Matrix of Creating Employment in Zambia

Unemployment is one of the most serious problems facing Zambia today. The Labour Force Survey (LFS) of 2008 reviewed that unemployment stands at 15.9 percent. This data needs to be updated to reflect the current true picture of the problem. However, the numerous youth roaming about in the streets, offices and everywhere looking for employment shows the desperation for employment.

The desperation for employment lead to nine people, including a nine months old baby, who were crushed to death, while six others sustained serious injuries during a stampede in Mpulungu at Great Lakes Products (GLP) after word went round that the proprietor Sahran Salim was in town to employ casuals workers. This happened in May of 2012.

For the purpose of this paper it is good to define some terminologies which will be used in further discussions. The term “Unemployment” is defined as a situation where anyone of working age is not able to get a job but would like to be in full time employment.

On the other hand the term “Employment” is attributed to an individual who works part-time or full-time under a contract, whether oral or written, express or implied, and has recognized rights and duties

Another terminology used on this subject is “Underemployment” which is the condition whereby people in a labor force are employed at less than full-time or regular jobs or at jobs inadequate with respect to their training or economic needs. The flip side of underemployment is “Voluntary unemployment”, this occurs when the unemployed choose not to take the employment offered because it is a wrong job or benefits are too high or other such reasons. Such people are still counted as unemployed because they are still seeking a job (they just don’t want to take one they are offered).

We also have to classify people working in the informal sector such as home businesses, street vending, cross-border trading, agriculture, and many other such businesses. Such people cannot be counted among the employed but they are simply occupied. On the other side of this we have the un-occupied who are literally doing nothing and not actively looking for jobs. 

It must be mentioned that unemployment crisis is not unique to Zambia but rather it is a global issue.

Unemployment arises from factors beyond the control of the individual worker. Unemployment may be due to seasonal layoffs for instance in agricultural jobs, technological changes in industry (particularly by increased automation), racial discrimination, lack of adequate skills by the worker, or fluctuations in the economy.

Poverty 1

Lusaka Peri-urban

The target group which deserves special mention consists of young people and women, who constitute the bulk of the unemployed in Zambia. For instance, according to reports, about 73 per cent of Zambians between 18 and 35 are unemployed. There is also an increase in unemployment among university graduates in the country. This is due to several reasons   including changes in societal goals and aspirations. Increased education is encouraged by changes in government policy, such as the introduction of such laudable programmes as free, universal primary schooling which is among the millennium development goals (MDGS), which results in an increase in secondary school enrollments. This in turn leads to a proliferation of universities. While the aim is to accommodate as many qualified students as possible there is often inadequate planning for the future employment of graduates.  This could perhaps explain why urban areas have higher rates of unemployment than rural areas as most of these graduates opt to stay in the cities rather than return to their indigenous areas.

PovertyHence unemployment as a problem has hindered the country’s development economically, socially, psychologically, politically and culturally. Economically, unemployment has led to an increase in poverty levels in the country. According to a Survey research, during the 2006 to 2010 period, it was reviewed that poverty levels stood around 62%. Common knowledge still indicates that poverty levels in Zambia are still high especially in rural and peri-urban areas. Youth and women seem to be the most affected.

Street vending is also one effect of unemployment. This is because people from rural areas tend to migrate to urban areas in order to make a living from trading various commodities to consumers. In as much as this helps them economically, the benefits are very minimal as the earnings they acquire are not enough to sustain their needs.

venda

Street Vending

To make matters worse, relevant authorities seem to be overwhelmed by the problem that they have lost control on street vending.

At a social level, prolonged unemployment usually results in some form of social pathology, as reflected by an increased crime rate and violent agitators. It breeds discontent against the state, and any slight provocative issue or incident may trigger violent demonstrations and social unrest, which may result in loss of life and damage to property, if the situation is not handled properly by the authorities.

The destruction of family life and is another social consequence of unemployment. Unemployment reduces the social status and self-esteem of an individual. It causes scarcity of money for household maintenance and other essentials of life, including payment of the children’s school fees. This usually results in constant family feuds and friction, with the wife demanding money for food and housekeeping, which the unemployed husband cannot provide. Nagging and incessant quarrels ensue, and sometimes also wife battering, when the unemployed husband vents his frustration on the defenceless wife. This may result in a divorce if the situation does not improve, leading to a broken home and its dire future consequences for the children.

GBV

Gender Based Violence

Research dating back to the Great Depression found that men who experienced substantial financial loss became more irritable, tense, and explosive. This can therefore be witnessed in the country’s continuous rise in Gender based violence (GBV) cases. Children also often suffer as these fathers become more punitive and arbitrary in their parenting. This can be seen in Zambia today where cases of child defilement have continued to rise with almost each week recording such cases.  

