SEVERE frustration is listening to some members of Parliament debating President Edgar Lungu’s speech.
The contributions are out of context and a virtual outpouring of partisan political vitriol that has no place in our current social, economic and political quagmire that is need of pragmatism and realism to resolve.
Instead of discussing issues the debates are assuming campaign speeches intended to persuade listeners to the political orientation of the speaker, without paying any regard to the context of the speech.
We assumed that the speech would be understood in the context of a policy roadmap which provided a vision and direction for the country and in this particular case set out a road map of activities and programmes to address immediate, medium and long term goals.
As a newspaper we understood it as a blueprint that was to guide the various arms of Government to micro plan and realize the greater macro programmes of economic development.
The impression being created that Zambia is a unique country facing equally unique problems created by the current Government cannot be further from the truth because all our neighbors are facing their own economic problems, some much more than we are doing.
It is incomprehensible that that some MPs have found it short on practical detail to deal with the current problems involving load shedding, currency fluctuation and inflation. That certainly is not the intention of a speech of the nature delivered at the opening of the House.
It is depressing and very frustrating to listen to political pontification that offers no practical solutions to the problems that the country is confronting.
The speech has availed members to critically examine Government programmes and offer guidance before enabling legislation is introduced in the house. There is no doubt that the wide array of initiatives that the President has proposed will require supporting legislation.
For example It is impossible in one speech to be comprehensive in dealing with a dynamic and ever shifting issue of the kwacha considering that the value is time conscious and will respond to any stimuli that may be generated by politicians.
It is our hope that the House will see the speech as of half full glass that offers an opportunity for positive contribution than a half empty sterile, barren and opportune forum for political verbiage that will not add anything to the country.
This is not the time for finger pointing, self pity and self deprecation. This is the time for change, innovation and dynamic “out of the box” thinking.
There is no doubt that our country is facing one of the most critical economic challenges ever, given the decline in commodity prices, deficit in hydro-electricity generation and now serious decline in the value of the kwacha.
We entirely agree with former acting president Dr. Guy Scott in his admonition for a pragmatic approach towards national development. Lauding potential is not good enough if it is not accompanied with strategic and well planned activities that will realize and accrue benefit to the economy.
That is why it is frustrating that some members of the House are dwelling on partisan debate rather than providing input that will assist the Government establish meaningful development goals and practices to attain overall development objectives.
This country has been offered a tremendous opportunity to start afresh with a new leadership, a new vision, and better