With or without the Gulfstream Jet, the poor shall survive

Dear Editor,
WHEN we are just recovering from the fatigue of the debate on the chaotic 2022-2023
distribution of the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), our attention has now been drawn
towards the sale of the Gulfstream Jet.
At least, the debate on FISP was worth our attention in light of the potential negative impact on
national food security and anticipated reduced productivity among our small-scale farmers.
President Hakainde Hichilema re-ignited this debate recently when he reaffirmed that his
administration is committed to sale of the Gulfstream Jet which cost the national treasury an
estimated US$193 million.
Former ambassador Emmanuel Mwamba who seems to have impeccable sources within the
intelligence service puts the figures at US$123 million.
The focus of the debate is selling the item legally. This is the call from Green Party President
Peter Sinkamba. Mr Mwamba has gone a step further by citing Article 210 (2) of the Zambia
Amendment N0 2 of 2016 as instructive in selling national assets.
Minister of Justice Mulambo Haimbe has guided the nation that the sale of the jet has nothing to
do with Parliament.
He argues that there are enough internal rules and procedures within the Defences Forces of
disposing off wasting assets (Daily Nation, December 5, 2022). And so, the debate rages.
On this debate I share the view of Apostle Paul. Not everything legal is helpful (1 Cor, 10:23).
What is required is reasonableness in decision making in the sale of the Gulfstream Jet. Mr
Sinkamba’s proposal for cost and benefits analysis in decision making will greatly help inform
cabinet on the sale of the asset.
Otherwise for the common man and woman, with or without Gulfstream jet, the struggle for
survival continues.


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