Economy on track, assures State House

President Lungu
President Lungu

SPECIAL assistant to the President for press and public relations Amos Chanda says the economy is on track and the much talked about borrowing is within limits.
Mr Chanda said the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) has grown.


He said all key fiscal and monetary fundamentals of the economy are in place.
He said what is causing the downward spiral of the Kwacha has to do more with speculation rather than key fundamentals of the economy.



“As a result, President Lungu has allowed the central bank and fiscal policy team at the Ministry of Finance to monitor the kwacha and trends in the economy and in the market. We have come to a conclusion that from the time it was K8.5 to K10, it appears that it is a free fall situation that requires intervention measures to rectify the situation,” he said.



Mr Chanda said this on a Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) television programme, Sunday Interview.
He said there is no need for the nation to panic.
Mr Chanda said President Lungu has directed the treasury team to brief him on the performance of the Kwacha every day with a view to rectifying the situation and that there will be a solution in days rather than in weeks.



“There is a number of instruments in place with the first option being to allow the markets correct themselves while the second option is to allow the Reserve Bank to correct the situation through open markets,” he said.
Mr Chanda said speculators are the ones distorting the economy and that Government has powers to intervene through the central bank despite the fact that the country is a free market economy.
He also said that all the maize produced this year will be bought by Food Reserve Agency (FRA) and that farmers who have supplied grain to the agency are already being paid.


“Zambia’s bankable debt ratio is sustainable and should not give any reason to worry,” he said.
Mr Chanda also said US$140 million dollars will be put into circulation in the next two weeks, after contractors are paid and that US$120 million will be released to cushion the Kwacha.
He said this clearly shows that there is no shortage of foreign exchange in the economy.
“All farmers are being paid already. The farm inputs for this season have also already been delivered,” he said



Mr Chanda said with developments taking place in the country, roads will start financing themselves and that there will be no roads that will go to waste.
He also assured that the Kwacha will not break the current level because there are measures in place to ensure that it does not get to the K15 mark.
Meanwhile, Mr Chanda described the reporting of The Post Newspaper as ridiculous.


He also dismissed allegations that First Lady Esther Lungu is using public funds in her charity works.
Mr Chanda said Mrs Lungu is using funds raised from private sources and that it is up to the First Lady to disclose the private sources that are funding her works.
“The First Lady is not over-stepping her role by engaging in activities that would boost the husband’s political standing, there is nothing wrong with the First Lady Mrs Lungu, to help uplift the lives of the vulnerable people,” he said.



And Mr Chanda said the amount of hate by The Post newspaper towards President Lungu has made it lose the values it has stood for in the past.
Mr Chanda said the Post Newspaper praised late President Michael Sata as revolutionary and a messiah for initiating the Link Zambia 8000 project, which Mr Lungu has continued with and it is unfortunate that the tabloid is now opposing the project.


“President Lungu will not be controlled by The Post newspaper. The Head of State will not bow to the newspaper’s demand,” he said.
Mr Chanda said The Post newspaper can go on with its hate reporting on President Lungu and that the newspaper should wait for its candidate Wynter Kabimba to win elections.