RENOWNED Lawyer Kelvin Bwalya Fube (KBF) says the recently launched economic recovery plan lacks substance.

And KBF has insisted that Zambia is ripe for leadership change.

Speaking on Diamond TV, Friday, KBF said he was disappointed when he heard President Edgar Lungu’s speech during the launch of the Economic Recovery Plan because it contained “nothing”.

“First of all, I heard the President read that speech, I read it [the Economic Recovery Plan]. When I heard the President was going to have an economic review program, I was excited. At the end of that speech I was deflated, I heard nothing. With the greatest respect, I heard nothing new. What he said doesn’t add to the seventh national development plan, it doesn’t add to anything that a possible lender would want to hear from us as a nation. It doesn’t move the needle economically; it doesn’t help you or me or the family out there. It doesn’t help anybody. That was just something crafted to make it seem like there is a plan, there is no plan. What they must have is a plan so that the institutions like the IMF, the World Bank are going to say they have a plan. We are not giving that plan that’s why everybody is walking away and they are saying we have no plan,” KBF said.

And KBF said Zambia was ripe for leadership change.

“Zambia is the fourth safest country to travelled to, what excuse is government giving for failing economically? Right now, we should be focussing on the economy. I was happy when I heard the President speak in Western Province today, he was saying the PF is a beacon of democracy and that is why they were holding provincial elections. We went to elect the party president in 2014, what is he saying about that? The PF today has no President. What we have is a republican President. Five years for President Lungu as PF president are over, that why some of us announced our candidature, it’s not about challenging President Lungu. There is a vacancy. He must understand that there is a vacancy. I believe that the Zambia circumstances are ripe for a change of leadership. I believe that even the party, the PF, is ready for change of leadership,” he said.

Meanwhile, KBF said Zambia’s economy had now become a source of worry for all citizens.

“The leadership in the PF is fatigued, it has run out of ideas, it has run out of steam and for me, with the greatest respect, it’s not going to take the country to that next level of leadership for stabilisation and job creation. [It’s] worrisome. I wish I had better words but a lot of Zambians are worried. I’m equally worried as an employer and as a Zambian. As a politician, it’s even worse because most of the problems we are going through, we could have avoided, we should have avoided. But we are failing to avoid them because of lack of direction basically. I don’t subscribe to that kind of philosophy [that Covid-19 has brought economic problems]. I think we must understand that there are four major factors that affect an economy; number one, especially Zambia in particular, unemployment which has brought about poverty levels,” said KBF.

“In addition to that we have corruption and perhaps worse of all we don’t seem to be learning but we are borrowing too much. Our loans are too much both internally and externally and that has affected our entire economic view and economic stability in our nation, those four factors. Now a lot of people will tell you that they have got solutions to a lot of problems that Zambia is facing, I want to say this before we perhaps go into very serious discussion; there are very few politicians that I have encountered that want to discuss the economic front. They would rather have quarrels about personalities, insults, fights, threats and intimidation, those are not the kind of politics I want. 2021 general elections must be centered on the economy, who is going to solve Zambia’s problems?”