President Edgar Lungu has assured Zambians that government is doing everything possible to stabilize the Kwacha. Speaking over the weekend, President Lungu said that the Kwacha is not the only currency in the region that has seen marginal depreciation, but insisted that the local currency will stabilize. The currency is skyrocketing, at K13.5 to a dollar, but we are being told that it’s actually nothing to worry about.
His Minister of Finance also tried to assure Zambians that government is in control of the debt and currency crisis, but she miserably failed to do so as she said a lot of nothing. “We have never defaulted on loans and we are on track, we are working with the Central Bank to put measure that will stabilize the Kwacha…” That’s all you hear from this government, and that’s the problem we have.
PF politics requires never admitting to anything. Never own up to mistakes, never ever say ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I’m wrong. Say anything you like – anything at all, any old rubbish will do – but never show weakness. As American Actor John Wayne said, never explain, never apologize.
Recent history provides two extreme examples of government incompetence. Decisions made by people who had no idea what they were doing and incapable of paying attention to details. The top PF leadership has never possessed the basic credentials that equip one for elevation to high office – and it shows! They are either blissfully unaware of their own ignorance or they have no desire to improve their abysmal level of sophistication.
Most recently, Honourable Mwanakatwe and President Lungu’s reaction to the currency and debt crisis and its overwhelming evidence of executive malfeasance demonstrate their combined unfitness to manage our economy. The debt and currency crisis now threatening Zambia discloses the sheer incompetence of a political class that has over-promised, under-delivered and squandered vast amounts of money on luxuries like presidential jets, over-inflated government procurement of fertilizers, oil, fire tenders and others.
The PF leadership from the highest levels is responsible for using borrowed money to pay for current expenses and other frivolous spending until they had borrowed more than they now seem able to pay back. The looming debt and currency crisis also reflects a lack of diligence on the part of the citizenry. This can be attributed in part to a naïve assumption by the electorate that those in government, freed from the profit motive, could be trusted to do what was “right” for the citizenry as a whole.
Was anyone shocked last week when the President and his Minister of Finance inadvertently acknowledged that they do not know what they are doing or saying? Current politicians who seem to want to rule and not govern Zambia have absolutely no clue what they are doing. What drives these people? Is it just greed to sell influence and get outrageously rich without ever having earned a Kwacha from honest hard work and sweat?
Let’s face it, President Lungu and his economic teams’ antipathy toward any type of meaningful and responsible economic and political management has served as nothing but an unintentional camouflage of their greatest flaws, incompetence and intellectual bankruptcy.
A compelling illustration of their lack of depth is the company that he chooses to keep and, worse, opts to elevate. His partners in crime and ignorance, literally and figuratively, present a dismal portrait of inexperience, imperiousness, dishonesty, bigotry, greed, and outright meanness. Look at the people who the President works with and surrounds himself with. And look at the people whom Presidents Kaunda, Chiluba, Mwanawasa surrounded themselves with. Look at the previous economic and political advisers to the President. From Lishomwa Lishomwa, Moses Banda, Situmbeko Musokotwane. Do we even know who Lungu’s economic adviser is?
What we know is that it’s a dirty laundry list which includes advisors who are famous for taking bribes from Chinese companies to fix presidential appointments, or in their pleasure time, beating up girls and shooting rivals in night clubs. When you see their pomposity on television, you can tell that the fish is rotten from the head. They don’t seem accountable to anyone; they are in charge of the presidency.
Below these advisors, ministers don’t come next in hierarchy; there is another dirty laundry list of tenderpreneurs who are controlling the business of supply and demand in oil, fertilizer, road construction and outrageous procurements such as presidential jets. All this points to a lack of political acumen. Surely, Zambia is doomed until our leaders realize that they don’t know what they are doing.