As the Zambia National Students’ Union (ZANASU) we are deeply submerged in shock at the revelations in our headlines that government has spent not less than K2Million tax payers money on Former First family. This translates into a daily expenditure of not less than K16,000 on lodging expenses since our late President MCS died MHSRIP.
Really this shows inconsistency in policy-priorities and it represents a lack of expenditure priorities on governments part and it’s worrying seeing how our three public universities are embroiled in continuos financial struggles. The University of Zambia just last week made headlines due to financial challenges, Mulungushi University was also making headlines in a similar situation and now it’s the Copperbelt University which is in limbo over lecturer salaries and students are the worst affected by all this.All these challenges demand government intervention.
K2million is a lot of money that could have been spared for needy areas or channeled to increasing the grants to our public universities to allow for their smooth running without disruptions. We think it’s mediocre to claim that government doesn’t have houses which could be used as transit homes for the outgoing first family, and that amount may just be a tip of the iceberg in terms of this gross financial indiscipline.
Amidst all this government continues to claim we have to raise the debt ceiling by borrowing to manage our expenditure, honestly government expenditure is excessive and highly unnecessary sometimes. Zambians are being subjected to borrow monies yet government fails to demonstrate a sense of fiscal discipline in its spending. Much as we sympathize with Hon. Chikwanda in his address with regard to the fiscal position, the finance minister told the Zambians through parliament that developments in the mining sector (lower projected tax collection), arrears on road sector projects & fuel, costs of the presidential by-election and weaker performance in the kwacha exchange rate (leading to higher external debt service payments) have led to significantly weaker performance in the fiscal account. We must check ourselves, they must conduct a self introspection as government. What we see as ZANASU is weak economic performance, in that global economic growth and commodity prices underpinned initial budgetary assumptions for the 2015 Financial Year and that the resultant weakened external demand and a softer copper price environment, coupled with broader dollar strength, have spilt over to the domestic economy primarily this has culminated in a weaker overall balance of payments and any difficulty to raise the budgeted shortfall may necessitate delays in capital expenditure, and investments in education which will dampen economic growth.
Government must concede it’s failure to prioritize it’s programs, and shows unacceptable behavior and we question its leadership qualities in this regard.
ZANASU expected that being privy to this financial data government must have been more conscious in it’s spending but we continue to stress our national treasury by spending recklessly and carelessly on unsustainable things like that amount of money we spent on the Former First Family.
Now this is why we think there are seemingly no priorities in government because look at our public universities they are seriously looming crises like the saying goes, ‘THE CURE IS WORSE THAN THE DISEASE’ and recent track record of fiscal overshooting, is one of the most salient impediments to Zambia’s developments in the education sector. The recurrent expenditures portion of the budget is quite large, and ranks higher than capital expenditure or education investment on the priority list. We concur with Young African Leaders Initiative that governments spending on that lodge was unnecessarily excessive and could have been avoided provided those in government had foresight.
We ask the President to address the nation on what’s happening in this regard and may the President intervene in our universities by helping resolve the financial inadequacies faced by our public universities.
GOD Bless Zambia
By PRINCE J. NDOYI
ZANASU V. PRESIDENT .