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Alba Iulia
Monday, December 5, 2022

The New Dawn Government has a lot to do for Zambians

General News The New Dawn Government has a lot to do for Zambians

Caritas Zambia – Executive Director Gabriel Mapulanga has said the New Dawn Government has a lot to do for the Zambian people one year after coming into power.

Reviewing the first year in office of the UPND Government, Fr. Mapulanga pointed out some positives and negatives Caritas observed in the way the government under UPND has been functioning.

The Catholic Priest cited re-introduction of free education, recruitment of teachers, legal reforms, the rebirth of fundamental freedoms and restating the country back to its socio-economic development trajectory for prosperity as some positives the government has scored.

“Over the last year of the UPND government, we have observed some progress in key sectors, as follows: Restating the country back to its socio-economic development trajectory for prosperity: During the past one year, Government has kept its promise and assurance that it was in the process of restating the country back to its socio-economic development trajectory. This effort has been seen in the way the government has handled the debt crisis. The heightened debate on debt and the opening of pathways towards its dismantling are positive economic signs. The previous government did not accept the fact that Zambia was experiencing a debt crisis and so they committed themselves to downplaying this fact. As a result, there was never an honest dialogue,” Fr. Mapulanga said.

“The UPND government has made a lot of progress in opening up dialogue and moving towards the dismantling of both the domestic and international debt. By bringing together Zambia’s debtors and making them realise the crisis so as to establish the best way of helping Zambia to make its debt sustainable, is a huge achievement. Caritas Zambia is also happy that a Public debt management bill is being considered by Parliament and will soon be enacted into law. In addition, the government has been sharing information on the status of the debt and have also come up with a debt dismantling strategy. This is commendable because Zambia needs order, transparency and accountability in the manner debt is contracted and used in the country. Parliament should have a significant role in this respect,” Fr. Mapulanga said.

On the fight against corruption, Fr. Mapulanga said the New Dawn government should ensure that the fight against corruption is not used as a tool to oppress and fight political opponents.

“The New Dawn government raised many expectations regarding the fight against corruption. They promised an increased number of cases to be dealt with, especially those reported after the 2021 general elections. The Government committed to a zero-tolerance to corruption. In order to make sure that people accused of financial crimes are tried quickly, a fast-track specialised court has been established. This court is also aimed at recovery of stolen assets from those who will be found guilty. This deserves commendations from us as Caritas Zambia. However, Caritas Zambia implores the New Dawn government to ensure that the fight against corruption is not used as a tool to oppress and fight political opponents. This fight should be done in a very impartial and non-partisan manner with no sacred cows. Corruption is the same whether committed by any member serving in the current administration or others before or outside in the private sector. The; law should be applied equally. Thus, Caritas Zambia strongly caution the Executive arm of the Government not to initiate arrests on the people suspected of having been involved in corrupt practices. This will negatively affect this noble fight and the law enforcement agencies will not carry out their work professionally and independently,” he said.

Fr. Mapulanga further urged the government to quickly resolve the impasse in the mining sector, accountability of the Mukula exports and the pending access to information bill.

“Issues that need Urgent Attention: We ask the UPND government to urgently attend to the following issues: Sanity in the mining sector: bring back sanity and order in the mining sector, develop a country mining vision urgently and revise the mines policy and also the mines and minerals act. These should provide for the benefit of local communities and Zambia while encouraging Lack of natural resource account – let’s learn from past Governments, let’s create a resource fund whose main aim will be to cushion any price reduction in metal prices and also to provide for reserves for future generations. We cannot continue consuming revenues from natural resources like there is no tomorrow or future generations; let’s not be selfish; let’s keep some resources for the future generation. Other parts of Zambia should not be mined now but in the future.”

“Accountability of the Mukula exports- We need not remind the Government that Zambia still awaits a report on the financials on the Mukula logging and transactions that have happened over the past 7 years. One year later, we still don’t have an account of the Mukula trees and the proceeds of the sales and exports that happened before the Government came into power. A lot of illegal logging and exports of this precious commodity happened. Access to Information Law Access to information bill has been pending for the past 10 plus years. The Government needs to enact this bill as one of the pillars to promote accountability in the country. This was supposed to be the first priority to give hope to the citizens as promised for people to enjoy. Road map on constitutional reforms – The government should agree with stakeholders for a clear road map and timeframe for constitutional reform. We expected that this would be done in the first 100 days of government as this is an urgent matter,” Fr. Mapulanga said.

He concluded:”In collaboration with other Civil Society organisations, Churches, and other non-state actors, we are carefully monitoring your promises to the people and the ones made during the campaigns. We will hold you to them with fearless honesty. That is the least we can offer as patriots.”

2 COMMENTS

  1. In the PF regime Corruption was at grand scale that the law enforcement agencies will only scratch the surface in terms of investigations, justice and bringing chaps to account . Can you imagine that a rickety shelter called a toll gate on the Ndola Kitwe dual carriage way was costing 80 million kwacha. Assuming there was no corruption in that toll gate deal , then the chap who negotiated for that must be identified and treated as the worst negotiator in the world – Guinness book material. If he is caught just make him a life guard there, so that he can be looking at that rickety daily

  2. As long as we continue with this myopic mindset of the government doing for the people as opposed to what we can do for Zambia our future as Zambians is dim.

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