RAINBOW Party president Wynter Kabimba says the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) must reduce nomination fees so that every willing Zambian can contest for public office.

And Kabimba says Zambia should not depend on foreign investors for economic growth.

Meanwhile, Kabimba has criticized President Edgar Lungu’s frequent international trips; saying he must spend more time tending to the needs of Zambians.

Speaking at a media briefing in Lusaka today, Kabimba said the nomination fees were too high and they negatively affected the political landscape.

“You cannot have an election that excludes certain individuals due to their financial weaknesses. This is a contentious issue and it needs review. ECZ are not participants of an election, they are facilitators. They think that they are also stakeholders in an election. Why should ECZ determine nomination fees that are exclusive to private individuals,” Kabimba asked.

“ECZ is not coming back to say ‘look people, there are certain concerns which were raised towards the elections but we could not deal them conclusively. Let us sit down [now] and decide how best we can sort them out.’”

And Kabimba said his party did not agree that an increase in the number of foreign investors would bring about economic development in the country.

“We are being told by the IMF that the Zambian economy will grow by three percent, how is the three per cent going to uplift our people from poverty? You can see that we are not moving forward but instead we are moving backward. I have never seen an economy that grows when it is in the hands of foreign investors,” Kabimba said.

“If our economy is not growing, how are we going to service the debts from the IMF? If we have all the banks here owned by foreign investors, they are not here to develop Zambia but are here to develop their countries.”

Meanwhile Kabimba said he had no problems with President Lungu’s international trips but that he had issues with the purpose of his trips.

“He had a meeting with Isreal President Nyatanyau for only 35 minutes [and] beacuse Nyatanyau saw that that our President had very little to do, he gave him trees to plant. What is the value of his trips to this country? It is not about humility but about the value to this country,” said Kabimba.

“It means our President is spending much time on trivilialities and not on national matters. I am not an enemy of President Lungu but Lungu has a job for me as a citizen of Zambia which I should account.”

He also said there was no need for ministers to announce development because it could be noticed like “a stinking sewer line” if it was there.

Kabimba also insisted that having served as Head of State for two terms, President Lungu was not eligible to stand in 2021.