There is turbulence in the Zambian economy today due to the leadership vacuum which has manifested in political infighting, says Economic Association of Zambia (EAZ) president Isaac Ngoma.
Mr Ngoma said there was need therefore to safeguard the economy by guarding against abuse of office and public resources due to insecurity and greed.
He said there was also instability that undermined macroeconomic stability, thus impeding the growth of the nation’s Growth Domestic Product (GDP)
He said this could lead to currency fluctuations, capital flight, rising of interest rates, inflation upswing, GDP shrinkage and reduced productivity and fiscal imbalance.
He also charged that the death of a head of State had the potential of eroding investor confidence and investment inflows.
Mr Ngoma said the death of President Michael Sata had an impact on the economy of the country.
He was speaking at a forum organized by the Medical Association of Zambia on Thursday last week whose theme was “The health of a President”.
He explained that the negative impact on the economy following the death of the President could also be blamed on the bad Constitution that vested too much power in the presidency and negated the separation of power.
Mr Ngoma explained that lack of a better Constitution compromised governance institutions and tolerated abuse of the State system.
He said lack of clarity on the nature and state of illness for the President caused uncertainty in the country due to non-availability of information on the Presidency.
He said it had been noted that there was cost implications of the illness and death like it was cited in the Auditor General’s report especially on the late Levy Mwanawasa.
He said there was lack of leadership and weaknesses in the institutional framework as there would be policy shifts and possible disruption in programming which would result in lack of continuity and consistency in policy pronouncements. He suggested that the Constitution should also address the issue of excessive presidential powers and the need to strengthen other arms of governance and enhance the institutional framework including providing for enhanced ministerial portfolio responsibility and discretion.
“The President is the CEO of a country therefore must be a visionary, strategic director and a people-centered leader. This calls for a sober, level headed person with a sound mental and physical disposition.
“The job of President is very demanding and stressing due to the many challenges associated with the executive functions of running a country. Among the most critical and complex tasks is economic governance and management,” he said.
Mr Ngoma said the President operated through his Cabinet ministers who were the operatives yet needed close monitoring and strategic oversight to effectively attain national development aspirations.
He said the EAZ was concerned with the health of the office holder because of paramount importance for the wellbeing of the nation.