area of the Japanese islands is 378,000 square kilometers which is about half the area of Zambia. If the South African economy, supposedly a glimmer of hope for Africa but which so far shows no credible signs of remedial upward swing, continues on its inexorable downward drift, the 800 square kilometer island of Singapore will in the not too distant future surpass the GDP of the Republic of South Africa.

Meanwhile, here at home in Zambia, our GDP at independence was the same as South Korea at $3.5 billion. Now South Korea’s GDP is about $1.4 trillion and our GDP is about $60 billion, meaning our GDP is only about 4.2% of South Korea. As our GDP computations could be a very quick progression to fiction, I have used the data in the world bank’s world development indicators of 2015 (base year 2013) which puts Zambia’s nominal GDP at $26.3 billion using the atlas method, and $55.4 billion using the purchasing power parity (PPP). The PPP route takes into account price differentials, for instance the price of lager beer maybe $2 in the USA while it is $0.50 in Zambia.

Context of African Economies

Putting the African economies in a wider global context enables us to see the intensity, depth and lamentable enormity of the quagmire in which we are that consigns us to the periphery of the global economy – a marginalisation which reduces us to an obscure footnote in world affairs. A rabbi of some distinction once observed that there was a streak in Judaism which tended to regard history and world affairs as a poker game played between god and the Jews, in which process and event the presence of other people was casually noted but not assigned any significance. Unless the African performance improves by leaps and bounds, the privilege of that poker game with the good lord may remain illusory as we run the risk of being consigned to the garbage heap of irrelevance.

The thrust of this submission is to underscore the essence and inescapable compelling need to get our act together as a prelude to a meaningful and sustained leap forward. This eventuality requires individual and collective deep and, above all, honest introspection by each and every one of us citizens. We must all embrace the habit of assigning a bit more primacy to service of our country by putting self interest on hold or at least in check and balance.

Development of Zambia Remains Below Levels  Needed to Eradicate Poverty

The population of Zambia in 1964, the year of our break from colonialism, was just under 3 million. The current estimate is 18 million. We have more or less increased our population six-fold without commensurate robust economic growth. Herein lies the time bomb – quite substantial development has taken place in comparison with the exceedingly low ebb of the insidious colonial era. In the recent 8 years of the Patriotic Front (PF) administration, more stupendous efforts have been made to ensure some modicum of development in the far-flung areas of our large country.

The bottom line, however, is simply that efforts at development of our country, past and now, remain below optimal levels required to reduce, let alone eradicate, poverty which apart from degrading victims is also the largest hindrance to meaningful sustainable development. Poor people have no purchasing power and remain bystanders as hunger takes a severe toll on them. The sad thing is that even those few Zambians in some sort of employment live on the precarious margins of existence. Wages as in most other African countries remain appallingly low, eroded by relentless inflationary spirals. Income disparities have become more entrenched as the gap between the haves and have-nots becomes increasingly irreversible.

Africa’s Miserable Failure is Essentially a Leadership Failure

The vexing issue of the stagnation or painfully sluggish growth of our country is a huge challenge which requires deeper reflection by all of us. We need to pool our small experiences and intellectual resources to rescue ourselves and our country from dehumanising poverty. Leadership in all shapes and levels has a major role for after all, Africa’s miserable failure is essentially a leadership failure. We all, however, have a critical role; crafty apportioning of blame and heaping obscenities at selected targets does not put food on the table. We must all deem it our inextricable duty and responsibility to recognise and accept the negative aspects of our political culture. As freedom fighters, our legacy to the country, despite unquestionable commitment, has been populism even as misery escalated. This has induced a small number of us to feel severely morally constrained to accept being honoured as freedom fighters.

The players on the current political scene should disentangle themselves from outcompeting over the futility of populism which inclines politicians to make lavish and careless undertakings which on account of paucity of resources may be unsustainable. Right now, the prognosis for the global economy is most uncheerful largely attributable to the madness of Washington driven trade wars at the behest of the Trump administration. The commodity prices have taken a severe beating leading to a consequential dip in our economy, being an inordinately commodity dependent country. To compound matters, acts of God in the form of weather adversity have hampered development prospects. Agriculture in Zambia contributes between 15-20 % to the GDP. Any contraction in the agricultural sector sends the GDP nosediving. Stoking unsustainable expectations carries with it obvious downside risks of undermining confidence in public institutions, in the end bidding up scepticism and worse, cynicism.

