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Sunday, November 27, 2022

Zambia at 58 Looks Lost and Unsure of Itself Than it was at 18, 28 and 48 years old

Columns Zambia at 58 Looks Lost and Unsure of Itself Than it was...

By Saboi Imboela President- NDC

As National Democratic Congress, NDC, we today take time to briefly reflect on Zambia’s political and economic trajectory from birth, the time it was a teenager, all the way to adulthood at 58 years old today.

Born on 24th October, 1964, Zambia only had 100 graduates at independence and our forefathers were left with Western systems that their own people could not effectively run unless they embarked on an ambitious program to educate their people, get expatriates and also use whatever home grown talent or expertise that they could find. Our GDP in 1964 was $0.84B, Per Capita income was $242 and our growth that year was an amazing 12.21%. This was further pushed to 16.65% growth just the following year in 1965, but sadly a good number of the UNIP years were characterised by negative growth after that.

At 18 years old in 1982, Zambia was a teenager that had just reached adulthood.The party in power then was still the liberation party called the United National Independence Party, UNIP, led by our first President Dr. Kenneth Kaunda. The GDP of Zambia was $3.99B, Per Capita income was $638 and unfortunately the percentage of growth in this year was -2.81%. This was despite the fact that the economy had grown by a whooping 6.17% just the previous year in 1981 and 3.04% in 1980.

By the age of 28 years in 1992, Zambia was led by the second ruling or governing party the Movement for Multi- party Democracy, MMD, led by the second Republican President Dr. Frederick Titus Jacob Chiluba, popularly known as FTJ. The MMD took over power from UNIP after a 27 year reign of the first President. So at 28, Zambia was more optimistic and ready to concur the world. The MMD embarked on very ambitious liberalisation and privatisation programnes to try and deal with the stagnation that had been caused by some of the One Party State policies of UNIP. Despite the adverse effects of the Structural Adjustment Programmes, SAPs, that came with privatisation, people were able to own private properties like houses and it also dealt with the issue of many retirees becoming destitute due to lack of home ownership and the like.

Politically, Zambia, in 1991, also moved from Socialist policies to Democratic or capitalist ones. The GDP of the country by 1992 was $3.18B, the per Capita income was $376 and the growth that year was at -1.73%. By 1993, MMD had pushed the growth to 6.80%.

Zambia at the age of 48 years old had another ruling party the Patriotic Front, PF under Michael Chilufya Sata who was the 5th President of the country. Power had just changed hands the previous year in 2011. So at 48 years in 2012, Zambia’s GDP was $25.50B, Per Capita income was $1,763 and growth was 7.60%.

Last year in 2021, the GDP of the country was $21.20B, Per Capita was $1,121 and growth was at 3.57%. Zambia is now 58 years old and political and economic reform programmes that made us see the figures above are not very clear. It has to be mentioned that for us to develop, we need to have a constant or sustained growth of over 6%, China started growing at an average of 11% per annum and that is why it is the way it is today and a marvel to watch by other economies. So growing at less than 3% and in negatives is not good for Zambia.

The UNIP led government prioritised nationalisation, import substitution programmes, building infrastructure, giving its citizens good quality free education, etc. The MMD anchored its programmes on privatisation and allowing free market forces to run the economy. The PF embarked on an ambitious infrastructure development programme and direct empowerment programmes of some selected groups of women, youth and even men.

The UPND has made pronouncements that are yet to be verified. They claimed to have inherited empty coffers from the PF, but the very first budget they made just two months after forming government saw them increase Constituency Development Funds, CDF, which is given to all 156 Constituencies of Zambia. They increased it from K1.6B to K25.7B per Constituency in the 2022 budget and further increased it to K28B in the 2023 budget. They further claimed to have employed over 30,000 teachers and over 11,000 health workers. So much for empty coffers. But most importantly, their recruitments are something that no one can verify, as two months ago, the government announced that over 17,000 teachers have been put on the payroll and we are still waiting to see if all of them will be put on the payroll or if the 17,000 and 30,000 figures were genuine in the first place.

The UPND seems to be wholly dependent on the IMF for its economic recovery plan. The optimistic plans they shared while in opposition seem to have disappeared into thin air.

Some people, including their ministers, say that they need more time. But this is one year after they came into office and we do not know where we are going. Liz Truss in the UK had to resign just after 44 days on the job because our friends know that someone has to hit the ground running when they get into these jobs than asking for time even one year later. This is because they were voted for on account of ambitious programmes or manifestos that they pretended to want to implement for the country once sworn into office. We cannot get there in one day, but we need to be assured of the journey and how we shall get there, because currently the UPND seems not to even have a campus or direction for the journey.

27 COMMENTS

  1. Well written the UPND plan to stay in office now is to kill Democracy,destroy all the opposition parties as they have run out of lies to honour there promises to the Zambian who voted them in.

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    • Saboi Imboela is daft its even scarily that she is making comparisons with Liz Truss who was not given a mandate by the people but by her Party members who are afraid of calling a General election as they know what will happen. Liz wanted to tax the elite and they threw spanners in the works…now they have placed a stooge the posh Indian boy from a very wealthy background…people are extremely annoyed at the mess caused by buffoon Boris and his party at large.

  2. A supposed politics lecturer who doesn’t know the difference between a parliamentary system such as that in the UK and a presidential system such as ours in Zambia is a shame. Saboi Imboela, please do a bit of soul searching.

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    • This one of the major problems with our politicians, they do not research and write about factual things but instead try to compare systems which are totally different. She needs to read more and write less!

  3. RB handed over 7.6% GDP growth to the thives of PF………

    They handed over to the UPND 3.76% GDP growth and the greatest debt , moral decayed and corrup ridden GRZ ……..ever

    Expect UPND to hand , to itself , 8 to 10 % GDP in 2031………..

