By Amb.Emmanuel Mwamba
In this politically charged environment, it is easier to fall for mass propaganda designed to cause public outrage and divert attention from serious discourse and issues that the country needs to discuss.
Recently we were fed with clear examples of propaganda that wakes and incites public outrage.
In many cases, the Law Enforcement Agencies have been at the centre of this charade.
- That 30 Brand new fuel tankers abandoned at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola. (Ministry of Youth & Sport dismissed the story as bogus and false).
- That a Ward Councillor bought a Commercial Bank for K300million. (Bank of Zambia quickly reacted and dismissed the lies and false allegations. BOZ also took time to educate us on how a bank is formed, registered, established and sold).
- That 48 houses belonged to senior people in PF or a daughter to the First Family (But Charles Loyana, an accountant at the Ministry of Finance, and owner of the infamous 48 (51) houses in Chalala and his wife Susan Sinkala were arrested and charged by the Anti-Corruption Commission over corrupt practices involving concealment and possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime valued at over K 37 million after a two year debate.)
But here is where the discourse should be and some of the issues we need to know;
- Critical shortage of medicines and medical equipment in hospitals. Will someone pay for the loss of lives, financial loss and anguish caused to families and our people? How can the Minister and her team refuse to procure any drugs and equipments for the last six months believing in what appears to be a futile re-invention of processes and a bogus cleaning up exercise? And all this done at the expense of life which is sacred?
- Abuse of public resources, unfair dismissals, and mal-adminstration going on at ZESCO-Sad that a new team, appointed to “clean up” and renew hope in the professional running of one of Africa’s largest utilities, is clearly disappointing so soon. Similarly appointees tasked to run state-owned enterprises, are doing worse than the condemned previous managements.
I guess it is the realsisation that the more things change, the more they remain the same.
- Cost of living skyrocketing- clearly the economy is in a deep coma, as fuel, food and goods prices are rising everyday, and no discernible solution appears to be offered.
- Recruitment of 30,000 teachers and 11,200 health workers- 3 months on, this has been greeted by contradictory and conflicting statements than actual work towards the recruitment. The recent celebration that an advertisement will be published in the Daily Mail on Monday was not to be.
- Government Payments to contractors, suppliers, providers of goods and services- they have criminalised all contractors and suppliers, alleging that they are all PF, or PF sympathisers and they supplied “air”.
While workers have continued to lose jobs, sites closed, business owners running bankrupt from their contracted bank loans and overdrafts, with no solution in sight. Yet it something that would take a simple audit to establish facts and malfeasance and seperate genuine contractors from bogus ones.
- ZRA failing to meet monthly targets- one of the best performing agency even during the most difficult and economic turbulence, seems to have hit a transition snag. Like ZESCO, new managers are blaming everyone else except self.
- The rising and troubling corruption cases in the New Dawn Government- From the fertiliser scandal, to Ministers and senior government officials accused of collecting money from business entities, the new corruption is being treated like past Presidents have done; “Report and take evidence to Law Enforcement Agencies (LEA)”. Even when it is reported, the LEA say they are busy with the old corruption cases!
- Accidents and Suicides- as media reports show, a sudden rise in fatal traffic accidents. Another issue of rising cases of suicides especially those affecting young people. Whats the cause? What should be done? How can we handle the social crisis. How can we mainstream mental health as part of health care.