Opinion: Why Zambia Is Not Wealthy?

By Saleya Kwalombota

Zambia is blessed with vast God given resources yet its people remain poor. I am pissed off to read and hear of the elicit wealthy accumulated by some people belonging to the party in power amidst poverty for the poor majority.

The current situation strengthens the argument that Political independence did not equal economic independence in Zambia, notwithstanding the peaceful prevailing atmosphere and high number of human capital.

Poverty is of own creation by virtue of plundering the country’s resources through theft of public funds by those in power coupled with very poor leaderships.It seems corruption is a curse in Zambian society. This culture of corruption in Zambia’s ruling elites is slowly turning into an epidemic that calls for serious measures to curb plundering of tax payers money with impunity by those in power.

With the pronouncements of national development plans by all successive Zambian governments, there has been little thought for economic growth since independence! Zambia has been riddled with dictators and thieves who see the presidency as some sort of enterprise where the government is a silicon valley and investors invest in their political campaign (the incidence of Chinese investors in Zambia) who are now getting returns on their investments and consequently ripping off the Zambian resources.

Since the reintroduction of multipartyism in 1991 Zambian politicians have been part of the corrupt elites of the “African character ”. The person of the president in Zambian politics fail to adapt to normal thinking of accountability and as servant of the people in the running of the affairs of the country. It is irrefutable that Zambia is not only a very Christian country on the African continent but even a more devote one on the surface of planet earth. Yet it tops the list among the most corrupt and highly indebted African countries.

The only thing the person of the president in Zambia understands is Consumption. Understanding the importance of creating and building wealth is no where near, except for clan based ministerial and government job appointments! With all the sentiments of alleged corruption in the ruling party by its former ministers , I have no doubt corruption exists, of course, with evidences of wealth that some of the named persons can not account for!

When in power, the president and his ministers go on holiday abroad, buy houses abroad, school their children abroad while the children of poor citizens are at home because of cholera outbreak which is avoidable if there was a responsible government.

They go for medical treatment abroad instead of spending this money in their own country to benefit their citizens. The ruling elites thrive in stealing from their people and send the money back through contracts awarded to the Chinese firms where the country borrowed the same money from.

Zambia is rich in resources and this is indisputable. But resources do not translate automatically into riches for benefits of the communities vis-a-vis poverty tag of North western province, despite being the country’s highest contributor in terms of GDP as indicated by the 2017 provincial GPD report.

In view of this, the question is, how can resources be used to benefit broad economic and social development and avoid the corruption and authoritarian rule? Zambians need to look inwards otherwise Zambia will continuously remain poor and its place in history as the worlds second major copper producer will remain on paper.

The key issue is always going to be the local population, the local leadership, the local press, and NGOs, non-governmental authorities must demand for openness and transparency in the governance affairs of this country.


  1. Mario

    Yes,and try to make thing in Zambia locally and export a lot of good,not importing

    • Geoffrey Bwamba Mwalya(GBM)

      True,Zambia is blessed with a number of resources but its people still remain in untold poverty, very sad indeed. It’s sad to note that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. It calls for a responsible govt to curb the current situation. Those in power are amassing public resources with impunity. Sad indeed.

  2. Elijah

    The party in power should look upon this matter because this is very serious

    • Kelvin Kabambi

      True we are suffering alot .. no jobs only people with money are getting jobs and people without money are becoming poor and poor every day .. where are we going please we need help .

  3. mkango

    pf has failed to run the country

  4. Nkwangu Siame

    Zambia would be a very wealthy country,The problem is that the leaders we elect become too corrupt with power invested in them, and most of them don’t mean well for this great nation of ZAMBIA..
    What we need for Zambia to be on track again is patriotism by our leaders and us the citizen.
    patriotism does not mean agreeing with everything the government does,patriotism is standing up for what is right for the betterment of this great Nation of ZAMBIA..

  5. XYSTUS zaya

    We need to break away of this situation and wake up n see coz de situation nuh better 4 we…

  6. blown doyo

    selfish parents

  7. poor man

    North Western Province we are in trouble copper is being taken at a high rate. But the province gets nothing from it.My question is who is getting the money? And who authorized the chaines to dig the barotseland carelessly? We’re watching and we’ll be on the followup. Coruption is high in Zambia and it is the first time Zambia to own corup leaders.

  8. swana Brown

    I agree with de writer Zambia needs to pull up nd fight this disease called corruption to zero nd wil began to see development after that so those in power lead by a good example.

  9. hanene

    Mbuya, well articulated.

