Zambia’s debt is being used as a tool to force regime change- Wina

Vice-President Inonge Wina says the country’s debt has been dramatized in such a way that is being used as a tool to destabilize people’s confidence in the PF government in order to force a regime change.

And Vice-President Wina says investors will only have confidence in Zambia if citizens stop posting bad news about what’s happening in the country in a deformed manner.

Meanwhile,Vice-President Wina has warned politicians who use hate speech that they should not be shocked when they are visited by the law.

Vice-President Wina was responding to questions from members of parliament during Vice-President’s question time in the House, Friday.

Chifubu PF member of parliament Frank Ng’ambi wanted to know why the country had an outcry from the “minority part of the society” over the accrued debt.

“Your honour, international credit markets or capital markets only extend their credit to countries which have visionary leadership, committed leadership, prudent and dedicated leadership as they aspire to protect the interest of their investors. Zambia has so far accrued some debt from these capital institutions that have extended credit to Zambia. My question is, why do we seem to have some outcry from some minority part of our society?” asked Ng’ambi.

In response, Vice-President Wina said the issue of Zambia’s debt was being dramatized to destabilize people’s confidence in the PF government in order to force regime change.

“Many countries have accessed loans from China including the biggest economic power in the world, the United States of America. And America alone, if I recollect, has borrowed $1.1 trillion. Countries like South Africa are negotiating for a $5 billion, Kenya has borrowed $3.6 billion, Senegal has borrowed $1 billion. The issue of the Zambian debt is being dramatized. Zambia’s debt has been taken out of proportion and Zambia’s debt has become a camouflage, a tool to destabilize Zambian people’s confidence in their government and to force a regime change,” Vice-President Wina said.

“The cordial relations between China and Zambia is at the core of this fight. There has been a heightened smear campaign and slander to paint Zambia red. Mr Speaker, the champions of international capital will stop at nothing to destroy this country simply for their interest. The interest of Zambian people means nothing to them. The way these champions are tarnishing the image of this country, hoping that the Zambian people will rise to get rid of this government is very unfortunate. And I hope these champions of foreign capital will reflect on the few words that I have expressed.”

She said Zambia was at peace and was not in any economic crisis.

Vice-President Wina reiterated President Edgar Lungu’s pronouncement that Zambia would trade with any country in the world especially those that offered concessional loans like China.

“The country is at peace, the country is not in a crisis. There is no crisis whatsoever in the economy of Zambia. Crises are being created by people who I do not want to put more adjectives to. The Minister of Finance is coming to the House on September 28 to present her budget pronouncements. Surely, if the country was in a crisis, where would we get the money even to have a national budget? The Zambian government will trade with any country in the world especially countries that offer concessional loans, including China. We look forward to Zambians accepting the cordial and good relations that President Lungu has created around the world with friendly countries that want to support Zambia’s development agenda,” she said.

And responding to a question from Monze Central UPND member of parliament Jack Mwiimbu who asked what measures government was putting in place to ensure that they instilled the confidence in the eyes of donors that had been eroded because of corruption and misappropriation of money in the ministries, Vice-President Wina said investors would only have confidence in Zambia if citizens stopped posting bad news about what was happening in the country, in a deformed manner.

“It is true that the British government through its program has suspended funding to the Social Cash Transfer. But yesterday (Thursday) morning, I was visited by three British members of parliament and we discussed these matters. They were very happy at the measures that government is taking to address discrepancies in the financial management of government. And Mr Speaker, whenever the Auditor General’s report comes out, government does not sit idle. The culprits, some of them had faced administrative punishments, others have been taken to court. So its not that government is condoning what is going on in certain ministries where there has been reports of financial misappropriation of government funds. The confidence of the investors will be there if only Zambians stop posting bad news about what is happening in a very deformed manner,” she said.

Vice-President Wina said not all civil servants were corrupt.

“Let me also clear the notion that all civil servants are corrupt, starting from the permanent secretaries downwards. There may be some bad fish among some of our public workers, but not all civil servants are corrupt,” she said.

Meanwhile, Mufulira PF member of parliament Evans Chibanda asked, “of late there has been a lot of hate-speech in the country and a lot xenophobic statements made by the opposition especially by the UPND against the Chinese nationals. What is government’s intention against such organisations that are propagating xenophobic attacks against foreign nationals?”

In response, Vice-President Wina warned politicians who were using hate speech that they should not be shocked when they were visited by the law.

“Hate-speech is something that the law enforcement agencies usually follow. And for those leaders or politicians who have the propensity to use hate speech, when they are visited by the law they should not be surprised. Government takes these actions because it wants to prevent conflicts in the country. This country doesn’t know how to fight a war, we have never experienced war and we should keep it that way. But the way we are using words carelessly, I can assure you that the more you use hate-speech, the more you will loose the confidence of the Zambian people,” said Vice-President Wina.

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