By Jessie Zimba and Fulman Mukobeko
Financial Analyst, Maambo Hamaaundu says President Edgar Chagwa Lungu’s proclamation of a controversially approved ‘Threatened State of Emergency has potential to affect investor confidence in Zambia.
During his State of Nation Address broadcast live on Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) Radio and Television, President Lungu said he was invoking article 31 of the Constitution of Zambia after City Makert was gutted, lamenting that the former British colony is slowly sliding into lawlessness.
Parliament Chaired by Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Catherine Namugala approved a ‘Threatened State of Emergency with 85 Members of Parliament (MPs) nodding, led by Vice President Ms. Inonge Mutukwa-Wina, Justice. Minister, Given Lubinda and Home Affairs Minister, Stephen Kampyongo, with no one objecting nor abstaining.
However, 46 United Party for National Development (UPND) Members of Parliament led by entrepreneur turned Freedom Fighter, Hakainde Hichilema remain suspended.
Finance Minister Felix Mutati recently issued a statement that investor confidence is assured despite threatened State of Emergency.
When reached for a comment, Mr. Hamaaundu said investor confidence cannot be guaranteed when there is a ‘Threatened State of Emergency”.
“I think the fact that we are actually discussing it and the Minister of Finance Felix Chipota Mutati had to mention it, shows that it does have an effect on investor confidence. It does have an effect on business and generally things are not the way they are ordinarily supposed to be,” Mr Hamaaundu said.
He said Mr. Mutati said everything was under control because he wanted to retain investor confidence.
“…But the fact is that when there is a’Threatened State of Emergency, investors tend to be apprehensive and they might approach decision making with a ‘wait and see approach. It is important that when we are in a period like this public officers, should be issuing guided statements that will retain confidence. The bottom line is that it does and will affect investor confidence,” he said.
Hamaaundu added that a ‘Threatened State of Emergency would delay investment pledges to come to fruition.
“From the local business players, if we take an example of street vendors, you find that these days they are leaving town a bit early, this means their income is affected. And this is just a street vendor who ordinarily would be on Cairo Road selling their goods up to 20-21:00 hrs around now with this situation they will have to leave town a bit early so meaning their income will dwindle,” he said.