Authoritarian rule hurting investor confidence in Zambia – Mumba

Nerves Mumba speaks to journalist at Lilayi tourn off shortly after being blacked by police officers-picture by Tenson Mkhala

Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) president Nevers Mumba says Zambia’s economy will slow down significantly during this period of a Threatened State of Emergency as investor confidence is not guaranteed.

And Mumba says the declaration of a Threatened State of Emergency by President Edgar Lungu is going to highlight the perception world over that Zambia has become a dictatorship.

Speaking to News Diggers! in an interview today, Mumba observed that the economy was the first sector to be affected in any country where a declaration of a State of Threatened Emergency.

“First of all, you must understand that the Central Bank can do whatever they want in the manipulation of the currency in order to sustain it but that does not mean that the Kwacha is really supported by any legitimate or any measurable wealth behind it, so I think all that we need to understand now is that whenever a State of Emergency has been declared, the first area to be hit is the economy and obviously the economy includes the value of the Kwacha. So the value of the Kwacha is definitely going to be affected but the Bank of Zambia can always manipulate it to give the impression that it’s got superficial strength,” Mumba said.

“This has happened to us in the past under Dr Kaunda’s government. When we withdrew from the IMF, Dr Kaunda placed the Kwacha at K8 to the Dollar and insisted that it was going to remain their but there was actually no economic value to support it, so such things happen in a State of Emergency but the economy will be hit first and it’s a forgone conclusion that any time a State of Emergency is declared in may countries and not just Zambia, the first sector to be hit is the economic sector.”

Mumba said the country’s economy was going to slow down during the Threatened State of Emergency as investors would also worry about law and order.

“Obviously this [Threatened State of Emergency] is going to slow down the economy significantly and you don’t need to be a prophet to deal with that issue because for investment to come to any country, there must be a perception of law and order in terms of comfort that there is enough security and also that there is no conflict in the nation that could result in the investment being lost. So obviously the economy is going to be hit very hard in this season that the [Threatened] State of Emergency is going to be in place,” he said.

“Secondly I think that we are going to see a further reduction in the democratic space in the country and that is going to highlight the now very live perception globally that President Lungu is a dictator and that there is a dictatorship in the country, so this decision by government will heighten that perception around the world.”

Meanwhile, Mumba said the announced regulations under which the Threatened State of Emergency would bring discomfort amongst citizens in terms of stability.

“That in itself again will bring a lot of discomfort amongst the citizens who feel that the economy is biting them, their freedoms are restricted and any time you put a human being under those conditions for a sustained period of time, you contribute to extreme discomfort in that country’s stability. So, it’s not a good thing that has happened to us,” said Mumba.

         

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