Intoxicated

Intoxicated youth

Unemployment may even impact decisions about marriage and divorce. Unemployed or poor men are less likely to marry and more likely to divorce than men who are employed or who are more economically secure. Here again this can be observed from the high divorce rates that have characterised the country. According to reports, the increase in divorce rates can be linked to GBV which is in some cases a result of unemployment as earlier alluded to.

In an attempt to escape from the hopelessness of the situation, the unemployed may indulge in excessive consumption of alcohol, usually the cheap local brew with its potential health repercussions; especially for the liver but also for physical health in general. The stake may eventually be raised to include drug abuse, and in order to sustain the habit, the unemployed may engage in petty crime such as pick pocketing, stealing or, in the case of females, prostitution.

Prostitutes

Psychologically unemployment has Individual and family consequences. This is because job losses are associated with elevated rates of mental and physical health problems, increase in mortality rates, and detrimental changes in family relationships and in the psychological well-being of spouses and children. Compared to stably employed workers, those who have lost their jobs have significantly poorer mental health, lower life satisfaction, less marital or family satisfaction, and poorer subjective physical health. Additionally studies by psychologists have shown that unemployment is associated with depression, anxiety, psychosomatic symptoms, low subjective well-being, and poor self-esteem. Therefore unemployed workers were twice as likely as their employed counterparts to experience psychological problems.

Unemployment can also contribute to reduced life expectancy. For instance according to a development review in 2005, Zambia has one of the lowest life expectancy rates as maternal mortality, infant mortality and crude death rate have worsened. Although Zambia has had no war, it is sadly in the same category with other war ton countries such as Sudan and Somalia and according to the World Health Organization (WHO), the country’s life expectancy has dropped from 52 years in 1980 to 43 in 2013.  This has led to a reduction in man power necessary to foster development in the country.

Elevated depressive symptomatology has also been found among unemployed single mothers, and mothers who are more depressed as they more frequently punish their adolescent children. This is evident in the number of cases reported in the country where single mothers have either killed or dumped their young ones in latrines. Frequently punished adolescent children, in turn, experienced increased distress and increased depressive symptoms of their own. 

Unemployment also culturally affects Communities. This is because the impact of unemployment extends beyond individuals and families to communities and neighbourhoods. High unemployment and poverty go hand in hand, and the characteristics of poor neighbourhoods amplify the impact of unemployment (Wilson, 1996). Inadequate and low-quality housing, underfunded schools, few recreational activities, restricted access to services and public transportation, limited opportunities for employment all characteristics of poor neighbourhoods contribute to the social, economic, and political exclusion of individuals and communities, making it more difficult for people to return to work. In a six country study, increased risk of mortality was associated with higher neighbourhood unemployment rates. Unemployed workers also report less neighbourhood belonging than their employed counterparts, a finding with implications for neighbourhood safety and community well-being.

Politically youths are used in political violence. The unemployment get into politics not because they have the desire to serve people, but because they want to find an income. This brings are poor fiscal discipline, corruption and generally poor policies

The Zambian Voice recognises the urgency and significance of finding a workable solution to unemployment, therefore, a project dabbled “Matrix of Creating Employment in Zambia”. The project is being undertaken in phases. The first phase was to found out what has been done, through a literature review,  in the quest to answer the problem of unemployment.

The literature review has been done and it will be shared with a number of stakeholders in preparation for the next phase. The next phase will be done based on the feedback from the literature review from stakeholders.

 http://www.economicshelp.org/blog/2247/unemployment/definition-of-unemployment/

http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/employee.html#ixzz3DkQR5T9w

No More Lies On Sata’s Health


Opening Parliement

Finally the 4th session of Parliament has been opened by HE Michael Chilufya Sata. There are a number of issues that one can choose to discuss on the event of yesterday, the 19th September 2014 at Parliament. I would like to look issue of the Presidents health. I will dwell more on his health because I have not read the full speech which the President did not read very well to make an objective and informed comment. I will make comments after accessing it sooner than later.

Like have stated many times that our President is not well, yesterday my assertions from what we saw, were proved correct. Certainly our President has not been enjoying good health and there are so many indications to ascertain this fact.

Unfortunately a number of people have questioned my intentions each time I have spoken about the il-health of the President, but I would like to state it, like I have done in the past, that I love our President and I have no reason to wish him ill. On the contrary I always wish him well and pray for him.

Why speak about the President’s health?

It is folly to ignore the health of the President of any nation because he is at the centre of everything in the centralized governance system like ours. The President is like a locomotive engine which pulls all the wagons carrying policy cargo such as economic policies, agriculture, education, health and many other national policies. If the locomotive engine slows down, everything follows suit.  The analogue is exactly the same with a governance system.

