FORMER Bank of Zambia (BoZ) governor Dr Caleb Fundanga says some of the good policies started by previous governments should not be discarded but improved upon.
And Dr Fundanga has insisted that the UPND administration cannot be classified as having failed in just a few months of being in government.
In an interview, Tuesday, Dr Fundanga said if past governments had good policies in agriculture, for instance, there was no need to discard them just because there was a new administration in place.
“Probably you may even find that the few benefits of this government might never even start to show by the end of their first term or their second term. But if they set the basis for the growth, it might be another government which might even benefit. That’s why they say that if you want to develop, you must respect what is in motion. Because if it was started by somebody else I must get rid of it? Get rid of the bad things but the good things let them continue. That is good policy formulation. You can’t just say ‘no, because this was started by the previous government they are now redundant’, no! If somebody had started good policies in agriculture there is no need to discard them just because you are there now. Is it a bad policy or not? If it’s good, why is it not delivering? What can we do to panel beat [it] so that it can deliver properly?” he said.
Dr Fundanga said Zambia was where it was today because of the contributions of different governments.
“Development is not a game of chance. It’s not the government per se, it’s the people who respond to positive policies. Where Zambia is today cannot be attributed to one government, it is a sum total since independence. There are certain things we are enjoying today which were started by the late KK, for instance, investment in human capital. Even when you say we have given free education, do you know when the first child is who is going to have free education in primary school today, do you know when they will enter the economy and contribute to the economic development? Do you know how many years it will take? Probably 30 years before you can say that person was a recipient. Me I can tell you I was a recipient of the first national development plan school introduced by KK because I went to one of those secondary schools done after independence, and still it took me many years before I could even be employed as a productive human being in the economy,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Fundanga insisted that the UPND administration could not be classified as having failed in just a few months of being in government.
“Five months, do you expect them to change the face of the Zambian economy? I can tell you for instance when I was involved in this economy when I was at the Central Bank, it took us quite some time to start reforms and consistent growth positive, growth of a number of years. We are talking of 6 percent growth for quite some time to start seeing how the GDP was. When we reached the lower middle income country status, it took a number of years of growth because whatever you achieve for growth it has to be divided by the total population to have GDP growth of a certain level. And to move from low income, GDP status, it takes years. So if you say how we judge the new dawn, even in two years’ time they will probably have very small impact on GDP growth. Even if you ask me next year if they have failed to do this I won’t classify them as having failed because I have lived it myself and I have also done comparative studies of other countries,” said Dr Fundanga.