Alexander Chikwanda
Alexander Chikwanda

Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda says the current economic challenges facing Zambia are not unusual.
Mr Chikwanda said this is not the first time that Zambia is undergoing economic challenges caused purely by external forces.

Mr Chikwanda said the dip in the economy is a normal cycle in any economic which should not be over dramatised.

He said the slowdown in the Chinese economy is mainly responsible for the weakening of the Kwacha as copper receipts have drastically reduced.

The Finance Minister was speaking in Lusaka on Thursday when he delivered a key note address at the 2015 Zambia Finance and Investment Conference organised by Euromoney Conferences at the Taj Pamodzi Hotel.

Mr Chikwanda said although some people want to portray a picture as if the government is solely to blame for the current economic woes, every genuine economist knew that there will come a time when the Chinese economy will begin to slowdown.

“Surely nobody expected China to continue growing at the same level, there was going to be a time when they would finish constructing their roads, office buildings and any other infrastructure and reduce their appetite for our copper and maybe that time has now come,” Mr Chikwanda said.

He said the Zambian economy is resilient enough to withstand the current economic storm.

Mr Chikwanda said government has taken a raft of measures to stabilise the macroeconomic environment which is necessary for sustainable growth.

He said government is focused on reducing the budget deficit to manageable levels as a free of freeing up capital for private sector lending.

“We are going to rein in on public expenditure this year and going forward as a way of managing our cash flow position, but most of these measures have to be taken before cabinet first, i normally do not like to pre-empt these tins before we debate them as cabinet but we are formulating something,” he said.

On the foreign exchange position, Mr Chikwanda said the Kwacha depreciation has been compounded by the speculators who are trying to cash in on the situation.

“The Bank of Zambia has been carrying out open market operations which have somewhat helped but they can only do so much and their activities have been restricted because of dwindling foreign exchange reserves, we are probably sitting around two and half months of import cover which is not a desirable situation.”

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68 COMMENTS

  1. and how long have you been in a commanding position in charge of finance ?. If you knew these dips come and go why did you and your minnows not prepare us for this ? you have been in that position for so long and you knew about these dips and you left us vulnerable ??

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    • what ba mudala is saying is that its usual for Zambians to suffer,,,,especially with `daddy` (lungu) who `drinks` the whole salary,,,, ka pamela is normal life,,, its unusual to buy a 25kg,,, no more rice and chicken on christmas…,,, unless you go ku ba neighbour,,, like `daddy` lungu in Namibia

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    • Finally the true picture is being said by the minister. The issues are
      1. BoZ has not forex reserves to save the kwacha
      2. this govt has no foresight hence they cannot plan ahead, China issues was known to come, but what did they do with that background information? Nothing, typical of people with no plan (CNP)
      3. Open Market Operation (OMO), a simple way of fighting inflation which leave people poor especial the SMEs and the tuntemba business, which is making PF unpopular.
      4.failure by the president injecting positive sentiments into the economy as he is busy traveling without making clear economic pronouncements, leaving this to his press aid.

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    • How I wish the biblical Joseph was our minister of finance. In the seven years of plenty he stocked up for the seven years of hunger. Simple economics.
      The senile Alex Squander knew the chinese economy’s hunger for raw materials was not permanent yet he couldn’t plan for it. He has dwindled the foreign reserves he took over from Situmbeko Musokotwane. Please shoot him.

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  2. Zambians must completely ignore this old man. Him and PF have specialized in excuses instead of finding solutions to our country’s challenges.

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    • No Mr.Fossil, you are quite correct, they are not unusual.

      Zambia was bankrupted by excessive borrowing once before.

      It was also when you were Minister of Finance as I remember.

      You have obviously not learned anything since then.

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  3. Typical of failed leadership! They have no idea of what they should do in the wake of economic challenges. If anyone expected solutions from this man you can now forget. He has just confessed he has no clue!

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  4. This is a very confused old man listen to him at your own risk his brains packed up a very long time ago. We just need to knick them out of power otherwise it will be a very sad story zambians wake up please.

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    • Typical of incapable leadership! Yes we need to remove them from power. If there is anyone out there who expected a solution to come from the Minister of Finance, you can now forget it because the entire Minister of Finance has just confessed that he has no clue on what to do and he is casual about the current economic challenges! What a shame!

