The truth about Zambia’s economic emancipation- Dr Lubinda Haabazoka

4
1948
Dr Lubinda Haabazoka

By Dr Lubinda Haabazoka

The truth about Zambia’s economic emancipation

In order for Zambia to develop, we need to encourage a mixed economy. The private sector has to do its part but the state has to take a huge role and lead economic transformation! There is no country in the world that has ever developed by chance. No country has ever developed by guessing which areas FDI will come to.

When you look at Zambia’s history, most of the infrastructure was built under a command economy. Kaunda did much better than those that came after him because he had control over Zambia’s major forex inflows, control over Zambia’s main industries etc! Kaunda failed not because he failed but such an economic system was fought by the west! Kaunda was trying to build communism which he termed humanism. All such forms of economic systems were fought by the west using the IMF and World bank! If Cuba was not under sanctions, it would have been the most developed country in the world today!!! Citizens were not kind enough to help Kaunda overcome such troubles, citizens rioted and he panicked and allowed economic reforms that weakened his standing. Gorbachev in USSR made the same perestroika mistake! Chiluba came in and completely sold off the little industries that we had that could sustain job creation, value addition among others! what trade kings is doing today, kaunda was doing with grade 5s as General Managers!!!! we could have just improved on efficiency, cut corruption and we would have been second only to china!

China learnt all the mistakes made by countries like Zambia and the then soviet union and modified their economy into a modern day socialist state! very few people know that France, Germany, Austria, Norway, Finland and even the UK are socialist states! These countries have government control over much of housing, transportation, mining and drilling among others. The same way we had ZCCM and UBZ including mulungushi travellers! I have never healed after the destruction of ZCCM! I hope one day, it will be revived!!!

Back to Zambia, the Bank of Zambia and Ministry of finance have no instruments to sustain this economy! Trust me on this one! Their hands are really tied even on the kwacha because they cant dictate to anyone how much copper and cobalt to mine so that we get the forex to support the kwacha!

Look at Russia, Putin is able to dictate how much oil and to whom to sell so as to sustain their budget. Under sanctions, Russia is booming! Why? They control their economy! Even private oil companies follow suit because they are russian citizen owned and see it as their patriotic calling to help the state. But in Zambia, everything is foreign owned! The mistake we are making is to give access to foreign companies to our road infrastructure, energy sector among others! We dont own the major mines and therefore we have no control over the kwacha and therefore can’t diversify the economy!

We are in such a sad situation that the only jobs we are creating are for teachers! A healthy economy is the one that creates blue collar jobs in manufacturing, mining, agriculture and other sectors! We need products for export! We might end up like Nigeria where phd holders just say books on the streets! We need to create value addition jobs!

Unfortunately for Zambia we are losing time because, the young population is growing and we are not creating jobs to come and keep them busy! We need to come up with a Zambian economic plan away from those unproductive textbooks that people learnt from! Unfortunately it’s impossible to come to a consensus because the enemy has divided you into political groupings!

Despite the fact that you all jumped from unip to MMD, then some moved to PF and others into UPND, and then again moved from one party to the other, you have the myth that you are different and should fight each other to death instead of coming together to develop the country! This is not an Arsenal vs Man United argument! This is a country we are talking about whose currency is fast moving to early retirement age!

History will judge you harshly! Just last week some guys said I could not speak at a forum because they were not going to like what I was going to say! what kind of reasoning is that? Such people are the reason we are in trouble! Hiding the truth!!!

Our debt is not big! its a small issue if we put our heads together! I used to say that in the past and I say it now!!!!

We need to be patriotic!!!!!

Zambia for whom?

Thanks

4 COMMENTS

  1. I agree with you Lubinda. But, in my opinion, here are the reasons why what you talk about is not achievable and will not happen:
    1) The West and East will not allow you to be independent of them because they depend on your natural resources to survive and maintain their high standards of living while you wallow in Cholera. The West depends on the Parasite/Host Relationship with Africa. When their Interests are threatened in Africa, they are prepared to kill your Leaders and undermine your Leaders: ask past African Leaders Kaunda, Capt Sankara, Nkrumah, Gaddafi, Patrice Lumumba etc. and even start Tribal Wars among your fellow brothers, the Slave Trade is there as indisputable Evidence.
    2) The West and East control the Means of Production (Technology, Know How, and Medium of Exchange-The Green Buck the US Dollar) and you cannot buy these Means of Production from them because they won’t sell them to you as Africans and even if you want to buy these Means of Production they will peg them at such a high price you as Zambians or Africans you won’t afford to buy them
    So Guys, we are stuck at the Bottom of the Food Chain! You can scream as much as you want until your voice becomes hoarse NOTHING WILL CHANGE!!! Let us just focus on our daily local Petty Politics.

  2. Yes, the economic situation is dire. Yes, we need dialogue but it’s not true that there are countries that started out like us and they’re doing much better. Think of Malaysia, Mauritius which experienced rioting in the second half of the 1970s due to IMF borrowing conditions, the United Arab Emirates which had worse economic odds than Nigeria. Apart from oil, Nigeria also has arable land, lots of fresh water, other minerals and a far larger population that makes a large internal market. The UAE only has oil and gas and relies on desalination of sea water for drinking and cooking. Despite these odds, the UAE has a more stable economy than both Zambia and Nigeria.

  3. While I agree with some of the points raised by Dr. Habazoka like working together, I don’t agree with the notion that government running the economy will be any better. If anything, we will be worse off than we are today.
    Just look at all the companies run by government how they struggling, even those in lucrative sectors like energy (Zesco), telecommunication (Zamtel). Zesco despite being virtually a monopoly has been struggling to offer a good services. Even the mines which were grabbed from the private sector (Mopani and KCM) are the only ones struggling.
    Personally I think and I’m sorry to say this that most Zambians are lazy and don’t want to put in the work required to achieve success but instead we prefer complaining. Just look at how some Zambians have been complaining about the president’s call to take up farming even just for household consumption but we busy complaining about price of mealie meal. Surely if we are failing on such straight forward industries like agriculture, how can we manage complex ones like manufacturing?
    Secondly, Zambians have jealousy syndrome against fellow Zambians and won’t support each other. How can the country develop if we can’t support each other but busy pulling each other apart all the time? Until we learn to work hard and support each other, it will be very difficult to develop our country.
    And just to clarify on KK’s infrastructure development record, KK inherited a very rich economy so had money and luxury to invest in many areas without worrying about money and that is why there was even free things during part of reign as president which in my opinion was the beginning of our problems we have today.
    Conversely, that can’t be said about the presidents that followed who inherited bad economy with little to no money to continue investing in infrastructure development as KK.

  4. Kaunda inherited a vibrant strong economy, kwacha one to one with British pound, a strong vibrant hard working civil service, a local government that works for the people, no potholes, street lights, parks, gardens, free public facilities such as toilets, drinking water etc but look where he left it. If there was anyone who first spoilt the beautiful country of zambia it started with kaunda.

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