Editor's Comment

Sata’s dream must live on

SINCE the demise of President Sata in London on October 28, 2014, many have eulogised him for various reasons, but one stands out.
Some have praised him for his affection for the underprivileged; others for his pragmatic approach to implementation of decisions; and others still for his prudence in management of resources.
It is, however, generally agreed that Mr Sata’s achievements are too numerous to single out one, but it is certain that he has left a big footprint on Zambia, which will be impossible to erase.
The works are there for all to see.
However, a few can still be singled out of the countless projects and reforms he initiated.
As Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation board chairperson John Mulwila said after viewing the President’s body, the veteran politician has laid a foundation for the tangible and long-term development of the nation.
Dr Mulwila said without proper infrastructure there cannot be any development.
The massive infrastructure development programme that Mr Sata set in motion is the trigger Zambia desperately needed to embark on its journey to prosperity.
The biggest beneficiary of the infrastructure development is the roads sector.
Under the Link Zambia 8000 project, President Sata’s vision was to open up the nation by tarring a total of 8,000 km of road in all the 10 provinces of the country.
Phase one of the project is already under way with some roads either completed or nearing completion.
Some are at design level while others are awaiting inception following the signing of contracts.
For the first time in the history of the nation, the people of Nabwalya Chiombo in Mpika district, Muchinga Province, will have a tarred road.
It has been taking people three days to get to the chiefdom because of poor transport, compounded by the unfriendly terrain.
Every province has projects that are either underway or have just been sealed with contractors.
Then the President came up with the Pave Zambia 2000 in which he planned to pave 2,000 km of urban roads countrywide.
As the country’s capital, Lusaka should be the model of all the towns.
To achieve this, Mr Sata came up with the Lusaka 400 project in which the Road Development Agency is expected to rehabilitate or construct 400 km of roads.
The health sector has had a generous chunk of the cake. Several hospitals are being upgraded to first level or referral facilities to provide services to the people of Zambia.
Also, the government is building a total of 650 health posts countrywide to take healthcare services closer to the people.
Another big beneficiary is the education sector in which the government has embarked on the construction of 84 secondary schools, out of which 41 have either been completed or are under construction.
President Sata wanted to increase access to tertiary education and so he initiated the construction of 10 universities.
His vision was that each province should have a public university.
He increased the salaries for civil servants and increased the threshold for pay-as-you-earn exemption from K2,000 to K3,000.
After years of going back and forth, President Sata fast-tracked the constitution-making process, which has culminated into the release of the final draft for public scrutiny.
The list is a long one.
President Sata’s dream of a developed and prosperous Zambia should live on.
It is the best way of honouring him for his compassion for his fellow citizens.

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