FORMER transport and communications minister Mutotwe Kafwaya says President Hakainde Hichilema should demonstrate the results of his trips which government suggests have been aimed at marketing Zambia abroad.
In an interview, Kafwaya said he had not seen any outcome of the President’s marketing endeavors.
“President Hakainde Hichilema is an economist; I think he is an economist by training. He should understand better what can work and work better for the country given its current economic status. I think when you are making any decision, you have to look at the facts on the table and analyse them for your conditions, capabilities as well as all the factors surrounding your situation and determine what course of action to take. So, I have observed that President Hakainde has been global trotting, I am not privy to the full reports of his global-trotting but from what we hear, in other cases, he is marketing Zambia, in other cases, he is launching books. As to whether launching books is part of marketing Zambia, is another case for analysis and determination. By marketing Zambia, that is what he has decided, that is what he thinks will fix the economy, but you don’t just market Zambia and achieve nothing, and think you are solving the problem. Let him be marketing Zambia and showing us the outcome of his marketing endeavours. I have not seen any outcome of his marketing endeavours, unfortunately,” he said.
Kafwaya said the Head of State should concentrate on Zambians, arguing that foreign investors just come into the country to maximize their wealth.
“So, I think that given our current situation as a nation, we need money in circulation. Those investors you are talking about from outside who are they? For all the 11 trips outside the country in six months, which investor have we lined up or have we shown to the public that this is the person who we talked to and they are putting up a multi-million dollar project? Nothing! I am just sorry that he will continue marketing Zambia to no effect. The President should concentrate on the Zambians. If we the Zambian people develop, we are developing this country for the love of the future of our country,” he said.
“But when you bring in all the people who become investors from outside, those are just coming here to maximize their wealth. When they maximize their wealth, it will not benefit the locals. I can assure you, there is no foreigner… I have been to Canada, I have been to the US, there is no American who will be happy to come and live in Zambia unless there is something they want which will make them better. So, all the foreign investors that come, they come here just to better their wealth status. Let us develop ourselves, let us not be enemies of ourselves.”
And Kafwaya said it was disheartening to learn that the government could not pay contractors on the basis that they were PF members.
“I think that here in Zambia, the people who will stimulate this economy are local players. It is very disheartening to see that the President decided through his governance systems not to pay contractors thinking that they are PF. I think it is not fair because when you are a contractor whether you are PF or you support whatever political party, you are a contractor. So, pay the people locally and let those people pay their workers, let the workers pay bus fares, let them pay school fees, that is the circulation on the Kwacha that we are talking about. And when we assist the Kwacha to circulate, we will enhance this economy and thereby create business opportunities for many people,” said Kafwaya.