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  4. Saboi Imboela has very poor judgement………

    She was very active on PF podiums in support of lungu and PF in 2021………..

    She failed lamentably or was bribed to misread the winds of change sweeping zambia……….

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  5. It is like when the reptiles ruled the world. The ruling party senses response is too slow to compete in this modern world. Sad, they believe that the intelligence earned through education, farming and business is all that they need. Reptiles of yesterday. Listen and understand, believing in the Zambians human resource and getting proud of Zambians is the step to a better Zambia.

  6. To add a point that SI has omitted, Zambians haven’t understood the implication of policy shift. The Sir Roy Welensky administration was pro private driven economy and a small government to provide support services for the private enterprise to thrive. KK shifted to public ownership and blotted government mainly reward supporters tribal balancing. The MMD shifted back to private driven economy and let go public enterprises. The PF shifted back to the right and began the process of public ownership but before they could achieve anything noticeable the UPND has come in and shifted to the extreme left.

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    • What are the implications of this shift? As mere spectators Zambians get hit by the effects of these shifts especially that they put their future and all affairs into the hands of crooked politicians. In Zambia we vote for a messiah and sit back for him to solve our problems! That’s why there’s a lot of mudslinging in today’s politics because each contender wants to present themselves as the rightful messiah. One person can’t solve our problems. A shift to the right tells Zambians to find solutions to their problems while that to left tells them solutions lie a closed cooperation with the West and its institutions. Unless we choose between the 2 we won’t see any meaningful progress.

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  7. We’ll continue to swing like a seesaw. This is the reason at 58yrs we seem to have failed on most fronts including the simple task of writing our own laws and to interpret them. China has been on the same trajectory for the past 50yrs and the results are there to for all to see. President Paul Kagame has maintained Rwanda in the same direction for 20yrs and the results are there. Consistence matters

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  8. This won’t make much sense as it’s a continuation to the other 2 that have been moderated. However, let me put it this way: If you flash your lights to warn on-coming vehicles about the speed trap ahead, most drivers will appreciate you and check their speed so that they don’t exceed the limit. However in UPND politics, if you correctly advise the UPND driver will tell you that there’s nothing you can warn them about when you yourself where caught in the same speed trap! That’s where Zambia is at 58yrs

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  9. There is nothing more dangerous than ignorance and is most dangerous when that ignorant person passes as knowledgeable.

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  10. “…..Liz Truss in the UK had to resign just after 44 days on the job because our friends know that someone has to hit the ground running when they get into these jobs than asking for time……..”

    Very dull person this one……….

    As a so called president, you don’t know the economic turmoil the truss polices caused ???

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  11. Zambia at 58……where are they…??

    LT has had many supporters and critics of HH along the years, providing insights, entertainment and food for thought for many readers of the bloggers contributions

    There was stonewash in the early days the poetry vinculogist, there was mumba Jr of the Zambian enterprise who seemed to work for OP……..there was Sharon, who was crazy over HH in an alarming way………who can forget njimbu, who thought lungus $5k suits were a sign of good leadership……then there was Mr terrible , ba chembele………we had oval head in Australia who disappeared from LT after the 2021 elections together with antionio mwanza AKA Zambian Citizen………we have had 2020vision who seems to have had a change of heart about UPND……
    And of course…

  12. Imboela, keep on telling us the truth. Your article is right on the point.Those insulting you without alternative observations are jealous and envious people who support thier side whenever the truth is exposed. When you were not in the limelight, nobody insulted you. Because now you are working by objective analysis of the situation,you are insulted by those suffering from superiot complex, they want to show off that they are better than you.Come on, soldier on.Thier insults must now your lotion, to make you better.Thank you.

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  13. Zambia at 58……where are they…??

    LT has had many supporters and critics of HH along the years, providing insights, entertainment and food for thought for many readers through the bloggers contributions
    There was stonewash in the early days the poetry vinculogist, there was BR mumba Jr of the Zambian enterprise who seemed to work for OP……..there was Sharon, who was crazy over HH in an alarming way………who can forget njimbu, who thought lungus $5k suits were a sign of a good president……then there was Mr terrible , ba chembele………we had oval head in Australia who disappeared from LT after the 2021 elections together with antionio mwanza AKA Zambian Citizen………we have had 2020vision who seems to have had a change of heart about UPND……
    And of course…

    • #11 – @Spaka
      Interesting reflection on those bloggers who have indeed disappeared.
      Question is , is it because of declining standard on LT or its because they are disappointed after PF loss,,,,, because many of those were hardcore PF.

    • The General

      We hope they are still us , and can come on-board to develop this great nation……….

      In 2025 , we can resume fire…….for now let’s build this thing.

  14. And of course mushota=nze=KZ= currently uk PF………mention must be had about the ambiqitious Deja Vu……….we have Anonomous and the ever insightful INDEPENDENT OBSERVER cheering the masses on with his insights……..

    We are Zambian, we are one people……

    May God bless Zambia

  15. The Zambia i come from is NOT lost, its a prosperous nation and suddenly breakthru are awaiting this giant. We rebuke negative words upon this great NATION.

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  16. Is the author the owner of the defunct NDC now? I think there is that other real one, not the one CK abandoned. Some of these tunthemba parties just talk and talk, no action on the ground.

  17. HH’s very fast reforms have left many critics dazed in smoke and dust.They simply dont know what to say,but politics is demanding of them to just say something,anything!…..Even an insult

  18. Saboi trying to stay Irrelevant, Politics is not easy especially when you are in Opposition. And her singing career has been dead a long time ago.

Comments are closed.

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