Mon. Sep 23rd, 2019

Mistrust: Zambian leaders, citizens poles apart

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By JOHN SAKALA
‘Trust deficit between the governors of Zambia and the governed is on the rise,’ Press Association of Zambia President Andrew Sakala has said.

Mr Sakala has attributed the mistrust to mismatch on campaign promises and the deliveries being made.

He said citizens cannot trust their leaders anymore because leaders are not consulting them on various matters.

“There is also lack of transparency in the way some things are procured like fires tenders. Apart from transparency, there is lack of prudent management of national resources.

“Like the setting up of nuclear plant in Chongwe, chiefs and residents in Chongwe feel they were not engaged by Government on the nuclear plant. Now citizens are suspicious of Government on every undertaking even when the move means well,” he said.

He said that there is no fiscal discipline in most of the parastatals.

Mr Sakala implored Government to instill confidence in the citizens by being transparent in its undertakings.

Zambia Council for Social Development (ZCSD) Executive Director Lewis Mwape said leadership is all about trust but the current leaders had failed to build that trust.

Mr Mwape said the governors are fearing their shadows and want to silence everyone who speaks out against them.

He said government bosses are the ones winning tenders.

“They advertise when they have already employed. Recruitment of police, army and teachers have more grey areas. The system has been politicized such that whatever opportunity is available the first consideration goes to those politically aligned,” he said.

He said during the Kaunda era public officers had a code of conduct where they were not allowed to invest in certain businesses which was conflicting with their work.

Mr Mwape said at the moment there are allegations of corruption but the governors see nothing wrong with the accusations.

“It’s difficult to prove corruption but the eyes of the Republican President are penetrative and see all. Last time he noticed mega deposits of money into some bank accounts of Ministers.

“This means he has capacity to trace some of those allegations against his Ministers but he has chosen to remain quiet. Then how can we trust our governors who can’t defend themselves on allegations of corruption levelled against them,” he said.

But Chief Government Spokesperson Dora Siliya said there is no mistrust between the government and the people because the government is the people.

Ms Siliya said sometimes there are some excitements from the media circles that want to be noticed.

“But it is important for journalists to do their journalism professionally in a manner that is not sensational. It is important that people don’t get drawn into the sphere of politicians who want to paint this government insincere.

“The best way for us to work is to be considerate, transparent and be as clear as possible including the toughest hostility measures. If the Minister of Finance says the debt is $ 8.7 billion I cannot understand the justification for someone saying no the Government is lying. Who should know better than the Government, to say that you don’t believe, what interest we would have to lie to,” she said.

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