THE Economics Association of Zambia (EAZ) has called on the Constitutional Court to expedite the presidential election petition as it is affecting the country’s economy.
Association president Chrispin Mphuka observed that having no Minister of Finance for a long period was likely to put the country in an economic crisis.
Dr. Mphuka observed that even though President Edgar Lungu was temporarily in charge of every ministerial position in the country, it was impossible for him to run all the ministries alone, especially the Finance ministry.
He also noted that investors who had interest in undertaking projects in Zambia were holding on to their money due to the leadership vacuum currently prevailing in the country.
Dr. Mphuka told the Daily Nation that the longer the court process took, the more it would affect the country’s ability to attract investment.
“There is definitely growing uncertainty in the economy in view of the presidential petition before the Constitutional Court. The economy is being affected, as the investors during this period are playing a wait and see game until they are certain the situation is stabilized in the country.
‘‘They become reluctant with their plans of investing in Zambia because there are no leaders,” Mr. Mpuka said.
The delay in the court process would also delay the budgeting process for 2017.
“The passing of the Budget will be affected because this time we would have been finalising the Budget and clearly having no Minister of Finance to a certain extent will have adverse effect in terms of the management of the economy,” he said.
Dr. Mpuka has since appealed to Constitutional Court to ensure that the presidential election petition was resolved as soon as possible so that the country’s economic affairs could normalise.
“It will be better if the Constitutional Court expedites the process so that things are resolved quickly, because if that is not done there will be adverse effect in terms of the management of the economy, especially of having no Minister of Finance. Let them resolve the petition so that we can see everything coming back to normal,” he said.