If the President is not well, it is highly unlikely that things in the Country will move normally, something somewhere is bound to go amiss. Well meaning Zambians cannot fail to see the ramifications of the current poor health of the President that has characterized Zambia for number of months now. The wrangles in the party are so apparent, which would not be the case if the King Cobra is at his best. In terms of governance, you can overwhelmingly feel the inertia in many government workers and yet many were scared for their jobs due to their poor performance. The Sata we have today is not the same one who rocked the Ministry of Health in 1995. Nurses used to fear to sleep just in case he (Sata) walks into the hospital. But today, no government worker is scared of President Sata because he is confined to State House. Policies on the economic front keep oscillating in the absence of an affirmative voice of the President. Our workers voted and danced to have Sata as their President so that they can be liberated from ruthless and disrespectful employers but today, they have their minister cutting deals at Inter-continental and later on crying foul after failing to mint. Corruption is as smelly as chicken dang in the infrastructure contracts. Zambians are not benefiting substantially apart from being employed as traffic controllers and cement-mixers. The King Cobra I know, in good health would do much more in all these areas.

It is not Sata’s Fault so why Lie?

However, health issues are beyond every human power no matter what status or position you hold. As a strong Christian believer, I only look up to God when it comes to health. President Sata has not chosen to be sick of whatever he may be suffering from. It is natural to get sick and we must sympathize.   I do sympathize and pray for our President with a genuine heart.

What has displeased me in the poor health of the President is the lies that has characterized it. At no point has anyone come out clean to announce that the President is not well. Instead people have been lying through their teeth that the President is fit and working. Surely is what they have been saying correlated with what we saw yesterday at parliament or in Mukushi and Zambezi.  All those people who have spoken so vehemently of the good health of the President must be ashamed of themselves for not speaking the truth. Facts were laid bare when we saw our President; he is not well as they have been purporting.

Who is Responsible for the President Sata’s Health?

Opening Parliament 2

While I condemn those who have been lying on the Presidents health, I hold President Sata himself and the First family responsible. The sickness of any person is very private in spite of the position one holds in the Country. We can discuss his health but only to a point where it affects the person’s performance as a public worker.  It is not necessary to know what exactly is wrong because the individual has a right to his privacy.  It is enough to announce that someone is sick, and whether he can still carry on his duties or not.

That said, I wonder why President and the government officials have not come out clean on this matter.  The law is on their side in that, falling sick is not an automatic disqualification from Presidency. Further the law allows a President to take leave after appointing someone to act.

On the other hand, the President still enjoys an overwhelming goodwill from many Zambians and therefore they would be on his side in times of difficulties.  All considered, the President does not need to strain himself to prove what he is not at this point in time.

I, therefore, think that the people around him have failed to advise him so that he can take it easy and still enjoy his position as an elected President and the goodwill of the Zambians. The first family must also be held responsible for failure to give confidence in the President that to them he is their head of the family, a father, a grandfather a man they love and would want him health before being President. I know President Sata has a strong character but he also listens.

Conclusion

It is clear the president is not well, so no one should continue making a fool of himself by stating facts other than what we have seen. The president needs to be supported during this difficult time and advised to take it easy to allow full recuperation.  The law is there to be used in this situation and enjoy the good will of Zambians.

Let us pray: May the Good Lord bless our President, give him good health, strength and wisdom so that he can govern this Nation which you have bestowed on him when you allowed Zambians to elect him. Through Christ our LordAmen

 

Julius Malema’s MP Raises A middle Finger Towards Mr. Ramaphosa In Parliament

Malema takes Oath in parliament3

Julius Malema

18 September 2014

THE EFF CHIEF WHIP STATEMENT ON THE MIDDLE FINGER SHOWN TO MR. CYRIL RAMAPHOSA

During its sitting on the 17th of September 2014, the Parliament of Republic of South Africa deliberated on a variety of questions, which the Deputy President of the ANC, Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa was responding to.

Instead of allowing Mr. Ramaphosa to answer the follow up question on Why he instigated the killing of Mineworkers in Marikana, the Speaker ordered the Commander in Chief Julius Malema to leave the House for refusing to withdraw the assertion that Mr. Ramaphosa killed the workers in Marikana and his hands were full of blood.

The Speaker also ordered that I leave the House because I asked what was wrong with stating that Cyril Ramaphosa is a murderer and the basis of the Rule she was applying. In the process of leaving the house, I raised my middle finger towards Mr. Ramaphosa to express the digust of the reality that workers have lost lives due to his pursuit of private profits and interests.

I however realise that raising the middle finger was not necessary, because there are platforms to express the utter disgust for Mr. Ramaphosa’s role in Marikana and everywhere else where he is involved. Instead of raising the middle finger, there exists space and time to express honest and truthful observations on his role in the counter-revolution. I therefore publicly withdraw the middle finger and will bring this to the attention of the House in the next sitting of the National Assembly. The assertions made about Mr. Ramaphosa in Parliament remains and I have no regrets expressing what I said about him.