The glaring challenge for all political leaders in Zambia is to join efforts to tell the populace that no country has wealth other than what people create and that development is only a tenable eventuality when and where people are active agents of development. Zambia has many people in the remote areas of our country who work exceedingly hard and break their backs; there are equally large numbers of our people who are symbols of indolence and irresponsibility. Prospects for enhancing purchasing power of our people, in the process growing the economy, are inevitably embedded in the Agro sector. A veritable success story for Zambia will only be possible when people in the primary sector, which is synonymous with agriculture, get what amounts to a fair and reasonable recompense for their stupendous efforts. This matter is beyond producer prices. It is essentially an issue of both apt agronomy and growing crops in the appropriate ecological zones.

 

Zambia’s diversity of soil structures.

The country has a diversity of soil structures. In the savanna areas such as southern province, Lusaka and parts of the central province with average rainfall of 750 millimetres, the humus factor is favourable. But much of the northern sector with high rainfall reaching or surpassing 1,400 millimetres, the acidic levels mean low humus levels of 4 or below which crops such as maize can’t endure except by toning down the acidities through costly liming of the soils to get the ph level to at least 5.5. The country is not without inspiring stories. In the southern province, even small-scale farmers need no assistance with agronomy to grow maize (Mapopwe), just ensure delivery of inputs on time. In 1979, I was in the interior of Kalomo and reached a remote place called Njabalombe – as the name suggests it must have been a difficult place and only tough guys “Bolombe” reached there. The rewarding aspect of the visit was that the small-scale farmers in that area had maize yields higher than on the American and Canadian prairies. Apart from good soils, there was diligence and attention to detail.

Zambia has many success stories in agriculture. The small scale sugar cane producers at kaleya in Mazabuka outdo Nakambala in cane yields, harvesting slightly above 130 tonnes of cane per hectare in comparison to big estates in Kwazulu Natal Province of South Africa with yields of 70-80 tonnes per hectare – the comparison may be distorted because the cane in natal is rain fed whilst in Mazabuka, it is irrigated. However, the favourable cane yields underscore the advantages implicit in irrigation. Our good commercial farmers who grow irrigated wheat have reported yields of 11 tonnes and greater per hectare, outperforming the success stories of wheat yields of 10 tonnes per hectare in the state of Oregon in the United States of America, and that wheat is a genetically modified variety.

Supposing we did not marginalise or criminalise creativity and got small-scale farmers to do a soybean-wheat rotation; this would create viable alternative income possibilities. It is a big step forward to facilitate small scale farmers to benefit from the very salutary nitrogen recycling implicit in a soybean-wheat rotation. Soybeans do not need fertiliser but can be infused with Innoculum, laboratory bred bacteria which our resourceful scientists produce at mount Makulu, a glaring success story. The aforesaid bacteria convert nitrogen from the air into a usable form for the plant. After the soy harvest, lots of nitrogen is left in the soil enabling a much reduced outlay on expensive inorganic fertiliser for the next crop.

Agrarian revolutions are a compelling need for our stagnant continent. India is an outstanding example of a successful agrarian transformation. Up to the 1960s, India relied on international charity for the balance of its food needs. India now has massive food surpluses. Take sugar as an example – the requirement for sugar in India is around 26-27 million tonnes per annum, but currently India has a surplus of over 6 million tonnes which the Indians are struggling to sell on the glutted global markets.

Successful agriculture can transform regions. In Zambia, we can cite the transformation of Chipata as an epitome of successful agricultural ventures. Agriculture around Chipata is very strong and I have personal experience. In 1981 after I resigned from the UNIP government, friends from a UK Company, Interbex, established the tobacco development company. Interbex were experiencing difficulties navigating the local politics so I was asked to assist by becoming chairman of tobacco development company which was eastern province based. First, I agonised over promoting tobacco but high income prospects for rural farmers swayed me in the direction of acceptance. I further salvaged my conscience by donating my director’s fees to facilitate the publication of the Zambia Medical Journal; when publication of the journal ceased, I reassigned my fees to charities. Anyway, for the next 30 years, I was in the east quite frequently to oversee production, principally at Kapara in Chipata and to a lesser extent in Vubwi and Zemba. Not least, it was a good opportunity to monitor the mischief of those easterners!

