Sunday, July 27, 2014

Anyone can aspire for my job including schoolboys, Chikwanda
By Chiwoyu Sinyangwe
Wed 22 Jan. 2014, 14:02 CAT

EVEN schoolboys have the right to aspire for my job if they feel I am not doing well, says Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda.

Addressing journalists on the state of the Zambian economy on Monday afternoon, Chikwanda said being finance minister was "absolutely burdensome".

"As Zambians, even schoolboys who think 'this bloody minister is not doing well', they have the right to aspire for this job," he said.

"This is a public job; it's not a personal to holder but I have some experiences.

You my countrymen have given me the opportunity in the past…I am a trained economist. When I left government, there was a stampede for me to join this and that but I couldn't join all the boards. So, I have some experience in the public and private sector. And when the President Sata asked me to help, I willingly agreed. But for me, this job is not a matter of life and death. It is absolutely burdensome. I accepted the ordeal because our country needs dedicated efforts. Operating from here, I can see disheartening lack of commitment and lack of seriousness…"

Chikwanda said being at the helm of the country's Treasury needed someone with energy.

"I volunteered to help and when it's expedient and opportune, I am quite prepared to bow out and I am sure if there are any young men and women who would like to take up this job, I am quite prepared to give them an appropriate brief…maybe they can do well," he said.

"You need people with blood in these jobs. I can't be there indefinitely ….when you reach certain age, we are essentially in the 'departure lounge'. I am just there out of total commitment and devotion to work for my country. It's not a means of earning a living."

Chikwanda has in recent months come under attack from some key stakeholders, including former finance ministers Edith Nawakwi and Ng'andu Magande, on the flagging local economy and accused the former of arrogance and incompetence, among other inadequacies.

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