Stephen Nyirenda of National Restoration Party (NAREP) has pointed at corruption and what he terms visionless leadership as the main cause of Zambia’s confused economy.
Speaking to journalists yesterday, Nyirenda charged that government leaders had taken corruption lightly hence the weak economy.
“Corruption has always been there, from the UNIP days. It was embraced by MMD and now it is being enjoyed by PF. It is the lack of political will to fight this disease that has caused the already ailing economy to continue spiraling downwards,” he said.
Nyirenda advised the ruling party and President Edgar Lungu to show leadership in how they were handling economic affairs.
“You have seen the confusion in this government starting from the head to the smallest cadre. Look at what is happening at The Bank of Zambia, it is total confusion.
You remove a professional, you bring in your friend then after rejection you bring in another person. These changes speak volumes of how Governance has been cheapened. It’s now a chipante-pante game,” said Nyirenda.
Nyirenda also observed that corruption had the capacity to erode the trust citizens had in the public sector to act in their best interest.
He said the vice wastes taxes or rates that have been earmarked for important community projects which forces citizens to put up with poor quality services or infrastructure while in some instances they get nothing at all.
“The problem is that the known culprits are treated as gods, they are busy corrupting anyone because of the poverty exposed to everyone. To rid this country of corruption, we will need to first improve people’s living standards and then introduce very stiff punishments for anyone found wanting. We can do it and we will do it. Zambia is for Zambians and it will only be developed by Zambians,” said Nyirenda.
Asked for a comment on the ongoing fued between FDD President Edith Nawakwi and her UPND countepart Hakainde Hichilema over privatization of some companies, Nyirenda wished both well in their fight.
“Is this fight in the interest of majority Zambians or just my two fellow opposition leaders? We all know privatization brought a lot of negatives for the country, instead of fighting and name calling, let’s dialogue, let’s sit down and look for solutions for the people of Zambia. People are hungry and not interested in personal fights but the fight against hunger,” said Nyirenda.