We made a lot of progress, especially when we recruited a school teacher, Lameck Mangani, as General Manager. The communication with the growers was important and lameck was a big plus before he left in pursuit of political prospects. In good years, tobacco contributed up to $50 million to the economy of the eastern province, especially Chipata. Good application and diligence were crucial factors as we learnt at Kapara. Women excelled while men with social excessed were unimpressive – the women had tobacco yields of up to 2,000 kilogrammes while men averaged a mere 800 kilogrammes per hectare. It was an uplifting experience to see women come to prize giving at Kapara in their motor vehicles bought from the proceeds of tobacco sales.

If distribution of seedlings to the small-scale farmers and the entire cashew nut project are properly managed, the economy of the western province will in 6 years from now be a robust and sustainable venture. People in the province are both diligent and quick to adapt. I have been an enthusiast for the cashew nut project and during my recent tenure at the ministry of finance, I visited the cashew nut project in Mongu several times, the last being for the purpose of handing over a government cheque to the co-operative as an encouragement, especially for the cashew processing component. A tonne of cashew nut fetches a lot more than that of copper. Cashew nut production costs in relation to copper are inconsequential. The $50 million from the African Development Bank is useful to kickstart the cashew project; more should be obtained from the same source and the cashew project should be replicated in several provinces.

Industrialisation will remain a Forlorn Hope, Agriculture is quite a Fast Route.

It is legitimate to desire industrialisation but this for quite a while will remain a forlorn hope. Agriculture is quite a fast route. The economies in eastern Africa – Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia – have been successfully underpinned by coffee. Northern Zambia, with the most suitable climatic conditions, only delivers 5,000 tonnes. The scheme at Kateshi in Kasama operated by a company with origins in Singapore is a palpably undercapitalized toy venture without a viable out-growers component. All these plantation agricultural schemes have a gestation period which is much shorter than in extractive industries. Having had the privilege of superintending African rainbow mineral’s operations in Zambia until 2010, I can give an example of Konkola North Company (KONOCO), now called Lubambe Copper Mine. The exploration and prospecting started in 1996 and the mine only came on-stream in 2012 – a gestation of 16 years. Several times as chairman of KONOCO, I was in the mines department pleading for extensions to the licence which were graciously granted.

The sad plight of the rural poor cannot be addressed by handouts. No government in Zambia will ever secure a magic wand to ordain the eventuality of resources from the heavens for distribution. There is no alternative to concerted collective efforts to address poverty in our midst!

 

The Versatile Social Media

The versatile social media which has given citizens leeway and latitude for free expression and circumvention of dependence on encumbered media does not generate sensible debate on development options. Social media appears to be dominated by perpetually angry men and women with eternal axes to grind.

I do not patronise social media and my limited exposure indicates a few quite analytical submissions but largely issues which epitomise anger, frustration, and toxic bitterness. The authors or actors appear intelligent and talented in a variety of ways; the worry, therefore, is why should men and women of quite positive attributes not use their immense intelligence to indulge in deeper probes of the problems and weaknesses that bedevil our society. Why should those unique characters choose and take pride in being ardent and overzealous apostles and high priests of malice and ingrained hatred?

 

Zambia betrays signs of being a moral and intellectual void

It is not uncharitable to suggest that regrettably, our country betrays signs of being a moral and intellectual void. Over 50 years after the first university and others that followed later, there are no academicians that are role models for the young people and posterity to emulate. No outstanding publications from academia that catch the imagination of the people. Such social scientists that get into or solicit the limelight merely play to political galleries.

Zambia’s Political Landscape

The change of guard at the end of 1991 did not entail a restructuring of governance institutions. Multipartyism was reintroduced, crafted on the institutions of the one-party system which had its peculiar norms or internal logic, namely power being indivisible and reposed in one institution with its requisite subsidiaries. The logical sequel was the inevitable privatisation of the state. One of the cultural gifts from one-partyism is the hero-worshipping and deification of leaders which permeates all parties, those in power or in opposition.

