NEW HERITAGE Party president Chishala Kateka says PF cannot restore the country’s economy.
In an interview, Kateka said Zambians were looking for an alternative because the PF government had blown their chance at improving the country’s economy.
“A number of times they never followed their plan, how long are Zambians going to be hopeful that these people that have not followed their own plan start suddenly following their plan? So I would be very surprised if Zambians raise some comfort from even those plans we are talking about, if those plans will be put in place. There is a saying that letters do not change their spot. I think in my view that is why people are looking for an alternative answer to all of this because they have been given this chance which they seem to be blowing away and the goodwill is quickly diminishing. The Zambians have given them a mandate to run the economy and they have not done a very good job and this is where the issue is,” she said.
She said the country was experiencing a negative economic situation due lack of fiscal discipline from government.
“I think that the starting point for me is that if somebody says the economy is not in a bad shape, I don’t know what they are looking at. Whether you look at the economic indicators, they are not giving a good story, if you go in the compounds and do research, or you go into business everything is indicating that the economy has gone south. That one is beyond any shadow of doubt, we don’t even need to discuss that because everyone can see for themselves it doesn’t matter what measure you use,” Kateka said.
“What is the cause? There are a number of reasons why the economy is in the shape that it is. COVID-19 only made it worse, we agree with that but that was not the major cause. We already had a problem even before I think if you will recall the Bank of Zambia Governor was removed when he made a statement I am making now. The COVID only exacerbated the situation. One of the issues we have always had is that lack of fiscal discipline. That has been the compliant most of the time, it doesn’t matter whether we put in a master injection into the economy, if there is no fiscal discipline, it will still go out through the same hole that it went out before.”
She added that there was need for government to put up measures on how to implement fiscal discipline.
“So for me, the first thing that we need to do is requesting the government to have that fiscal discipline. If we can put things in place and improve our governance so that there is fiscal discipline, I think it will go a long way in starting to recover, that is what we need to do. We need to have a serious plan. The borrowings that we have seen, if there was fiscal discipline, we wouldn’t be in this mess. So you will need to have that plan. I think many people have talked about the need to have a plan. So my not being in government, maybe now the government is putting a plan in place, I don’t know. Should people be confident? Don’t forget that even before the current Finance Minister took ove,r they started having those I don’t what they call them, ‘that is what we will do’, they never followed them,” said Kateka.