Monday, June 17, 2024

No, No Azwell Banda, HH is trying the Asian Tiger models

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By Austin Mbozi

I disagree with Azwell Banda’s article (The Mast, November 26), that President Hakainde Hichilema (HH), ‘like all earlier presidents’, is supporting the global economic order driven by neo-colonial forces that might worsen Zambia’s economic misery.

Seemingly, HH is experimenting with Asian economic tiger models. Did I see a picture of him reading Lee Kuan Yew (1923-2015), the late Singapore prime minister? What might fail HH’s vision is not his pursuance of the neo-liberal order. It is black Zambians likely to fail him like they mismanaged Kenneth Kaunda’s nationalised companies under his 1968 Mulungushi Economic Reforms. Unlike Asian Tiger rulers who were authoritarian to force harmony and productivity among an already better-than-black Zambian’s productive citizenry, HH, like Kaunda, is doing the opposite: being Mr Nice and ‘democratic’ towards a totally irresponsible and unproductive population.

For a start, I credit give to Azwell for attempting to look at how Zambia can wriggle her way out of the powerful global forces. This is a relief because, apart from Socialist Party president Fred M’membe, many Zambians do not try to explain this important area. I encourage Azwell to respond to/attack my article. It’s boring when ‘intellectuals’ do not debate. Since Azwell did not explain this ‘order’, let us see how the German-American philosopher Thomas Pogge explains it, especially in his book, Politics as Usual: What Lies Behind the Pro-poor Rhetoric (2010). Make no mistake about it. Pogge, if this book is widely read, can be among the top thought influencers of our time after Jesus Christ, Prophet Muhammad, Adam Smith, Karl Marx, John Rawls and Confucius of China.

Backing his egalitarian moral theory with global economic statistics, Pogge accuses Western developed nations of perpetuating global poverty by creating a ‘global institutional order’ through their control of global financial institutions: the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) etc. Scheming behind these, they make it hard for poor nations to negotiate fair terms of engagement with wealthy nations while the little funds available to poor nations are wasted by corrupt regimes in the name of sovereignty, and these wealthy nations pretend not to notice because their own nations’ multinational companies are involved (an example is Zambia’s foreign mining companies’ cheating that they are making loses to dodge Company Income Tax (CIT).

And if the government imposes Mineral Royalty Tax (MRT) they threaten to pull out as they did when president Levy Mwanawasa imposed Windfall Tax). The ‘international borrowing privilege’, devised by wealthy nations, allows greedy and despotic rulers from poor nations to borrow huge funds from international financial institutions. These rulers enjoy the ’international resource privilege’ which allows them free use of these funds without international control (like PF-thief thugs borrowed over USD $14.7 billion). The result is that although these monies are borrowed on behalf of their citizens, these rulers misuse them for personal gain and for purchasing weapons.

Under the internationally recognized ‘national arms privileges’, these arms are used to silence dissenting voices and opposition parties. And yet, according to international law the future generations of those nations must repay these debts even if they did not benefit from them, while the wealthier nations recover these loans with interest paid by successors of these poor-nation rulers (like PF thief-thugs left their debt for HH and us to repay). Poor nation rulers also receive bribes from nationals of wealthy nations so that they sell off natural resources at giveaway prices. The WTO further allows affluent countries to subsidize their domestic producers. This makes their exports to poor countries cheaper, thereby destroying the local industry in these poor countries.

Simultaneously, the WTO allows these affluent countries to increase tariffs on imports to protect their local markets, thereby making exports from poor countries unprofitable. Furthermore, the WTO allows developing countries to hold patent rights even on essentials such as advanced medicines and seeds. Poor countries have no capacity for innovation. So, they are forced to import these essentials at high prices.

If Azwell’s argument is that these forces will eventually overpower UPND’s show of resistance, that is possible. But is it not correct to say that UPND is actively submitting itself to them? In fact, even Kaunda’s UNIP did not pursue them. It is the MMD party that tried out neo-liberal policies.

We as UPND are clearly against them. We are proving free primary education (though we admit that we have not yet tackled the major problem: tertiary education), recruiting some 40,000 health and education personnel, rejecting gay rights, and budgeting for payments to retirees. Our UPND promotes local entrepreneurs and only encourages multinationals where Zambians have no capacity, hence our increment of CDF and creation of the ministry for small/medium scale enterprises. Actually, it seems the IMF is the one actually submitting to our UPND dictates because they generally discourage such moves.

