ZAMBIA’s Ambassador to Germany Anthony Mukwita says last month’s ruling by the Constitutional Court that President Edgar Lungu can contest the 2021 general elections has opened up investment that was locked out over a long period of time.
On December 7, 2018, the ConCourt ruled that President Lungu did not serve full terms and that he could, for a third time, contest the 2021 presidential elections.
Asked what he thought was attractive in the eyes of the investor when they looked at Zambia, Mukwita explained that the investors were always looking for peace, stability, predictability, rule of law because “they need to plan.”
“In order for you to plan properly, you need peace. I’m not talking about stability or predictability in the sense of a sector. No! I’m talking about, in the sense of a country, I’m talking about general stability,” Mukwita said when he featured on ZNBC TV’s Sunday Interview programme.
“Are we at conflict? Is there a war in the country? No! Can we plan for the next five years? Can we be able to rely on the fact that if we have a legal dispute, it will be resolved in a court of law? That’s the kind of thing that the business is looking at. For instance, I was talking to our brother Amos on how the international markets have been calmed right now, I’m speaking economic diplomacy here….”
The diplomat recalled that there was a lot of uncertainty when President Lungu’s eligibility case was active in court.
“Can you remember that there was a lot uncertainty; ‘is President Edgar Lungu going to run or not? He’s been in office since 2015, got re-elected in 2016 and he’s been having the sword of the …hanging over his shoulders in the name of the Constitutional Court’,” Mukwita said.
“But recently that decision was made that the law makes it clear that he can stand. That, in economic diplomacy terms opens up investment that was locked out over a long period of time because they (prospective investors) did not know whether there was going to be another President and if that President came in, what laws would he come with; would he be welcoming them? Would he respect the rule of the law the way the current President respects it?”
Mukwita further pointed out that Zambians ought to remember “more and more everyday” and pat themselves on the back for having a record of undisrupted peace for 54 years and for having a country where “you can have a [legal] dispute resolved in a court of law.”