By Martin Mushumba, PhD
The New Dawn Government has now spent 1 year 6 months in office. Despite the high food prices caused by unstable fuel prices on the international marked spurred by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Zambians today are so proud of the change of government witnessed in August, 2021.
Below are some of the achievements of the of the New Dawn Government that are making Zambians proud citizens ;
1. Student meal allowances have been restored across all public universities in the face of various economic hardships for the country
2. Student loans extended across all public universities.
3. Free education for primary and secondary schools- a deeper statement on investment in education.
4. Primary and secondary schools are filled to capacity- it brings joy to note that families are no longer inhibited by high school fees as they send their children to government schools.
5. Bursary for boarding schools being provided across the country.
6. Bursary being offered across all trades training institutes in the country
7. Constituency Development Fund (CDF)-sponsored skills training – free training for skills under CDF sponsorship.
8. All councils across the country receive equilization fund in record time.
9. Marketeers booster loans are being distributed to markets across the country.
10. There is enhanced financial access through CDF, Citizen Economic Empowerment Fund (CEEC), Youth Empowerment Fund, and Marketeers fooster funds.
11. Zambia National Service milling plants have been launched – this has brought cheaper mealie meal on the market.
12. 30,496 teachers employed in 2022. A further 5,000 more are to be employed in 2023
13. 10,000 youth being employed under the voluntary, internship, and graduate programs
14. About 2,000 local government workers are employed across the country.
15. 5,000 youths recruited in the defense forces
16. About 200 youths employed at ZRA
17. About 100 youths employed at CEEC
18. About 100 youths employed at Anti-Corruption Commission
19. About 6,000 jobs were created through Mwinilunga Fruit Factory
20. About 6,000 jobs were created through Chipata Fruit Factory
21. Over 11,200 health workers are employed. 4,000 more to be employed in 2023.
22. Road construction corruption curbed – Road works are now transparent and as a result cheaper.
23. Corruption in the procurement of drugs curbed
24. Corruption in farming input procurement and distribution curbed
25. Fruit processing plants in Chipata and Ikelenge opened to enhance value addition in agricultural produce.
26. Load shedding effectively ended – unprecedented response to the power crisis.
27. Media access is free for all – opposition leaders even have more access to the media than the ruling party leaders.
28. A professional Independent Broadcasting Authority- not one set up to shut divergent voices.
29. Enhanced freedoms of association and assembly – Opposition leaders can today freely patronize supermarkets and shopping malls as well as churches without any restriction.
30. In this space of time, CDF has been increased from K1.6 million to K28.3 million – this has given the people a voice in determining what is good in their pursuit of development.
31. Cheaper roads being constructed through PPPs
32. Electric motor vehicle battery plant being opened on the Copperbelt Province – this is a manufacturing sector game changer for Zambia and Africa.
33. Desk distribution in schools is on-going
34. Classroom construction across all constituencies is ongoing through CDF
35. Construction of more Secondary Schools under the World Bank going on.
36. 60% of inherited retirees’ benefits dismantled – the plight of retirees has been honored.
37. Energy diversification program is in full swing with investments in solar from the United Kingdome, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia.
38. The government has established through the Citizen Economic Empowerment Fund a special funding for energy investment projects.
39. Public Service workers’ salaries have been increased by 22.5% in 1 year 6 months.
40. Opposition free to insult the President- Penal Code Act repealed to allow for such lawlessness.
41. Death penalty abolished- Penal Code Act repealed.
42. Corruption fight enhanced- past and present corruption being fought without fear or favour- e.g. Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Health corruption exposed and fought with the passion exhibited in fight corruption in the former administration.
43. Balanced cabinet and civil service appointments – A government that is representing national character balanced on tribe, skills, and experience. This is inclusive governance.
44. A free and professional civil service restored – tribal and political persecutions abolished which was characteristic in the former administration.
45. Macroeconomic stability- inflation has been controlled to single digits. Whilst food prices are on the rise, they are doing so at a much slower rate than they were around August 2021.
46. Debt contraction is under control- debt servicing is in progress despite economic challenges.
47. Influx of investment flow into the country- there is an enhanced business environment attracting investments not only from China but now also from many Western countries.
48. Cheaper fuel markets explored through MoUs with Angola and Namibia.
49. Enhanced international and diplomatic relations with both the West and East- China relations have also been upheld.
50. Enhanced diplomatic relations with SADC countries and Africa as a whole.
51. Caderism and politics in trading places and bus stations curbed- there are no more station and market commanders terrorizing innocent citizens.
52. Enhanced respect for the rule of law- professionalized security wings.
53. Fairly distributed development across the country – depoliticized development, that is detached from regional politics.
54. Depoliticized response to national disasters – A professional Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit doing its work.
55. Fair access to employment – tribe and/or political affiliation do not matter anymore as employment is now accessible to all Zambians.
56. Restored order in the courts of law- courts are gaining public confidence. Corruption skews justice and compromises the rule of law.
57. There is order in the mining sector- whilst a stable tax regime is being negotiated the order has remained and this is supportive for growth. The negotiations on Konkola Copper Mines and Mopani are also progressing in a much more stable environment which is generally good for the mining sector given its importance to the Zambian economy.
58. A clear distinction between the Party (UPND) and its Government. The Party is purely being run by the Secretary-General Hon Batuke Imenda and other party officials whilst the President and his vice have been focused on government affairs. This has been key in curbing abuse of resources by the party.
59. The focus on national development rather than retaining power- President Hakainde Hichilema has his eyes set on pursuing a united and prosperous Zambia. He has shown disinterest in playing politics even when this threatens his hold on power ahead of 2026.
60. Respect for the traditional leadership – all traditional authorities have been embraced and receive respect, support, and attention from the government as opposed to a system that marginalized others based on their tribe and region they hailed from.
61. Restored peace and security- no more killings and gassing incidences that threatened national security. Citizens can drink and party with a free mind without fearing being attacked by some panga-wielding cadres or being gassed in the night.
In a nutshell, the New Dawn Government has scored across so many spheres of people’s livelihood. It has not only re-established a peaceful and united Zambia, but also created a less stressful society as people’s major burdens such as high unemployment, high schools fees, unpaid terminal benefits, restricted access to business financing and marginalised access to development have all remained in the past.
The Author is a Public and Economic Policy Analyst.