Yes, we as UPND have made some unfortunate moves. We should have at least consulted the opposition (not only UPND rubber-stamping MPs) about getting that US 4.2 billion loans for ‘debt management’ and ‘schools building’. We should also just admit that we are allowing fuel and electricity increases because of international economic realities we could not foresee while in opposition. This would have shown respect to people we rule rather than trying to defend ourselves as right all the time.

UPND’s failure is not likely to come from global order adherence but from our Mr. Nice approach. We are encouraging UPND cadres to also steal by promising PF-thief thug’s amnesty; even when we don’t have the legal power to do this. It will also be wrong to send CDF to ignorant, incompetent, and crooked masses without making laws that will detect/arrest CDF wasters. Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew was not a Mr. Nice democrat. He was proudly an illiberal no-nonsense disciplinarian, sending his own thief cadres to prison (watch him on YouTube).

The author is winding up his PhD in global economic justice at the University of Johannesburg. Phone: +260 978 741920, email: [email protected].

34 COMMENTS

  1. We need to be original. Systems work according to the local conditions: human, environment, culture, tradition. An Indian is suited to a dull looking shop and a Zambian find a lively beer hall a suitable business.

  2. Ba Austin Mbozi a nice discourse until you ruined it with this “It will also be wrong to send CDF to ignorant, incompetent, and crooked masses without making laws that will detect/arrest CDF wasters”

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  3. @2, he is right though. How many people know how to access the CDF, uses of CDF and whether the same has to be repaid? Additionally, can you point out more than 10 MPs who know for sure how to disburse the funds?

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  4. also be wrong to send CDF to ignorant, incompetent, and crooked masses without making laws that will detect/arrest CDF wasters” He’s 100 percent right unless you have been living on Jupiter not to agree with this.

  5. Good article but it starts on a wrong footing. Your leader Hakainde Hichilema is marred with corruption already before he even starts the race. And UPND leaders are aware of serious allegations against him just as he has numerous graft allegations against some of his colleagues from the former PF ruling party. Yes the article is right Zambians by and large are generally corrupt people including all political leaders and that is the problem that all thieves in politics will face to stop the graft. The political leaders they all come with a baggage of thieving and people know or at least someone knows about it. I do not see any moral standing in the UPND other than the fact that they are in power. And their coming to power is actually more of the rejection of PF Political party than an…

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  6. Judge the man after atleast 1 year……….

    Even cockroches now know comming out to advise on how to run the country……….

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  7. CDF is not new. Like Mbozi said the failures will be the citizenry. Voting for the likes of Bowman, Jay Jay, freedom Sikazwe……You can easily tell who are the group D’s in parley. It’s like saying no to a pay rise, because I’m a Chakolwa. Luck favours those who try. HH and Musokotwane will get it right or there about. They have five years to tweak and test.

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  8. Why write “We as UPND”? Did Austin Mbozi write this rebuttal of Azwell Banda’s blistering attack of HH and the UPND neo-liberal policies, because he is himself UPND? How does an academic so openly identify himself with the party in government? Is this nor really disappointing? How will he demonstrate objectivity in discourse with students who put forward a position contrary to that of the government of the day? Will Mbozi not try to ride roughshod over students with contrary views? Mbozi should be less emotional in his response to Azwell Banda and demonstrate that he is arguing against him not because he wants to defend his tribesman in state house.

  9. Great article & extremely powerful economic insight. That’s why Rwanda’s Paul Kagame has succeeded where a lot of African leaders failed: he doesn’t play the Mr “ Nice” politics of HH… he simply rules by strict discipline… & look at where Rwanda is now..

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  10. He is trying the wrong models. Asia and africa have different natural advantages. We must try to replocate middle east countries becuase they maximized the natural resource God gave them.OIL. They own 100% of their natural wealth. It stupid to copy someone different. CHILE is able to run its own state copper mines. Our ancestors actually mined and made copper jewelly which has been archieved in muesems and thats 400 plus years ago. We their decendants seem to be clueless. Capitalism like the USA only works if citizens are strong enterprenuers. In Zambia over 90% of economy is foreign owned. Its a very sad story. First step would be to create state owned large scale mining companies. After all the president is a business man and right person to do this.

