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Saturday, September 26, 2020

The Speech President Lungu Should make on the State of the Economy

Columns The Speech President Lungu Should make on the State of the Economy

President Lungu Inaugural Address at Heroes Stadium
President Lungu Inaugural Address at Heroes Stadium

“President address” to the nation on the State of economy

By Kalima Nkonde

( Readers, please note that this is a satirical article and is not a real address by the President but rather the writer’s analysis on some of the issues that the President ought to be talking about or actions that he should consider taking. This is an advisorial article)

Good evening country men and women. I humbly present myself to you as your servant and would like to report to you as my employers about the state of our economy. To day, 25th June,2015 marks five months since I took over the reins of power on 25 January,2015 and I believe it has been enough time for me to get to know the economic challenges that the country faces . I want to take this opportunity to share them with you and inform you of the measures that I intend taking.

First and foremost, I wish to state from the outset that I am making this speech specifically on the economy because it is my top priority as our politics have become rather toxic and are better left to less mortals. You will agree with me that you elected me to make your lives better and too much politicking will not bring food on your table. My address will depart from my predecessors’ approach in that I will accept mistakes we have made and engage in self criticism of our party as the Governing party. I believe that it is by admitting mistakes that we can take corrective action. The main economic challenges that we face, countrymen and women are as follows:

  • Unemployment,
  • Excessive Government borrowing
  • Government expenditure and general waste
  • Big government
  • Poor Performance of the Kwacha
  • High cost of living
  • Poor approach to economic management

I intend to address each of these in more detail as outlined below:

Unemployment

Country men and women, the current high unemployment rate is a major source of worry for me and I spend sleepless nights agonizing about our youths on the streets. It is my top priority both in the short term and in the long term. I am mindful of the fact that we promised our people jobs during the 2011 election compaign and we have yet to fulfill that promise. I have consulted widely inside and outside Government circles about practical solutions to this problem and not just text book solutions. I have particulary been impressed by the short tem practical suggestions for immediate employment creation that my brother ,Kalima Nkonde, a retunee from the diaspora made in one of our on line publications a few months ago and which I noted and over 95% bloggers supported. The following are some of the short term measures that my Government intends to implement immediately to create jobs for Zambians:

  • We will require Mining houses to create indirect jobs by procuring their supplies from Zambian owned companies. We will make sure that they comply with this and intend to put strict monitoring mechanisms. We will also ask them to instruct their captive foreign suppliers especially for equipment and other imports to relocate to Zambian mining towns like Solwezi, Kalumbila and others so that we are not exporting both jobs and copper. This will result in skills transfer and employment creation. Fellow Zambians, we have made so many concessions to the Mining houses such as the cancellation of windfall tax, reduction of Royalty tax from 20% to 9%, cancellations of SI33, SI55 at their instigation and so on and so forth. It is time they gave Zambia something in return in form of indirect jobs which does not cost them anything!
  • My government will increase the percentage foreign contractors in infrastructure projects subcontract to Zambians from 20% to 30%. We will stiffen penalties for Zambians who sell contracts to foreigners after being awarded the reserved allocation.
  • The cost of borrowing in Zambia is astronomical. We will reduce domestic borrowing so as not overcrowd private sector and also help reduce interest rates. I have instructed Bank Of Zambia to find ways and means to reduce to cost of borrowing so that our SMMES can borrow cheaply and create jobs
  • My Government will engage immediately the governments of Angola and DRC so that we can create a market for our agriculture products and thereby create thousands of jobs in our agriculture, livestock and allied industries
  • My Government will engage our Southern African neighbours so that we realize some benefits from the Liberation struggle. We have not benefited economically from the liberation struggle and we should engage in aggressive economic diplomacy with countries like Namibia, Angola, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique and sign bi lateral agreements for the most favoured nation status with them so that our goods and services can be exported there in preference to other countries without subjecting them to rigorous tariff and non tariff barriers! Our Citizens should also have preferential immigration status and should not be harassed like others who never contributed to their liberation! We kept their leaders and spent money and lives for their liberation and surely one good turn deserves another ! We paid dearly for these countries and our economy has never fully recovered because of the sacrifices we made!
  • We will ensure that we stop importing products that can be produced in Zambia such as potatoes, tomatoes, onions, beans, cooking oil etc from countries like South Africa and other countries so that we create jobs here in Zambia instead of exporting them like retails chains in our malls are doing and as well as support our currency, the kwacha.
  • My Government will introduce an internship programme and encourage the private sector too by trying to absorb graduates for a period of two years for them to gain experience and be marketable. The graduates should be paid less than the market value during the hands on experience. This will address the issue of graduates being rejected by the market place due to lack of experience. We will encourage the Private sector to enter the programme and we will give them tax and other incentives to employ college and university graduates so we reduce youth unemployment in the short term.
  • We will strictly monitor the Zambianization programmes of foreign companies especially the mines. It appears some of them have taken advantage of the lack of monitoring by our Labour department. We monitor corruption in the granting of work permits by Department of labour so that permits are only given to qualified foreigners. We have been too liberal in granting work permits to foreigners for jobs that can be done by Zambians!

