GOVERNMENT lacks leaders with proper developmental plans, says Professor Nkandu Luo. Prof Luo, who is a former cabinet minister and the country’s first female professor, said it was unfortunate that Zambia’s development had become a privilege and not an entitlement to citizens because it was not reaching the poorest people.
“The challenge that we have in Zambia is that a lot of decisions on what should happen in the country are made in air-conditioned offices. The people that are providing leadership and planning for Zambia are not close to the problems of the people. Therefore the planning and the decisions are made far from the real needs of the people,” said Prof Luo in an interview.
She said until the government leaders started planning with the needs of the people at heart, meaningful development would be realised.
“Some of us who have travelled this country have expressed sadness. We have seen the state of our schools, hospitals and roads even after so many years of independence. These things are totally in an unacceptable state,” Prof Luo said.
“If we had a leadership in place that does not react harshly to the genuine statements that are being made by different leaders of society, they would inspect their work, the so-called developmental projects.
Together we would work towards improving the lives of the people of Zambia. We would be so much developed as a country.”
Prof Luo said government was spending a lot of money on irrelevant projects because of lack of proper planning.
“The planning of development in Zambia must be done seriously. For how long are we going to have community schools? Does that mean that we do not value the education of our children? If we did value the education of our children, by now we should have graduated from community schools to better schools with the kind of human resource that is deserving to educate our children,” said Prof Luo.
She noted that the quality of community school education was not impressive hence the call for graduation into the mainstream education system.
She also questioned whether government leaders ever put themselves in the ‘shoes of learners’ and children in the community schools.
“Do they ever think what if it were me? What if it were my child who is going to be exposed to the situation of learning in these community schools? I wish they could ask themselves what if this was my son who is having to teach in a community school for a bag of maize then maybe they would try to make things better for our people,” she said.
“These are some of the things that should form the basis of planning. Personally I do not like to read all these praises about how well the economy is doing. The economy of Zambia must be translated to the quality of people’s lives. Which economy is doing well when the people of Zambia are wallowing in abject poverty?”
And Prof Luo said chieftainess Nkomeshya’s recent sentiments about government’s failure to deliver real development should be taken seriously by the government.
“The chieftainess is known to people as a humble woman who is very close to her people. She is a leader who wants to see development for her people. If government leaders have a heart, they will listen and act on what she said,” said Prof Luo.
The Soli traditional leader from Chongwe, during the memorial service of area member of parliament Sylvia Masebo’s mother Margaret Tembo, questioned the benefits of voting for the MMD government again after it has failed to deliver development in her area.
“Every year time, we do vote but what is our benefit? There is nothing! There is nothing! I represent the people. I am not a politician but I am a traditional leader. I want to know what our benefits are for voting for the MMD,” chieftainess Nkomeshya Mukamabo II said.
“When that day comes for us to go and vote, we are going to vote. I want to ask, ‘Is my vote and the vote of my people worth it to this government?’ If I cannot get the benefit from it, why should they vote if they are not reaping?
I am sure even the minister Gabriel Namulambe as he was coming he saw the type of schools that we have. Most of them are self-help schools. Where are the government schools? Chongwe Basic School is a missionary and Catholic school which was taken over by government, it was not built by government.”/post