DR Situmbeko Musokotwane has warned that Zambia’s current political situation has a great potential to deter would be investors as stakeholders are keenly following what is taking root in the country.
In an interview, Dr Musokotwane, the former finance minister in the MMD government and president Levy Mwanawasa’s economic advisor, said potential investors would soon start shunning Zambian because of the escalating political tension.
Zambia has always been a country that has been known to have held calm but now people are demonstrating at embassies and high commissions abroad and people, especially those in the economic field, they are opening their eyes to what is happening to this Zambia that they know, so that is definitely denting our image,
Dr Musokotwane said.
“Yes, there may be people coming to Zambia to talk about this and that, but that has always been the case. The issue is, when those people come, are they going to comment on what is happening now with demonstrations all over? I can imagine that some of the people who are coming to invest, they will soon be saying, ‘no, under these circumstances, I will not do it’.”
He expressed concern over the continued adjournments of incarcerated UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema’s treason case, adding that those raising concerns were justified to do so.
We were told come for the ruling but nothing happened and I think people are justified in saying there are too many adjournments,
Dr Musokotwane said.
And Dr Musokotwane, who described as unfortunate the deportation of South Africa’s opposition Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane by the Zambian government last Thursday, challenged government officials to state which countries they would be rushing to for medical treatment should South Africans retaliate their action.
“The deportation of Maimane, that is unfortunate because if we are talking about political parties coming to Zambia, it is not so long ago when the ANC youths came to Zambia, they were not barred from entering, they were allowed to come in and secondly, the South Africans have a right to come into Zambia, they are not disadvantaged. The man who was coming here is not a criminal, so they have a right just like we have a right to go into South Africa without any VISA,” said Dr Musokotwane.
“Now when you start blocking South African leaders, when most of the time we are the ones that have to travel into South Africa, maybe for conferences, maybe to negotiate for power, maybe we are taking leaders who are sick to South African hospitals, supposing they retaliate, supposing they also start blocking our leaders from going to hospitals in South Africa, what are we going to do? For me, that was very unfortunate.”