PLAYING politics with national calamities is totally unacceptable.
The impending job losses on the mines as a result of depressed copper prices should galvanize the nation towards common action instead of playing political upmanship.
We must also learn a lesson from the current power deficit which has arisen due to natural circumstances which are unlikely to abate in the near future.
Climate change is a reality that has affected the globe and Zambia cannot be insular to the phenomenon of power deficit which is likely to get worse.
Zambia like all developing countries must learn to utilize its natural resources to produce goods and services that will be competitive on the international market because more than 75 percent of international trade is in manufactured goods.
Insanity, they say is repeating the same action but expecting a different result. We have been on this turf before. Our mines have suffered serious reversals due to price fluctuations which affected the economy even more insidiously.
Attempts were made by the UNIP government to implement socialist policies in the hope of ameliorating economic malaise which resulted in severe shortages of the most essential commodities in the country.
The answer to our problems lies in pragmatism and common sense approach to our economic potential and the realization of full benefits from God’s endowment.
At the centre is the need for development and effective use of our human capital which must be encouraged to add value through industry that must be generated within our small and medium enterprises.
The newly established Industrial Development Corporation should focus on this sector by identifying those areas and sectors where we can add value to compete with the developed world.
There must be a very intensive, determined and highly focused approach of capital formation so that we upgrade the levels of skills and entrepreneurial expertise.
In this regard we fully agree with the minister of finance who has advocated for greater participation of banks in the promotion of growth by stepping up credit to productive sectors.
This support should not simply end at providing the money but also ensuring greater extension services to avoid premature closures and collapses.
There is a wide belief that Zambian businessmen and women cannot be trusted because of poor repayment records. This is a reality that must be dealt with by a process of screening and nurturing far beyond the traditional levels.
More importantly however, we as Zambians must create the environment, political social and economic to develop and attract more investment.
Continued engagement in sterile polemics that ignore the reality on the ground will inevitably drive us deeper into despair and underdevelopment.