Chikwanda must go, his policies are in disarray and a threat – FDD

Alexander Chikwanda

Alexander Chikwanda

Alexander Chikwanda must resign from his Finance Ministerial portfolio because his policies are in disarray and are a threat to the social and economic growth of Zambia, demands opposition FDD.

FDD Spokesperson Antonio Mwanza has told Zambian Eye that due to what he termed as  misguided and outdated economic policies by Chikwanda the country has experienced high deficit than projected.

“This has led to increased government borrowing taking Zambia back into the debt trap,” Mwanza said. “This will result into reduced public spending in critical economic sectors such as education, agriculture, health etc; further pushing millions of our people into abject poverty and perpetual suffering.”

Mwanza says the proposal to impose a two-year freeze on public sector recruitment will compound the unbearable youth unemployment burden as thousands of youths that are graduating from our Colleges and Universities as nurses, teachers, and others will be left to loaf on the streets.

He said there was need to take into account the thousands of unemployed graduates in the country.

The FDD Spokesperson explained that Zambia is in dire need of teachers and nurses. He said the pupil-teacher ratio in most government schools is 90-1 and less than 49% of childbirths are supervised by trained nurses.

“With these critical shortages of teachers and nurses, does it make any economic sense to impose an unemployment freeze on the public sector?” he asked. “With the ever increasing cost of living, the proposed two year wage freeze will further condemn the bulk of our civil servants into deeper anguish and misery with no discretionary money to save or invest.”

Mwanza noted that the Statutory Instrument Number 89 that Chikwanda recently signed is further evidence that he does not have the best interest of the country at heart. He said allowing foreign mining transnational corporations to be exporting natural resources without paying the necessary tax is economic sabotage.

“If  Hon Chikwanda is a beneficiary of the looting going on in the mining sector the let him resign and concentrate on supplying to the mines,” he said. “As President Nawakwi rightly observed earlier, most of these ministers are only interested in putting more money in their pockets at the expense of national development.”

Mwanza added: “As for President Sata, one wonders where he was when the treacherous SI 89 was being promulgated into law. Because the standard government practice is that no law can be passed without the cabinet’s approval where the President himself happens to be the chairperson.

Does it mean that SI 89 was approved into law without the President’s knowledge? If that is the case, then who is in charge of government business? For the record, Alexander Chikwanda is same person who mismanaged the Zambia’s economy in the 1970’s when he served as Finance Minister in the Kaunda regime.

It is during his stint as Finance Minister that this country’s economy collapsed resulting into reduced government revenue, food shortages and erratic and chaotic supply of essential social services.”

He continued, “with these debacles surely the honourable thing for Chikwanda to do is to resign. President Sata must summon his moral and intellectual courage to relieve Hon. Chikwanda of his duties in the event that the Honourable Minister of Finance insists on holding on to his portfolio.”

The FDD Spokesperson says there are numerous qualified Zambians with fresh ideas who can be appointed to expedite social and economical justice for all Zambians.