GERTRUDE Imenda says there is no way the economy can expand under the Patriotic Front leadership.
The UPND deputy secretary general – administration says the economy had shrunk and it was at the rock bottom such that Zambia had become a laughing stock.
“The PF in leadership from 2011 have brought this economy on its knees. Everybody is affected. Even those who are in business already, they are suffering, they are closing down their businesses. Those who had a bit of muscle they are downsizing. And as they close what’s happening? They are joining the people who have no purpose in life, nothing to do but roaming the streets,” Imenda said in an interview.
She noted that when PF took over from the MMD government, there was some money in national coffers.
“Where has the money gone to? They got that money chewed it, spent it recklessly, it got finished and they started borrowing. Even the money that they borrowed, up to now Zambians do not know where it has gone. There is nothing to show for it. Even the Zambia Railways, it’s a ghost of its former itself – where the PF claim that some of the money is where it went to,” Imenda said. “Now we are left with a very big debt. And what is happening to our budget, when they take out money to service debt and things like that, they are left with very little money.”
She however, encouraged Zambians especially the youths and women not to lose hope.
“Let the youth not loss hope, it is not their fault because hope and help is coming in 2021. UPND has a plan for the youths, the country, a plan to revamp the economy, a plan to deal with the choking debt because we have the management skills,” Imenda said. “UPND has a vision for this country and in all its plans we are going to include the youths. The women will be catered for so that they can be assisted with the entrepreneurship that they need, so that all can participate in contributing towards building the GDP (gross domestic product).”
She said the GDP was a cake in which various ingredients come – “from tourism, agriculture, mining and so on” – adding that when the cake grows, the state starts cutting from the same cake to give to people and organisations that are contributing to its growth.
Imenda said some of the negative things that were happening to the economy was because of lack of confidence in the people running the economy.
“We have a huge task as UPND to come and rebuild this economy. [But] we have the expertise to do it and we are going to do it! The day that they will announce that HH [Hakainde Hichilema] is President, that day watch the market, the exchange rate will come down and the kwacha will regain its strength by some margin based on confidence and things will begin to change in this country,” said Imenda.