Vice-President Inonge Wina says the austerity measures are not envisaged to cause regime change, but are an ongoing process that will remain in place until government gets the desired results.
Vice-President Wina said this in Parliament, Friday, when she responded to questions during the Vice-President’s Question Time.
When asked by Roan National Democratic Congress (NDC) member of parliament Joseph Chishala on how long austerity measures would be in place, Vice-President Wina said they would continue until at a time when government was satisfied with the results, adding that the measures were not envisaged to trigger regime change.
“Madam Speaker, a few days that I have been in this House, I have noted that most responses from the Executive in relation to projects that have stalled and projects to commence has been that funds are not available and that government has taken austerity measures. My question to Her Honour the Vice-President is: for how long shall austerity measures going to be in place? Is it up to 2021 when they are out of power or what? And what are the key indicators that the government has put in place?” asked Chishala.
Vice-President Wina responded: “Madam Speaker, regime change to uproot PF government from power is not envisaged and the honourable new member of parliament for Roan should learn that when government puts a certain policy in place, this is work in progress and the austerity measures will continue until such time as government is satisfied that it has produced results that were in the first place desired.”
Meanwhile, when responding to a question from Livingstone UPND member of parliament Mathews Jere, who wanted to know when government would repair some bridges in his constituency, Vice-President Wina said it was unusual for people to expect her to take development when President Edgar Lungu was already doing so.
“The issue of the Vice-President taking development to certain areas of the country is a very unusual question because the President of this country, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, together with the Vice-President, were on one ballot paper! And the 50 per cent plus one of votes gained for the President and Vice-President were definitely a reflection of the wish of Zambians not only in one president, but throughout the country,” she replied.
In another question, Kabompo UPND member of parliament Ambrose Lufuma wanted to know if government had drawn any lessons from the LapGreenN case following the planned sale of Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) Plc.
“Her Honour the Vice President, history is there to teach us in order to avoid pitfalls and costly mistakes. And I want to refer to LapGreenN court case [where] US $380 million that Zambia has to pay and now KCM’s Vedanta case, the decision by the court in South Africa that we have to pay US $ 3 billion. Now, your honour, why is your government predisposed to costly and hasty decisions, which are going to cost Zambia a lot of money in the face of an economic crisis? Why are you always doing that?” wondered Lufuma.
But Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Catherine Namugala did not allow Vice-President Wina to respond to that question, saying that it was subjudice as the matter was still before the courts of law.