The Scoop Editorial: November 15, 2022

ONE of the many reasons service delivery in every country lacks or is not executed to the expected efficiency is purposeful or inadvertent failure by gatekeepers to do their honest. Their failure to do so may be because they want to achieve a certain objective; mostly personal or political in nature.

Where sabotage abounds, it is the intended communities or groups of people that suffer and in most cases, those involved in this backward way of doing things do not immediately shoulder the blame. It may be their superiors or the appointing authority and unfortunately, this is exactly what is happening in Zambia today.

While things like someone reading a wrong speech or information not readily available on a critical issue or willful failure to set records straight when need arises may be seen to be sheer incompetence, this is not always the case.

Is it true that most public institutions were run by the Patriotic Front (PF)? Absolutely. Is this just a mere accusation? No. it is in black and white that anyone who was appointed by PF to senior positions in public institutions needed to be a PF member.

So, for a start, forget about your qualifications; forget your experience and whether or not you can do a better job. You could have all these and many more but if you did not belong to the chipani, it was a non-starter for you.

We will bring this closer home; Chapter I Article 3 of the PF constitution under the headline “Public Institutions” clearly states that the party shall ensure that all the public institutions, state-owned enterprises, and popular mass and similar organizations are led by persons who are members of the party and who are uncompromisingly committed to achievements of the party.

So, under the PF, this was a chain reaction. The President and his Ministers would appoint PF members to senior positions in public institutions and these seniors would then appoint their juniors on partisan or nepotism lines and this is how even today, the PF is still boasting that it has its people in Government and that it knows everything going on.

As long as these uncompromisingly committed PF elements continue running the show, service provision will always suffer. There is a lot of mischief going on within Government. A lot of things would have been achieved by now but for civil servants with divided loyalty.

Today, farmers are still struggling just to get fertilizer. We talked about how Mtolo Phiri has failed the sector but the issue has been exacerbated by some so-called technocrats who have retained their jobs despite being known PF elements who have nothing to lose even if the current Government is held in contempt for their willful failure.

Today, getting a passport in Zambia is a nightmare because of the same PF elements that have continued running the Passport Office. The narrative now is that Government is unable to procure material for printing passports.

This has opened doors for glaring corruption and bribery. You can pay for an express service but three months later, you will not have your passport but one who bribes those boys who stand outside the building who are connected to the people inside with whom they are cashing-in, gets it the same day. The most annoying part is the grave silence from the Minister over the challenges citizens are going through and ultimately, the blame goes to the President.

There is a total degeneration in the public service and this is why it has to take the President to call for meetings just to resolve the impasse surrounding CDF distribution yet there is a Minister, Permanent Secretary, Directors, and other technocrats in the ministry responsible.

So, let the PF surrogates continue giving Ministers wrong statements. Maybe that is when they will realise that PF is not sleeping. As a matter of fact, they are on overdrive. They have bought media houses and that is why their propaganda is moving like bushfire.

Sponsored media houses whose sins we have not forgotten are pummeling Government day and night. They started with the fake tollgate story. It has died a natural death. Now they are on Sylvia Masebo just to create an impression that Chitalu Chilufya’s Medi-gate scandal at the Ministry of Health is nothing compared to the rot under the UPND and because they have been given a leeway to get away with lies while eating from the little resources remaining within the PF rank and file, they will show you what substance they are made of.

One just needs to have a look at how Masebo’s wrong statement was dramatized to see through the deception and the poison this sponsored online media propaganda has created. Unfortunately, elections are won or lost based on perception. One lie told a million times just become the truth in the eyes of an ordinary, unenlightened individual and these are the ones who vote.

When people bring out concrete issues and you decide to ignore or trash such, just know you are digging your own grave. The UPND will soon have to do a lot of damage control but at the rate things are going, it may to be too late. Free advice!




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