Zambia should focus on developing an export-oriented economy coupled with Foreign Direct Investment instead of continuously borrowing like the PF is doing, says opposition UPND president Hakainde Hichilema.
Speaking when he lectured to hundreds of University of Zambia students Mr. Hiichilema said there was need to concentrate on promoting manufacturing industries and stop importing stuff that can be produced locally.
“The only way we shall create meaningful employment for youths like yourselves is by strengthening the manufacturing sector and trumpeting to all Zambians that local products are is better so that we can import less and export more. That’s is also the sure way of strengthening the local currency that is currently on free fall,” he said.
He told the fully packed students lecture theatre that there was currently lots of policy inconsistencies on the part of the PF government which was not good for investor confidence.
“We currently have a president and his vice who say a constitution is just a piece of paper, which sensible investor would come to Zambia. I warned them on the negative effects of introducing statutory instruments 33 and 55 to the local currency and now they are panicking by revoking it which is too late,” Mr. Hichilema told the cheering students who kept shouting ‘data’.
He said current economics of continuous borrowing by Alexander Chikwanda would lead Zambia into another debt trap yet a lot of resources can be generated locally.
“By the way, it is the same Chikwanda who led this country into a debt when he was Finance Minister in the 1970s under Kaunda. As a country, we have never changed leaders at all because even president Michael Sata was already a District Governor when some of us were still in grade two. So what knew things do you expect from such people?” he said.
Mr. Hichilema said poor economic policies such as revoking statutory instruments 33 and 55 on monetory policies was like just like revoking a driver’s license from a bad driver but leaving him to drive the vehicle.
“Does that solve the problem? Change the people handling finance. We need a really leadership change and have people that understand modern economic trends and not those old fossils like Daniel Munkombwe that are just there to eat. I have already heard Mr. Munkombwe is now telling people that when HH comes to power he will get another job. I can promise you that he wont get under my leadership. Let him forget,” he said.
Mr. Hichilema said it was surprising that people in PF were failing to comprehend and connect the importance of the new and better constitution to economic development and better standards of living for the people.
“It is through a good constitution that institutions of good governance can be promoted that will protect your resources from plunder and responsibly channel it to places like this university and other institutions of learning in the country. This university and other institutions of learning suffer from lack of academic resources, accommodation for both students and lecturers but because we have a constitution that cannot promote freedoms and independence of institutions such as the Anti-Corruption Commission, resources are being plundered without people being made accountable for such evil actions.