Charles Kakoma
Charles Kakoma

UPND reaction to the 2016 budget

9 October 2015

So now we have the 2016 budget before us. Here we present our initial reaction while we prepare a more detailed analysis and alternative proposal for the Zambian people that we will issue next week.

The first thing many will observe is that the budget is bigger than last year now standing at K53.1 billion (US$4.6bn) against last year’s K46.7 billion (US$7.4 billion). However the kwacha is much weaker, having fallen 46% against the USD in the past year, which is very problematic for an import dependent economy such as ours. It is also worrying when you consider that the cost of everything has gone up double or sometimes even triple. For those living in poverty there was nothing in this budget to improve their situation or to help them cope with rising prices. For example on agriculture, this budget is silent on pro poor growth.

To us this budget highlights the missed opportunities we’ve had and demonstrates the danger of a government without a strong vision for the economy, coupled with the will and determination to realise that vision. If the vast sums of Eurobond money the PF has raised during their time at State House had been deployed strategically then we could have much greater resources at our disposal to address these challenges, but this cannot happen without a vision. And so we now face an external debt of $6.3 billion compared to $4.8 billion just 9 months ago. We face this debt mountain without any hope of how we will get over it.

It is hard to credit the Minister with fiscal discipline in this budget. The theme of the budget may be ‘fiscal consolidation to safeguard our past achievement and secure a prosperous future for all’ but yet at a time of economic difficulty the size of the Cabinet has been increased in size by 25% at great expense. This appears to be an unwise investment on behalf of the Zambian people as the Government is not delivering value for money. At the same time the past achievements have been torn to pieces. So what are we safeguarding?

This clear mismatch between stated intentions and spending undermines the credibility of the Minister’s address. This is also the case when they talk yet again about diversification. This is something that has been regularly stated but no serious attempt to deliver has followed. There were other claims on inflation and reduction of budget deficit, the deficit that they have grown exponentially during their 4 years in office, where it was not made clear how they will be achieved and there is still much explaining for the PF to do. Zambians are tired of such claims without explanation, just as our economy is tired.

There was also a lack of strategic focus, something that only becomes more important when your resources are limited. For example, once again the talk of a national airline was packaged as an attractive proposition, but we are already running late on critical aviation infrastructure developments and taxes continue to choke the tourism sector. We must be serious and strategic about such matters. The Minister did not do justice to the tourism sector.

We also wonder where the targeted interventions in areas that will deliver returns, such as youth, entrepreneurs and start-ups, who can go on and create jobs for others are. We may not have vast sums of money to invest as a country but mentorship schemes and programmes to increase knowledge and skills transfer are low-cost but high-impact interventions. Given our limited resources these are some of the areas we must concentrate on, at the same time giving businesses the best chance to succeed, grow and create more jobs through clear, stable and common sense policies.

Finally, it is evident that in the face of current economic challenges Zambians need a Government that is strongly focused on delivering results. Perhaps after increasing Cabinet by another 5 ministers at a time of financial austerity the President could rectify this error by sacking 5 of his worst performing ministers if they do not deliver quickly?

At budget time the question we used to focus on was how can we make things better for Zambians and how can we improve our country together. How have we gone backwards from this to a place where the question is more about how can we stop things getting worse? The PF has taken us here during their four years in office. This should be the last PF budget.

Charles Kakoma

UPND Spokesman

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20 COMMENTS

  1. But Mr. Kakoma, where is your shadow budget so that we know that in this department you are better than PF? Mazoka (an engineer) did it. UPND now is run by a “renowned” economist, surely this should be as easy as can be. Just being on the fence all the time is not a winning strategy!!

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    • @ Adviser / PF thief:: Kakoma has put facts on the table, why do you write with emotions?? these are facts and with the Kwacha at current state?? Not good news for common Zambian, Maybe for you because you are stealing with with Your PF friends.

      Hold your guns and read the article again. show us your intelligence because your comments is what make us worry?? typical reactive, childish PF behavior.

