“She messes up Agriculture but is being rewarded with another position”
Edith Nawakwi says all those who participated in the Topstar deal and those who are involved in the planned sale of the Natural Resources Development College (NRDC) are foolish.
And Nawakwi says the Zambia Revenue Authority has become a monster fighting the growth of local businesses.
Commenting on President Edgar Lungu’s Cabinet reshuffles yesterday, Nawakwi who is opposition FDD leader, challenged newly appointed Information and Broadcasting Minister Dora Siliya to go and bring out the truth about what transpired in the Digital Migration scandal.
“Dora should have been there from the beginning because that’s where she was brought up. Her first job should be to go and find out what happened when my brother [Chishimba] Kambwili was still minister of information and ZNBC was given to some obscure company called Topstar. I don’t know who owns it but they are still levying me as a citizen, I don’t want. We should discuss this matter otherwise we will sue them for obtaining money by false pretence.
I mean why should we be levied to subsidise a foreign company? All these are issues which when people add and subtract mathematically, they sum it up in this one big word called corruption,” Nawakwi said.
“When I am president the Chinese should start packing the day they hear that Edith Nawakwi is president elect. They should run very fast and we will catch them in the Indian Ocean. When they are here they will go to jail. This is a criminal offence just like the NRDC deal. Anyone who has put their fingers on NRDC, it doesn’t matter how long it takes, even if PF stays in power for 100 years, the day they get out, the people who put their fingers in NRDC will go to damn the jail! They are very foolish, how can you sell a university site?”
And Nawakwi said some ministers who has been transferred should have been fired.
“In fact, some should have just been dropped. Agriculture is in a mess, the economic position of this country is in a mess, they should have just been dropped and sent back to the back bench if they are MPs or just go back to their businesses if they are nominated members. Taxation in this country is largely responsible for our lack of progress.”
“The taxes are unfriendly to the business community, to the individuals and to those people who are starting business. I think the former minister of finance had no idea about how to stimulate growth and it’s something which should have been looked at a long time ago from the days of Chikwanda to date, we have been on a downward spin like we are on a sledge on ice,” she said.
Nawakwi observed that there was no one supervising the dealings of the ZRA Commissioner Kingsley Chanda.
“I think that the situation is dire and it needs surgical and urgent attention, it is not just a matter of reshuffle, moving people around, it calls for drastic measures to turn things around. It calls for the new Minister calling the business community to tell her to the ear as to what the challenges are which they are facing with ZRA. ZRA has become a monster in this country where the Commissioner General is also a clearing agent. Who is inspecting him? Who is supervising him? The new Minister of Finance has to deal with these things decisively. It doesn’t require the President to deal with the Commissioner General, this is her job. Her first task is to ask this question ‘who is supervising the Commissioner General who owns a clearing company?” Nawakwi asked.
“The conduct of the tax office, the conduct of the Central Bank, their inability to supervise the commercial banks to reduce interest; you can’t be begging as minister of finance ‘please imwe ba Zanaco, reduce interest’ you can’t! you have to order them to do these things. Someone has to wear the boots and get on to work. So I hope Margaret who is the second female Minister of Finance in the history of our republic will go there and get things sorted out. She is equally an accountant but she has had exposure of working in international banks and meeting the development agents, maybe she understands development, not banking and accounting.”
And Nawakwi wondered why the PF and MMD was clinging on to an unprincipled alliance.
“Actually, the marriage between PF and MMD is just a marriage of convenience. It only lasted as long as people held on to their brokered positions. This marriage should be dissolved, it doesn’t exist because MMD wants to be a political party on its own and they want to have a president on their own. It is not a coalition government. We don’t have that clause of coalition government. It was just a marriage of convenience so this marriage must be dissolved,” said Nawakwi.
“They have been using MMD to think that if they say they are pulling out of the undefined coalition, then President Lungu would be scared ‘I am going to lose a political party’ but this political party is campaigning to be president no wonder the economic policies have been anti the people. Totally anti the PF manifesto so that they can come back and say ‘we were not the ones who were implementing the PF manifesto, it is PF and not us’. It is a very selfish way of operating. Inconveniencing the people for personal gain.