The currently adjusted budget shows where the government priorities are and it does not make us cheerful. They upped the allocation to state residencies (Presidents Palaces) and lowered the allocation to education.
We all know: public education is the driver of social mobility as well as the long term driver of the economy. When only children of rich people can afford decent education, the children of poor people will never get an opportunity to improve their lives. This locks families into eternal poverty. And only the children of the rich get the opportunity to learn the skills needed to float to the top. This way they keep the riches in the family, and the ruling class will not be challenged effectively.
We see a little of a power struggle now: the middle classes are writing angry columns in the newspapers, like they did under previous mal administration. And the President blows his cool, like previous presidents. The President declares he does not read the papers, just like previous presidents. As if this will impress the papers. The President knows what’s in the papers, otherwise he would have no reason to denounce them!
The current budget shows that the government does not offer governance. The government system is totally sung free from its reason to exist. It does not govern the nation, it is only concerned with itself: the internal power games have this time given rise to a rise for the department of Peter Mukhito (State Residences) who was the genius who created the academic freedom saga and who picked a fight with Robert Chasowa who was consecutively murdered with involvement of some DPP top brass (read the report) who were never prosecuted. Not when Mukhito was IG of Police, and not after.
This government is not concerned with the population, it is concerned with its own appearance. The appearance of government is improved when the minister of agriculture and food security ensures us that there is enough food to be secure, even when the rising maize prices tell us otherwise. The appearance of government is improved when the President assures us no citizen will die of hunger even when this is what is happening. The appearance of government is improved when the Presidential palaces are fixed up with banquet halls and such, even when the population has no food. What do we need a banquet hall for when there is not food? But there will be plenty of luxurious food in the state banquet hall. No problem with that if the people banqueting on the banquet in the banquet hall would be doing their job to such an extent that the country is functioning. But people are dying of hunger, the hospitals have not even essential drugs let alone all drugs, the schools have a terrible shortage of teachers, while there are trained teachers out of work. And our children can only get an education in expensive private schools while the government creates an inflation that undermines our income to the extent that we are having trouble meeting essential expenses like thee school fees for our children.
So the government system is dysfunctional (to the extent that they are not even producing audited accounts, which means that your and mine tax money can be stolen with impunity). IN a democracy we could elect a different government party to change the way things are run. But the problem is: all parties have the same philosophy: conservatism, which means conserve what is there, which means let the government system rot as it has been rotting since 1994.
The government basically does nothing other than concern itself with itself. Until they feel their power is under threat. Than they pull off their masks and forget about the niceties like the law. Even within the ruling class they will illegally arrest opposition politicians. And if the population dares to exercise its right to expression and its right to assembly by demonstrating, then the police IG (then Mukhito) does not take responsibility for the police actions, but sits in a hall listening to a long winded “public lecture” while he lets his police officers without leadership kill the unarmed demonstrators.
The government does nothing for the country, and has no limits in its ways to hold on to power. What do we do? A palace revolution as proposed by Z Allan Ntata is not the solution: it would only bring to power another part of the conservative ruling class. Remember that Mr Ntata himself was Presidential Advisor on Legal Matters during the time Bingu bulldozed the Bad Laws through parliament. Mr Ntata stayed on. He lost his credibility as afar as good governance is concerned.
We need opposition from outside the political system. Maybe CSOs can do something, maybe we need to self organize. We need non-violent resistance, like I wrote before: