Letters to the editor

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 11:39:31 +0000

Investing in infrastructure is key to ZESCO’s growth

Dear Editor,

I would like to add to the voice of those who have supported ZESCO’s application to the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) for a 75 percent tariff increase as it is a positive proposal that would attract massive investment into ZESCO’s infrastructure growth.

Encouragingly, the company’s proposed increment should, however, be implemented in 3 phases of 25 percent apiece in order to mitigate the tariff hike impact on domestic household end-users instead of two with the first phase pegged at 50 percent and the rest at 25 percent.

Frankly, these plans are not ambitious enough (“Govt supports 75% power tariff hike”, Daily Nation, April 5, 2017).

Undoubtedly, Zambia has experienced very strong growth over the past decade and is now amongst the fastest growing countries in the SADC sub-region.

However, to sustain and broaden the impressive economic growth, the PF government and private business leaders would need to take decisive actions to strengthen the country’s infrastructure – including its roads, railways, airports, water supply, electricity and telecommunications.

In all these areas, in the past, Zambia had the least developed infrastructure in the SADC sub-region, partly a legacy of historical underinvestment due to the freedom struggle in its neighbouring countries – Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Angola, Namibia and South Africa. In fact, the consequences of this lag were significant.

Poor infrastructure hindered Zambia’s integration into the SADC and COMESA economy, discouraged outside investment and local entrepreneurship, and raised the cost of doing business.

But now, Zambia requires higher infrastructure investments to access global markets for its natural resources or manufactured goods. The need for power tariff hike and investment is clearly great, and so are the returns for investors.

So how can PF government leaders ensure that existing investment is put to use effectively, and that new investment is deployed at the levels needed?

By applying 4 levers: Building the right infrastructure; delivering infrastructure more productively; making the most of existing infrastructure; and working more effectively with private partners.

ZESCO’s different infrastructure projects would have vastly different social and economic returns, and investment must target the most critical needs and priorities that offer the biggest pay-off, by ensuring that infrastructure investments are made in accordance with cross-cutting national plans and strategies.

ZESCO’s better delivery could increase the output of its infrastructure spending by up to 50 percent, through better planning, earlier completion of feasibility studies, more efficient procurement processes, and a move to medium-term, multi-year budgeting.

Much can also be gained from increasing the efficiency and productivity of existing infrastructure through better maintenance, improved regulation, or improved administration.

Mobilising private capital through public-private partnerships can increase the potential for infrastructure investment and also ensure that infrastructure is delivered in a manner that is better and more efficient for end-users.

ZESCO has the opportunity to consider more systematically the extent to which it takes advantage of the four levers set out above.

The improvement opportunities are real and the potential rewards substantial.

I strongly believe cost reflective power tariffs and power generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure should be a key focus for ZESCO’s policymakers and investors alike.

Mubanga Luchembe,

The Zombies in our opposition camps

Dear Editor,

I write to urge those aspiring for higher office of governance to stop misleading the Zambians and the nation as whole.

The Patriotic Front Party and President Lungu have not even once opted for Zambia to pull out of ICC the way other African countries have done.

What is in the public domain is that the Government has instead engaged all well-meaning Zambians to get their views on whether Zambia should also pull out of ICC or remain in there.

Where then is this nonsense that PF and President Lungu want to pull Zambia out of ICC coming from?

Don’t mislead people because you can speak good English and want to treat the rest of Zambians as Zombies.

We are all alive that the consultation on the matter is still on-going and government will only issue a comprehensive response after the consultation process.

So, let those who feel Zambia should remain in ICC consent by virtue of the on-going process.

This is the same behaviour that made the August 2016 Referendum to fail because of such political zealots who are fond of politicking even over a good cause meant for the best of the nation.

Wisdom Muyunda


Pastors should stop misleading patients on ARVs

Dear Editor,

I write to urge some men and women of God who call themselves Christians to stop misleading patients by telling them to stop taking drugs prescribed to them by medical doctors.

Victims to these so called prophets are those mainly sick with the HIV virus and are told to instead stop taking ARVs and just embark on prayers which the purported prophets offer.

Let us be alive to the fact that medical doctors also have a calling from God for the sole purpose of saving lives.

It is therefore not good to advise patients on ARVs to stop taking them only for them to die sooner than later because their viral loads fail them.

This is totally unacceptable and I urgently appeal to the Ministry of Health and the powers that may be to quickly move in and deter this developing belief in patients who are becoming victims daily. Yes, prayers can work alongside the already prescribed medication and not to stop taking medication. Most of those who have stopped taking ARVs opting for prayers have actually died quicker than they could if they did not stop taking the drugs.

I feel it should also call for prosecution of those advising patients to quit taking drugs for causing death when the patients die to put this rot to end.  Concerned citizen


Zambia’s opposition leaders uninspiring

Dear Editor,

I have always considered the ADD leader Charles Milupi as a scholarly man who should be a brainwave to Zambia.

But when I read in one of our tabloids that he was going to drag President Lungu to the ICC whether or not Zambia was a member of the organisation. Lo, I could not stop laughing.

I did not know that politics can actually moderate an intelligent being to a common man thinking levels like it did to Milupi.

Now Mr Milupi, assuming we are not members like the USA is not, how do you take Mr Lungu to ICC which does not recognize him? Do you really know why Washington is not a member of ICC?

I think you spoke too soon and with a foot in your mouth but I supposed that’s what many of our politicians, especially in the opposition do.

In trying to talk tough as they struggle to win empathy from members of public, they often end up turning issues into dog meals.

Our opposition political parties do not have the slightest idea of being in opposition because all they want is to be in State House.

If they are out, whoever is in, is regarded their Number One enemy who should daily be insulted, but then one has realise and understand the shallowness of African politics.

To date I have not heard from any of our opposition political leaders advising those ruling to go about certain challenges the nations is facing.

All we have are a bunch of smart alecks, who know it all. One moment they are engineers, doctors, economists, agriculturalists, fishermen, governors and the other, common chumps who actually know nothing.

There is simply no opposition camp to talk about in Zambia save for those who only speak, eat, dream and preach hate speeches against those in authority.

Boy, am I tired of these smarty pants or is it wisenheimers. They simply disgusting!

Pardon Sekani, Ndola


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