By Nation Reporter
ZAMBIA is not in a state of economic crisis because the stabilisation of economic fundamentals put in place by financial institutions and Governmnet show that the job and financial markets are headed for a turnaround, former Finance Minister Katele Kalumba has said.
Reacting to United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema’s statement on Saturday that Zambia’s economy was in a crisis, Dr. Kalumba said there was need for people to be rational in the way they debated national matters.
He said while politicians were at liberty to debate on what they would do for Zambians if ushered into power, there was need for Zambians to critically analyse such statements in order to have a clear picture of what was obtaining on the ground as some statements were extravagant and not a reflection of the state of affairs. He said the interventions put in place by the Ministry of Finance in conjunction with the Bank of Zambia (BOZ) to improve the economy were already bearing fruit saying by the end of the year, the projected good performance of the Kwacha and favourable inflation rates were attainable.
“So, Zambia is not in a state of economic crisis because the stabilisation of economic fundamentals put in place by financial institutions and Governmnet show that the job and financial markets are headed for a turnaround,” Dr. Kalumba said.
He said this season’s seemingly good maize harvest will not only add to food security will also bring in the much-needed revenue through foreign exchange but observed that government’s move to tighten boarder posts to ensure that export of the commodity was not done haphazardly was commendable.
He said it was sad that the same people who were complaining that the economy of the country was bleak were the same people who were first to blame Governmnet for employing security measures that would prevent smuggling of maize and its products outside the country without following laid down procedures.
“Smugglers of commodities who do not care whether Zambians have enough or not and are only interested in making themselves rich through bad economic practices should not be blaming Governmnet for their own misbehaving. Let us be rational in the way we look at the economic performance of the country. We cannot characterise what is happening as a crisis,” he said.
He urged Governmnet not to bow under pressure from people who had no interest of the Zambians at heart by relaxing the policing of maize exports as food security was important to the country.