APPOINTMENT OF MINISTER PF FINANCE
…IS IT CONSTITUTIONAL AND LEGAL?
I also wish to congratulate Dr. Situmbeko Musokot- wane aged 65 years on being appointed as the Minister of Finance. President Hakain- de Hichilema last Friday ap- pointed and swore in Dr. Mu- sokotwane as the Minister of Finance. Dr. Musokotwane is the first Cabinet Minister to be appointed under the United Party for National Development (UPND) ad- ministration following the party’s resounding victory.
Dr. Musokotwane’s ap- pointment has come at a critical time when Zambia’s economy is not performing well, coupled with an exter- nal debt of US$12.8 billion, an amount which includes the euro bond. This scenario entails that the Minister of Fi- nance has a mammoth task.
President Hichilema said during the swearing in cere- mony of Dr. Musokotwane at State House that the UPND administration found the empty coffers in the nation- al treasury. The head of State has tasked the Minister of Finance to revamp the coun- try’s ailing economy whose ripple effect is the high pov- erty levels among the people because of the exorbitant prices of goods and services.
Dr. Musokotwane is a seasoned economist with many years of work experience at local and international lev- el. He served as the Minister of Finance under the Ru- piah Banda led Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) administration be- tween 2008 and 2011. He also served as the special assistant for economic affairs to for- mer president Banda.
If the above are not enough, Dr. Musokotwane worked for the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and African Development Bank. Locally, Dr. Musokotwane worked as the Deputy Gov- ernor for Bank of Zambia (BOZ). Dr. Musokotwane was instrumental in the im- plementation of the treasury bills and the auction bonds, among others.
The Minister of Finance stated during his inaugural speech, shortly after being sworn in, that he would tight- en the fiscal policies in a bid to ensure that there is no wastage of financial resourc- es. He also said that there will be no useless seminars and workshops by the public of- ficers. Lastly, he said that the money will be used prudent- ly or rather for the intended purpose.
However, the appoint- ment of Dr. Musokotwane as the Minister of Finance has been well received by many stakeholders both individu- als and organisations. These stakeholders feel that Dr. Musokotwane will be equal to the task going by his Pro- fessional qualifications and vast experience in economic matters.
To Dr. Musokotwane, I say congratulations once more on his appointment as the Minister of Finance. All said and done, let us support our new Minister of Finance as he hits the ground discharging the national duties.
ELEMIYA PHIRI Lusaka.