In the long term, I have instructed the Ministry of Labour to contract a consultant to study the unemployment situation in Zambia and make recommendations on how we can mitigate the problem and ensure our unemployment rates are below 10%. I should be clear countrymen and women, the creation of jobs in a market economy lies with the private sector. As Government, we will facilitate job creation through putting in place progressive policies. Government should not be a major source of employment!

Excessive Government Borrowing

My fellow Zambians, when we took over as PF, we found a foreign debt of $1.2billion and now it is $4.8 billion.Our domestic debt is K 20 billion and our combined debt of domestic and foreign debt is about $8.8billion.The rate at which we are borrowing is unsustainable at best and irresponsible at worst. I want to put a stop to this.

At the current borrowing rate, we are condemning our future generations to economic malaise. We do not want to be caught up in the debt trap again. We all know what excessive borrowing does to a country. Greece is the modern example on how a country’s sovereignty and pride can be compromised when you are heavily indebted .

You are at the mercy of its creditors and you lose respectability! It is not a question of saying we are below internationally acceptable limit of debt to GDP ratio as justification! I do not buy that! The effect of excessive borrowing especially for a consumption oriented and a small economy like ours includes diverting resources from social sectors to debt servicing. And in the case of domestic borrowing, we are crowding out the private sector therefore killing employment creation and like Bank of Zambia Governor recently pointed out, it is even causing interest rates to go up! As you know the Bretton Woods institutions – the World bank and IMF have also cautioned us about the rate at which we borrowing and our lack of strategy for servicing the same.

It is time we listened and took action. I would have wanted to stop most of the planned borrowing but in the light of the loss of revenue from the mines through reduced royalty taxes, we will have to borrow to bridge that gap. We intend to issue the last $2billion Eurobond but this time, we will ensure substantial money in invested in sectors like agriculture, manufacturing and tourism where we can get immediate results and earn foreign exchange through exports rather than infrastructure projects that are long term. I have, however, suspended the bulk of domestic borrowing so that we do not crowd out private sector and increase interest rates.

Government expenditure and general waste

Country men and women, I have discovered that we are not spending our tax payers’ money wisely and responsibly. As you know, we are running a record budget deficit. In the first six months of 2015, our budget deficit was K20 Billion instead of the projected K8.5 billion. In simple terms, we are spending more than we are earning! We are living beyond our means!

The IMF and economic commentators have advised us to cut our costs, postpone projects, reduce civil service salaries, reduce benefits that do not add value but we have not listened, it is time we listened and took tough decisions because that is what leadership is all about. Our financial management leaves much to be desired. All past governments and ours have focused too much on the sources more revenue without looking at the expenditure side of the equation especially recurrent expenditure.

My Government intends to address the expenditure side vigorously with immediate effect. The time of waste in Government is over. In order to show that I am committed to cost cutting, I will start from State house. May also inform you that I am following the General Mohammed Buhari of Nigeria’s example in cost cutting. He has decided to sale nine (9) presidential aircraft in order to cut government expenditure in Nigeria and send signals to all the ministers and civil servants that reduction of wasteful government expenditure is one way of reducing fiscal deficit! We leaders need to lead by example! You cannot ask people or ministers to forgo benefits or allowances when you are wasteful as a president.

