Facebook politics

The one thing that the facebook public relations exercise  has demonstrated is the gulf between the  leadership and the ordinary people on the ground.

While facebook touts the momentous road developments taking place around the country, roads in Lusaka are in terrible shambles. The trunk artery for articulated trucks- Lumumba road is a night mare. Trucks must crawl over deeply gouged level crossings.

Roads in townships are in an even worse  condition with pools of water in deep gullies forming in the rain season.

That is not all; effluent from blocked toilets and shallow pit latrines runs freely and in some cases  mixing with shallow wells.

This is the lot of most urban dwellers especially those living in informal settlements. These are the electorate and opinion formers who are now suffering from a crisis of expectation.

The centralization of development planning means that the ordinary people and indeed ordinary political structures are distanced from the centre of power and influence.

The grandiose capital projects regularly announced on public media has little or any effect on the thousands of young un-employed youths  who are looking for real jobs that will guarantee them a future and not the menial road construction jobs that are as fleeting as they are un inspiring.

The ideal development paradigm in a multiparty democratic system must of necessity be based on communal participation for  the formulation and implementation of a development agenda that will take account of specific environmental, cultural and social practices.

The reality is that Zambia today has more unemployed university graduates than at any other point in history. The proliferation of universities, tertiary institutions and of course primary and secondary education means that thousands of youngsters are offloaded onto the job market every year.

In the absence of formal employment many graduates gravitate into informal activities for which they are ill equipped.

It must be clear that no single development model will meet the demands and dictates of any   society. Specific attention should be paid to the comparative advantages and attributes offered by each and every region in the country to ensure that the human resource is developed sufficiently to climb out of the poverty.

Unitarianism has often been associated with authoritarianism and the erosion of autonomy, free thinking and therefore enterprise. That is why central Government should seriously consider decentralizing facebook to the community to engender bottom up communication that will truly reflect the  life and concerns of ordinary Zambians.