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  5. Typical of failed leadership. If there is anyone out there who thought PF were concerned about the current economic challenges, you can now forget it. The entire minister of finance has just confessed that he has no clue on what to do! What a shame. This man needed to resign!

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  6. Hold your fire old man, you do not see anything wrong here because you will not lose anything even if Lungu fired you today. You are responsible for all the mess this country is passing through. I for one LOVED PF with passion but not any more. I will vote you out mwatucusha muno pafula. Sata twakonkele mu pf alifwa so there is no need for us to cling to the party whose vision was buried together with its founder. I know your exit will please us all

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    • Sata’s vision is the reason we are here where we are today. Lungu cant correct the damage Sata made. Anyway vote wisely next time.

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    • What vision did you follow? Creating new districts without a proper budget? Depleting the foreign reserve, or is it intolerance to divergent opinions? I get surprised that people can’t see that these problems were created by Sata, when God took him, he was giving us a chance to correct the situation, but alas we squandered that chance too

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    • What really scares me is not the fact that pipo voted for the illiterate dictator called Sata but the fact that they have learnt nothing from their stupidity of putting the old fool in State House.Dont be surprised if they vote for Kambwili next time.

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    • The man also had no vision. Don’t fool yourself. The man was a tribalist, nepotist and a dictator. He was totally useless. I don’t want to talk ill of the dead but if you bring up his name then you are just forcing me to do so. Lets talk about the living causing us harm i.e Lungu, Chikwanda and their friends.

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  7. This is the fool that gave us Lungu, describing as someone credible. This chap knew Lungu was week and wanted him incharge so the could have a continuous field day. He lied saying he was there to help Sata, the fact is he is a corrupt criminal who should be prosecuted when they leave office. He has that arrogance of thinking that people are fools they don’t know what is going on. He knows that he has mismanaged the economy and wants any excuse. He is the same fool who left us with a $7B. bill. Accruing big debts is his legacy.

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  8. @Mosquito. CHISHINKA MWA LANDA BA MOSQUITO. I WAS ONCE PF MYSELF. THE REALITY SANK IN FOR ME WHEN SATA GOT SICK. I NOTICED THEN THAT OUR DREAM WAS OVER. ONLY SATA DESPITE HIS ERRORS COULD HAVE BEEN BRAVE ENOUGH TO LOOK THE ZAMBIAN PEOPLE IN THE EYE AND ADMIT WHERE THINGS WERE GOING WRONG AND USE CONSTRUCTIVE PEOPLE TO CORRECT THEM. THE PF OF TODAY IS FULL OF NOTHING BUT PEOPLE IN DENIAL. I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT SATA WOULD NOT HAVE SAT IDLY BY WHILE HIS PEOPLE ARE SUFFERING. HE MAY NOT HAVE HAD ALL THE ANSWERS BUT HE KNEW WHO AND HOW TO CONSULT AND BRAAVE ENOUGH TO MAKE DECISIVE ACTION. THIS PF OF NOW USELESS OF USELESS SATA TWANKONKELE ALIFWA!

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  9. ka Lungu nako, he goes to fish this fossil from the old Unip ponds and tells him to take care of the country’s finances. Does this old chap even understand derivatives? maybe he can’t even navigate the Internet.

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  10. LETS NOT HIP THE BLAME ON ABC. HE TRIED TO WARN US AND KEEP THE MINING ROYALTIES TAX IN PLACE INSTEAD WE ALL CONDEMNED HIM INCLUDING MYSELF JUST WE COULD SAVE A HANDFULL OF MINING JOBS. NOW THE DEFICIT IS HAUNTING US AND WE WANT TO SAY ABC THIS ABC THAT. THE TRUTH IS ABC WAS RIGHT. SECONDLY BOZ IS PRIMARILY RESPONSIBLE FOR FOR MONETARY POLICY AND FORIEGN EXCHANGE. FREE MARKET OPERATIONS ARE GREAT BUT WHEN IN DIRE SITUATIONS EVERY GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO STEP IN AND IMPLEMENT EMERGENCY MEASURES. REDUCE THE USE OF FOREX FOR NON ESSENTIAL IMPORTS. TARIFFS AND IMPORT DUTY I AM TALKING SERIOUS POLICY DUTY ON NON ESSENTIAL IMPORTS THAT ARE AVAILABLE IN ZAMBIA. STOP THE WASTE OF FOREX TO SATISFY THE CRAVING OF A FEW RICH PPEOPLE THAT WANT IMPORTED EVERYTHING EVEN BISCUITS AND WINE. BOZ, ZRA,…

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    • @ loadist/crapist

      Free market means just that. Free from 1diotical political intervention. Just look at Singapore you 1mbecile and you will see benefits of technocrats at work. You look at BoZ and what you see? What action has Chikwanda taken to help local industry? NOTHING, NOTHING and NOTHING.
      Where is “stimulus” for local industry? In your F-CKING DREAM?