First and foremost, my motorcade will be cut by 50% because the number of vehicles and personnel involved me in escorting me cannot be justified for security and economic reasons! It is sheer waste of money! In addition, my delegations on trips both local and foreign will also be drastically reduced .The savings of these measures in terms of fuel, maintenance, allowances and other related costs will be massive and runs in millions of kwacha.

In general, there is just too much waste in our Government system and we can easily reduce these costs without effecting anything negatively. Our Cabinet is also too big and we will have to address this at one time or the other though not immediately as most of my colleagues need these jobs otherwise they may die prematurely.I have, however, put everybody on notice that Government is there for service and jobs !I have noted the following as a major sources of waste:

  • The number of trips locally and foreign by Government officials which are entirely motivated by Per diem are just to numerous.
  • We are buying expensive vehicles which are expensive to maintain and they consume a lot of fuel
  • The abuse of Government Vehicles which are used for private purposes and outside office hours!

I intend to send a delegation of technocrats to our neighbour, Botswana so that we can learn how our colleagues control costs in the Government system and we would have to emulate their thrift culture in utilizing public funds for the benefit of the poor. The savings from the reduction in waste will be used for medicines in hospitals and for scholarships to poor students so that we do not have situation where our young people commit suicide due to lack of sponsorship despite having excellent results.
In regard to Capital expenditure, we have no choice apart from cancelling or postponing some infrastructure projects as our revenue has reduced due to cancellation of the Royalty tax to the mines. The cancellation of projects will have no impact as some of current projects have no discernible economic value whatsoever. We have roads, bridges leading to nowhere! We should have had road projects leading to the Angolan border or to places like Kolwezi in DRC where trade could have been promoted and ZRA could been raising revenue from the border posts but these were not prioritized.

Big government

Fellow Zambians, my Government is just too big and unsustainable. Although big Government is related to Government expenditure, I want to address it separately for emphasis. The civil servants salaries make up 50% of our total expenditure for the country! The larger the civil service, the more inefficient and bureaucratic it becomes and it leads to poor service delivery. Although the creation of districts is important for service delivery to our people but this needs to be in a rational and phased manner and not the way we have been doing it.

It has been ad hoc and knee jerk kind of decision making without regard to the impact on budget and source of revenue for such projects. The rate at which we have been creating districts and building related infrastructure has just strained our government revenue and created economic problems for us unnecessarily.

The economic problems we have are purely self inflicted because of lack of informed decision making from 2011 to December,2014. Our economic decisions have been more influenced by politics rather than economic imperatives. There are those of us in PF who think that creation of districts and big government is the way to create jobs!

This is voo doo economics. Government should not the biggest employer . Job creation should be private sector driven as they are a source of revenue and economic growth .

Kwacha Performance and need for export diversification

Country men and women, when we took over in 2011 the kwacha exchange rate to the dollar was K4.86 and now it is S7.40 to a dollar which is about 52% depreciation over the three half year period. Since January,2015, our currency has depreciated by 19% .

The currency has not performed well. The 2015 drastic depreciation, however, has been largely due to market manipulation and arm twisting tactics by the mining houses due to the impasse of the Royalty tax and the VAT refund. It does not take a genius to know what they were doing.

They withheld the dollars by not bringing them into country through their export earnings which affected supply of forex and at same time, they demanded more forex for their imports using borrowings from the local market which increased demand for forex unreasonably thereby affecting the exchange rate adversely.

This is the major explanation for our currency to have lost so much value at a higher rate than other currecncies in this period. I do not deny that other factors like the dollar’s general strength and lower copper prices did affect our currency but the rate of depreciation was largely artificial. As you know, we depend on copper for 70% of export earnings.
Fellow Zambians, in order to improve kwacha performance my government will have to restrict some imports, reduce number of foreign contractors engaged so as to reduce externalization, monitor ( not control) inflows and outflows of forex from the mines without appearing to be reintroducing foreign exchange controls just like South Africa does, instill market confidence through policy consistency, diversify economy from being predominantly mining to agriculture, tourism and manufacturing,

High cost of living

Fellow Zambians, it is not a secret that the cost of living has gone up since we took over in 2011. The price of mealie meal, for example, has gone up from K37 since we took over to K75 or K80 in some areas.

