The new Standard and Poor international rating of Zambia is a cause of worry.
The rating clearly shows that the political climate in the country has continued to deteriorate as a result of Government clampdown on the opposition, exemplified by the arrest of opposition leaders on flimsy charges, some of which gladly have been removed from courts by nolle Prosequi.
A typically disconcerting picture was cast in the magistrates courts on Thursday when former president Rupiah Banda appeared in the same court as his successor in the MMD Nevers Mumba.
Earlier last month Nevers appeared in the same court as his opposition compatriot Hakainde Hichilema president of the UPND who was being charged for defamation of the President a matter that was discontinued by nolle Prosequi.
These court appearances create an impression of a country that is not only unstable but is being politically manipulated towards the much discredited authoritarian one-party totalitarian regime.
The report rightly notes that these political issues have the overall effect of impacting on the economic, social and indeed political life of the country.
Added to these socio-politico problems is the continued uncertainty about the business environment and the government’s wider microeconomic policies which Standard and Poor warn could deter investment and adversely affect medium-term growth prospects and macroeconomic stability.
As if this is not enough the stat of flax in which our current judicial exists cannot give assurance to foreign and local investors as regards national stability.
It is therefore understandable that Zambia still remains within the B classification, indicating that while the country has tremendous potential to create a stable political climate on which a resilient strong and prosperous economy could be established major steps still need to be taken to strengthen the gains made towards creating a viable liberal democracy are made.
It is for this reason that a concerted effort towards transparency, predictability and the respect for the rule of law must be made to assure Zambians of their place, entitlement and obligation towards the greater goal of nation building.
It is not good enough to pontificate and spew political rhetoric on development while on the ground government imposes restrictions within the economy and political body, which restrictions introduce controls and barriers.
Zambia as the report notes has tremendous potential but which potential can only be achieved and attained if there is coherence, transparency in policy formulation and implementation which at the moment is lacking.