By Aswell K. Mwalimu

THIS December 2023, the United Party for National Development (UPND) will celebrate the Silver Jubilee after a long walk on a very rough political road.

Founded on 28th December 1998, the ruling party will celebrate the 25 years milestone alongside the 2nd Anniversary of being in power following the electoral victory of 12th August 2021.

Since forming Government, the UPND is firmly walking on two steong feet leading the people of Zambians on a right, progressive and promising trajectory.

The economic turnaround we seek as a people will not come by chance, but by making right decisions at the right time!

But, what barometers can Zambians use to measure the policies on which the UPND’s developmental agenda is currently standing on?

The policy intent such as free education, National Pensions Scheme Authority (NAPSA) 20% partial withdraw, the fight against corruption, restoration of peace, law and order are excellent, but not enough.

And the increased Constituency Development Fund (CDF) including the increased amounts and number of beneficiaries under Social Cash Transfer (SCT) adds to the list of the wonderful New Dawn policy intent.

Further, the establishment of Ministry of Green Economy and Environment as well as Ministry of Small Scale and Medium Enterprise and Development adds to the list.

Unfortunately, re-alignment of some Government departments to other ministries has only addressed the issue of policy direction half way.

For instance, Arts in Zambia still remain ‘orphaned.’

And calls for the re-opening of Mulungushi Textile are made without interrogating the fashion and textile industry as well as cotton and cassava growing in the country.

Interestingly, during Parliament session a UPND Member of Parliament was asking for Policy direction on Human and Wildlife Conflicts, did you know that?

We are all aware that policies in any socio economic setting are supposed to be reviewed every 5 years, and expire after 10 years.

What, then; are the implementation dates of the policies that drive all Ministries, ZESCO, TAZARA, ZNBC, ZAMTEL, ZR, TAZAMA, ERB, FRA, IBA etc, and other quasi-government agency including various Commissions.

When were the same policies revised? Has the UPND made an input to these policies yet as per manifesto?

In the absence of the UPND input to policy-direction, I can foresee a huge challenge in how the New Dawn Government shall handle issues such as the fight against corruption, border security and human trafficking, street vending and Council by-laws, children living on the street and children’s rights, professionalism in the Zambia Police etc.

One cannot rule out the fact that some of the ‘inefficiencies’ we are witnessing in the New Dawn Government are as a result of ‘stale-policies’ to which the UPND has had no input yet!

But when will UPND policies be a reality?

Aren’t these new appointed Board Members and Commissioners treating existing policies like ‘old wine in new bottles?’ How old are the policies they are working with and how much of the UPND manifesto do those policies contain?

How will UPND policies address charcoal burning in the Game Management Area or littering of plastic bottles in the Kafue National park?

I know I may be misunderstood by those who elevate views of ‘members of the technically elite’ (Technocrats) over real life, But, all policies urgently require input from the UPND manifesto!

Look at FISP, Mukula (Timber) or Cooperatives in mining; the story is different when one considers policies at play.

As you are aware, Policy Intent is set by top Government Officials or Ministers when commissioning the work and can change over time for varied reasons such as changes in public or parliamentary opinion or change in party leadership or evidence on the ground.

Nonetheless, Zambia needs solid UPND policies, period!


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