And Msoni says the breakdown of the rule of law in Zambia is manifest and apparent for all to see.
Zambia has failed to clinch a loan deal with the IMF after the Bretton Woods institution expressed concern on the country’s dwindling governance record following the arrest of UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema, among other concerns.
In an effort to redeem Zambia’s flagging economic state, the country desperately sought to acquire a US$1.6 billion interest-free loan from the IMF.
Finance minister Felix Mutati a week ago led a Zambian delegation to Washington DC hoping for a last minute deal with the Fund, but the talks collapsed after the IMF raised concerns on what was happening in the country.
Msoni, the All People’s Congress (APC) president, pointed out that the current poor human rights record in Zambia could not warrant the country being given a debt.
“I’m always torn apart when it comes to advocating withholding the IMF loan but looking at the poor human rights record and the clampdown on opponents, it may be prudent for the IMF to revisit its offer and ensure that stringent measures are put in place in the interest of the overwhelming majority of our people,” Msoni said in an interview.
He insisted that the PF government relied on violence, intimidation and terror to maintain itself in office.
“Without stringent conditions, the true victims are ordinary citizens,” Msoni observed. “We are dealing with a regime that has turned on its own citizens with brutality and unexplained vengeance on every voice of reason, including the church. Bankrolling a regime like this one is, in essence, encouraging evils and sustaining its criminal conduct. IMF is urged to restrain itself from sustaining and bankrolling corrupt and murderous regimes in Africa. We do not expect IMF to be part of the problem but a solution by encouraging dialogue as a precondition to accessing the fund.”
He noted that the IMF had an obligation to meet opposition leaders and other stakeholders to hear their views on the way forward before any financial disbursement was done.
“We don’t think the Zambian government has made a good case to receive this facility before building domestic consensus with other stakeholders,” Msoni said.
He also said the prevailing political environment in Zambia made it premature to grant the country any funding until all fundamental components of good governance were met.
“We have a political stalemate requiring a political solution and to ignore this clear signpost is, in fact, signalling and encouraging anarchy. Our prisons are littered with political detainees arrested and detained on trumped-up charges that contradict the very essence of legality,” said Msoni.
“The breakdown of the rule of law is manifest and apparent for all to see!
We do not believe that IMF would want to bury its head in the sand and disburse the funds under these extenuating circumstances.”