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  2. Ba Adviser,
    Kakoma is just telling you the fact , there is something wrong with with budget bane.
    Mismanagement on , my foot, where is this government hearded to

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  3. These updnTongaz what kind of desperation is this. 2 u everything is wrong? U wil die in opposition. 2016 ni Lungu again. HH neva

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  4. I knew it that ba UPND will come out like saints!! Chaps have not even assimilated what is in the budget are busy issue statements just for the sake of issuing. You guys should be serious, no wonder you keep languishing in opposition because it is people like Kakoma with their inept analysis on national affairs. Where is the so-called economic manager to advise you guys in UPND? You like hallucinating too much in UPND

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  5. @ Adviser, I agree with you. Let the Kachemas produce their budget which they said was under lock and key we compare. Believe U me, if at all they ve one, it is full of textbook crap which even me an economist gratuate can produce with relative ease.

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  6. Student debt needs to stop at some point, a lot of young adults are crippled by it and we’re trying to alleviate some of those problems at consolidationofstudentloans.com

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  7. These so intelligent “party” what is wrong them. The criticize everything… lol.. That is the reason enough for them to be in opposition every time. They enjoy it. People of Zambia let these kachemas be in opposition. The proposed budget is good. Anyway that is why it is called proposed not yet approved.

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  8. In my view before we even talk about 2016 budget, we should have done a performance reveal of 2015 budget. Simply tell us what percentage of funding has been released to date. Our colleagues in government are telling us that funding has been the poorest this year and currently sitting around 30% per Ministry. To have K54 billion figure when you will not be able to raise it means nothing.

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  9. These kachemas are surely going nowhere. Their standard is everything the government engages In is wrong, surely anything and everything is always wrong! This can’t be life.

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  10. At last many are now seeing what UPND under hh is. It is nothing but a party reduced to grade 12 commerce if not text book economics which do not work. Hakainde, please just to say you shall employ good economic management systems is not enough. Be specific, generalizations do not work. I listened from your interview at Radio phoenix. Two callers asked you what three things you would do in the immediate to control the kwacha, load shading and falling international commodities. you clearly were put off your usual text book solutions. You failed to give specific answers meaning that you are but just politicking as Hon Kambwili told you. All your statements are mere grade 12 commerce about how to run a good government. under 5 grow. Grade 12 commerce does not anticipate commodity price…

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  11. CONTD
    shocks, kariba dam drying and death of a sitting president. This idea of always criticizing will not take you anywhere ba u5. Mazoka produced his alternative budget immediately MMD produced theirs meaning that Mazoka was at tandem with economic realities not to be guided by MMD statements or simply put plagiarize. We are tired of this self proclaimed economic manager who has never been tried with government programs.

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  12. Comment: The man has lost a lot of money in politics. He wants to recover it by all means hence his desperation.

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  13. I don’t hear any condemnation of the Eurobonds.

    The problem is that the UPND ideologically is exactly the same as the MMD and the PF’s neoliberal chancers.

    The problem is the adherence to IMF/WB dictates, which are as bad anywhere on the planet they have been tried out. Remember it was IMF/WB conditionalities that destroyed the Zimbabwean economy through ESAP from 1991 to 1996. Remember it were the IMF/WB’s conditionalities that led to the privatisation of ZCCM, through NM Rothschild and Cecil Rhodes’/Rothschild lawfirm Clifford Chance. Courtesy of the former African Development Bank’s head ZCCM-IH board member Willa Mung’omba. The same Rothschild Bank which invented both the Eurobond and the Privatisation process. And funded De Beers, of which Cecil Rhodes became the…

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    • And funded De Beers, of which Cecil Rhodes became the Founding Chairman of the board of directors.

      Google: de beers history rothschild

      There truly is nothing new under the sun, if you dig only a little.

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  14. HH and the UPND give us a shadow budget to see what you would plan for to turn around the situation that boy Kakoma is giving us empty emotions without any data or numbers in it. Do not be quick to speak chaps wait until you thing and give the best answers

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