President Edgar Lungu’s Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations Amos Chanda on Sunday warned that Government will resort to foreign exchange control if the Kwacha slid continues.
But Mr Hichilema, an economist, said in an interview that reintroducing foreign exchange controls will only worsen the situation.
‘Anybody talking of exchange controls belongs to the archives, anybody talking about exchange controls belongs to the dustbin,’ Mr Hichilema said.
He added ‘Once we reintroduce exchange controls, they will have a different effect on the Zambian economy. You remember what different the Kwacha, the PF introduced SI 33 (statutory instrument Number 33) intended to restrict foreign transactions, what did it do? It damaged the Kwacha, why? because that measures, which was foreign exchange instrument which came through the PF administrative measure, the Kwacha was damaged because we are an import dependent economy, we are not an export led economy.’
Mr Hichilema continued, ‘Now if you reintroduce foreign exchange control, it will put pressure on the few dollars in the market and the effect would be a further depreciation of the Kwacha.’
Mr Hichilema also charged that the markets have totally rejected President Edgar Lungu’s leadership.
‘You now need K10 to buy 1 US dollar, that is over a 100 percent depreciation and most of that depreciation has come from Edgar Lungu’s presidency of how many months, 8 months. this is a clear message that the market is saying they don’t like Edgar Lungu.’
‘Why don’t they like Lungu? Is it because he is tall, no, is it because he sleeps when meetings are going on, maybe not, why they don’t like him, because they believe he has no capacity to run the economy.’