Rainbow Party general secretary Wynter Kabimba says the PF government has no idea how to fix Zambia’s runaway economy.
Last week, Chief Government Spokesperson Dora Siliya claimed that Zambia’s economy was doing well and was on a right trajectory as the numbers indicated so.
But in an interview, Kabimba said the PF’s number one enemy at the moment was the fall of the country’s economy, which he said they had failed to control.
“The PF does not seem to acknowledge that they have a problem in terms of fixing this economy. I think that is one major pitfall with the PF government. Enemy number one of the PF today is the economy more than anything else. In my view, enemy number one for the PF today is actually the economy because it is clear that this is a runaway economy for them. They have no idea how to fix it. That is my view,” Kabimba said.
“You can change the Ministers of Finance that is fine, but you are not attacking the problem. As far as I am concerned, the problem was not Margaret Mwanakatwe for whatever weakness one may say she had. The problem is bigger than the Minister of Finance as an individual. Margret was removed, has the kwacha performed any better? The answer is zero! So, you opt to define the problem and acknowledge that you have a problem on your hands. They don’t seem to acknowledge the fact that they have a problem on their hands. And there in itself lies a problem, that is the view I take.”
He insisted that the local economy cannot be doing well if mealie meal, the country’s staple food, remained unaffordable for ordinary Zambians.
“An economy must be a reflection of a number of variables which, ultimately, includes the lifestyle of the people; the welfare of the people and the livelihood of the people. And these are the contradictions we find in the PF. The President on the Copperbelt was saying the mealie meal prices were very high; that is a confession from the President and mealie meal is a staple food of the people so how can you have the staple food of the nation being beyond the reach of an ordinary person then you still claim that the economy is doing fine? It is doing fine for who?” he wondered.
He added that they were several that supported the notion that the country’s economy was shrinking.
“I think it is not fair, and the first thing to do if you want to resolve a problem is to acknowledge that you have a problem. I think the indicators are very simple: you have load shedding now, which has affected the rate of production in the country across our manufacturing industries and other areas of production, and production capacity has been reduced, how can that economy being doing fine? We have projects they themselves as PF has said we can’t complete these projects because we don’t have funds; how can you, the same people, say the economy is doing fine? We have medical facilities even including UTH where patients are still sleeping on the floor,” said Kabimba.
“We have seen documentaries or clips on ZNBC where children are still sitting on the floor in a classroom block; how can that economy be doing fine? We are still looking at the life expectancy of Zambians, which continues to linger in the neighbourhood of 45, 47, and 50 years, if you are lucky. Life expectancy! How can that economy being doing fine? We have mining companies, which are retrenching employees because they can’t sustain the wage bill because they themselves claim they are not producing as much as they should produce or the mining products or minerals are not profitable; how can that economy being doing fine? So, you can go on and on look at these indicators whose aggregate value would give you what a good economy is and most of them are underperforming. So, I really don’t understand from which angle the Minister of Information is coming from to declare this economy as performing well.”