While speaking the truth at all times, we as representatives of the EFF do not want to degenerate in a similar way the ANC has degenerated since the beginning of the 5th democratic Parliament. With no caution from Presiding Officers, the ANC has been labelling Members of Parliament as ‘Fascists’, ‘Charlatans’, ‘Hypocrites’, ‘Schizophrenic’, ‘Bastards’ and so on. We refuse to join this band, but will at all times speak truth to power and will never retreat!

ISSUED BY THE ECONOMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS PARLIAMENTARY CHIEF WHIP:
Contact via Email: floydn@gmail.com

What Zambia can learn from Zimbabwe’s local diamond Auction

ZIMBABWE will start auctioning its diamonds locally in November as Government moves to plug leakages and maximize revenue collection. This was said by Minister of Mines and Mining Development Walter Chidhakwa, in response to questions on why Government continued to auction diamonds in hostile nations following an ex-parte ruling in a Belgium court last week in favour of Amari Platinum Holdings Limited to attach diamonds worth US$45 million.

“The question is are we going to look at Belgium as a market and see whether we are prepared to continue marketing there? Our position is very clear. We have always been saying we are only preparing to come back home and we will be doing our first diamond sale in Zimbabwe in November,” Minister Chidhakwa said.

He told Parliament the events that led to Amari approaching the Belgian courts, adding a team of lawyers had been sent to argue Zimbabwe’s case in Belgium.

“Last week a company called Amari went to the Belgian High Court and secured an order to attach diamonds belonging to ZMDC. It did so on the basis of a dispute on a platinum concession that did not subsist for many reasons, including non-performance.

“That dispute was put up to the International Court of Dispute Resolution and after some time it was decided that the seat of the resolution of that dispute be Zambia and that a judge is expected to adjudicate on that dispute on the 19th of September which is Friday,” he said.

“But before that dispute had gone before the Zambian judge, Amari and partners had already gone to the Belgian High Court to attach diamonds,” Minister Chidhakwa said.

“The first thing is that ZMDC does not have diamonds in Belgium. There are no ZMDC diamonds in Belgium. There are diamonds belonging to companies in which ZMDC has got a shareholding and those companies cannot be punished for the ‘sins’ of ZMDC.”

“We have dispatched a team to Belgium and that team left yesterday. They will be looking at two issues; first the matter that has triggered this is sub judice, it is before the International Court, secondly, ZMDC does not have diamonds in Antwerp. This explains what has happened and we are confident that due process will be followed and that the outcome will be favourable to us,” he said.

The dispute dates back to 2010 when then Mines Minister Obert Mpofu cancelled Amari’s memorandum of agreement with the ZMDC.

The company argues that the cancellation was wrongful, especially after it had invested over US$4,5 million in key exploration work.

Zimbabwe tried to sell diamonds locally on a trial basis, but abandoned the idea due to lack of proper infrastructure.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201409180272.html

NITROGEN Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) Meeting Fertilizer Demand

MINISTER of Finance Alexander Chikwanda (left) with Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Wylbur Simuusa (third left) listen to Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia managing director Zuze Banda (second left) explaining production processes of fertilizer in Kafue yesterday. – Picture by COLLINS PHIRI.

By ESTHER MSETEKA
NITROGEN Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) has produced 85,213 metric tonnes of compound D fertiliser to be distributed countrywide under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP).
Government has awarded NCZ a K611 million contract to produce 106,409.75 metric tonnes of compound D fertiliser.
Out of the 85,213 metric tonnes of compound D produced by NCZ, 72,000 tonnes has already been distributed to 77 districts across the country.
Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda said Government will not relent in transforming Zambia into the food basket of Africa.
Mr Chikwanda said Government is determined to use the agriculture sector to transform the country’s economy.
“Government is very satisfied with the performance of NCZ. When we embarked on this bold business of revamping NCZ, first of all there were some amongst us who were saying NCZ is a white elephant, some people don’t like the idea of localising production because they believe in importation,” he said.
Mr Chikwanda said this when he and his Agriculture and Livestock counterpart, Wylbur Simuusa, toured NCZ in Kafue yesterday.
He said agriculture is poised to become the country’s economic mainstay that will generate the much needed foreign exchange.
Earlier, Mr Simuusa said Government has prioritised agriculture to drive the economy.
Mr Simuusa said 85,000 metric tonnes of compound D fertiliser NCZ has produced and distributed shows Government’s commitment to promoting the agriculture sector.
“It is up to us as Zambians to take up the challenge, they say when you put your money where your mouth is, that shows how serious you are in that agenda.
“One thing that the PF government and President Sata have done is that we have put our money where our mouth is to show you how committed and serious we are,” he said.
And NCZ managing director Zuze Banda said farmers have benefited from the company because it is now supplying them with high-quality fertiliser.
Mr Banda said the efficiency and creativity of the workers have made NCZ a success story.
He said NCZ has rehabilitated most of the obsolete machinery using local expertise and materials.
Mr Banda, however, said NCZ has been facing the challenges of power supply interruptions.