Some opposition parties have a burning desire to get into government without banishing sectarianism on which they may be anchored. They have no veritable blueprints to indicate a better development agenda or institutional overhaul which would deliver better governance and enhanced dutifulness and probity. The opposition parties are mute on such matters and yet injurious slippages in governance, especially exceedingly large commitment and integrity deficits, may have their origins in flawed and fraudulent governance practices. Assigning inordinate and unfettered power to an institution with very questionable trappings of accountability can never be salutary, let alone cost neutral anywhere. It is very obvious that much deeper reflection is required to devise better governance structures including meaningful “disprivatisation” of the state.

Now the Crunch – The Economy

There is an aura of despondency about the economy inexorably downward spiralling, almost on the verge of collapse. This is the worst case scenario, the reality is that there are still significant prospects for overcoming the current reverses but a bit more seriousness and purposefulness are needed. We also require a bit of help from nature in the form of a good rain season taking care of both the amounts of rainfall and appropriate distribution for the duration of the season, particularly at the pollination stage of crops like maize when moisture is needed to sustain the formation of seed on the cobs.

One of the current vexing challenges is the volatility in the kwacha parity or exchange rate which is essentially the price of our currency in terms of other currencies. Exchange rates have a series of ramifications, one of the most damaging facets being inflationary spirals which result from ever downward trends in the currency – there is, of course, need to guard against exchange overvalue. Some short-term remedies are adjustments in various monetary tools such as policy rates and reserve ratios which can contain speculation by over-liquid banks. However, these measures cannot deal with currency weakening that is a function of demand and supply disequilibrium. In these circumstances, greater government fiscal tightening can help. As a country, we need import rationalisation and export diversification.

We started doing well on this front when non-mineral exports, so called non-traditional exports, peaked at 30% of total export earnings, but there has been a slide since then. This leaves copper still as the main exchange earner.

Mining companies in the past year have reduced instead of ramping up production, partly as a result of misperception in the policy sphere more so as it relates to taxation. This is a matter of profound regret because copper prices have now shot beyond $6,000 per tonne after a series of lows. Copper stocks as captured by the London metal exchange (LME) are reducing quite significantly and there are no greenfield ventures in the offing. It may be expedient to look at a measured mining policy review to foster a win-win scenario for both government and the mining sector. Zambia is still an acceptable investment destination. We still remain the only credible country in the Sub-Saharan Africa without crude exchange controls, investors need free movement of capital. For a long time, mining will remain an anchor of the economy. We haven’t even touched the over one billion tonnes of iron ore in Mumbwa which at 70% Fe (iron) content is the richest deposit in the world. Mining, contrary to popular perception in Zambia, is not a glamourous jolly ride. There is a compelling need to send correct and hopeful signals to the current and future investors in the mining sector.

Indisputably, there are severe or acute challenges in the economy but nothing is insurmountable. There are a host of useful activities in the economy. Fortunately, the activities are private sector driven. A radical departure from expensive government patronage is good for any economy. My hope, not at all pious, is that Zambia has many entrepreneurs including our most diligent women. The regrettable downside issue is just lack of logistical support for our enterprising folk – there are no support financial institutions with reasonable priced money.

The bottom line is that the immense difficulties that we face will be rendered easier to overcome if we all pool our efforts. There will be no easy solutions such as some of our prominent citizens showing their beautiful faces to the outside world and money starts rolling into Zambia with amazing rapidity and ease. Such ideas are naivety par excellence and are only forgivable because most of us Zambians have this trait of seeking refuge in fantasy. Behavioural scientists would have a remarkable field day accounting for our exceptionally rich fantasy complex.

Zambia is our individual and collective responsibility. We should never outsource this responsibility even to the most benevolent fairy gods, also known as donors! We must do the right things to arrest the slide in the economy with due expedition. The ugly reality of life is that just as progress has useful multiplier effects, regression also has exponential propensities. De-escalating the rot is the only viable script for survival!

 

The Author was a Finance Minister in both the UNIP and the PF Government

46 COMMENTS

  1. The current leadership is of a different mindset to appreciate the fundamentals that will move the country forward and promote sustainable development. For as long as Lungu continues to contract work to the Chinese and export foreign exchange to that country he bleeds the country of the monies that should grow the economy. A shrinking economy, breeds unemployment resulting in a diminished the tax base which impacts the size of the national purse and the ability to fund government operations. The government lacks policies to grow the middle class who are drivers of any economy. How do you grow the middle class when all contracts are given to the Chinamen for kickbacks? The articles fails to address the scourge of institutional corruption which is the biggest enemy to development.

