Parallel nations

Slowly we have two nations emerging and running in parallel.

There is the Zambia of the affluent Tenderprenuers who are not satisfied running the most modern posh cars, they also want a national airline that will land at the new International airport.

Then there is the jobless urban dweller and rural peasants who must eke a living from the most menial of preoccupations.

From afar the two reveal parallel existence but a closer look shows a nexus, an ugly one at that.

Instead of the savings made from the removal of subsidies from fuel, maize and fertilizer going to increase services and medical supplies at the Kanyama clinic, the money will instead go towards supporting the brand new airline in which our Tenderprenuers and senior public officials will travel first class.

Such is the dichotomy in our nation today ,never the twain shall meet.

Could this be what the Minister of Finance meant ho told Parliament that the House and the executive should be magnanimous enough to eat with the rest of the nation?

Obviously we have two parallel nations running simultaneously, one on theĀ  modern face book exhorting the major mega achievements and the second being the one in which the Jesuit Civil Society for Poverty Reduction and the Jesuit Centre for theological Reflection(JCTR) advocate for.

One world is so distant from the other as to appear unrelated and therefore no common bearing and yet they have a common root.

Sadly the Patriotic Front has learnt no lessons from their victory in the 2011 elections. The winning formula was to promise the have nots more money and more jobs. That mantra struck a resonant chord which defeated the Movement for Multi Party Democracy which touted the very same mega projects now taken over by the Government.

Where the MMD spoke of building roads the PF talked about individual poverty, where the MMD spoke of macroeconomic stability the PF promised reduced consumer prices.

In the end the heart and not the mind won the day. There is no guarantee that this will not happen again because the electorate vote Governments into office to ensure that their interests are served. More often the interests are bread and butter issues.

It is gratifying that the Minister of Finance Mr. Alexander Chikwanda has acknowledged the intractable levels of poverty prevailing in our country.

The majority of the Zambian people are poor. The poverty is visible and can be seen in the number of children suffering from malnutrition admitted to our hospitals especially our premier hospital-UTH.

The youths, including jobless university graduates are looking for real jobs that were not the temporary ones building roads but real jobs that will sustain them.

Very soon the electorate will begin to demand for the delivery of quality social services they were promised. They are most unlikely to accept Pave 8000 as an excuse for not having water reticulation and decent roads in Lusaka. The farmers will not accept being deprived inputs.

The sooner the Government begins to address these matters the better.