http://www.daily-mail.co.zm/?p=4066

Government Size vs. Economic Growth

Cabinet

In this article, the term “economic growth” is used to refer to an increase in a country’s total output of goods and services over a given period of time. The term “economic development,” on the other hand, is used to refer to improvements in the standards of living of a country’s citizens, including sustained and pronounced improvements in per capita income, life expectancy, literacy levels, human capital, healthcare services, food security, public housing, transportation infrastructure, and leisure and recreation.

Effects of Size on Growth:

By and large, the size of a country’s government can have a significant effect on the level of its economic growth and, ultimately, the country’s prospects for economic development. As Gwartney and others (1998), Barro (1997), Smith (2004), the World Bank (2000) and others have found, there is a correlation between an expansion in the size of a government (reflected by an increase in its expenditures) and a decline in private investment and economic growth.

In a study designed to examine the impact of an expansion in the size of a country’s government on economic growth, Gwartney and others (1998) have, for example, found that:

1)  An excessively large national government can have a negative effect on economic growth. Grossman (1988:193-200), among other researchers, has found a similar correlation in his study of the U.S. government: “there [is] … indeed a negative relationship between growth in government and the rate of economic growth.”

2)  As a government grows in size, it crowds out investment, leads to a decline in productivity growth and contributes to a slowdown in the growth rate of its real GDP. Similarly, Smith (2004) has found that “economies with large public sectors grow more slowly and suffer high rates of unemployment than those where this is not the case.”

3)  An increase of 10 percentage points in government expenditure as a share of a country’s GDP is associated with a decline of approximately 1 percentage point in the growth rate of real GDP. Barro (1997) has also found that a 1 percentage point rise in the share of government consumption in GDP is associated with a 0.14 percentage point retardation in the rate of growth of real GDP per head of population. Folster and Henrekson (2001: 1501-1520) have found a similar correlation.

4)  From 1980 to 1995, the world’s 5 fastest-growing economies – that is, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong – had total government expenditures averaging 20.1% of GDP, and was less than half the average of OECD countries. And in a study focused on the growth of public expenditure in industrial countries between 1870 and 1996, Tanzi & Schuknecht (2000:76) have found that countries with relatively small governments can perform “as well or even better than their counterparts with relatively big governments.”

In Middleton’s (2000) words, a “smaller, better focused government is better able to deliver than is big government.”

Peden and Bradley (1989:239), using U.S. data for the period 1949-85 to examine the effect of the size of government on economic output and productivity, have also concluded that the “level of government activity in the economy has a negative effect on both the economic base (GDP) and the economic growth rate (GDP) growth.”

The Zambian Context:

Zambia, like other developing countries worldwide, have continued to grapple with the problems of poverty, hunger, ignorance, illiteracy, disease, widespread unemployment, and dilapidated infrastructure. This is in spite of the country’s abundant natural endowments, which include fertile soil, ideal weather conditions, an ideal system of perennial rivers, a wide range of wildlife, wide stretches of natural forests and grasslands, a wide assortment of mineral resources, and a sizable population of peaceful and hard-working citizens.

Since our beloved country’s political independence in October 1964, we have miserably failed to use our national resources wisely in our quest to attain meaningful socioeconomic development and improve the livelihoods of the majority our people. Besides, we have continued to mortgage our country by borrowing heavily from both local and external sources of funds in order to sustain government operations.

Also, we have continued to rely on the support of our country’s development partners in various fields and sectors of the country, including agriculture, decentralization, education, energy, gender, governance, health, housing, HIV/AIDS, macroeconomics, private sector development, social protection, science and technology, tourism, water, transportation infrastructure, and the environment.

But what are we going to do when such support gets disrupted by changes in the priorities of our development partners, or if the development partners withdraw their support when we decide to pursue policies which are contrary to their expectations?

One of the basic reasons why Zambia has not been able to adequately address its socioeconomic problems, as well as reduce its borrowing, is related to the country’s bloated government structures.

Given the multitude of socioeconomic problems which cannot be addressed mainly due to the lack of financial and material resources, therefore, one would perhaps do well to suggest a streamlined government structure for the country, which could consist of the following government ministries and their specific functions:

1)  Education, Training and Sport.—To be directly responsible for advi­sing the Presi­dent on, and spear­heading the implemen­tation of poli­cies relating to, the follow­ing: general and tertiary educa­tion; vocation­al trai­ning; the training of teach­ers; adult literacy programs; matters concerning re­muner­ation for teachers, lec­turers, trainers, and re­search­ers; and sporting programs in all educational and training institutions. And coordi­na­tion of natio­nal progra­m­s and acti­vities pertaining to educa­tion, training and sport with those of private institu­tions, as well as local govern­me­nts nationwide.

