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Economic, political ills global, says minister

MACKSON WASAMUNU, Lusaka
THE economic and political challenges Zambia is experiencing are a result of a global order and not the making of President Lungu and his administration, Minister of Foreign Affairs Harry Kalaba has said.
Mr Kalaba said Zambia is not in an enclave and, therefore, not immune to the global phenomena that has seen economies around the world and that of countries such as China contracting.
He said this when he featured on Radio Yangeni in Mansa in response to calls from the people of Luapula Province.
Mr Kalaba explained that it was better to look at Zambia’s situation in a broader context since the country is not an island.
The Copper prices on the London Metal Exchange have plummeted and it is also affected by climate change.
“In Tanzania, and recently in Botswana too, their dams, water levels have gone down. Carbon emissions are very high because the industrialised countries are producing a lot of carbon emissions and countries like Zambia are on the receiving end,” Mr Kalaba said.
“This is a global problem. It is not something that we should joke about because it is not only peculiar to Zambia.”
Mr Kalaba said environmental degradation is real and things have changed elsewhere, and in Zambia, there is electricity deficit.
“Zambia is open to the world and the world is open to Zambia. So, there is a problem. Water levels have gone down, Zambia, too, is experiencing it,” Mr Kalaba explained.
“We’ve had challenges with our currency having shocks, the Chinese RMB; the South African rand are having shocks, too.”
As a result of the above challenges, the world was converging in Paris under the framework of the Conference of Parties to try and address the impact of climate change.
He said, “We are going to Paris with an open mind to see how we can access the Green Climate Fund so that we can mitigate the challenges of water and the impact it has caused on the environment.”
Mr Kalaba wondered how some people want to politicise a situation resulting from a global phenomenon and insinuate that President Lungu has failed.
“In the last four years of PF in government hospitals, clinics, schools have been built, new roads have been constructed much to the delight of the citizenry,” Mr Kalaba said.
“All they are saying is that PF has failed, what are all those detractors going to do when they come into power if PF has brought roads, clinics, schools and many other infrastructure development?”
The Minister said there were some people whose preoccupation was to get into power at all costs even when it is clear that they are ignorant of how the government was run, owing to their lack of experience.



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