I know mealie meal prices have more than doubled mainly due to removal of subsidies. But we need to bit the bullet in some of our decisions by ensuring that we avoid subsidizing consumption but instead subsidise production so that it can have economic multiplier effect on inflation, job creation, export promotion and economic growth
The other major costs faced by most our countrymen and women are escalating costs like rentals, health care, electricity, transport, water, school fees etc.! The recent planned strict enforcement of withholding tax on rentals by Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) is likely to affect a great number of our people’s cost of living as landlords are going to pass the 10% tax on to tenants!

I am not comfortable with this tax as the timing is insensitive given that we just reduced mining houses’s Royalty tax by close to 100% ! I would propose that tax on rentals is reduced to 2.5 % and landlords have to pay it not tenants so that compliance and administration is easier and cost of living is not affected.
Fellow Zambians, I feel your pain. I know how it feels to go hungry. I have a humble background like the majority of you ! Do not forget that I was one of you just a few years ago before I got elected as a Member of Parliament and so I can relate to your hardships and that is why I will do everything in within my power to improve your standard of living so that you all able to have three full meals in a day!
Let me outline some of the measures that my Government will take to bring the cost of living down. The major drivers of our cost of living is the price of fuel and the Kwacha exchange rate. We will review the fuel supply chain and remove middle men as well as look for alternative sources of fuel like brotherly countries of Angola and Nigeria.

As you have noted. I have met President Dos Santos and General Buhari already and so the process has started. In regard to mealie meal prices, we have negotiated with the Chinese to install milling plants in all the ten provinces of our country which will bring prices down. We are also going to reduce imports for goods that we can produce locally so that we avoid imported inflation while at the same time boost local production and promote employment creation. I also feel our taxation system needs to be fair! We cannot have employees contributing through pay as you earn tax (PAYE) more than companies -especially the mines- to the treasury.

Approach to economic management

Our general economic management has been flawed in that we never consulted with stakeholders nor instituted studies/consultancies to help us make informed decisions before we implemented certain important policy measures. I have come to understand that the economy is so interdependent that one needs to be careful before one makes a decision . One needs to have an helicopter view of things and understand the multiplier effects of their decisions.

We made so many knee jerk decisions on most policy and infrastructure decisions which have had un intended and disastrous consequences that we are experiencing now.

The problems we are facing are not because of external forces alone but mostly due to our mismanagement of the economy. My government will clearly outline our economic policy and my vision for the country in my state of the nation address in due course so that investors and everybody will know where we are going as a country.
Countrymen and women, before I took over the country in January,2015, the Country was heading in the wrong direction as exemplified by the following:

  • FDI started drying up as some investors postponing or cancelling their investment plans and ZDA can attest to this.
  • Business confidence by both local and foreign investors was low
  • Paralysis in civil servants and heads of department for fear of being fired either in national or public interest
  • Abuse of public order act by executive
  • Dictatorial tendencies which we saw under UNIP had started creeping in
  • The country was highly polarized and the ugly face of tribalism had started rearing its ugly face and there was general tension in certain parts of the country as they felt excluded
  • Inconsistent and unclear economic policies
  • There was impasse of the constitution making process

I have addressed and still addressing the above issues in one way or the other and changed the country’s trajectory. I wish to point out that the problems that we have now are a result of poor decisions that we made between 2011 and 2014 and they will take a bit of time to resolve but be rest assured that I will turn the Zambian economy around .

Conclusion

In conclusion, I would like to remind fellow Zambians that I am a Lawyer by profession and I have a law degree from UNZA and I obtained a distinction at the University of Zambia and so I am not an intellectual light weight! Ask anybody who went to University including Fred M’membe of the Post Newspaper or Hakainde Hichilema of UPND or Edith Nawaki and possibly ask them what grades they had! Whoever went to UNZA in the 1970s and 1980s , can attest to the fact that it is not an easy achievement.

I wish to assure you fellow Zambians that even if I am lawyer, I can manage the economy of our country well as I do not have a know it all attitude like some of my critics. You do not have to be an economist with a masters degree or a PhD like some of our self styled economic managers in the opposition who claim they can run the economy better by virtue of the economics degrees they have !