2)  Public Health and Sanitation.—To be directly responsible for advising the President on, and spear­heading the implementa­tion of policies relating to, the follo­wing: medical care, medical research, child health and develop­m­ent, family planning, disease con­trol and prevention, food safety (local and impo­rted foodstuff), drug safety (local and imported medici­nes), safety of herbal medi­cines, public health educa­tion, public health inspections, and matters con­cerning remu­ner­ation for public health per­sonnel. And coordi­na­tion of natio­nal public health pro­grams and activi­ties with those of private healthcare facilities and local govern­me­nts.

3)  Agriculture and Food Security.—To be directly responsible for advising the Pre­sident on, and spear­heading the implementa­tion of poli­cies relating to, the following: sustai­nable agricul­tural devel­opment and long-term food secu­rity – including the provi­sion of agricul­tural incen­tives, support to agri­business estab­lishments and agricu­ltural resea­rch centers, damming rivers, and con­struc­tion of irriga­tion canals. And coordi­na­tion of natio­nal progra­ms and activities pertain­ing to agri­culture and food secu­rity with those of the private sector and both provin­cial and muni­cipal govern­me­nts.

4)  Finance and Revenue.—To be directly responsible for advising the Presi­dent on, and spear­heading the implemen­tation of policies relating to, the fol­lowing: financial matters and mone­tary issues, including the stock / securities market; national debt mana­ge­ment and external debt resolu­tion; management of all state-own­ed enter­prises; administra­tion, dispensa­tion and recovery of loans gran­ted to stu­dents and trainees admi­tted to institutions of higher learning, and manage­ment of a govern­ment scholar­ship fund through a “Lo­ans and Schola­rships Com­mittee” to be created in due course; and revenue genera­tion through taxat­ion, cust­oms and excise duties, ser­vice fees / char­ges, superintendence over the National Road Fund Agency (NRFA), and pro­vision of postal services through the Zambia Postal Services Corporation (ZAMPOST).

5)  Commerce and Industry.—To be directly responsible for advising the Presi­dent on, and spear­heading the implemen­tation of poli­cies relating to, the fol­lowing: trade and industriali­zat­ion strategy, mining, business and invest­ment promo­tion, regulation of imports and expo­rts, trade rela­tions, registra­tion of foreign compa­nies, re­search and de­velop­ment (R&D) support for local manu­fac­tur­ers, development in rural areas, and superintendence over the operations of the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA). And coordi­na­tion of national com­mercial and industrial program­s and activities with those of local govern­me­nts.

6)  Defence and Security.—To be directly responsible for advising the Presi­dent on, and spear­heading the implemen­tation of poli­cies relating to, the fol­lowing: enhan­cement of national defe­nce and security, includ­ing the issues of training, equip­ment, and matters concern­ing housing and remu­neration for defe­nce and secu­rity per­sonnel.­

7)  Home Affairs.—To be directly responsible for advising the President on, and spearheading the implementation of policies relating to, the following: the protection of life and property; the preservation of law and order; the detection and prevention of crime; enforcement of laws and ordinances; safeguarding the rights and freedoms of members of so­ciety; developing sound police-community relations; and the operations of the Zambia National Service (ZNS). And coordination of the ministry’s programs with other security organs of the national government, and those of local authorities and private security companies in dealing with public safety and security within the country.

8)  Works, Supply and Transport.To be directly responsible for advising the Pre­sident on, and spear­heading the implementation of policies relating to, the follo­wing: utili­zation and management of nationally own­ed pieces of land; provision and maintenance of vital infrastructure nation­wide—inc­lud­ing an effi­cient, inter-modal and safe network of ground and air trans­portation; develop­ment of mal­lea­ble stret­ches of the Zam­bezi, Kafue, Luan­gwa and other sizable pere­nnial rivers for water trans­por­tation – including the proposed Shire-Zambezi Waterway involving Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique; and construc­tion, reno­vation and mainte­nance of gove­rnment faci­lities and pieces of property nationwide. And coor­dination of the provi­sion and mainte­nance of national public facilities with the efforts of local govern­me­nts.