  10. Gift Malanga

    This is very true.
    Sometimes I ask my self does this people who are involved and responsible for Zambians to be suffering like this that hell is real.
    Assume you are on judgement day what will you tell Jehovah God.

  11. Mpombo

    Stop ranting and hiding in ambiguities be specifics on your corruption cases than generalising and hallucinating there is corruption ….like a rabid dog.You mention what people do with their corruption money without specifying where the money specifically came from!Does it mean all those who send their children out are corrupt ?

    • Leeman

      Don’t be defensive for nothing ..the focal point people have depleted government funds and diverted them to their personal benefits which means orientation is needed they don’t know why they are called leaders ! They are there to help the citizens in need servants for people indeed..now its very astonishing that they are getting richer and the citizens are getting poorer …my analysis is that today in Zambia people are becoming political leaders for their well-being not for the human species our here henceforth citizens of Zambia shall perish due to lack of knowledge above there from the focal point people

    • Leeman

      Mama kwalombota point taken..we need open our eyes wide tiptoe and see how corruption has affected us..lest we will perish due to lack of knowledge from the focal point political leaders

  12. evans

    Zambian too much projects of buldingz

  13. FGM

    I have always wondered why poverty levels are consistently above 70% when Zambia is endowed with numerous natural resources. Indeed poor leadership and corruption are what have stagnated economic growth and failure to reduce poverty levels. Zambians should wake up and elect leaders that have been successful in their personal ventures . Not successful failures as it were. PrAyers without focus on the root cause will not do. WAKE UP ZAMBIA.

  14. kambwili

    It’s true you are mpombo .Zambians please wake up. Why should we be always told to provide evidence when we complain about corruption? We have investigative wings to deal with the situation instead of always saying that we should provide evidence. Zambia, my poor sleeping Zambia. Wake up!! My soul bleeds to how people are suffering while those in leadership are getting richer and richer every day. God come quickly and save us. Amen and amen!!!!

  15. Maano

    Sileya Kwalomboka should first bemoam the political dependence of the Zambian citizenry, well before crying about economic, social, or cultural independence! After colonial indepence, zambians should struggle and fight for political emencipation, which successive rulers (sic) have failed to deliver and handover to the people, for selfish reasons. Zambians should stop looking for men to govern the Country but should demand for Rule of Law, by the People themselves. We do not need any one leader, but should look forward to collective leadership!

  16. Tito

    @ mpombo my brother don’t pretend as if all is well with the governance of our country. This is were we tend to be wrong in our support, because if an individual is also stealing he would want to justify the wrong doings please in as much as you can support any party in power at any point let’s try to call a spade a spade let’s not pretend as if all is well. This is the reason why Zambia as a country won’t develop because we cover on what one is doing wrong and support as if all is well can’t you be ashamed to support evil? Be realistic in your comments better don’t comment wilatukalifya imitima that’s why I don’t like this government because they pretend to love yet in their hearts there is total evil can’t you be ashamed to justify your corrupt action even a child could smile that corruption has taken Centre stage.


    I would like to commend the writer’s wonderful thought on our own weakness, in allowing this corruption in Zambia. Do not stop telling us off. Do this every Sunday. I am certain that your wise telling will yield us a lot of good results.
    During elections, the word that matters to them all is: Ukuya lilapo mukwai. and, nothing else. Yes tell them, Chiza uli mwe yantu mweee!!!!!!!!

  18. G max

    Why we sufering in hand of of selfish governmemt .Imagine the government is not concern the about miners in Zambia.We miners we are sufering how Mopani can offer 6% salary increament what a big shame on govt and entire mother Zambia .k200 salary increament what a shame
    Government do something to miners .

    • mwaba

      you miners will get shares in the mines! just wait. something is changing in Zambia soon. Leadership Movement

      • Gift Malanga

        When will that be.
        It is only the kingdom of God that we are waiting not in mines bro.
        Just tell them to stop eating our money.

  19. Mulokoso BWALYA

    Preas God come back fast.

    • Kelvin Kabambi

      You are right there.. poor people are are becoming poor everyday and rich people are becoming rich everyday ..

