Seleni Tusheteko: Zambia Railways & Why Parastatals Have Failed Zambia
I have not given up on Zambian Railways and neither have I given up on the Zambian people. I have not given up on the resolute will of our people to better our country and restore our future.I believe in Zambia and I believe in its destiny. But at the same time, I believe that we must change our systems if we are to effect true change to ZRL, ZESCO, or even NCZ. The current parastatal system in Zambia does not help these companies instead these companies become conduits for political opportunism and nepotism.
Parastatals have never made a profit since 1964. Parastatals have been run not on a business model but on a political model. Parastatals have not had professionals running the boards but they have been staffed with relatives, nephews, nieces and great-grandsons of the politicians. Regardless of how brilliant a manager is, once the politics enter the boardroom, there is no way ZRL would have enough goodwill left to even build a single engine.
Chirwa is done. And so is Michael Sata come 2016. However, there is hope for parastatals I must confess, the hope that Munkombwe talked about, the hope for the next mouth to go into the parastatal boards to steal. There is hope for Munkombwe and the corrupt known to steal a little bit more from the poor. Zambia can do better, but parastatals under the current model will only go to ensure that after Chirwa returns to Britain we will have another brilliant man waste his talents on mud unless he provides a few millions to the board members. These board members have worked hard, and yes they have. They campaigned for Sata in 2011 and it is their time to eat.