9)  Lands and Public Housing.—To be directly responsible for advi­sing the Pre­si­dent on, and spear­heading the implemen­tation of policies relating to, the fol­lowing: delineation, administration and development of state and customary lands; management of the land resettlement program; issuance of title deeds; resolution of land-related disputes; provision of consent in the acquisition and transfer and leasing of lands; the implementation of home ownership schemes for all civil servants; provision of low-cost rental hous­ing units for low-income fami­lies; manage­ment of a home-ownership sche­me for low-in­come fa­mil­ies to be fi­nanced th­rough low inte­rest mort­gag­es; stipulation of fair eligibility requirements to be met by applicants for low-income rental public housing; generation of rules of occupancy, and determination of rental and other related charges; and derivation of a grievance procedure and guidelines for resolving any and all the issues and matters relating to non-compliance with rules of occupancy.

10)  Culture and Community Services.—To be directly responsible for advi­sing the Pre­si­dent on, and spear­heading the implemen­tation of policies relating to, the fol­lowing: preser­vation of the count­ry’s national trea­sures, inclu­ding national monu­ments, museums, his­torical sites, che­rished tradi­tional and cultural val­ues; promo­tion of tradition­al music and cul­ture-relat­ed crafts; national emer­gencies (through a “National Emergency Management Unit”); national unity and patriotism; religious harmony; national cere­mo­nies and fes­tivals; and issues relating to wom­en, children, disabled citizens, and retirees and the aged. And coordi­nation of nat­ional cultu­ral and community progra­ms and activi­ties with those of local govern­me­nts.

11)  Justice, Prisons and Immigration.—To be directly responsible for advising the Pre­sident on, and spear­heading the implementation of policies relating to, the follo­wing: legal matters (in­cluding representation of the govern­ment), prote­ction of citi­zens’ rights and free­doms, administration of the Zambia Prison Service, legal aid, title deeds, national regi­stration, pass­ports and immigration, citizen­ship and naturali­zation, work permits, treaties and agreeme­nts with other countries, intelle­ctual property rights (patents, copyrights and trade­marks), and remuneration for judi­cial personnel and sup­port staff.

12)  Foreign Affairs and Tourism.—To be directly responsible for advising the Presi­dent on, and spear­heading the implementation of policies re­lating to, the fol­lowing: foreign poli­tical relations, including conflict resolution and peace-keeping efforts; consular affairs and services; profiles of foreign countries; services and vital infor­mation to Zambi­ans in, or travel­ing to, foreign countries; publicizing Zambian soci­ety abroad; and management of a program which shall confer rare and special “Zambian Residency” status upon a selected number of distinguished foreigners.

A new or re-elected Republican president can implement such a streamlined government structure during or soon after his or her inauguration. I would expect Members of Parliament to eventually and unreservedly endorse such a government structure, irrespective of their political affiliations.

A streamlined government structure, such as that suggested above, is likely to yield huge savings in the form of salaries, special allowances, and utility allowances. Other savings would be in the form of the various kinds of payments currently being made by the government on behalf of government officials who would be retired, including payments for housing, phones, buildings, office supplies, automobiles, gasoline, water, and electricity.

All these savings could supplement the existing sources of government revenue, which include personal and business income taxes, value-added tax, postal revenues, national lottery, commercial undertakings, customs duties, passport fees, fire-arm registration fees, excise taxes, hunting licence fees, work permit fees, citizenship and naturalization fees, and NRC replacement fees.

The selling and/or buying of government bonds (by the Bank of Zambia) through the Lusaka Stock Exchange and regional stock markets on behalf of the government (by means of “open market operations”) could also provide additional revenues for the central government.

Perfor­mance of the func­tions of the Execu­tive branch of the national govern­ment should be comple­mented by the work of several semi-autono­mous gov­ern­ment agencies, as provided for in the 1996 Repu­bli­can cons­titution.

The comple­mentary execu­tive agencies which would need to be created, and those which are already pro­vided for by the current Republi­can consti­tution, should be as follows: (1)Zambia Revenue Authority; (2) Anti-Corruption Commission; (3) Electoral Commission of Zambia; (4) Electoral Complaints Authority of Zambia; (5) Human Rights Commission: (6) Labor Standards and Occupational Safety Board; (7) Environmental Council of Zambia; (8) Zambia Wildlife Authority; (9) National Water and Sanitation Council; (10) Energy Regulation Board; (11) Zambia Competition Commission; (12) Zambia Public Procurement Authority; (13) Drug Control Agency; (14) Food Reserve Agency; (15) Bureau of Statistics and Archives; (16)National Transport Safety Board; (17) Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority; and (18) the National Science and Technology Council.

For reasons of cost, each of the semi-au­tono­mous gover­nment agencies would need to be managed by a small group of technocrats, and should be expected to en­hance the national govern­me­nt’s ability to meet the chan­ging needs and expec­tations of the people.

Civil servants who would be affected by the streamlining exercise should be encouraged to seek early retirement with full benefits. Professional and skilled civil servants should be re-deployed in the handful of new government ministries, and/or in executive agencies.

