Ministry of Finance Mrs Margaret Mwanakatwe has denied being the author of a letter circulating on social media blaming the late President Michael Sata as the cause of the economic disaster the country is allegedly in.
In a statement released to the media, Mrs Mwanakatwe said that she holds the late President Michael Sata and her predecessors in the office of Minister of Finance, in high esteem for the work they did in laying the foundation for speedy and widespread development of our nation and that she cannot engage or participate in the slander, ridicule, or badmouthing the late President for whatever reason.
The Finance Minister has since requested her ministry to engage the Office of the Attorney General and ZICTA to establish the original source of the article and to take appropriate sanctions provided under our Statutes and International Law.
Below is the Minister’s full statement
IT IS NOT MY ARTICLE NOR THAT OF MY MINISTRY
I, MARGARET MWANAKATWE, Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for Lusaka Central Constituency, to this day, holds President Michael Chilufya Sata (late) and my predecessors in the office of Minister of Finance, in high esteem for the work they did in laying the foundation for speedy and widespread development of our nation.
Therefore, I CANNOT ENGAGE or participate in the slander, ridicule, or badmouthing the late President for whatever reason.
President Sata (late) did a lot for this country and deserves all our respect. Those bringing his name into public scorn should examine their conscience.
Let me emphasise that the leadership paradigm and the positive development trajectory of President Edgar Chagwa Lungu’s administration is an enhancement of the foundation laid by the PF Government under late President Sata.
As a member of the ruling party, that is what gives me and my colleagues in the administration the energy to ensure that the country continues to record positive results in all spheres of socio-economic development.
Further, the programmes outlined in the Seventh National Development Plan (SNDP) combined with the reforms under the Economic Stabilisation and Growth Programme are meant to carry the PF Government’s vision for sustained development; without leaving anyone behind.
The FAKE ARTICLE will neither detract nor derail me from doing my best to ensure that the vision of late President Sata, carried on by President Lungu, is achieved through job creation, empowerment of youth and women entrepreneurs, and full exploration and operationalisation of the prospects for enhanced development that are in abundance in all regions of the country.
To set the record straight, I have asked my Ministry Officials to engage the Office of the Attorney General and ZICTA to establish the original source of the article and to take appropriate sanctions provided under our Statutes and International Law.
I also take this opportunity to state that, today, I just arrived from China where I led a Ministerial delegation for an asset/liability management programme on some of the loans that Zambia owes China.
Suffice to say, we had very fruitful engagements with Chinese authorities and the nation will be informed once the entire framework of asset/liability management is finalised.
On my arrival at the KKIA this afternoon, I met the Catholic Bishops delegation from The Democratic Republic of Congo who were in the country for a meeting with President Lungu. They expressed optimism about the role that our leader will play in addressing the matters laid before him.
I take this opportunity to outline the focus for my Ministry for the next few weeks.
Following the issuance of the 2019-2021 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) last week, the Treasury is this week conducting final budget consultations with Ministries Provinces and Other Spending Agencies.
In the days that follow, we will be conducting integrity checks and verification of revenue and expenditure estimates for 2019 to ensure we are ready for presentation in the next few weeks.
Margaret D. Mwanakatwe, MP
MINISTER OF FINANCE.