IN YOUR paper dated Wednesday, December 12, 2018, President Edgar Lungu is quoted as saying: “Zambians are very poor readers.
They do not read the Bible and they do not read the Constitution.” And whilst officiating at a dinner dance recently, the President gave a directive to the Economics Association of Zambia to go to all parts of the country and educate citizens on the content of the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) 2017-2021.
The two issues stated above cannot pass without any comment. And the following are my comments:
1. The President just hit the nail on the head in both cases: The poor reading culture among Zambians and the need for citizens to be enlightened about the 7NDP. Two months ago, I went to the Government Printers in Lusaka with an intention to buy the Constitution of Zambia, and when I asked the receptionist if copies of the constitution were available, he replied in the affirmative and said a copy costs K500. I walked away in total disbelief. President Lungu, if what I was told is true, then many citizens cannot manage such a cost for what is deemed to be a very important national document. Sir, you need to see how the constitution can better be available to us.
2. The Bible in Matthew 5:15 clearly states and I quote: “No one lights a lamp and puts it under a bowl, instead, he puts it on the lampstand where it gives light for everyone in the house to see.”
Our country’s Parliament passes so many Acts on different national issues, but none of them is made available to citizens. The same goes for the 7NDP and the Vision 2030, which are meant for the good economic, social, cultural and other growths of the country. Unfortunately, they are just lying in the cabinets and drawers of government offices without being disseminated to citizens, who are the final beneficiaries.
During periods leading to general elections, polling educators are sent all over the country to enlighten voters about what is expected of them. Why not do the same with important documents like the 7NDP and the Vision 2030?
Let us sooner than later see the Economics Association of Zambia and all those concerned hit the road in response to the President’s directive.