Poverty, Unemployment and Inequality are some of the problems being faced by most developing countries in Africa and Zambia is not an exception. This essay determines to prove that to a less extent has development taken place under the P.F Government according to Dudley Seers. Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) which was led by former President Rupiah Bwenzani Banda devised the Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP) which covers the period 2011-2015. This plan is a successor of the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP) which covered a period of 2006-2010. In the current plan it says “During the FNDP period, Zambia managed to achieve significant growth averaging 6.1 %. Despite this achievement, the nation still faced a number of challenges particularly in areas of infrastructure, human development and effects of financial crisis. In this regard the theme of the SNDP is “Sustained growth and poverty reduction”. This will be achieved through accelerated infrastructure and human development, enhanced economic growth and diversification and promotion of rural development” (The Sixth National Development Plan 2011) In which the above plan has not been followed by the Patriotic Front Government. It has only concentrated highly on the National Income.
Dudley Seers says that development is the realisation of the potential of human personality through a reduction in poverty, unemployment and inequality. He argues that without these three aspects, even if national wealth increases development has not taken place. In line with the above Dudley Seers (1969) says “If we ask what an absolute necessity for this is, one answer is obvious enough food.” Zambians live on one dollar a day, which in Zambian currency is K5. Most poor people in Zambia are found in rural area because they have no way of accessing any income. One would think that because they are sparse from one another then there farm land would be large enough for enough food but most people in these areas don’t have enough food because the areas which they are found are either dry or acidic. Hence there is chronic hunger in these areas.
Dudley Seers also says another aspect is Unemployment. He says that a personality of a person cannot develop without Job. In that a person will be dependent on someone else to get their basic needs and this causes someone not to use their full potential as a human being. For example in Zambia there are a lot of institutions in which youths graduate from with good grades but after this they cannot find proper jobs in which they can get a good income. “It is quite interesting and at the same time very sad to note that while Zambia has high levels of unemployment in the country we could still allow the Chinese to bring their people to come and do the jobs which can easily be done by Zambians. The four Chinese facing charges of sexually assaulting minors in Luanshya comprise a bricklayer, a carpenter, a painter and a welder.”(Gilbert Wanda 2011) This means that investors do not employ people from Zambia get people from their own countries to do the work. While Patriotic Front itself promised This intern causes the youths to find income which is at least enough to meet their basic needs and those of their families’ thorough illegal ways such as drug trafficking, theft and prostitution, which is common among women. The P.F government as it came into power promised that there will be employment for the youths but none of this has yet come into play even up to now.
The third element which Dudley Seers has talked about is Inequality. In Zambia for example inequality is one of the huge main factors which is inhibiting development even after the Sixth National Development Plan stated that it will eradicate poverty this has not yet come into play because there has been little or no development in rural areas while urban areas there is building of new malls such as the new mall being built in the UNZA ground. In rural areas the clinics and shops are very far from where they live hence making it very difficult for the sick people to get to the clinics in time that is why there is a high death rate in the rural areas. Apart from that these clinics don not even have the proper medications, doctors and very few nurses to take care of the people. In conjunction there is also inequality in the income levels, recently ministers in Patriotic Front Government have received a 100 % salary increase while nurses in hospitals are complaining about their minimal rise in salary’s this simply shows that the current government is concentrated on the Members of Parliament getting richer rather than on the increasing the amounts of salaries given to teachers, nurses and other low ranking government workers so that they may be able to acquire there basic needs and indeed be able to treat the patients well. “Some Lusaka residents yesterday rioted after 50 houses were demolished in the Garden House area. The riot which started at 04:00 hours was only quelled after 07:00 hours by Zambia Police officers who rushed to the scene. According to eyewitnesses, the residents ran amok destroying a perimeter wall of over 40 panels in two places and blocking the road with burning tyres” (Fridah Nkonde 26 July 2013) .It simply shows that the government is not concerned about the demolishing of houses but rather the share which will be received from the investors who want to use that land to their benefit their selves rather than shelter the Zambian people. In conclusion this essay has proven that to a less extent has development taken place in Zambia according to Dudley Seers this simply because our current government has forgotten about the promises it made to the people of Zambia to reduce poverty, unemployment and inequality. Instead it has continued to concentrate on the growth of the economy.