Editor's Comment

Zambia deserves non-stop development

WHEN President Lungu took over the reins of Zambia, he indicated that he would hit the ground running. Some doubted his ability to do so, but some seven months on, many are awed by his verve as he seeks to walk the talk.
His robust work culture has seen him traverse the width and breadth of the country virtually every week to launch projects and to meet leaders at various levels of government and chiefdoms.
It is strange, therefore, that some are linking his latest pronouncements in Solwezi as electoral impropriety.
Why, for instance, should the President reject invitations to open a copper mine and to officiate at a major traditional ceremony just because there is an election in the province? Similarly, why should scheduled Government projects or programmes stop because of an on-going campaign?
There are hundreds of projects going on across the country and some of them, such as the road projects, have to be done quickly before the rainy season starts. Every minute matters if these projects are to be completed on or before schedule.
President Lungu was been officiating at Government and private sector projects in various parts of the country and underscoring the fact that these are actions for the benefit of all Zambians, regardless of their political affiliation or social status.
With general elections scheduled for 2016, would it then be an electoral irregularity to continue with these projects because they would ostensibly influence the electorates’ decision? Absurd.
In any case, is it not every voter’s desire or expectation to develop his or her area of authority – ward, constituency or country? They get into office to live up to these expectations and promises made.
Those that fall short of these expectations find themselves under pressure from the people and the political opponents take or try to take advantage of this.
Zambians expect President Lungu to fulfil his election promises throughout his tenure of office. They do not expect him to slacken when an election is pending, as is the case in Solwezi West.
The argument that the declaration of Kalumbila and Mushindano as districts is aimed at influencing the voters is therefore misplaced.
What should be questioned is whether it is a good decision of not. The overwhelming response, is that it is a good decision because it is expected to enhance quality development.
Those that are linking the decision to the by-election may wish to know that procrastination is a thief of time, and in this case, a thief of development. The earlier such decisions are made, the better.
If they continue to argue on the line they have taken, development could stall for a very long time and they would be the very people saying that the Government is not doing much to improve standards of living for Zambians.
Going by their argument, if there is any foreseeable election, no major developments or pronouncements should be made. In this case, the declaration of the new district would have to pend until after next year’s general elections.
Surely, Zambia cannot afford to delay development for the very people the political leadership promises to help. Those are delivering on their promises should be commended rather than try to distract them into arguments that take Zambia backwards.

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