It is time that Zambia retained and upheld the legacy of the country’s founding father and first republican President, Kenneth Kaunda.

His, is a legacy in which he instilled a selfless leadership and brooked no nonsense in terms of integrity and performance among his ministers.

He made it clear that their sole aim to being appointed to serve in his administration was to deliver the government’s mandate and nothing else.

They were focused on serving the country without asking for anything in return.

That is what is missing in government.  Those found wanting were quickly replaced with performers.

Dr Kaunda was decisive on matters of discipline, even on mere rumours of impropriety among his colleagues.

He would immediately crack the whip and send those accused on leave pending investigations.  They would then be re-appointed after being cleared.

The famous or infamous Kaunda press conferences caused fear and anticipation in the nation on who could be sent packing on account of indiscipline or corruption.

Dr Kaunda’s press conferences were famous not only for making major policy pronouncements but also announcing to the nation those facing the disciplinary action.

It was during the State House press conferences that he would announce major reshuffles in government, civil service as well as in parastatal bodies.

The nation could always look forward to these press conferences because Dr Kaunda never shied away from addressing any form of alleged corruption or shortcomings in government.

We are quite sure that some of the present crop of ministers or even permanent secretaries would have been shown the door not only for alleged corruption but incompetence.

Some of the problems facing the country, especially in service delivery could be attributed to incompetence.

There is no reason for example why the country’s health care system is in shambles when the government has always insisted that it has been releasing money to buy drugs and other needs.

The Ministry of Agriculture has continued to wobble with no sense of direction.  The Farmer Input Support Programme has been a dismal failure.

This has been compounded by the ministry’s failure to ensure that fertiliser and other farming inputs were delivered on time.

This is most likely going to lead to a reduced national harvest as a lot of farmers, particularly small-scale who are the major producers of maize have been affected.

It would lead to reduced food security among the vulnerable who have hitherto been assured of producing enough to feed themselves as the government never failed to provide farming inputs.

It should not be business as usual when such major disruptions occur in key ministries which have a major bearing on the nation’s stability.

What would President Kaunda have done in the midst of such failure?  He would have cracked the whip.


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