  20. No man

    Whites come taught us, other Black’s been sponsored to study even in slave, colonel built a little in colon Got independence 1964, Nothing in my country, born 1994 in a house up to now I see woman giving birth in a house, a black man so selfish, love to live a life of good things that he has not swat for, to live a life that he is the only one who has power not caring about his brother feeling happy when he see his brother in poverty, want to be called king, having all thins for himself want to have power, doing things like he is a wise man, my government not working making money, closing all private press media making them clossed, getting control on znbc so that no one can talk about them, everyone not in power or in power talking to much promising making Christian a key, my government chasing each other pointing fingers, living a good life, NGo in foreign countries giving us money we use it. Not providing anything for us the poor, Not only my government if Zambian who are rich not help trying to be in power. In my country getting PhD on paper not using them, not promoting each other, loving to work in office, drinking and eating, restin more, talking more, trying to make other people things special in other country, Awarding them contracts, trying to worship them cause there countries are good and built,

  21. mazimayumu

    Koswe mupoto

  22. Xando

    How can we develope when the government agencies are so good at following young Zambian entrepreneurs but letting these Indians operate freely

    • Wise me

      In 1990, suffering due to corruption had reached shameless level, UNIP’s leadership blocked their ears to public cries, mishanga sellers and call boys had better than formal workers, vigilantes were running the police service ruthlessly one

  23. HE ECL

    Just watching

  24. Pamusebo

    Mpombo Mulamu i’m scared of your life because i No Money to bail you out.
    Zambia has become animal farm.

  25. Pamusebo

    Mpombo Mulamu i’m scared of your life because i have No Money to bail you out.
    Zambia has become animal farm.

  26. Vincent Malama

    The problem is we never learn from the past here in Chingola the Open Pit is ( a big empty hole ) there for anybody to see. This is what will happen in North Western Provice. let us make corrections by looking at the past. It has to start with possitive POLICIES.

  27. Kelvin Kabambi

    Zambia is rich and it is said that it is a Christian nation, , but when you go in streets young people are suffering. Please help us leaders . Things are not good mostly people who are in local areas are suffering. . No jobs but they are educated. .then payments at schools are too much .people are feiling to educate their children. . Education is not only for rich people why that means there is no development so atleast even poor people also get a support of reducing the payments ..

  28. Jk

    God save us from selfish leaders

  29. shu shu shu

    People, Zambia is poor because Zambians have put their faith in politicians to change the fate of this country. Zambians are already thinking of 2021 instead of being business minded and see what they can do to improve themselves. Zambia will remain poor until this thinking that changing political parties will bring development stops.

    • visile

      Politicians also affects the business, look what has happened, they have chest pipo selling clothes from the street. Can clothes bring cholera?

  30. Bomah Riverlakes

    ba GBM being successful in personal ventures doesn’t mean you can rule the country.it is very difficult to rule the country than a family.tramp thought he will make america great again by terrorising other countries but he failled.it takes people with focus,who can hear the problems of the people,who can fight corruption and leaders who can manage the resources of the country well.thank you.

    • Gift Malanga

      I love that bro.
      But live trump out of Zambia American are not complaining of simple meal like we do in Zambia.

  31. lex m'chon

    Yes, this country needs resposible leadership, leaders with good intention for every Zambian, for the productive and wealthy, stable future of All Zambians. ~ I Cry for my Country.

  32. dowell

    Lack of good leadership in our country contribute to these challenges which the country can develop

  33. Ricky D

    The level of corruption is alarming.

  34. Richard

    I should mention that the country’s number is growing each year that goes by and with the influx of foreign investors who are at the helm of grabbing land from the citizenery at a great speed is alarming.. just like the pulling garbage this will affect us some near year’s to come.. what we need is leadership that plans beyond there tenure of office. we can never be one Zambia one nation if we still think within the the family boundaries.. what do we assure our selves of the future when we are busy stepping on the very roots we need to grow.. there is much to change In our beloved country and it certainly starts with our mind set.. cause this is a time bomb, if it doesn’t explode on us it will explode on our future generation.. we have a part to play in ensuring we put a stop to it…

  35. Half baked

    Zambian journalists are so annoying. You mean you cant see whats wrong with that headline all of you on ZR? Why Zambia is not wealthy? is not a question. The question is Why is Zambia not wealthy?

  36. Banene

    Wow Citizens Of Zambia And There Proudly Land. Conflicts Among Ourselves Won’t Take Us Anywhere Use The Bagot Soon.

  37. Banene

    Wow Citizens Of Zambia And There Proudly Land. Conflicts Among Ourselves Won’t Take Us Anywhere Use The Ballot Soon.

