During Covid19 pandemic the poor have become poorer. Prices have substantially risen. Many people are pushed to extreme poverty.
But also this time many millionaires or billionaires have increased their wealth excessively.
In Zambia, a trend was noted while millions of poor children have missed out on education, those from affluent families learnt online or were able to access e-learning on different platforms,including, Whats App.
We as a country need to build a better, fairer, equitable and just society. Poverty levels are high. Northern Province has 79.7 per cent poverty levels. Some areas of Zambia have even higher than this.
The fight against inequality requires the involvement of people at grassroots level. No doubt about this. In some areas of Zambia, we can see passion and proactive attitudes of people to change their lives. But they don’t know how.
So why grassroots involvement?
This is where people need to work collectively and organize themselves to bring about change with good leadership in place to support them. Letting people use their Voices and be heard. How else can they be served without being heard? They had to be a stop of weakening voices of the ordinary people let them be heard. Let them govern.
Inequality is not just hindering growth of our economy by causing poor production from the vast number of poor Zambians, and therefore results in no excess for agro-processing and/ or export to bring money into country, it also exacerbates poverty.
Its making societies/ communities less healthy. Zambia is 4th hungriest country in Africa. Poor diet leading to stunted growth, poor school performance, and families hungry will produce less. Poor production, leading to poor rural development and again poor health and an economy non performing continues in a viscous cycle. The poor get poorer in every way. This unacceptable cycle continues.
Inequality has also created mistrust. People failed over and over again and they don’t trust government and politicians. Hope is reduced, and this affects production, they get even poorer , with everything which goes with this persisting.
Inequality to the poor additionally hampers vital action to climate change which in turn affects rain and production and economy at large. In many rural areas you drive around trees cut for either “Chitemene” system of cultivation, or for charcoal. How do you tell these people to stop without replacing with an option . Like lime supplement instead of cutting trees and burning. And it’s any tree cut until it runs out locally.
Addressing inequality will also reduce corruption. It’s rampant and down the line it’s the poor and economy which suffers more.
As a country enhancing power of all our people is critical. Supporting communities, women, youth , children’s education, cooperatives, finance and marketing of products. Let people be heard at every level.
From grassroots, strengthening big numbers of people to come together and build their communities with support from government.
There has to be redistribution of wealth, equity, through government funded actions and accountability to the public and to the nation. Accountability to all and to the poor, to break the viscous cycle of inequality and poverty.
Let’s struggle together as a nation for our nation. You have to plough to get crops they won’t just appear. We have to plough at inequality factors until it concedes and we have a harvest.
As Zambians, strong, organized revolutionary actions together with good honest leadership, can transform our nation.We can transform lives of people and economy. We can give hope to generations, better peace and better lives.
Socialist Party parliamentary candidate for Malole Constituency.