WHEN Edgar [Lungu], the man you said was drinking, was exiting, the Kwacha was at K15, but it’s now hitting K19 when we have a staunch SDA member who is sober through and through, says Economic Front leader Wynter Kabimba.

And Kabimba says if he was President Hakainde Hichilema, he would spend sleepless nights and more time in the country, to try and figure out how to manage Zambia’s economic crisis instead of marketing it on the international market.

Speaking when he featured on Pan African radio, Monday, Kabimba charged that the local currency had gone berserk, despite the President appointing the “best” bank governor.

“When are African presidents ever going to realize that this is just PR for the West? He went for the EU African summit, does anybody out there in the UPND know that the total trade percentage for all 54 African countries with the EU is less than 2 percent? Does anybody know that? And then you go to the summit to be lined up as if you belong to a lineup for a wedding and then they are posting ‘today we met president (Emmanuel) Macron’. ‘Today he met the head of the world bank’ as if he was the only one there. This is PR by the West and nothing else. They will have another summit in two years’ time, it will be the same thing. So let’s get serious with national affairs, the man has a crisis back here at home. The Kwacha has gone berserk, even with the best bank governor that he said he was going to give us who worked for the world bank. The Kwacha is running mad, it’s in Chainama and he was spending time with the EU presidents in Brussels,” he said.

“There is no food in this country, soon we will have serious food shortages. When Edgar was exiting, the Kwacha was at 15, not at 22. It had gone to 22 and it dropped to 15. With the man whom you said was drinking. Now we have a staunch member of the SDA who doesn’t drink, and he is a church elder in the SDA, he doesn’t drink. He is sober through and through and the Kwacha is hitting 19. So who is who then? So it doesn’t matter how much you want to sympathise with UPND, there is a crisis here on our hands. And if I was him, I would spend more time in the country, spend sleepless nights to figure out how to manage this crisis, instead of marketing Zambia. If he is marketing the country on our behalf, let him come back and tell us how this product Zambia is doing on the international market.”

And on unemployed doctors who staged a protest yesterday, demanding for employment, Kabimba said the medical practitioners had a right to do so.

“I think the UPND government is playing politics. I saw the doctors as I was driving here, clad in their white coats. I saw police surrounding people that are looking for employment. What offence have they committed? You are looking for a job and you have riot police surround you? And by the time they were walking there around 09:00 hours the man (President Hichilema) has not even arrived at the office. He is always there late. That’s the culture he has cultivated. He gets there at his own time. Running a country which is in an economic crisis like this, the man comes at 9 hours, 10 hours, he knocks off at 17 hours, State House is locked. So the doctors have a right. Maybe they are employing their relatives. Maybe they are employing their cadres. So these guys have a right to know who is being employed, if employment is not going through the established structures,” he said.

“Also, I’m not even sure myself to be honest with you having worked in government, whether or not in addition to the establishment that is there now, that is the number of positions for medical doctors, there is another extension of that establishment that can take on 11,500 health workers. I’m not very sure about that. So those that are arguing that this is a hoax, they are right. Because we want to see those people that are being employed. The process has started, it has been announced, where are those people that are being employed?”

Kabimba supported ERB’s decision to nullify the increased connection and meter separation charges by ZESCO, saying the increments by the power utility company were ridiculous and illegal.

“Firstly the increments are ridiculous. We know that those increments come from instructions by the IMF. Which is what we have always argued that this is a government which is a department of the IMF. This is not a government running a sovereign nation. This is a government which HH and his guys have turned into a department of the IMF. And the IMF dictates the terms as to how the economy of this country shall be run. Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane as Minister of Finance is simply a head of department in the IMF, nobody respects him as Minister. Because what can he say? He can’t say no to what the IMF says. But the diatribes between the Ministry of Energy and ERB also show confusion in the UPND. Because the law is very clear that if Zesco wants to revise its tariffs, it must seek approval of the Energy Regulation Board. Not even the minister has the powers to approve the tariffs for Zesco. So ERB is right. Those connection fees are illegal,” he said.

“And this is a government that has been telling Zambians that they believe in the rule of law, that they are going to make sure that the law is followed, there is justice, that civil servants and parastatal entities work independently and yet we are not seeing that in practice. But you know what Zambians fail to do in this country is to litigate, to challenge these decisions in a court of law. We are very timid people, we are actually the ones that breed dictators as the people. They will complain for two, three days and then after that, they will keep quiet. Even when they will see that the minister is wrong, even when they see that the President is wrong. That is the problem with this country.”

Meanwhile, Kabimba reiterated that the pact entered into between PF and his party was exclusively for the 2021 elections and it expired after that.

“The MOU that we signed was exclusively for the 2021 elections and it expired after the elections. PF went its way, they have continued insulting each other and we wish them well. We have gone our way, we continue respecting one another within the party and they must wish us well,” said Kabimba.