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    • @Born free given the spiral our economy is in we need policy intervention. Both monetarily and fiscally. When people are suffering and the price of copper is tanking we can not wait for the market to auto correct. Government is broke and forex is running out. Government needs to implement temporary measures to mitigate the effects and stimulate investment. The biggest obstacle to local investment are the prohibitive interest rates in the Zambian financial markets. Boma can help with this by lowering risk for certain types of investment ventures by offering private firms a guarantee of atleast principle should they ventures fail. Government would then enforce collection and siezure of collateral to recoup the loss in the event of default. This way businesses and individuals would be…

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    • @ loadist

      Don’t be like Kabimba and blame free market and capitalism. ‘
      This crisis started in September 2011 and what we are experiencing now, its a culmination of four years, nut just mismanagement bout outright incompetence. Instead of policy we are feed 1diotical statements.

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  11. BOZ, ZRA AND MINISTRY OF FINANCE AND STATEHOUSE BBIG MEETING MANJE MANJE NOW. FOR THE CABINET FULL OF USELESS MINISTERS WHO ARE IN HIDING AND CAN’T MAKE ANY DECISIONS.

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  12. This is not the first time Zambia is undergoing economic challenges. That is true.

    But it certainly is not due to purely external forces.

    If a Minister of Finance can be so stupid as to say this in public, it is living proof that he does not know what the hell he is talking about!

    Just resign you clueless old fossil. The Kwacha has lost more than100 percent of its value on your watch. It was K4 to the Dollar in 2011 and now is more than K9 to the Dollar. You have stuffed up big time.

    Just admit it and GO. You failed the Nation once before, and now you have done it AGAIN!

    Now someone with brains will have to clean up your SHlT AGAIN!!!!!!

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    • God will get him out in the natural way might take too long for some Zambians that will STARVE in the meantime!

      He needs to resign now, before he does any more damage to Mother Zambia!

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  13. If the situation continues and this man is still in his position God will get him out the natural way if I were you I can step down sata left a mess now lungu is to weak to manage this mess mr be careful people are complaining and some are complaining to God mark my words. Your thinking can be right but if things are not working on the ground leave I wonder what the interigency tell lungu about this old man who dosent even add political value to PF anyway God will see us through

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  14. ” He said the slowdown in the Chinese economy is mainly responsible for the weakening of the Kwacha as copper receipts have drastically reduced. ”

    How about some jail time, for criminal negligence, loading the government with billions of dollars in Eurobond debt – and didn’t he want to pay the mining companies $600 million in tax rebates?

    This guy needs to go to jail.

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  15. How about some jail time, for criminal negligence, loading the government with billions of dollars in Eurobond debt – and didn’t he want to pay the mining companies $600 million in tax rebates?

    This guy needs to go to jail.

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  16. Well spoken Hon Chikwanda ! You need to hold a workshop especially for ba Kachema for them to understand the global economic trends.They are very much behind and on any topic they just want to yap and blame govt.

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    • Joe even when one is paid to post certain things, at least exhibit some intelligence to say the least.

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    • Joe, can you be serious for a change. We have life threatening situations in our mother land and all you can do is sing praise for your grandfather? This is worse than Father Bwalya who is busy eating free money in Luapula campaigning for Lungu Anabwera.
      I think when EL goes to UN, we should request the Americans to keep him until 2017.
      Ba Chikwanda, is it the Chinese that forced you to start the uncoordinated and unbudgeted for road and new district projects. Just this last week, EL set up another two districts; why didn’t you tell him in his face that this is the waste kind of madness? You guys have failed us and we don’t need any mess for you. We need to lock the whole cabinet in Mukobeko for 10 years.

