UPND deputy spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa says he can’t blame PF government officials for Zambia’s current economic failure, charging that Zambians are demanding too much from an incompetent lot.
Mweetwa, who is Choma Central UPND member of parliament, however, says a UPND government would not turn Zambia into a heaven on earth overnight.
Mweetwa was speaking on Muvi TV’s The Assignment programme on Sunday evening.
He explained that Zambians were now looking for a political party that, once in government, would stimulate economic change.
“[They have] to bring in a political party anchored on the foundations of economic recovery to come in and drive the economic recovery agenda of this country that the people of Zambia have been deprived of for a very long time,” Mweetwa said.
“The citizens of Zambia are too poor to live in a country which is so rich! Zambia is so rich to be able to sustain a poor citizenry. [But] there is a missing link here – poverty of leadership in the equation of governance of this country. That is what the UPND is bringing to the table and right now I can tell you that the UPND has galvanised national consensus to be able to rally around one idea that we only have one country – Zambia – and we are the ones to redeem it.”
Asked how a UPND government could turn Zambia’s economic misfortune into economic opportunities, Mweetwa, a lawyer, highlighted that the starting point was the rule of law because “it determines the suitability of the business environment in a country.
“It (the business environment) should be predictable for the business community to be able to know that if we are going to invest in this country, this is a legal regime which is going to secure our investment. Right now, there is no rule of law in this country,” he charged.
“Our colleagues, in my view, I can’t blame them that Zambia is in this current economic state. The nation is demanding too much from them; they are incapable of delivering the expectations.”
Mweetwa explained further that the UPND’s argument was that one could not talk about development in a vacuum.
“You first have to look at the fact that when UPND forms government, you are not beginning a country. You already have a going concern in the name of a country called Zambia. You have to first look at the fact that Zambia is highly indebted,” Mweetwa said.
“So, as you are going into government, you shouldn’t tell people that overnight we are turning around this economy and from nowhere Zambia will be heaven on earth, no!”
The lawmaker said Zambia had a “debt mountain” that ought to be dismantled before any real efforts at stabilising the economy could be executed.
“So, how do you begin to dismantle this debt? The starting point is prudent utilisation of the meagre resources that are available in the country,” suggested Mweetwa.
“But how do you begin prudent utilisation? You must first begin by tackling the question of corruption in Zambia. Corruption has siphoned a lot of money that is supposed to go into productive sectors of this country such as agriculture, energy, tourism, education and health.”