Political quarrels depreciating Kwacha – Mulongoti

THE continued depreciation of the Kwacha is as a result of inflammatory political statements which have created fear and eroded confidence in the Government of the country, People’s Party (PP) president Mike Mulongoti has observed.

And Mr Mulongoti said it was politically wrong for the Patriotic Front (PF) to readopt candidates whose parliamentary seats have been nullified on account of electoral corruption and malpractice.

Mr Mulongoti said the Kwacha would continue to depreciate for as long as political leaders continue threatening each other and failing to discuss their differences quietly and with respect.

He said the political quarrels between political leaders had created a sense of insecurity in the nation and that investors and those prospecting were scared to risk their resources in a country that was not promising political stability.

Mr Mulongoti said whatever measures the new Bank of Zambia (BoZ) governor Denny Kalyalya was to stop the fluidity of the Kwacha, they would not help if political leaders continued their wild threats against each other.

He said the presidential election was over and that the country had a new President who should be helped to govern the country in peace and that it was not economically health to continue antagonizing his leadership.

“This is not the time for brinkmanship and belligerence but it is time for quiet diplomacy. That is the only way we are going to welcome the new Bank of Zambia governor. We must talk to each other as brothers and sisters and stop threatening each other. The current political environment is causing the depreciation of the Kwacha and this can only be stopped if the political leadership stops making inflammatory statements which can scare away investors. Let us use temperate language and give confidence that there is peace and tranquility in the country,” Mr Mulongoti said.

And Mr Mulongoti said the Patriotic Front (PF) should not have adopted Michael Katambo whose seat was nullified on allegations of electoral malpractice because that was encouraging corruption.

But PF secretary general Davis Chama said the ruling party had adopted Mr Katambo because the courts of law had not barred the former MMD legislator from re-contesting his seat.

Mr Mulongoti said it was wrong for the ruling party to adopt candidates whose seats had been nullified on account of electoral corruption and that the culture was only promoting electoral malpractice in the electoral system.

He said it was important for the ruling party to respect the decisions of the courts and should have led by example by rejecting applications from candidates whose seats had been nullified.

But Mr Chama said it was not fair for Mr Mulongoti to politically stigmatise candidates whose seats had been nullified because some of them did not directly commit the said offences but were victims of the actions of their agents.

Mr Chama said the PF strongly believed in the rule of law and that it was not going to engage in any form of illegalities in its adoption process.

He said there was nothing wrong for the PF to adopt Mr Katambo because he had not been convicted by any court or barred from participating in the political affairs of the country. Mr Chama said Mr Katambo could not be punished for the crimes that were committed by his agents during his campaigns, stating that the PF had been saying that the MMD was corrupt, not all the members and leaders were involved in the vice.

“In some countries, they stone girls suspected to be prostitutes and it is not the father that is punished. Some of the candidates whose seats have been nullified did not commit the said offences. It is their agents who were committing the electoral corruption on their behalf and we cannot punish them for the crimes they did not commit,” he said.

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