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    • And you have to ask why our country is such a mess with such comments supporting wrong things and wrong characters. I don’t remember the Chinese increasing taxes on the mines leading to a six month standoff with the mines, i can’t recall the Chinese spending our hard earned kwacha on by-elections every month, i don’t remember the Chinese creating new districts that are not budgeted for, I can’t recall the Chinese spending money on roads we can’t afford and i can’t remember the Chinese importing wrong crude into the country damaging indeni refinery. All this and more is our own doing so leave the Chinese alone!!!

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  17. Could we have Mangande back as Finance minister please. Him and I think the great Emmanuel Kasonde served Zambia well. The made us brace the melt down in the 2008 world recession. Zambia felt not the effects, why are you cadres of UPND and PF not demanding for this? I see you do not even research right!

    Viva President Nawakwi.

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  18. “We are going to rein in on public expenditure this year and going forward as a way of managing our cash flow position….”

    Truly laughable these utterance by Fossil Chikwanda surely where exactly are these people reining public expenditure when the President is making directives left right and centre like creation of districts…these people are not clearly on the same page and why this old man is in govt is beggar’s belief as he is an appointed 82 year old man what future would he plan for?

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    • Jay Jay. I have stated above, why can’t we appoint Managande to the ministry of Finance. Maybe a PF MP with ideologies of growth and independence. I new the sight of a fossil would bring you to the comment section hahahaha.

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    • You are correct it was Sytumbeko. It really bothers me, that even the opposition does not bring up these names.

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  19. Incorrigible old man….go and rest!

    Today Kwacha is at 10 per dollar , devalued from about k5 last year ie. 100% depreciation. Mr AB Chikwanda claims this economic melt down is normal.

    The Euro bonds and interest thereon have doubled in Kwacha terms! This will drive the Kwacha to perhaps over K65/$ in the medium term. Chikwanda n Lungu are taking us to Mugabe n Gono madneas!

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  20. When challenges are faced, it is the effectiveness of the solutions which matters most. Minister Chikwanda has given a veiled acceptance that all is not well. My prayer is, when cabinet meets to agree on measures to reign in public expenditure, they start within, not simply making life difficult for the common people.

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    • Which CABINET? List the members and guess the expectations. Three of them Kambwili, Chikwanda, Siamunene kikikikiki

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  21. This old man should have just kept quiet. As usual CHIKWANDA-NOMICS is all about excuses and it has rubbed off on Edgar. Its truly worrying that none of the characters is providing any answers to the crisis.

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  22. ….zambwino palibe…..if the country’s economic/finance king pin himself throws in a white towel into the ring….citizens must pierce two or three more holes on their belts….

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  23. Bread is costing K7.50 now! Very soon milie meal price is going to shoot up. What is the government doing about it. Expenditure needs to be controlled, we cannot continue with ” business as usual” There is need to change the way we do things here, we even import bread and scones from South Africa, check that in shoprite! kwena tuli muchibe, God help us. The president should lead by taking a pay cut, let’s sacrifice a bit. Japanese are well known to take a pay cut, in some cases work extra hour for nothing to keep a cash strapped company afloat, while taking other restructuring exercises. Eish, I bet such a challenge can earn you a spanking fro PF zealots

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    • No, Chikwanda and his master pin-head do not think that Zambians are dull. They are 100% sure that majority are plainly 5tupid.
      Otherwise, by now people should have demanded truth about 3 billion dollars and 28 billion kwacha

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  24. Too old to still be in active job. Above 60, the mental and physical functions slow down. That is why even the economy has slowed down.

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  25. MMD had a strong team at the managing of our economy Magande at Finance Dr musokotwane as his permanent secretary finance, Commence we had vibrant lunte member of parliament Hon Felix mutati His pemanant sec was chilipamushi .At bank of zambia we had slow spoken and straight forwered economist Caleb Fundanga his debuit was Kalyalya . At Treasury we had Chibiliti and at the secretary to cabinat we had Lozi cool man Sackika . To zambia this team was able to deliver Mwanawasa was able to appoint members according and they delivered according. Now look at our cabinet is dead no plan starting from the head so you think our economy can survive ? Guys let us unite and remove these guys

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  26. Mr Chikwanda – “The Squander” is a ” Specialist in failure”, having driven Zambia’s economy into the ground during the K.K./ UNIP days.
    No sane person would appoint “Chi Squander” to such a vital position. ONLY IN ZAMBIA!!