    • Corruption has existed before and will exist even if upnd becomes GRZ. Our biggest impediments remain the skewed financial system, lack of skills and technology to exploit our resources, the porous investment policy which allows foreign owned companies to take out capital at will. This process is a culmination of successive governments from UNIP through MMD and now PF. We the people rallied behind all parties just like there’s a huge support for upnd despite their flaws-leadership is a reflection of the people they lead. So to blame everything on Lungu and the current GRZ is off the mark, like ABC has put it, it will take a combined effort.

    • PF has failed. Period. PF was given the chance to change the country for the better in 2011. Today, majority of citizens regret the day PF was allowed to preside over the affairs if the country. No amount of semantics will change the fact. Just get ready to pack and go, even before 2021. The sooner the better for everyone.

    • Is there anyone left to listen to Alexander Chikwanda? Verbiage in writing is his trademark. Give him work to do as finance minister, he spends money worse than a drunken sailor. When a sailor docks after a long period at sea, his allowances will have piled up and he can spend lavishly. It’s earned income and not borrowed money. Hiw did Chikwanda spend Zambia’s borrowed money? Ask him that question the next time u meet him. I hope he will be polite to u. He’s quite a rude man.

    • I don’t know whether PF’s diversification agenda is going right, stagnant or just a myth. We have countries that depend on agriculture and agriculture does contribute massively to their GDP. Zambia’s major import commodities remain the biggest headaching undertaking that needed a paradigm shift vis policy and strategic rethinking like 30 years ago.
      If indeed we have Gold in Barotseland of North Western province it’s only prudent that Government through ZCCM IH to be rebranded as Zambia Consolidated Mineral Mines expedites the stock piling of that Gold so the dollar and gold are served in our reserves. The route to economic emancipation lays in resourcing Zambia in cheaper crude, enhancing the present challenge in the energy sector agriculture and communication. It is also important…

    • This shameless old chap should just shut up. He destroyed the economy in Kaunda’s day and also in Data’s day. Who does he think he is? Very styoped.

    • Thanks to the author of this article, and it is well thought through, however, it seems he is forgetting that he was part of the governments (two UNIP and PF) which has made Zambia go into this sad down drain economically. On the governance side, it would best be left alone as he has been part of two structures built around the concept of strong-men. The two being referred to here need not be mentioned for anyone to know them. Clear leadership is key to Zambia next steps.

    • Kalingo’ngo,lovely observation you made!. Reading through the article,l was impressive but appalled that author Chikwanda left out corruption,either as a deliberate ploy not to offend the current leadership or to simply fool the reader. It’s regrettable.

    • This is the same thing Grandma Inonge Wina will be doing after 2021, writing lengthy articles about fighting corruption in Africa. Useless people they are these guys!!!!

    • I can’t believe ba Chikwanda could write such an article yet he was at the center of debt accumulation together with Sata and ECL, both crooks and violent chaps. Where were when these chaps needed proper guidance? You sound good for nothing and it’s better you shut up sir! You are annoying to say the least.

  2. Zambia in spite of an abundant endowment of natural resources, remains amongst the poorest countries in the world. (we die of thirst and yet we stand in pools water!). It is the failure of a greedy, inept, narrow – minded and directionless leadership to craft policies to exploit the resources to benefit the citizenry who voted them into office entrusting them with the responsibility to manage the resources on their behalf. Instead they sell mukula for personal gain when that resource should benefit the masses. The clowns must be charged with crimes equivalent to treason!!

    • And that’s our biggest weakness, we sit by and condemn the same people we put in power. Several upnd members have been arrested for corruption and senior ones are on record involved in corruption. Yet we want to put upnd in power and expect what?? Zero corruption??? We need to start scrutinizing these politicians at party level; we need better citizen networks that can hold these politicians accountable just as ABC has called on the better utilisation of social media.To hope an angelic leadership will deliver us to the promised land one day is wishful thinking.

  3. First let us all agree that this article is talking about PF government but the author is fencing it with Africa. It is clear from Mr Chikwanda that the economical decision they were under taking were wrong and are heading the country in the deep sh1t. Let us apply foot break on the debt contraction, better still hand break.

