Economic Insider

Pressure Mounts on Zambian President Amid Economic Downtrend

A top 10 global law firm has entered on the side of the Savenda Group and its founder Dr. Clever Mpoha in their dispute with the current Zambian government led by President Hakainde Hichilema. According to the press release, the firm of Eversheds Sutherland based in the U.S. will be partnering with a well-known Dubai law firm to bring additional firepower to bear against the allegations being made by the regime of Hakainde Hichilema against the Savenda Group and its founder.

The current Zambian government has been under mounting pressure from a variety of sectors. In an open letter to the President published in the Zambian Observer, Father Frank Bwalya called on the President to change course and fulfill his promises to strengthen the economy amidst broken promises and price increases.

In another move published March 7th, Zambian politician Bowman Lusambo said that President Hakainde Hichilema promised to reduce the cost of living, but having failed to do so has lost his mandate upon which the people elected him. The President responded by having Lusambo arrested by the Anti-Corruption Commission just three days later.

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) arrested the former Lusaka minister over the legitimacy of his house in Lusaka’s Chamba Valley. 

These developments are taking place under the backdrop of impending layoffs of 70% of the staff at Savenda Group, a Zambian mainstay in operation since 1997, due to the freezing of the company bank accounts by the government which took place nearly six months ago in October 2022. 

The restrictions placed on the company’s bank account by the Anti-Corruption Commission have caused significant financial hardship, leading to the possibility of layoffs for over 800 employees. 

In a statement to the Observer by Ambassador Emmanuel Mwamba, “They have seized bank accounts…refused to allow access to company operation accounts. Now 800 jobs are on the line. Is someone keen to collapse a thriving indigenous enterprise?” 

The mounting pressure on President Hakainde Hichilema’s government in Zambia highlights the challenges of economic development in the country. While the country’s new leader campaigned on a platform of change and promised to improve the country’s economy, many people are questioning whether he can deliver. The impact of these issues on local businesses is significant, with many struggling to survive in the face of limited resources and competition from larger multinational companies.

With the right policies and support in place, Zambia has the potential to become a major player in the African economy and provide much-needed jobs and economic opportunities for its citizens. As the country faces increasing unemployment and the risk of losing vital businesses, it is clear that urgent action is needed to stabilize the economy and prevent further damage. 

With U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris’ upcoming trip to the African nation scheduled to take place later this month in a bid to strengthen local African businesses, it may be prudent for the Zambian government to resolve this issue prior to her visit.

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