President Bill Clinton of the USA a lawyer like me, during his tenure of office, presided over the creation of 20 Million Jobs, the lowest unemployment rate in 30 years of 4.3%, the lowest poverty rate in 20 years, first budget surplus of $70 billion in 42 years, highest home ownership ever and made America debt free! President Barack Obama, a lawyer like me oversaw the worst financial crisis since 1930s in 2008 and he has stabilized the USA and the world economy.

The USA economy is creating jobs every month. He provided health care to over 14 Million Americans through the Affordable Care Act which his critics called Obama Care ! Both of these are Lawyers like me but they were of great intellect like me and used it wisely! They are my role models as Presidents! I believe in order to succeed, all a leader needs is to surround himself with the best possible brains, some of whom may even be smarter than him and not “yes” men.

Fellow Zambians, I can assure you that I have changed the direction our country was taking since taking over. We were going in the wrong direction prior to January,2015 but we are now going in the right direction and there is plenty of evidence to that effect.

Let me be clear, I have made some mistakes and I am still learning but I am a fast learner and so my learning curve is short. To engage in a bit of politics and have a dig at my opponents – my learning curve is not as long as some of my learned colleagues in the opposition. They have lost so many elections but they still have not found the formula to winning and getting to the highest office.

I did it at one attempt like President Clinton and President Obama! I listened and strategized and did not have foolish pride like them and that is how I made it !I wonder why they have not resigned like Eddie Milliband of Labour and Nick Clegg of the Liberal party in the UK and to give others in their Parties a chance!
I thank you for finding time to listen to me.

The writer is a product of the early 1980s University of Zambia- Ndola Campus called UNZANDO then (now Copperbelt University ) and he is a financial management consultant and a Chartered Accountant by profession. He recently returned back home with a hope of contributing in a small way to the country through rational economic debate based on his exposure and investing in the country. He has lived in the diaspora in England, South Africa and Botswana for over 25 years. He is an independent, non partisan and patriotic Zambian

45 COMMENTS

  1. This is just too good an article and the PF would learn a lot from it. A State of the Nation address to include most of these points would be great.

    • The article is good, it is long, but I will come back to it. I have to go to work, am not lazy like you PFs.
      Forward this article to Pilato to compose a song, so Edgar Lungu can dance to it, because drinking and dancing are only things he does better.

    • THIS IS A BEAUTIFUL PIECE! IT IS AN EYE OPENER TO BLIND EDGAR LUNGU. BUT WHERE IS LUNGU TO EMBRACE THE ADVISE? PF LEADERSHIP UNDER EDGAR LUNGU IS A DEAD LEADERSHIP. ZAMBIA NEEDS A COMPLETELY BRAND NEW PRESIDENT. HH IS EQUAL TO THE TASK.

    • Fantastic!

      The problem is that the leadership in PF & Lungu are VISIONLESS. They have no time for important things as long as their stomachs are full.

      Otherwise, don’t expect to find blood vessels in a stone.

      12 months left until PF visionless party is democratically kicked off.

      The Skeleton Key
      ~206~

    • Edgar Lungu would never make a speech like this. He has no vision and now it is worse with ZESCO load shading. Countrymen, what is at stake is posterity and future of our kids. Just imagine Father Frank Bwalya was Board Chairman at ZESCO

    • Spot on, great article indeed. President should lead by example and work hard. Instead He spends more time out of his office campaigning instead of focussing on our economic problems and at the end of the day we pay him his salary. If he is not serious, his officers will also not be serious.

      As long as it remains okay for one not to be productive on the job and still be paid, we will forever be a poor country.

      Follow the American example. You only get paid for effort you put in.

    • Viva Nkonde (Banana) for President!! The fact that you took time to both highlight important issues and genuinely punch holes in what these guys are failing to do tells me you mean well. At least you can make an excellent adviser to Chagwa. Even he doesn’t hire you, keep writing these articles, may his adviser will learn something by remote and the country may benefit. Kudos…

  2. Great analysis and spot on! Apart from National Assembly, is there a forum for the president to make such a speech? or even interact with journalists and respond to the million questions Zambians have about the big issues raised in this article? The zambian president is so much shielded from facing journalists and other citizens’ questions. No Press conference, No live TV address!! Where can a journalist or any other citizen meet and talk to the president about these issues?

