Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) President Dr Nevers Sekwila Mumba says that Zamtel shall be given back to LAPGreen when the MMD forms government next year. Reacting to the recent statement by Transport and Communications Minister Yamfwa Mukanga that the Zambian government would borrow $300 million to recapitalise Zamtel, Dr Mumba lamented that the Patriotic Front (PF) government seems to think nothing of wasting such a colossal amount of money when people are suffering due to lack of medicines in hospitals and clinics and lack of schools in villages.
“I am totally shocked at how much money the PF are wasting. They keep borrowing as if there is no tomorrow. Our total debts, external and local, have gone to over $10 billion and they want to add another $300 million. It seems they have no ideas apart from borrowing everytime. Zamtel is not likely to improve and will need another $300 million later, but Zambians are not stupid. They know that part of that $300 million shall be siphoned off to the PF for election campaigns next year. The PF are so corrupt and they don’t care about the country”, Dr Mumba said.
Dr Mumba pointed out that LAPGreen took over a bankrupt company that was losing millions of Dollars per year and made it profitable within a year. They reduced the labour fource to a third and paid off all rentrenchees, many of whom even built houses with their retrenchment packages. Zamtel’s subscribers trebled and the value of Zamtel doubled within just 18 months.
He said according to Zamtel’s annual Financial reports, the company has never made a profit since it was nationalised in 2012. He further said that it was amazing that the PF government could take a profitable company and destroy it within such a short time. He said it was because the PF appointed incompetent people to run Zamtel and they put their cadres in the company to get paid for basically doing nothing of value.
Dr Mumba said that once MMD forms government in 2016, LAPGreen shall be invited back in the country and be given back Zamtel, provided they drop the currently running court case in which they sued the government of Zambia for $480 million. He said the court case is another huge cost to the country in legal fees that are likely to run into hundreds of thousands of Dollars, if not millions. He said this is in line with the MMD policy of leaving business to the private sector and a recent statement by Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda in Parliament that only 7 out of 42 parastatals are profitable confirmed the wisdom of the MMD position.
He emphasised that MMD shall be a frugal government that will make fiscal discipline a priority and work hard to eliminate waste, embezzlement and corruption in government. He said the huge sums of money saved shall be channeled into provision of effective health and education services, coupled with smart Public Private Partnerships (PPP) to accelerate economic growth.
Dr Mumba said he shall target an economic growth rate of 10% per annum during his first term in office.