Each and every day that passes creates great opportunities for us to devise and relentlessly pursue viable strategies designed to make it possible for our beloved country to meet the basic needs, aspirations, and expectations of its people.

As the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (2001:90) has advised leaders in developing countries, we cannot wait for gradual progression of catching-up with the industrialized countries of the North; rather we must search for leap-flogging solutions to the problems facing our beloved country and its people.

In all, it is not possible for any political party or any political leader in Zambia – or in any other country as a matter of fact – to attain meaningful socioeconomic development with a bloated government that does not reserve a large portion of its resources for use in addressing the multitude of problems facing our beloved country and its people.

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Bibliography

Barro, Robert J., Determinants of Economic Growth: A Cross Section Empirical Study, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA.

Folster, Stefan and Henrekson, Magnus, “Growth Effects of Government Expenditure and Taxation in Rich Countries,” European Economic Review 45 (2001): 1501-1520.

Grossman, Philip, “Government and Economic Growth: A Non-Linear Relationship,” Public Choice 56 (1988): 193-200.

Gwartney, James et al, “The Size and Functions of Government and Economic Growth,” http://www.house.gov/jec/, April 1998.

Kyambalesa, Henry, “Government Size and Functions: The Political Economy of Small and Popular Governments in Africa,” presented at the 27th Global Strategic Studies Conference held in Omaha, Nebraska, October 14-16, 2004 at the W. H. Thompson Alumni Centre at the University of Nebraska.

Middleton, Roger, “Book Reviews: Public Spending in the 20th Century: A Global Perspective” by Tanzi, Vito and Schuknecht, Ludger: http://www.eh.net/, October 2000.

Peden, Edgar and Bradley, Michael, “Government Size, Productivity, and Economic Growth: The Post-War Experience,” Public Choice 61 (1989): 229-45.

Smith, David, “The Effects of Public Spending and Taxes on Economic Growth,” http://www.iea.org.uk/files/, May 19, 2004.

Tanzi, Vito and Ludger Schuknecht, “Can Small Governments Secure Economic and Social Well-Being?” in Grubel, Herbert, editor, How to Use the Fiscal Surplus: What Is the Optimal Size of Government? (Vancouver, BC: The Frazer Institute, 1998).

______, Public Spending in the 20th Century: A Global Perspective (Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2000).

______, “Countries with Big Governments Run Risk of Slower Growth,” IMF Survey, February 19, 1996.

The author, Mr. Henry Kyambalesa, is a Zambian academic currently residing in the City and County of Denver, Colorado, in the United States of America.

Oscar Pistorius is guilty of culpable homicide

Paralympian Oscar Pistorius is guilty of culpable homicide, Judge Thokozile Masipa ruled in the High Court in Pretoria on Friday.

“The unanimous decision of this court is the following. On count one murder…the accused is found is not guilty…instead he is found guilty of culpable homicide,” she said.

“There is no basis for this court to make the inference that the accused wanted to kill the deceased.

“The conduct of the accused shortly after the incident is inconsistent with someone who had wanted to commit murder.”

She initially asked the 27-year-old athlete to stand up before she handed down her verdict.

He stood up with his hands folded in front of him.

He looked straight at Masipa and did not show any emotions when she said he was guilty of culpable homicide.

His family also showed no reaction.

The only sound in the court was that of reporters hastily typing the verdict.

Pistorius was accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in his Pretoria townhouse on Valentine’s Day last year. He shot her through the locked door of his toilet, apparently thinking she was an intruder about to emerge and attack him. She was hit in the hip, arm, and head.

Masipa said evidential material before the court showed that Pistorius acted negligently when he fired into the toilet door, knowing there was someone behind it.

“It cannot be said that the accused did not entertain a genuine belief that there was an intruder in the toilet who posed a threat to him,” she said.

 “It could not be said that he foresaw that either the deceased or anyone else for that matter might be killed when he fired the shots at that door.”

When Masipa announced her verdict Steenkamp’s father Barry leaned forward and laced his fingers on the edge of the public gallery. Her mother June showed no emotion.

Steenkamp’s friends started crying.

Her cousin Kim Martins was being consoled by her husband as she sat looking down after Judge Thokozile

Members of the Steenkamp family looked at Pistorius when he stood up.

Steenkamp’s friend Gina Myers started crying and was consoled by her mother Desi and sister Kim.

Court was silent as Masipa read out the judgment.

Afterwards Pistorius sat down and stared straight ahead. One of his aunt’s, seated in the front row, briefly closed her eyes and her lips moved as if she was praying.

He was also acquitted on charges of illegal possession of ammunition and one of the charges on the illegal discharge of a firearm in a public place.

But he was found guilty on the illegal discharge of a firearm in the restaurant Tashas in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg in January 2013.

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