FORMER Bank of Zambia (BoZ) governor Dr Caleb Fundanga has advised outgoing President Edgar Lungu to keep away from active politics if he wants to be appreciated.
In an interview, Dr Fundanga urged President Lungu to ignore any sentiments from his party members that he should continue as their leader.
“He should go and have a good rest. I think he has been on the scene for a good 10 years from the time he became a member of parliament. He should not spoil his name by continuing to politick. He has done what he needed to do. He should take his time and rest, that is how he will be greatly appreciated. Not wanting to come back into active politics. He should differentiate between being an active player and contributing positively towards making the situation good. Having admitted that his team was beaten, I know some of his foot soldiers want him to continue but those sentiments are not good for a leader. He should ignore those sentiments and settle down. That will be good for him and cooperate with the new government. Life continues,” he said.
Dr Fundanga explained some of the things which he felt had led to the PF downfall.
“The government must be focused on doing the right thing. And this political capture thing where the government is captured by criminals, usually this is what leads to a government with good intentions ending up doing bad things. The decisions we make must be in line with what it (government) promised people that they are going to do. But if down the road you are promising certain things and then suddenly people start to see that you are not in that direction, those are the bad things. Most of the things that we have been critical of are now very well confirmed with the ending of the PF government,” he said.
“For instance, you saw those things about the rule of law. Particular issues about procurement, we have had so many issues in procurement. We have a situation where even if something has been revealed, it is just ignored. I think that is where you start to see that the system is collapsing. Whilst people may point out that this has not been done properly, a good government must act on that complaint and show that it is interested in putting that right, not just to ignore it. People will be frustrated when good advice is ignored.”
And Dr Fundanga said the country’s debt problem got to where it is now because of recklessness.
“We have been pointing out a lot of shortcomings over the period, then it just gets ignored. You can look at the debt problem, I presented a very comprehensive paper before this current debt problem got to where it is. But it is as if nothing has happened. We told people in the Ministry of Finance, the central bank all over the region here but there was simply no concern. Some people will tell you that the debt might not be huge for Zambia but it is how we manage it. If you start missing payments, that sends a bad signal. Can you expect to go and borrow from the same market where you have not paid what was due? That is where seriousness is judged. We were there when we had a debt cancellation and now you see after what we thought was a fantastic achievement, everything has just been rundown because of recklessness, that is not right,” Dr Fundanga said.
Meanwhile, Dr Fundanga said the coming in of a new government had brought positive change to the country.
“I think the change we have had is positive. We had reached a stage where another five years of what was happening here would have thrown us off balance. The coming in of a new government is more than welcome, those of us who have followed HH for a long time know that he is well focused. I welcome this positive development and I am sure that this positive outlook on our country will be confirmed when the policies start rolling out,” said Dr Fundanga.
“Already this issue about removing these cadres from the market, it is giving a lot of hope. I have seen it myself when I have been to these markets, this is not the way you can transact in a normal society but it has been allowed to go on for a long time. That has given a breath of fresh air and we are hoping that the other policies to follow will bring a positive development.”