    • Chichi: You are spot on. He is short of apologizing, for he is part of the problem. He opened the gate of borrowing even when we advised that it was not possible to borrow our way into riches.

  4. The fact what is happening to the economy constitutes crimes against humanity.In addition you unnecessarily agitate Americans who are doing so much in major sectors.The ethnic cleansing is the dark spot of this government

  5. The academia can not participate in the political and development discourse because that space has been invaded by cadres and sycophants by a leadership afraid of constructive criticism. Thinkers who should be offering advice fear recrimination and risk of violence if they rendered advice that did not sit well with a thieving leadership. That space is now left to the likes of the Lusambos and Chandas of this world to distort the truth by failing to engage in healthy and productive exchange. (the virulent attack of Sishuwa by Chanda is a recent example).

    • Because Zambian academia are cowards who are more comfortable thinking they are sorting out problems from air-conditioned offices using Western models while semi-educated cadres know that local problems need local solutions and prefer groundwork.

  6. And that’s our biggest weakness, we sit by and condemn the same people we put in power. Several upnd members have been arrested for corruption and senior ones are on record involved in corruption. Yet we want to put upnd in power and expect what?? Zero corruption??? We need to start scrutinizing these politicians at party level; we need better citizen networks that can hold these politicians accountable just as ABC has called on the better utilisation of social media.

  7. Amazing, you sir was a two time finance minister both in UNIP and PF, but one thing you have failed to point at, is what you achieved during your postings as finance minister. The downward trend we are experiencing in our economy was started by your insatiable appetite to borrow and lack of foresight in investing borrowed funds. What can you tell us about the billions of dollars you borrowed through the euro bonds coming to fruition in 2021 and 2022. By the way you are still PF why are you failing to advise your friends to do the right things you have written about? You sir are the worst hypocrite there is today.

  8. This is the type of mature analysis lacking from our friends in opposition. All they know is shouting corruption like babies. They constantly lose elections and yet claim of is corrupt. Even where they attempt to take us to court they still lamentably fail. Zambians is this the type of leadership you want? Only pf has brought about infrastructure development which this country so desperately needs. Kz

    • Just to add to that, of the corruption cases brought up since the FTJ persecutions or Kapoko or Chitotela , not more than $5m has been recovered. Compare that with the VAT refunds KCM, Mopani, FQM etc have been pumping out of our economy since??? Like Foote attacking our judiciary and “corrupt” leaders, corruption is a manipulative tool used by known elements to bring confusion to our political system so that they reap our resources. These opposition characters are being used to undermine GRZ leadership.

    • Ba KZ, please mdala, we need to admit where we have failed. Pf has facile the economy.. you can’t can’t I infrastructure when the economy and social sector is bleeding.. we needed to step aside and see others try the other way.

  9. Mr Chikwanda has written what I see as a cryptic piece – loaded, veiled and spread out. In there is shrouded his subject he can’t “call by his real name” for obvious reasons. It does not call for genius to recognise that. As a senior citizen, former minister and founder member of PF who has influence on the leadership of this country should have been more pointed in his discourse. It must hurt him to see the growth of our economy shrink from 10% to less than 2% in seven years and blame it on climate change!

    Its for the same intolerant reasons by that Mr. Chikwanda couched “criticism” in melliferous language that the academia shun that space.

  10. You know what you did in 2016 with Chavula so dont talk about election loss focus on what advise you gave to ECL about what Mr Chikwanda is talking about.

  11. Mr Chikwanda has spoken well. The only thing he failed lamentably as MOF. This, however, does not take away from him the ingenuity of the article. Very preceise and very true. If I was in government I would listen to the voice of reason. Ba Chkwanda you are a good writer. People let us read the message and not discard it even if we can discard the author because we know him all too well. A drunkard. But mudala ukulanda kwena nalanda. Discard his advise at your own peril.

    • Drunkard?? Why do we Africans have such colonised minds?? Britons value Winston Churchill as the greatest Briton of all time yet he was a categorical drunk who use to drink whisky in cabinet War rooms!! Free your mind.

  12. corruption,poverty and other vises will continue to be within us like it or not,if you disagree please get yourself a jet and go to the outer space,away from this planet.

