The Zambia Voice says it is concerned with the speculations and malignancy to erode public confidence and portray the economic status of the country as if it is at the verge of total collapse.
Zambia Voice Executive Director Chilufya Tayali said this in a statement released to the media today.
Mr Chilufya said that the exchange rate of the local currency against other currencies does not necessarily reflect the economy of the country.
Mr. Tayali said that looking at other factors such as the gross domestic products, inflation among others, the country is not doing as bad as some stakeholders and politicians want to portray.
Below is the full statement
The Zambian Voice Press Statement on:
DEPRECIATION OF THE KWACHA AND THE PRACTICALITY OF THE PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH. 4TH OCTOBER, 2015
DEPRECIATION OF THE KWACHA AGAINST SPECULATIONS AND MALIGNANCE
My brothers and sisters, the depreciation of the Kwacha against major foreign currencies in the World, is a source of concern to many genuine Zambians and stakeholders.
However, as The Zambian Voice, we are more concerned with the speculations and malignance to erode public confidence and portray the economical status of this Country as if it is at the verge of total collapse.
Generally speaking, the exchange rate of the local currency against other currencies does not necessarily reflect the economy of a Country.
For example, Japan’s economy is regarded as one of the world’s strongest, and yet a single Japanese yen exchanges for considerably less than US$1. On the other hand, Cyprus’ economy is considerably smaller than the U.S. economy, but Cyprus’ currency, exchanges for about twice as much as the U.S. dollar.
There are other factors which are used to measure the economic status of the nation such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Money Supply, Inflation, Current Employment Statistics, Housing Starts, Manufacturing and Trade Inventories, Stock Index among others.
And if you look at these factors, Zambia is not doing as bad as some stakeholders and politicians want to portray. The Zambia’s economic growth is projected at an average rate of 5.7% while the Global economic growth is at 3.3 percent.
Currently, many citizens are concerned with government borrowing without asking why the global lenders are eager to give money to Zambia if the Country’s economy is collapsing.
According to World Economic Forum ranking Zambia is slotted at 96 above Countries like Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique, Nigeria, Angola among others.
Therefore it is cheap politics and manipulative to capitalize on the depreciation of the Kwacha because the factors which affect the exchange rate can be very unpredictable and beyond Government policies at times. It is for this reason that forex exchanges do hit even the most powerful Countries including the United States which owns the dollar.
This is why we call it is manipulation to claim political mileage on the basis that one political leader would sort out the currency challenges regardless of his education or wealth.
On the other hand we would like to urge Government to be very cautious with the local money market because we sense some gimmicks in the shortage of the dollar. There could be a ploy between some business entities and some financial players to exacerbate the problem for ulterior motives.
We have observed that come stakeholders have taken political interests due to their association with some opposition leaders that if they help them get into power, they will in return give them favorable business opportunities.
However, we would like to advise such stakeholders and politicians who are inciting people through the exchange rate that no political party will win elections next year on the basis of dollar issue. Rather than causing panic and anxiety in the people, some acts of GOODWILL may win the people’s hearts.
TO PRESIDENT EDGAR LUNGU
The President should start living up to his speech which he delivered during the opening of the 5th session of the 11th National Assembly. We believe that the President’s speech is very practical and it should start being implemented IMMEDIATELY to sort out the current challenges.
The President should immediately evaluate the performance of some of his ministers based on his pronouncements of patriotism, hard work, discipline (corruption) and efficiency. The President needs to strive for high value return from his ministers and all the civil servants.
In addressing the Kwacha issue, we would like the President to use his influence to stimulate the foreign investment to wedge the depreciation of the Kwacha almost immediately.
Our economy is very small such that if only we could have few substantive foreign investors, our Kwacha would stabilize. For some time China has been our friend in times of crisis while the West stands aloof but conspicuously criticize our alignment to the Chinese. Maybe this is their time to show us that they are true friends who care for us otherwise we should continue fraternizing with the Chinese.
We urge the President to engage the cooperating partners on how they can come in and help the situation by partnering with us like the way China has been doing. We don’t want consumable grants but investment that will grow our economy. We can buy our own food and medicines, including circumcision, if we have our own money. We want to partner with the Americans, the Britons, Russians, Germans among others.
The Western must know that desperate situations lead to desperate reactions and economic stress of our people, especially the youth, may lead to increase in crime on national and international level.
Youth who are radicalized usually have some psychological imbalance arising from sociological and economical inequalities. Zambia is a peaceful nation but if things continue to deteriorate there is a danger that our people would also be forced to engage in illicit activities. Therefore the Western Countries must come on board and be more proactive than reactive.
Today Rwanda is on the great road of success due to the economic boost from the Western Countries after the ravaging ethnic war, what about a peaceful Country like Zambia, it can blossom economically and help in some of the global crisis.
Further we strongly exhort our brothers and sisters in the foreign missions, including the general Diasporas, to market Zambia so that we can have investment coming from those Countries. Being in a foreign mission is not like tourism, you need to deliver otherwise it becomes a sinking cost to run the missions.
TO ZAMBIAN CITIZENS
We would like to urge all Zambians not to be cheated but cheap politicians that they will change their lives over night. We have been cheated by politicians many times, it is now our obligation to take the opportunities which are there right now and change our course of life.
While we are crying over dollar others are busy exporting things (eg maize and beef) out of Zambia and making a lot of money because the dollar is high.
It should bog all Zambians’ minds that while we lament and call for political leaders to change our lives, foreigners like Rwandise refugees, Congolese, Indians, Chinese, among others come and live with us here but in no time amass wealth to even employ us. Such situations are rare in other Countries where our brothers and sisters are living and still being employed by the indigenous.
Zambia has opportunities, especially if we embrace what is contained in the speech of the President to Parliament where he talks about diversification through industrialization, citizen empowerment and job creation through cooperation, skills training among other things.
The vision of the President is real and it is a measure from which we shall judge him. The Zambian Voice will be the first to condemn the President if he fail to live by his speech.
God bless Zambia
The Zambian Voice