Dr SISHUWA Sishuwa

Unless China decides to write off the billions it is owed by Zambia in debt, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is one of the few escape routes available to heavily indebted countries, a University of Zambia lecturer has said.

Commenting on mounting criticism against the government’s decision to engage the IMF, Sishuwa Sishuwa defended the move, saying the previous administration collapsed the economy to an extent that made the coming of the Fund almost inevitable.

“The Lungu administration sacrificed economic rationality for political expediency, and consequently made the new administration of Hichilema inherit a poisoned chalice. After carelessly contracting a huge and unsustainable debt that effectively collapsed Zambia’s economy, the PF opportunistically delayed committing to an IMF bailout package for fear that the political fallout may cost them an election.

“None of the critics of the IMF deal has offered any kind of alternative solution, because there is not one unless China decides to write off all the billions it is owed. Critics are correct to say that many of the IMF conditions are harsh and will hit the poor especially hard. But if the budgetary process is to be put on a sound basis, strict spending controls are essential”, Dr Sishuwa said last evening during a virtual interview program dubbed “The State of Politics in Zambia Today”.

During the same show, the UNZA lecturer also condemned the arrest of PF member of the Central Committee Raphael Nakacinda on a charge of defamation of the President.

He said the law on defamation of the president has no place in a democracy and should be repealed.

Dr. Sishuwa urged President Hakainde Hichilema to embrace public criticism, develop thick skin and stop the police from arresting critics in his name.

Below is the link to the recorded broadcast of the full program.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Incredible! Sishuwa was one of the early critics of the IMF programme but now appears to have been converted and U turned to the extent of defending it.
    Of course some of us have always been supportive of the IMF programme and seen it as the most and only available route to economic recovery by the UPND Administration.
    Those criticising simply don’t know what they are talking about and they dont even tell us their alternatives anyway!
    Welcome back to your senses Sishuwa, perhaps we can still count on you!

  2. Firstly, defamation, just like character assassination are outlawed by our statutes. Offenders like Nakachinda are fully aware of the consequences of their actions. Indeed some might conclude they are tempting fate.
    Secondly, the President cannot stop the police from doing their job as doing so would amount to interference. Moreover, it’s practically impossible to expect the head of state to put out fires all across the country instead of focussing on matters of key national interest.
    Thirdly, it’s ludicrous to suggest that in more advanced democracies, bare-naked insults aimed at heads of state are tolerated. In the USA, for example, hate speech is a federal crime punishable by least 5 years imprisonment. Sishuwa and Nakachinda you may insult any such foreign leader to test the gravity of your consequences.

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