  13. Yama Ba Chikwanda iyi yena mwalasa yama! The problem with current crop of academician is lack of strategic approach in research for development programs. Their publications are purely academic and find no use in the national development. We still have a challenge with utilization of human capital because pay-to-play institutionalized politically motivated job appointments are a common practice. You gave fine example of South Korea inspiring almost in all sphere of human capital, academic and their innovative and developmental outputs but have a strong justice system, and This is a country where president is jailed on hint of corruption. Leadership would require systems behavioral approach and NOT personality approach.

  14. Rightly put our friends respects institutions mandated to fight corruption, here its the opposite, these institutions are scared of politicians and the presido is more powerful than them.How the do you expect to fight this vice? Chikwanda must be ashamed of himself because even Sata admonished him when he gave FQM leeway to export concentrates in return for contracts, shame on you big man.You are educated but certainly you lack wisdom, because if you had both, this country will be batter off by now after serving as the MOF twice. But both stints ended in disaster so what are you talking about?

  15. I don’t think the man that messed up our economy TWICE through reckless borrowing, has the moral highground to be commenting.

  16. This Alexander Chikwanda is mourning over wasted years he was in government in VERY INFLUENTIAL post where he would have put into practice what he writes today. All he cared was his belly and siblings milking KKIA and Indeni oil refinery in Ndola. Chikwanda’s children’s children will learn when long gone that “Bashikulu” wrecked Zambian economy in his days.

  17. Many people appear wise when they make remarks from outside the inner circle. Mr ‘reckless borrowing’ is one such being. It is sad that the heating economy coupled with bloated public structures, corruption, nepotism and all the isms that are negative describe our nation today. The global outlook aside some nations are still flourishing and are diversifying to ensure sustainability. No leader worth their salt should sit and lament wrenching their clothes and lying in ash. A good leader thinks,plans,engages and comes up with solutions. Recall uae was just desert with a few fish sailing boats, someone led the rest is cast in stone.

  18. African problems – the title itself is a mouthful if not unnecessary. Keep it simple please. I am understanding where Sunday Chanda draw inspiration. The man should be writing about politics in Zambia – he does not inspire us writing on global development.

  19. The arithmetic is simple, you can’t borrow more than what you can afford to pay and expect to come out rich. Even in your simple home if Kaloba is your survival method poverty will be your closest ally. Kaloba attitude points to bad father in a house. I have not used ‘home’ deliberately because a home should be a haven of peace. In the case of the country ‘BAD’ leaders or more correctly NO leaders.

  20. One of the worst finance ministers this country has ever had. He put us in debt as finance minister during the unip era so much so that our currency which was at one time stronger than the dollar became virtually useless which no one wanted and took us to the HIPC status. It had to take the MMD to come in and have all our debt written off through prudent financial measures and our currency started gaining ground again so much so that the dollar became toxic to zambians and everyone including landlords who used to charge in dollars started demanding for payments in kwacha. There comes this man again as finance minister during the PF rule and repeats everything wrong he did as unip finance minister once again. Over excessive borrowing, external and internal debts reached figures never…

    • ABC is the spark that caused this roaring blaze of a mess, that we today call the Zambian economy. He has no shame and should be in jail… The master of governmental skulduggery, absolute hypocrite

  21. Alexander Chikwanda is a typical PF cadre. He blames academicians for not publishing. Well since when has Pf ever invited academics to a national meeting. He blames opposition as usual of tribalism yet overlooking the Pf regionalism. And then lambasts social media. The whole article when read closely is a sham.

  22. People like this old man called Chikwanda should even feel ashamed of themselves and not even attempt to irritate the people of Zambia more coz he is the causer of wats happening to our economy today coz of not listening to advice wen he was told and adviced that dont borrow. but some people sure no shame at all is this the legacy u can leave 4 your own Country sure even your grandchildren will be walking shamelessly with their heads cast down that their grandfather called chikwanda left Zambia in misely. awe mwandi sure aba abantu tabakwata nensoni kwena.

  23. He tells us to grow crops, but there is a drought on and globel warming will continue or get worse. No rain no crops wake up you old fool.

Comments are closed.

Read more

Local News

Discover more from Lusaka Times-Zambia's Leading Online News Site - LusakaTimes.com

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading