1. There are two main things that worry me about UPND’s 10 point plan for Zambia. My first worry is that all the items listed in the Action Plan require money to be implemented but there is no mention of how a possible UPND govt will raise this money. Is it going to raise taxes? Is it going to borrow? Is it going to try and attract donor aid? Any plan with the expenditure part only without the income part is nothing but a wish list. It’s like l make an announcement to my family and friends that next year, am buying a Ferrari, two helicopters and a private jet but l don’t say how I intend to do so. Way back when l used to do some part time lecturing, l always used to tell my students that anyone with half a brain can spend money but it takes someone with a full brain to make the money. Therefore, anyone who talks about how they’ll spend the money is not bringing anything unique to the table.
2. My second worry about the 10 point Action Plan is that it does not outline activities that will be undertaken to achieve specific desired outcomes, but rather it lists the desired outcomes and vaguely talks about the activities that will be undertaken to achieve them. Additionally, there does not appear to be a strong relationship if any at all between the desired outcome and the planned activity. For example, point number 2 talks about “Reducing Inequality by Growing the Economy”. Inequality as measured by the Gini coefficient has got nothing to do with the size of the economy and simply looks at the proportion of the population which controls a given proportion of the wealth, and can therefore not be reduced simply by growing the economy. If UPND’s point number 2 was talking “Reducing Poverty by Growing the Economy” then it could have made some sense but not reducing inequality by growing the economy.
3. Other points like number 3 which talks about “Educate and Empower Youths through Better Access to Education” also sounds quite hollow. We all agree that our youths need to be educated and empowered so if anyone says that’s what they want to do, it’s nothing out of the ordinary. It only becomes something worth talking about when they say how they intend to “educate and empower” our youths. In this particular case however, UPND says they intend to achieve it through “Better Access to Education”. To me, that sounds like a hollow empty statement which is deficient in its substance as it is lacking in its specifics. What really constitutes “better access” and how will that “better access” be achieved? Is it by building new schools and if so, how will those new schools be funded? It is like l say l will win the 100 meters race at the Olympics and when am asked how l intend to do it, l say by running faster!
4. If l was a lecturer at some university and l gave my students an assignment to prepare a 10 point Action Plan to turn around Zambia and one of my students submitted the UPND’s 10 point plan, l would give such a student a “D-” with a recommendation that the student should try to locate their Grade 12 English school teacher and take further tuitions in English composition before coming back to varsity to proceed with their programme. Such English tuitions should have a major emphasis on what an “Action Plan” is.