Kwacha depreciation normal -Shultz

THE depreciation of the Zambian Kwacha is in accord with the world wide currency trends established by global realignments, the United States embassy in Lusaka has advised.

American ambassador to Zambia Eric Shultz said it was normal for the Kwacha to depreciate following the recovery of the US economy coupled with China’s economic slowdown.

He however said that it would be worrying if the depreciation got out of hand to the extent that there would be a possibility of the economy getting disrupted.

Mr Schultz advised that there was need for Zambia to diversify and reduce her dependence on the export of copper whose prices have plummeted following the slow growth of the Chinese economy.

On the constitution-making process, the American ambassador said it was logical that the non-contentious constitutional issues relating to elections be amended before next year’s general elections.

Mr Schultz said it was only reasonable for Government to have a two track programme of changing the constitution because subjecting the whole document to a referendum was an expensive undertaking.

“We are supportive of what the government is doing, the notion that there should be sort of a two- track approach is logical. If you have to do a referendum on the entire constitution it would be quite expensive.” Mr Shultz said.

Mr Schultz said it was wiser to take advantage of the election to conduct a referendum as the process going to help cut down on expenses stating that the 2016 election was a scheduled programme.

“If you have an election coming up in 2016 regularly scheduled, and you can do a referendum as part of that, that is a good way to save money,” Mr. Schultz said.

He said it was important that non-contentious issues that relate to elections should be changed before next year’s elections to avoid leadership gaps and other matters that would arise from grey areas in the constitution.

The American ambassador however pointed out that there was need for the constitutional making process to be transparent to reflect the wishes of the people.

“Constitutions are foundational documents that should not be changed frequently but must be changed in order to reflect the will of the people,” Mr Shultz said.

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