  38. Zc


  39. Sj

    The One Race A Zambian Can’t Be Beaten At Is Theorising. But When It Comes To Practical Capability, It’s Little Or Zelch/Zero! That’s Why Important Events Are Easily Forgotten Because What Is In The Archarvies Is Left There To Gather Dust, Eaten By Moth Or Discarded Altogether.Comment

  40. Wise Me

    I would like to request the PF Government to do something about the alleged corruption, because:
    1. We need change from what the previous governments of UNIP and their successors the MMS left,this scurge which is the reason for the widely spread poverty. Among the things to consider is to make sure the Ministry of Finance be audited

  41. Wise Me

    I would like to request the PF Government to do something about the alleged corruption, because:
    1. We need change from what the previous governments of UNIP and their successors the MMS left,this scurge which is the reason for the widely spread poverty. Among the things to consider is to make sure the Ministry of Finance is audited because as people expecting to be paid terminal benefits, we get surprised to hear the Minister of Finance that in 2017, 10million and 2.5million kwacha was paid to retirees. It be could so. But the questions are who are receiving the money. I Know that some of us who retired as far back as 2010 have not been paid yet. Does the Ministry of Finance have a records of people who have been paid and the amounts paid to ascertain legitimacy. We are raising this concern because it is likely that the government is putting money into a bottomless pit by giving corrupt elements responsibilities of paying beneficiaries. At UTH for instance it is a known as fact that chronological order is not followed. More often than not. Their payment lists have contain names of recent people than those who retired earlier. This needs to be investigated. Moreover, piecemeal payment method is preferred with the result that lists will always have people who should have been cleared repeatedly appearing. This provides a very conducive condition for corrupt elements to conive with unfaithful beneficiaries to get paid several times undeservingly. On the part of the recepients find it difficult to go into investment with the small ammounts paid to them.
    2. When follow up at our former employers we are told that they are still waiting for funding from the Ministry of Finance while it is expected that the funding should be done quarterly.The However, some of us have been following-up our gratuities since 2014 to no avail. Could the Ministry of Finance ensure that regular payment of terminal benefits to deserving people please?
    We are happy that you the government is trying trying to alleviate poverty through the social cash transfers, which is good but we think we who are owed need to be empowered too. Our being empowered means that we can invest and create employment for others. Let us coexist. Please save us from the mediocre leadership threatening your government which is likely to be chosen out of desperation when you would have not paid attention to our cries. Remember that God’s word tells us that it is neither by power nor mighty that you shall rule but by his grace.

  42. Atm

    Very true! Zambia is very rich but it’s the Zambians who have mentality problem. All we think about is buying rather than producing.

  43. Grammar Teacher

    Why Zambia is not healthy? is not a question. The question is: Why is Zambia not healthy?

  44. Don yung

    Nothing we can do only God can help us with this foolish leaders

  45. TJ


  46. isaac mutoba

    i think the issue of people moving from one party to another party in power has caused our country to remain poor,in sense that same corruptive leaders are taking charge year after year and can we stop corruption and develop zambia like that.

  47. Donqueen

    Zambia is being punished for pretending to be a Christian nation. Let’s have a federal government so resources are distributed equally. Only certain surnames get picked for jobs and colleges at the expense of other so-called minorities. Time will come when the suppressed can not be be pressed any more. Then there will be kafurfle!

    • Gift Malanga

      I second you dear am happy to hear that from you.

  48. Gift Malanga

    Country men and women am very humbled.
    We are talking of corruption, tribalism, giving away of lands, misuse of public funds etc.
    It is better to be suffering in the hands of white people our colonial master so that everyone feels pain rather than others enjoying.
    Am entitled to my opinion I suggest better to bring back white people.
    Don’t get me wrong.

  49. Sinabest

    We need to change the system of voting. Only educated people should be voting coz they know what is good for the country.

  50. Chiliba

    Zambia! Zambia! Zambia!!!

  51. morris

    when broke pepole are in power= to poor economy cause the only thing they do is to fatten there pocket before they live that position

  52. Concerned citizen

    Isaac Mutoba you are on point I second you
    That’s the master piece of what’s going on with this country.This country gives me more reasons to support Mr Trump.

  53. waks

    We are now becoming slaves in our owe country,but yet soon people are getting rich on the expanse of my fellow Zambia’s

  54. Joe kwanza

    No one can change Zambia but onlny God and my rate beloved president MCS atlest he was trying but also him self said that zambia has been destroyed so only God because lunku is said to be poor but he is now rich and when we choose to vote for HH and it is said that he is rich he will steal and be richer

  55. real zambian

    Indeed we are suffering, so we need players to bad leadership, corruption and any other problem which is hindering us from proggressing. Zambia have got minerals, yet we are poor.

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