  3. THIS GENTLEMAN NEEDS TO BE CONSIDERED FOR A JOB AS PRIVATE SECRETARY AT SATE HOUSE, THIS IS WAY FAR TOO GOOD TO BE UNDERSTOOD BY THOSE GOONS IN PF

  4. Another boring UPND Production, all ABOUT Kalima Nkonde, ‘a retunee from the diaspora’………

    (made in one of our on line publications a few months ago and which I noted and over 95% bloggers supported)?

    No. Made in the toilet pan and finished off as he smoothed his face, self appreciatively in the ‘large,’ bathroom mirror….before he had washed his hands.

    Before you criticise my ability to ‘analyse’ and bring on ‘ageist’ senior concerns, NOTE my critic is based on the idea that our gov’t has NOT had any of those items in place (considering, IMF and international lenders and their conditions for lending). ALSO you seem to show a lack of any initiative of our OWN. OUR ECONOMY SEEMINGLY MUST START WITH FOREIGN HELP!!

    • The Republic of Zambia is in a transition state. From rock bottom, infrastructure-less(required for development), after great disaster of previous gove’ts.

      The forgiveness of debt means we can start to rebuild. Unfortunately that does mean borrowing at a time international market conditions are challenging even the greatest nations on earth. We are no where near USA borrowing rates. The gov’t with foreign bodies are borrowing within acceptable levels as uncle Chikwanda keeps telling us.

    • What is clear is that Kalima Nkonde, ‘a retunee from the diaspora’………is a little bit ‘touched’ with self importance.

      It is correct we all should be concerned with debt. What is clear is that we are worried on misuse and Responsible Borrowing. However ALL POLITICIANS know we need to run our economy on borrowed money.

      What we need to synchronise is a Peaceful Zambia in harmony across the Party Lines. A strong support base for the gov’t whomever is in power. Because we need to attract investors.

      Zambia’s relationship with SA is sliding because Zambia is managing to attract investors and we are becoming a powerhouse of our own in the region. Also the number of freeloading Zambian Businesses in SA is a problem for their people and tightly they are beginning to push us out…

    • Do more for your country than just criticise. Citizens must join in for a STABLE Zambia to allow our expenditure (on borrowed money) to rejuvenate our economy.

      Let’s worry more on responsible gov’ts than personality of our Presidents. It’s not about ‘our Guy’ in office but about Zambia. That in a nutshell is the problem with UPND and all those ‘young, futurist’ youths that think economy growth is about a ‘man.’

  5. Most Zambians do not read. So most of them will not read this because it has no pictures of half naked women dancing at a night club on Saturday night. This is the kind of thinking but also practical men that Zambia needs. We do not want the Rainbow Kabimbas who think that recycling UNIP is the answer. We do not need the petty bourgeoisie who think that being rich means they can make everyone rich.

  6. The writer is very intelligent and very observant. I enjoyed the previous article as well. This article is brilliant. The points are laid down perfectly and there is clear flow of thought.

    Had it not been for his biased conclusion, I would have given him 99%. He started out very well and brilliantly with an open mind. He really displayed knowledge, intelligence and practical solutions to the issues that Zambians are facing.

    However, he became very personal, emotional and biased in his conclusion. The attack on the opposition “personalities”, we know who he was referring too, sold him out for half the price. It tainted black his beautiful article.

    For that reason, we rate him barely 50%, even less. Without the conclusion, the article could have scored over 90%.

  7. the PF must quickly advise Edgar to adopt the address albeit with more details on how the address will be accomplished. include issues to do with the AUDITORS reports. Also include a shake up of the Cabinet to bring in EXPERTS & EXPERIENCED PROFESSIONALS. In the shake up get rid of Chikwanda & the appointees at both Cabinet ( secretary to cabinet – a number of PF PSs and Secretary to Treasury – other non performing appointees in critical areas.

    Adopt also the OUTGOING world bank country manager on the lackadaisical attitude of civil servants on delayed & non implementation of donor funded projects – ending of funds not being utilized.

    Details on the incetives for the private sector creating employment. WAIVE tax on value added manufacturing industries in both mining and agriculture…

  8. Good article but unfortunately our president doesn’t have the capacity to comprehend the points above. He just understands campaigns and “falling on people like a ton of bricks”.

