Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations Amos Chanda says President Edgar Lungu is still confident that kwacha will soon stabilise because market forces are still intact.
And Chanda says government will proceed to disburse its component of the Social Cash Transfer scheme as it awaits the outcome of the inquiry into alleged misapplication of donor aid towards the fund.
Addressing journalists shortly after President Lungu inspected fish ponds at State House with staff from the Economics Association of Zambia (EAZ), Tuesday, Chanda said the Head of State was optimistic that market dynamics would soon normalise when he was asked about the continued kwacha depreciation.
“The President is satisfied that the market forces are intact and that the volatility in the foreign exchange market is market-based and he’s satisfied, for now, that the market dynamics will normalise the situation. So, he’s meeting with the [Bank of Zambia] governor [Dr Denny Kalyalya] to exchange views on the same. Among other things, the movement in the dollar – kwacha relationship is one of the subject matters the President is discussing with the governor of the Reserve Bank. He has confidence in the monetary team at the Reserve Bank that they deploy the necessary instruments to make sure that there is stability in the market,” Chanda responded.
And Chanda said Minister of Foreign Affairs Joe Malanji had assured the donor community that investigations in the misapplication of donor aid was going well, and that the outcome would be shared soon.
“The President continues to express confidence in the administrative inquiry, and also what he doesn’t want to do is to ask the investigative agencies, such as ACC and DEC to be telling him every day, he wants a free and open inquiry. But so far, as I said, some of the findings are what I have announced already that upon that, he had taken administrative action, but when the noise is out, substantive issues will be separated from peripheral issues and a proper discussion will be made. But the process, according to the President, the briefings he’s getting he is very satisfied and hopeful that this will come to a conclusion very soon,” Chanda said.
“The Minister of Foreign Affairs has informed him that he has met with members of donor community and assured them that [the] process of investigations is going on very well and that very soon, in a matter of days and not weeks, this matter will be closed and come to a conclusion so that the administration of the Social Cash Transfer continues. Government continues to do its part and I think that they will proceed to disperse their component. Because as you know, there is 25 per cent by donors then there is the 75 per cent. So, they are behind in terms of disbursement. The instruction is that the government side of the disbursement will proceed as we await the outcome of an inquiry on the donor funded component of it. But stability has retained in that donors are being briefed about what is happening and all stakeholders are of the view that the process is moving in the right direction.”
Meanwhile, Chanda disclosed that President Lungu was meeting with a special envoy from the Great Lakes region to discuss security concerns in the Democratic Republic of Congo ahead of the December presidential election in that country.
“The President has met with a special envoy from the Great Lakes region and they discussed regional security, the role Zambia is playing in terms of security, and also really, its efforts as Chair of the SADC organ on defence and security. The discussion was centred on the electoral process in the Congo, and how all parties, Zambia inclusive, can do their very best to ensure that the process is as inclusive as possible and as open as possible and, therefore, must deliver an outcome that will foster escalation of influx of refugees into other areas and the two leaders, the President and the special envoy and the UNDP country representative, have expressed concern that in fact, in the recent days, the number of refugees coming into Zambia in Luapula Province has been on the increase. It is their collective hope that the process will be as open as possible and include as many players as possible; whoever has expressed interest so that everyone can have confidence in the outcome of the December, 23rd elections. Therefore, chances that there could be an influx of refugees could reduce. But all this will be discussed at the summit in Kampala in the Great Lakes region,” said Chanda.