Shimunza wants Zambia to be a first world economy

By Fulman Mukobeko.

Movement for National Transformation(MNT) leader Daniel Mvula Shimunza has promised to transform  Zambia from third to first world economy once his party forms government.

Appearing on Pan African Radio News feedback program anchored by Caesar Sindele, Mr Shimunza said what Zambia needs right now is an industrialized and   advanced economy.

Mr Shimunza expressed concern that what Zambia has  is a transactional  kind of economy which has led  to a lot of  debts through what he termed crisis management.

He said the United States of America is a strong economy because when that country got independence in 1776, her vision was to become a sovereign separate State equal  and stationed among the strong nations on Earth.

“…because that was their vision,  America is a power.  But in our case,  when we got our  independence, we never sat down to craft how our economy would be. We are in the situation where we are operating  crisis management. 53 years after independence, we are doing  what is known as  transactional leadership, where you get transactions, sign deals and cheques. We are not at a level of being  pragmatic to do long term plans,” Mr Shimunza said.

He added: “Imagine if we had sat down  53 years ago  and said we want Zambia to be a first world country with an advanced and  industrialized economy,looking at our geographical location,   We could have said let us make the Lusaka Stock Exchange(LuSE) a biggest investment centre in Africa but we did not do that. As a people we have evolved what I call crisis management and crisis management is what has led to these alarming debts the country has accrued. So we need to change the policy direction, ” the opposition leader said.

He said his party will re-craft Zambia and have a transformed agenda.

Mr Shimunza said the transformation  his party is talking about is not one that is copied from successful countries.

“For us, as Movement for National Transformation, our policy direction  is first world economy. So we will have to craft  our policy that will be a  departure from what has been happening in the past. Our policy  direction will be fundamental and since it is first world, it must be an advanced and industralised  economy, and not a developing or relatively developing economy,” he said, adding that to achieve this, MNT will build internal capacity as opposed to depending on donor handouts.

Mr Shimunza said third world countries’ policies are  dependent on  borrowing, saying this is why Zambia has accumulated a lot of external debts which will be rather difficult to service if the country  does not come up with good solutions.

Mr Shimunza said while every Government borrows, it is important that the accrued debt is not used for consumption but for investment in the productive sector of the economy.

“We advocate for an advanced and industrialized economy. In ward looking policies to outward looking police,” he stated.