Former republican president Rupiah Banda says a national Indaba is imperative in addressing the current economic crisis to make the Zambian people understand what is happening in order to resolve the problem.
President Banda said whenever there was a crisis such as this one all stakeholders must be brought on board to find a solution, including traditional leaders, the church, the labour movement, students’ unions as well as investors from both the local and international community.
Mr Banda said Zambia was not the only country experiencing these economic woes and the only way to make people understand the situation was by Government to engage them in finding a solution to the problem.
“It is not only our economy but many of the economies on our continent especially those that depend on minerals and sale of primary products to the rest of the world like China, United States and Europe, are going through a very difficult period.
“I think we have a problem which every Zambian must be made to understand and get involved in finding a solution, and the only way to make them understand is for Government to engage them,” he said.
Mr Banda said in the 2008 global economic meltdown, his government engaged the people in an indaba which helped bridge the information gap between Government and the people, including all other stakeholders for a solution.
“I wanted the support of the workers, the unions and the mining companies. I needed to be given chance to think through the problems. “I needed the support of every Zambian in order to find a resolution to rectify the problems we were going through. That is why I think it is important that an indaba must be called to help address this problem,” he said.
He said President Edgar Lungu must call for the national indaba to bring people together to help them understand what was going on and what Government was doing in addressing the problem.
And President Banda has castigated those celebrating the crisis, attributing it to the PF Government, as being shortsighted in their approach and concerns for the plight of the many Zambians suffering as result of the depreciating Kwacha among others.
He said such leaders have showed their inability to lead the Zambian people, but advised them to come to the table with possible solutions.
He said President Lungu needed support to find solutions to the economic crisis, and called on the Government to respond to calls for a national indaba.
And Yesterday, President Lungu said it is not necessary to convene a national indaba (conference) to discuss the status of the Kwacha because there are enough experts in government and the private sector to help resolve the challenge.
President Lungu said Government was firmly in control of the country’s challenges, noting that he has a responsibility to provide leadership both in the economy and the political arena.
“I am in control and there is nothing I have failed. Anyone who does not believe in God should stay away from the October 18th day of national prayer and fasting. My colleagues in the political arena should take this day seriously,” he said.
He said people with brilliant ideas on how to salvage the economy should come on board as Government is ready to listen.