  9. Great state of the nation address by the “President”. However, the author forgot to address numerous and wasteful hospital trips made to South Africa, UK and other foreign countries using tax payer money. That money can be used to improve medical care in Zambia, build hospitals and clinics and aquire medications. The state of the nation address should ban all treatment abroad by any leader using tax payers money. They can go there using their private money. How many politicians have died abroad. If we have to die, let us die at UTH. No more medical evacuations to South Africa, UK, India using tax payers money.

  10. MPs, MPs, MPs. These are the biggest problem. Before insulting the president, look at the incompetence in the national assembly and parliament. If those sleeping heads of FDD, UPND, MMD and PF can write laws and spend less, Zambia would be heading towards recovering.

    • @Nzelu, unfortunately Zambia will never recover, I would be scared if I was HH still wants to take over the mess these guys are going to leave behind.

  11. Well said but very unfortunate telling a child that doesn’t understand a single word in economics. I would say the same but why waste my strength when I know it will end up for the media to ready it and send comments like we are doing now. Those guys in power does not give jack about what’s going on how can they found a debt of $1.2billion, and then between January this year and today June the debt is in the roof at $4.8billion are you kidding to think they will take note of this, this is something they know but they choose to carry on because when that time will come for them to be out of the office, someone will continue with the mess they will leave behind, just like President Obama took over from George bush and look how old he has become in a short time thinking about what he got…

  12. At this point in Zambia any one who would be saying in Lungu chabe is a person who has no heart for mother Zambia and especially someone who doesn’t understand what is going on economically.

  13. Its well written article by the lawyer but I have a few points to help next time such an article is done

    1. Morden Politics is about Governance in the most economic and business sense not left to mortals or Jim and jack as such impacts on every facets of people

    2.When you write its always important to give figures or statistics for people to relate over the period of that analysis in this case 2011 to 2015

    For instance you could give us those labour rates and statistics in employment and un employed How they have performed and what is your expectations over the future

    Like the way you have given the depreciation rate though its not 52 % over that period I…

  14. mean its not a simple average between 2011 to date in the depreciation of the kwacha then check the reasoning behind and see how it structurally fits into your conclusions with impact on economic and decisions timelines made Its like you are hit by the hurricane The warnings and decisions and impact will shall the process The same with economic melt downs and decisions arising

    The point on mining good and sustainability in debt good though alternatives weak

    Then you only Zambians if people have been empower erred with capital in debt or equity but the analysis there is weak

    Chicken being imported from Brazil by Katumbi okay when Zambia can

  15. Then Impossioning of trade tariffs and other quotas have externalities in demographics politics financing and investments actualisation better make yourself a better comparative advantage that stays for long not artificial makeups or cosmetics

    Next time try to give it to that junior lawyer to proof read and get the whole economic outlook and fit in the various timelines and decisions made and happens to get a refined document fitting the Zambian economic scenario

    The score on this one is 46%

    • Ba Mwalimu, why can’t you write a similar article in length and breadth as a rebuttal?? You just go for 1 paragraph and want sound wiser?

  16. When you talk about the cost of living you give us the entire food bucket Not simply the representative meal meal then talk about the GDP deflectors also for people to really see the impact also on demographics to isolate inflation in cost and other

    Its a firm and well reasoned analysis that can sell on the wall street and make Bill Gates feel potential to move value to Zambia not painting the risks always and making little mention of the good gains registered

    You need to explain convincingly what funding methods you will propose to capitalise and operationalize Gov. given the deficit paradigm Your analysis on debt is also not thoroughly down and only mentions a measure

  17. A very good contribution, however, we can only know how useful these suggestions are by trying them. There are many approaches to manage an economy and fundamentally, you first sow the seed and only reap the fruits later after a lot of hard work.

    Even in the comparative cases of the Clinton and Obama governments, most suggestions were controversial and highly debated among Americans before being implemented .

