By Alice Chisanga
One year ago, when Hakainde Hichilema was inaugurated Zambia’s Seventh President on 24th August 2021, his inaugural speech coupled with other campaign promises raised higher expectations in the hearts of the Zambian people who were promised that everything that was not working well in the previous government would be fixed.
“Bally will fix it” as the campaign slogan stated.
Since taking office, President Hichilema has fulfilled some promises such as the recruitment of 30,000 teacher and 11,000 health workers and has made progress on others while he is yet to progress on others.
And Zambia’s eighth vice president Dr. Nevers Mumba who is also the country’s former High Commissioner to Canada and President of the former ruling party MMD, has rated the performance of President Hakainde Hichilema against the background of social economic front of the country and the direction the party has taken in restructuring the economy saying it is in the right direction.
Dr. Mumba says when President Hichilema and the United Party for National Development (UPND) took over office, the debt load which was availed by World Bank stood close to 29 Billon USD contrary to the Country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 19Billion USD.
This he interprets to be way off and possibly leading the country for a crash.
This he said empathizing the kind of economy the UPND government took over from the Patriotic Front.
Dr. Mumba continued that the country did not only suffer from debt load as a visible slowdown in direct foreign investment was also recorded.
This was due to the loss of investor confidence the country suffered from as a result of the uncertainty in the capacity of Zambia prudently running the affairs of the public.
Mentioning others to be respect for rule of law, observing democracy and exercising fiscal discipline which he said the country had suffered from them all.
With that, Dr. Mumba confidently said the UPND government had demonstrated their understanding of the requirements needed in order to improve the economy.
And as such begun a mission which ensured the name of the country was cleaned on the global level.
“They understand that a good name is better than silver and gold, ” he said.
“There was an understanding that the name of Zambia, globally, had really been tarnished by many things.” He added.
As a result, he said, President Hichilema and his party went on a crusade to resale the country’s name, the opportunities that exists in Zambia and it has been demonstrated in many forums the country has so far participated.
Adding to mending the country name, Dr. Mumba is happy that the New Dawn government has a vicious stance against corruption.
This made him recall his time as vice president of Zambia under the leadership of Levy Patrick Mwanawasa when corruption was fought to the nail saying if corruption is left unfought in any country, the country, becomes bound to the same problems due to the rise in fiscal indiscipline.
Dr. Mumba since applauded the idea of sitting down civil servants by the president and telling them what they can do and what they can’t while reminding them that those who are corrupt will not have an easy time working with him.
And President Hakainde Hichilema has also rated himself as he boasts of a reduced inflation rate from 25.6% in August 2021 to 9.7% as of July 2022 adding that the currency was also under control.
According to his own rating, the country’s currency has stabilized and is getting stronger against foreign currencies.
This is evident, as the country’s currency has become the world’s best performing currency under his leadership, trading at K16.6 against the dollar compared to its performance in July 2021 where it was trading at K22.59 against the same currency.
The president is also aware of his efforts in eradicating unruly carders in bus stops and markets across the country.
This he says has made business and traveling more safer for Zambians.