Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) Spokesperson Antonio Mwanza says President Edgar Lungu must immediately publish regulations for the Threatened State of Emergency to quell uncertainty in the country.
And Mwanza says President Lungu’s international trips are not adding any value to the economy.
Speaking on CBC TV’s On Record program, Mwanza cautioned the Head of State to be mindful of people’s fundamental freedoms when crafting regulations under the Threatened State of Emergency.
“We want to know what are those regulations that the President wants to enforce are, so that we are very clear. I think the earlier those regulations are published the better for all of us so we will know what which mandate the police are operating, under which mandate the law enforcers are operating and under which mandate people are operating. But what is critical is that in crafting those laws, the President must be mindful that the fundamental freedom and liberties of people must not be infringed upon,” Mwanza said.
And Mwanza said President Lungu must delegate most trips to his ministers or embassy staff.
“The people are now asking, the president is moving too much and we don’t see the fruits and they are right. If you look at Foreign Direct Investment, it has dropped by 40% from 2015-2017 so it is clear that the Presidents’ movements are not adding any value as far the economy is concerned. We have issues of debt for instance, where we are today, Zambia is sinking under debt, we are going to have difficulties to repay the debt that we have collected,” Mwanza said.
“You don’t need to gain allowances to travel 5000 Km to go and learn how to grow cabbages. You can do this thing on the stroke of your phone, you can Google and get all the information you need. We don’t need to spend money. That’s not the job of the President to move around to learn how to grow cabbages or tomatoes. That’s why we have ministries, that’s why we have foreign missions, that the reason why we have technocrats. The president can only move on issues that have to do with bilateral and multilateral relationships, not to go and plant cabbages.”
He said there was no other country in the world where the Head of State was always on the move.
“Otherwise we can as well close all these embassies we have across the world and allow the President move every day, at what cost? Have you seen other Presidents move up and down? US President Donald Trump, he doesn’t come to Zambia to try and find out how we perform witchcraft. When Donald Trump moves, he moves because it has to do with bilateral and multilateral relationships that he has to cement which cabinet minister’s or embassies cannot adequately represent the country,” said Mwanza.