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  27. i feel so sorry for my beloved country which had a good economy once upon a time. the situation is quite bad because people will stop spending for them to adjust to the new prices will take time. plz introduce the usd better.

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  28. When they said more money in your pocket, I guess no one thought it was a THREAT not a promise. With prices now double, you BETTER HAVE more money in your pocket or else!

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  29. God is teaching us a hard way to know the truth.He gave you an opportunity to choose,new leaders with new ideas to lead you.You all went for your tribesmen and tribal cousins.lets all enjoy the sufferings together.even those who shouted “ifintu ni lungu.” hunger is dealing with you.PF 4 life

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    • God hates corruption, injustice and stealing from the poor. Now get the punishment. The poor will have the last laugh.

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  30. ONLY SHORT SIGHTED COULD BLAME OUR LEADERS FOR THE CURRENT SITUATION IN OUR GREAT LAND ZAMBIA.JUST GO TO WEST AFRICA YOU WILL CHANGE YOUR BAD LANGUAGE ZAMBIA IS A BETTER PLACE TO LEAVE FOLKS.LET US GIVE THANKS TO GOD FOR OUR LEADERS.AS AN INDIVIDUAL WHAT IS YOUR CONTRIBUTION?

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    • Mr Citizen, I hope you not comparing us to those Boko Halam guys. We wouldn’t want to start coping people’s heads.
      We only demanding that these so called Ministers work for the monthly incomes they get from us. West Africa allows their ministers to sale oil privately and you want Chikwanda to start selling our copper as if it was mined at Chitulika village? This Chikwanda has just increased his salary by 100% and is blaming the Chinese for that? We might as well ask them to come and run our country on 99 year lease!

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    • Why are you looking down to fellow poor planners instead of looking to the UK, German, France, Japan, Singapore, south korea etc. It seems you set your standards very low my friend.

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  31. Why does FRA Stock pile maize? It because they know that one day we may have a drought, Why do we train Soldiers? Because we know that one day we might be in a war zone. In short, when you know, you plan mitigation measures. If you knew sir, what mitigation measures did you put in place. We need to stop impulse responses to calamities like we are doing with ZESCO. We knew years back when SP started experiencing poor rain patterns that one day we may have no little rains and we did not plan. Now today you sign an MoU with UNZA to go back to the stone age and use Wind energy. The only difference is instead of using this energy to pump water from a borehole we shall use it to generate power. General we do not have heavy winds as a country, so to me this is SIDO. WHAT ELSE DO WE KNOW SIR. Tel…

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  32. This is what everyone has been saying, lack of planning, lack of foresight and lack of version. You actually knew this day would come but what did you do to ensure the effects were not as bad as they are.

    Employing cadres to strategic institutions like Zesco has contributed immensely. for example one Frank Bwalya was appointed chairman of Zesco at some point, what value did he bring. These problems are self inflicted wounds and only a blind PF supporter will believe otherwise.

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  33. This is embarrassing. He has o idea what he is talking about. The only thing i got from reading this article is that there is no plan.

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  34. Sad: This old man is an embarrassment. He is even proud to tell the nation that there is nothing sinister about the state of economy just because he has experience in running down the economy as he did during KK era leaving behind USD7bn only to be mended by MMD and now he is back to run it down again for other people to come and repair it. It is all Sata’s fault who went to resurrect him from his village.

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  35. hear, hear not unusual especially that you did it before in kaunda unip era. I jst dont understand what is with zambians replacing world renowned economists,thinkers like situmbeko musokotwane, denny kalyalya, felix mutati, madande,fundanga with damn wits mosuleam material like chikwanda, bwalya ng’andu, gondwe, b*tch margaret fimofimo.

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  36. Zambia’s economy has been failing even before external forces came into play. Ba Chikwanda be truthful. The $ K exchange rate has been slipping due to poor government practices. The external forces have made the situation worse. Government borrows irresponsibly and it is the poor citizen who suffers. You ministers don’t feel the impact because yourluxurious lives don’t change. With little regard for others, the people who voted you in. In a more responsible society we the ordinary citizens would have been drastic changes in ministers’ lifestyles. Stop blaming external forces.

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  37. Our support for citizens,
    I have been to West Africa andyes in comparison Zambia is a better place but this is a defeatist’s thinking. Zambia has potential to ea better place so why should we settle for second because of poor governance, corruptionetc.why can’t we aim for a better Zambia?

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