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  11. Rubbish article. rubbish irrelevant analysis meant to deliberately distract the Zambian people from HH & Musokotwane’s treacherous decision to forgo mineral royalty taxes, much to the delight and appeasement of the western world who control 90% of Zambia’s mineral production and sales.
    Stop the Rwanda Singapore nonsense. Zambia mines and exports heavy metals ( Copper / Cobalt / Gold) which has always accounted for 80% of export. This is what God gave us.
    You cannot allow the mining houses to take away all the revenue from mineral sales as HH has done. Choosing instead to borrow increasing our debt burden when copper is circa $10,000 per MT.
    Totally Unacceptable

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  12. 1. There is too much hot-air and nuclear-thinking in Zambia which has become a big drawback. A person like Austin Mbozi (The Author) who understands globalization would be doing a great service to Zambia by becoming a Wealth Creator and Job Creator. Only by doing that – he will be serving Zambia at greater strength to repay internal external debt and reduce poverty. However, he chooses to pick a fight challenging Azwell Banda to respond to his article. What is boring is when intellectual debate on meaningless objectives just to show off how deep they have accumulated information. That said he has some very good pointers especially on CFD Funds if it lands in incompetent hands. Albert Einstein said Imagination is more powerful than Intelligence. Its true because all…

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  13. 2. There is a reason why in present day, top global companies shy away or don’t want to employ people with too much hot-aired-academic- and paper-based qualifications, because they talk too much using Templates, instead of looking at here and now and how one can move forward by creating new services, products, solutions, a new way of running business to stay on top. In short, these hot aired- academics shut down their creative-minds and stay static recycling old Philosophies, Concepts and Methodologies. Instead, big global companies are looking for imaginative and inventive minds from bottom to corporate level. I am not here condemning having academic qualifications its an important.

  14. 3. Put it simply – The world is paying or rewarding millions of dollars or huge wealth to THINKERS or CREATIVE MINDS. Wealth nations are just creative and imaginative. And every human being is born with Imaginations, which is more powerful that Intelligence. So until we change the mindset.

    A nation can have an abundance of natural resources, but if it has no thinkers or creative minds, then it will always be a slave to its masters. We are looking for answers outside when all the answers are inside in every person in Zambia. It means thinking out of the box and become thinkers, creative and inventive minds. Again, I will keep repeating this. The wealth & Jobs are all sitting idle in to our minds waiting to be explored.

  15. 4. I reminded Dr Field Ruwe, a regular Lusakatimes contributor that – you are the reason why behind doors HH says: Zambia has many educated People who having nothing to show but want to sound important and looking for relevance. A few months later, on 08 November 2021 Field Ruwe wrote an article called Words and Deeds The Creations of US Based Zambia Think Tank. , indirectly addressing me why I said you ( Field Ruwe ) are the reason why HH says intellectuals talk too much. I thought to myself – good for you Dr Field Ruwe and I hope Zambia Development Institute (ZDI) becomes fruitful and successful.

  16. ITS DIFFIULT TO ACCEPT CHNAGE AND WHAT HH & MUSKOTWANE ARE TRYING TO DO IS FIND A SOLUTION WHICH NEEDS FIRST TO CHANGE OUR MIND SET. PLAYING NICE TO PLEASE EVERY JIM AND JACK WILL MAKE THE CHANGES BEING TRIED UNWORKABLE. PEOPLE USED TO OL WAYS OF DOING THINGS ARE DIFFICULT TO CHANGE. CHANGE IS RESISTED WHEREVER IT IS TRIED. AS FOR THE CDF, I AM CERTAIN IT WILL WORK BECAUSE ALL COUNCILS HAVE COMPETENT EMPLOYEES AT THEIR DISPOSAL AND UP TO THE TASK. AS FOR FEARS THAT SUCH RESOURCES WILL BE MISUSED. IN THE PAST THOSE WHO WERE FOUND WANTING ENDED UP BEING TAKEN TO COURTS AND JAILED.

  17. #16  INDEPENDENT OBSERVER 
    December 13, 2021 At 1:00 pm

    “……The wealth & Jobs are all sitting idle in to our minds waiting to be explored.”

    What have you done to create jobs in zambia ????

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  18. @Independent Observer, That’s some good pointers, good observation. I like how you have pointed out that HH is an employer also, he creates jobs.
    On another note, we laughed when Mutati said that Zambia will send a satellite to space soon….lol. It’s the most ridiculous ideas that have made some people Billionaires.
    I

  19. I wanted to add that in fact HH is not a push over, Mr nice guy all the time boss. I used to herd his goats. The man is strict. You can’t amass wealth in Zambia if you are soft and no “privatisation” …lol.

  20. Spaka 16
    1. Spaka – if you take your capital today and inject into a company that has a work force of 30 people in Lusaka but want to open more branches in Ndola, Kitwe, Chingola etc by hiring another 100 work force of staff, it means you “Spaka” have just created 100 jobs that will feed 100 families multiplied by 7 which means you have just liberated or uplifted 700 people, to have a roof over their head, eat a meal, cloth and go to school.

