Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Prof Chirwa sees signs of fatigue in PF
By Henry Sinyangwe
Tue 30 July 2013, 14:01 CAT

THERE are signs of fatigue on the part of the PF in terms of ingenuity of vision to deliver on promises, says Professor Clive Chirwa. And Prof Chirwa says politics in his life is a thing of the past.

Prof Chirwa on Friday advised the PF to stick to the vibrancy in its original vision to raise the living standards of the people. He said the PF should re-look the policies it had put in place after winning the 2011 general elections.

"The political climate in the country is showing some fatigue in terms of ingenuity of vision to do things. I would have liked is to see the vibrant vision which the PF started with to be continued. But at the moment, you are seeing ups and downs in that vision. And once you see ups and downs in that vision, people start saying 'okay, perhaps things are going wrong somewhere'. So what we need to do is to go back and look at the policies which we had put at the beginning, when the elections were won," he said in an interview.

He noted that things were not going according to plan but there was progress, nevertheless, which he said was paramount.

"To me, progress is on. There are still things which are going right, but there are also things which are going wrong and, therefore, it's the wrong things now which they need to iron out in order to deliver what they promised the Zambian people," Prof Chirwa said.

"The one and half years have been a learning curve, like everybody else who comes into power, one and half years is not good enough to say these people can fail or succeed. When they come to two and half years, getting halfway the line, then you can judge them on exactly how they are doing."

He said there was need for policies that would earn the country more revenue from copper, the country's mainstay.

"Economically, I can see a lot of benefits in the second term of this particular Parliament from the things they have put forward, but those good things and good values in terms of economic performance of this country will always be dependent on copper. So if copper goes down, the economy goes down vice-versa," Prof Chirwa said.

"The only thing which I am a little bit worried about is last year, copper revenues were very low. In fact, inland revenue figures in some cases were a little bit lower than even the other year's. There is need for policies to maximise revenues from copper."

And Prof Chirwa says there is need to change the law so that when one moves from one party to another, they should not be allowed to contest the resulting by-election but only stand during general elections.
Asked whether he would consider getting into active politics Prof Chirwa said:

"My next step is not a political one; my next step is to remain a technocrat so that I can contribute to developing Zambia. Politics to me I think is my past. I do not want to come back into politics. I want to maintain my sanity and I will remain as a technocrat permanently."

On Zambia Railways, Prof Chirwa stated that his vision was the best avenue to achieving a modern railway with little money.

"What is transpiring now, where the Eurobond money is just going to be used for the rehabilitation is not correct for the simple reason that it is not enough and will be wasted before the rehabilitation part of the project is even completed," he stated.

He encouraged the new management to embrace his vision so that they can take the company forward.

"As a technocrat and not a politician - although I have helped political parties get into power through my understanding of economics, analytical and statistical skills - I will once again urge the engineers at ZRL to do what is right for the company. At present moment, Zambia Railways is losing too much money," stated Prof Chirwa.

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