    The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

  18. Correct If you look at the State of Economy address by Obama or Any world class leader You will see the chorological sequence of consultations and briefing made by Key economic decision anchors from Gov. Secretary to Cabinet Minister of Finance and The beau rue of economic statistics or Statistics Department
    The president will give a state of economy address covering performance in all sectors and will give a key forward looking statement on all sectors and consolidate in single aggregates to actualise that is often mentioned and addressed in the now famous “Rates”‘ Governors. speech Briefs that followers will listen to and adjust to confirm forecasts

  19. Fore the state of economy address the leader has to look at the economy in sectors in totality, then the regions the country saves in and the implications in brief and summarise also briefly the performance in and forward looking

    A detailed reviews and analysis is then discussed and reviewed by individual departments and ministries to support and confirm the feed in the presidential speech mean fully true

    Then business as usual monthly quarterly yearly and then as it fits fitting into those things like NDP 2030 revised as it well

    Its a serious pronouncement from Presido that is authoritative and confirmative and its not a gross over statement
    Get…

  20. That is why to me certain leadership aspiring to lead people is simply devoid of sound reasoning and cannot inspire thinking amongst our citizens to think through processes and decisions

    Its not the numbers behind that politician Its the calibre and quality of thinking innovations and insight in modern politics and way of managing the country Zambia

    Its not a katondo small firm approach Its a critical hourly review recheck and rebalancing to ensure the State of the Nation is Healthy 2011 to 2015 review to come and hear the address is also too long a period quarterly will be helpful but many leaders will avoid as fearing being accountable in prouncement

  21. Being true and correct is important not like Greece and too many other countries trying to defy gravity by living the good life on borrowed money.

    Remember also that in 2001, the Greeks entered the eurozone, which gave them access to low-rate loans under the pretense that Greece was richer than it was. Zambia may not be this case in pretence on individual firms and state Its like what is to happen in china

    And like the Export-Import Bank dies tonight when its charter expires. After 81 years, what is commonly known as Boeing’s Bank is headed toward Washington’s trash bin.This bank tries which primarily subsidizes big business exports in what the big man here has been trying to recommend on exports activations is not often the…

  22. So next time you advise us on State of Union Address make sure you do some big data and a little bit of advanced analytics looking at the economic conditions in a well arranged and concise manner covering that relevant period of that state of union economic outlook with particular emphasis to Zambia being an emerging market where optimism has dwindled amongst the countries with increased risk in the global economy that yet remains modest to robust So policies must reflect that and be consistent to ensure you graduate and emergy to developed and that is the process people seemingly have been trying in situation of constrained resources to move that and…

  23. be consistent to ensure you graduate and emerge to developed and that is the process people seemingly have been trying in situation of constrained resources to move that and equity in resources a risk business than debt

    Its like the good work is always done but poor review and finishing and that quality extra leadership genuinely committed over the long-term horizon with little obsessions towards the Five Year Term and little forecast to ensure sustainable national planning and adherance

  24. The conclusion is the worst of its kind i have read on this blog for a long time.Distancing yourself from a dead man is being hypocritical ,any level headed person cant vote for such a leader in 2016.next time sir.a conclusion should be unitary msg and less of opposition and self pride.

  25. Then also its not the bigness in the number of employees or number in positions its the efficiency in productivity for GDP growth added

    Ministry of commerce and other ministries like agriculture and mines are supposed to be research oriented translating that into that effective growth Most of these NGO research departments are supposed to be housed in there like we have seen else where and like one ministry doing consultancy for supranational and other housed in the whole GRZ complex and revenue performance and value addition is seen added on GDP numbers

    Its not in the number but the quality and resource driven work force capable of adding some growth

  26. The article is good and comprises some achievable economic aspects but NOTE THAT EDGAR WAS VOTED into office not to come and make bold decision but because he appeared to be a humble and nice man. I am not even sure that he can make such a speech. HE CAN DEFINITELY MAKE CAMPAIGN SPEECHES.

  27. The numbers are even insufficiently and most negatively balanced to support GOV initiatives and thinking

    The current staffing is low but traditionally rig in same style and thinking like many parastatals we see same style and thinking

    Just as we were born in emerging markets die in emerging as never emerged and hope others will see the developed classification ????

    yaba yalikosa

    ////

  28. What about corruption and theft of public funds? Anyway, no one in the PF Govertment, especially Lungu, has the discipline and stomach and the talent to address any of these issues. These people’s objective is get rich now. All these issues raised above would be working against this objective. They are short term speculators, selfish, corrupt and up to no good. ViVa HH

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