FORMER Special Assistant to the President for Policy and Project Implementation Jack Kalala said giving aid or debt relief to Zambia would be like pouring water into a container without fundamentally, because what the country needs now is regime change.
Responding to Oxfam which recently called for debt relief to help the country cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and revive the struggling economy, Kalala said the challenge the country currently faces was a leadership crisis, not the need for debt relief.
“The underlying problem in Zambia is not COVID-19, the existence of which in Zambia is questionable; even the debt burden is not the main problem in Zambia. The fundamental and critical problem in Zambia is inept, ignorant, corrupt and ineffective leadership. In the current situation, even if five trillion dollars were injected into Zambia without solving the inherent problem of ineffective and corrupt leadership, the situation would not change. It would even get worse. Giving debt relief or any assistance to the FP regime to help the country would be like putting water in a bottomless container in the hope of filling it. The water would continue to flow without filling the container. To emerge from its miserable socio-economic situation, Zambia must face the deep-rooted crisis of poor leadership. What Zambia urgently needs is not aid or debt relief, but regime change. The bad and mediocre leadership of the PF must be removed and replaced by a leadership made up of credible, competent and knowledgeable people, ”Kalala said.
“This is the first step that must be taken to address the socio-economic issues that Zambia is currently facing. Otherwise, nothing meaningful will be achieved and the situation will continue to worsen. In the event that debt relief is given to Zambia as suggested by Oxfam, the resulting financial resources will simply end up in the private hands of the PF leaders and their surrogates, as happened with the money. borrowed. In addition to stealing money, they abused it in unnecessary by-elections, aimless presidential trips abroad, and criminal activities such as gassing and sponsoring political brutality against political opponents and citizens. innocent. Creditors will not help Zambia by providing debt relief to this corrupt and wasteful regime. It would be like putting acid on a festering wound.
He added that what the country needed was credible elections next year, otherwise the PF regime would face sanctions.
“To help Zambia, donors and creditors should insist on holding transparent, fair and credible elections next year. They should also prevail over the PF regime to create a political environment conducive to the flourishing of democracy and for the Zambia Election Commission (ECZ) to work in a professional manner, failing which they should be sanctioned. Free and fair elections will give Zambians the opportunity to elect credible and competent leaders, ”Kalala said.
He wondered why Zambia was still poor when it was richer than countries like Japan, Britain, France, among others, when it comes to natural resources.
“To help people, sometimes it’s better to be mean to be nice. Zambians should also be made to understand that they owe it to themselves to build people of integrity who are credible, responsible and capable of serving the nation. Zambia is not a poor country to continue to depend on aid. In terms of resources, Zambia is richer than Japan, Britain, France, Italy, Singapore and Israel. These countries are more developed and richer than Zambia, which has abundant resources. Zambia has the potential capacity to be one of the richest countries on the planet. It is a land of honey, milk and gold but extremely poor and hungry due to the lack of effective leadership. It’s absurd, ”Kalala said.
He further advised Oxfam to advocate for a vibrant civic movement rather than justifying its relevance by speaking on behalf of the government.
“Instead of defending a rotten and corrupt regime, Oxfam should advocate for a vibrant civic movement in Zambia that would be accountable to the government and educate all citizens about their civic duties and responsibilities. Donors should not channel their aid to vulnerable people through government institutions but through NGOs and the Church which in turn should distribute the same to the needy. The responsibility of the government should be to develop the country and create opportunities to end poverty in the country, not to be a conveyor belt of aid distribution to its people by other governments, ”said Kalala.
Oxfam’s claim that Zambia is in urgent need of debt relief to help the country cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and revive the struggling economy is misleading and lacking in foundation . To anyone with a critical mind, it is obvious that Oxfam has claimed to justify its existence and relevance in Zambia and in order to find additional funds for its operations. Oxfam is not an advocate for the government of the Republic of Zambia.