Dear Editor,

I write in response to your editorial a few weeks back concerning the budget for the Road Development Agency (RDA). I totally agree that it is inappropriate for the RDA to budget K50 million for new headquarters, but your article should have reminded readers where this will lead, by drawing attention to the Energy Regulation Board’s new headquarters in Lusaka. The fact that the ERB spent so much money on a building that is so obviously more than they actually need is all the proof we need that the ERB is not focusing on the energy problems of this country.

I believe that none of these boards and authorities is fulfilling their function of enhancing their sector of the Zambian economy. They have all become burdens rather than enhancers, and, because they are not answerable to anyone, especially not to the stakeholders in their sector, they ALL have a tendency to turn themselves into empires.

I believe we ALL have to challenge government to reform these authorities; they need to be run by a board, elected BY THE STAKEHOLDERS. I happen to be working on the Water Resources Management Authority at the moment, and I hope other readers will challenge any authority that has become a burden on their sector.

Finally, I would be interested to hear from any reader who has a positive opinion of a single Zambian authority or board – and there are plenty to choose from!

Bruce Danckwerts
Farmer in Choma
brucedanckwerts@gmail.com