  21. 2. Yes, I have been fortunate and have done my part investing capital in companies that needed expansions and hire 400 employees. That’s part of Wealth Creation. You don’t need to create jobs from scratch, but you can inject capital into companies to grow, research & development and recruit manpower. That’s an indirect approach of creating job by using Wealth or Capital Investments. In the same way, you can acquire a franchise from a global company and create jobs in Zambia. I do horticulture farming on commercial level, and I am about to start exporting to the European Union in Feb 2022. I am also into real estate development. And I will keep pushing new boundaries.

  22. 3. Spaka, you seem to have energy considering how often you turn up at Lusakatimes. I would commend you to use your imagination & creative mind and tap into your limitless potential. Don’t let this thing of defending HH every day drain your energy when you can direct your life energies to become the next big thing in Zambia. There is greatness in you that you can do, that HH cannot do. Nothing wrong defending UPND but don’t allow attachments deprive your potential.

  23. 4. Every person has a unique oil repository inside. We just need pay attention to it and ignite the light. But it starts in the mind and taking the first action step. In the end if you , believe, the universe always has a way of providing Circumstances, Situations, People to accomplish your aspirations. No person does all alone. Wealth and Poverty starts and ends in the mind. Frankly, if you are an adult its often a choice. I read in the past that you are an engineer. So you already have an advantage compared to someone who did not have a chance to go to school. The good thing is the world has so much money waiting for someone with the next great idea. You just need to knock the doors.

  24. 5. What We Believe Is What Becomes True. Someone believed in a Car, TV, Radio, Phone, Airplane, Computer etc. And all these started as imaginations from creative minds and often they looked like foolish and spooky ideas. But they became true and realities. Remember that; Anger, Rage, Hatred are success blockers. We don’t want to be near these things, they also mess up our immune system. If “our” immune system is affected, we cannot perform at our peak.

    Enjoy The Evening……

  25. Wow! How Anthony Bwalya came from the backdoor, overlapped and knockout SLUGGISH and SLEEPY established media CRONIES of UPND to become HH’s Right Hand Man & Press Aid. Wow! How Anthony Bwalya came from the backdoor, overlapped and knockout SLUGGISH and SLEEPY established media CRONIES of UPND to become HH’s Right Hand Man & Press Aid.

    Ba Spaka ## 16

    You asked for a Pandora Box to be opened. I tell you man, it does not get better than this.
    Take this advice from @ INDEPENDENT OBSERVER. The man is a titanic and breaking ceilings.
    Yet down to earth and humble and wants to share his wealth creation comments to lift up other Zambians, regardless whether you are PF, UPND, Tribe or you come come from East, West, South and North parts of Zambia. I have know the man and follow his blogs at other professional sites and have learnt from him so much, which has opened up my eyes. Making money is a mindset.

  26. Upnd cadre from Ngombe compound lsk 20

    Keep blogging. We have the same common denominator. And that is, we want Zambia to progress for all our people. To do that we need to be part of the journey. And solutions start from inside and not from outside.

  27. 5.Spaka What We Believe Is What Becomes True. Someone believed in a Car, TV, Radio, Phone, Airplane, Computer etc. And all these started as imaginations from creative minds and often they looked like foolish and spooky ideas. But they became true and realities. Remember that; Anger, Rage, Hatred are success blockers. We don’t want to be near these things, they also mess up our immune system. If “our” immune system is affected, we cannot perform at our peak.

  28. # 24  INDEPENDENT OBSERVER
    #26  Wow! How……

    Thank you for the clarification……..

    My support for HH is like a die hard English supporter for a Man U or Newcastle FC…….

    Only in my case my club is Zambia and I want the best manager of the time , and that manger happens to be HH………

    If my club, zambia, starts again losing , I will reconsider the best man for the job

    Also, not every one wants to be or can be a Warren buffet………and happiness and contention is all a state of mind.

    It’s nice to render advice, but I shudder at the amount of people who try to be Warren buffets and end up poorer than they started off……..while they could have been much happier and conftable had they been content with what they had…….

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  29. #28 Spaka… nothing ventured, nothing gained. You must spend to expand. One who enters the bush does not listen to noises.

  30. Hi. This is me, Austin Mbozi.

    Thank you all (especially those who disagree with me ). I have asked the editor of Lusaka Times and other media to republish what I write anywhere.

    I like feed back, specially from anonymous people because they really express how they feel . Me am not normal, I actually enjoy it better when they insult me..,…. I enjoy pain and bitter things, this is why I used to provoke PF thief-thugs so that they send me to prison so that I enjoy hardships ). I learn better that way than I learn from praises or sweet talk.

    I am like Yoweri Museveni. I don”t care what you say about me. I care about what you DO against me….ma ma ma ma, on that one ninshi wajata mulilo

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