Monday, February 26, 2024

UPND Call For Support For Local Business after Interest Rate Rise

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FILE: UPND President Hakainde Hichilema  helps offload soft drinks in Linda compound
FILE: UPND President Hakainde Hichilema helps offload soft drinks in Linda compound

On Tuesday the Bank of Zambia announced a rise in the base lending rate from 12.5% to 15.5% in an effort to curb the inflation that has spiralled under the PF’s watch. The current inflation rate is 14.3% year on year. We foresaw this, adjustments in monetary policy are but short term measures to stabilize an economy. The kwacha/dollar exchange rate has not stabilized. Watch what happens in the next months.

Unfortunately this is the latest learning of what can happen when economic management and fiscal prudence are either not well understood by a Government; or when a country has a Government that refuses to listen and contracts large loans but does not invest them wisely and transparently.

Our concern now is that the interest rate rise presents yet another hurdle for our SMEs in growing their businesses. What is even more worrying is that the interest rate cap has been removed, soon, banks will start charging 50% interest rates and see what happens then to the loan portfolios for both companies and individuals. Zambia’s business environment is no longer conducive to doing business and the next thing that will happen is that new investments will not be forthcoming. Without new investments and the existing investments being constricted by loan obligations, people will lose jobs. This interest rate adjustment is coming at a time when power cuts are rampant and the kwacha is so unstable. What kind of economy are we creating?

Small and Medium-sized Enterprises are the lifeblood of an economy wherever you go in the world. And as our population expands we need to support these local businesses and entrepreneurs to flourish and catalyse job creation and economic diversification so we can move towards a sustainable growth model in which every Zambian has the opportunity to succeed and make a decent living. Zambia has now completely killed the middle class the was coming up from 2002 onwards. These are the people that accessed loans to create employment for others. But we have killed them, so who will consume the goods and services?

Government needs to recognise the burden of these challenges and move assertively and confidently to resurrect confidence in its ability to plan and manage the economy. This means clear and concrete communications between State House and the public so that information is shared on how long these circumstances can be expected to persist and how the Government is working to relieve the burden on business. The current situation where Government hides behind press statements and prayers serves no one but themselves.

In this challenging time for business we call on Government to cut the red tape and reduce the bureaucratic burden for SMEs so they can make savings elsewhere.

Hakainde Hichilema
UPND President

19 COMMENTS

  1. I have confidence in you Mr. HH, you will surely revive the economy and will be well.
    May God keep you safe so that you lead us from somewhere around 23rd September 2016.

  2. Lsaon. I would suggest you don’t bring God into the picture. HH does not need God because HH is all knowing and the most wise person in Zambia. You heard HH saying prayers are not necessary

    • Miya, you lie between your teeth. HH said do not use God’s name in vain and also do not bear false witness ….

    • Miya if you house is dirty, do you need to pray for the dirt to go away? Just be practical about it get a broom and sweep your house. Prayer is not a substitute for effort.
      Also the problem with Zambians is that we are so so forgetful. Just not so long ago, you were busy calling others satanist and others drunkards ,why didnt you vote for Nevers Mumba? what happened?You suddenly forgot about christianity as a key factor and voted for a drunkard? You are hypocritical.

  3. Lson. I would suggest you don’t bring God into the picture. HH does not need God because HH is all knowing and the most wise person in Zambia. You heard HH saying prayers are not necessary

    • @ Miya

      And after prayers which you did attend, what has changed for better? Kwacha still on the downward trend, forex reserves almost depleted, job losses do not make any more front page news, our president avoids to spend one week in State House, Ministers accumulating air-miles and $500 per day allowances, interest rates on the way of Zimbabwe “development”, electricity supply distant memory…………………..
      You are right. Just because HH did not say prayer.
      Do the nation favor, go and F*CK yourself

  4. i totally agree with you mr president unlike those who busy cheating people abroad that things have started showing results in the country . please people of our land lets quickly save our country from total distruction by pf . by voting for change upnd is the answer 2016. can any one tell this country what has improved as the prayers and fasting.

  5. @Blackbull,U the supporters of UPND dont help HH clear his Satanic tag because u openly resent and despise the power of prayer. This makes us believe the allegation that HH is a freemason or a satanist. Believe me,for HH to go to state house,he has to shrug off this satanic tag.Remember,90% of Zambians re xtians nd for them to vote for HH is like saying yes to the devil. Plus the “I know it all” syndrome he exhibits everytime he opens his mouth makes him very much unpopular among masses.

    • @Hakana Hukupepa. I would rather have the “I know..” attitude of HH rather than the “..trully lost and ignorant..” reality we now have. What Kambwili exhibits whenever he opens his mouth is a perfect reflection of the knowledge that the PF govt has, becoz he is, after all, the Chief Govt spokesman. ECL’s ‘hare in the headlights’ look is also symptomatic of the level of ignorance in the present Govt. I would rather have a knowledgeable President.

    • @Hakana Hukupepa

      HH is not a satanist. If i stand on a public pordium and say Hakana Hukupepa is a dog, does that make you one?
      The man who said that has 6 wives and and you who claim to be Christians bought the news. May God deliver you. You are the people who have abused christianity just to save yourselves from taking responsibility for your actions…shame on you

  6. The aspiring President needs to see the economy in totally and see the real interest rates and see the inflation as complete equation with nominal interest rates and see how one can profit in the changing dynamics of Zambia Inflationary environment It’s not like locking the minds and thinking of Zambia’s not to see the allocation efficiency in the Interest rates We know that the demand for base money and substitutes is price in-elastic in relation to other variables including interventions will it be right to cut policy rates artificially below those achievable rates as a way to achieve the desired velocity of base money with the risk of the money market dis-functioning may be even…

  7. further The efforts by Dr Kalya are good towards the long-term towards THE ZAMBIANS IDEAL PHILLIPS CURVES with inflationary well understood and markets well responsive

    • @mwalimu
      Our friends can’t understand all you have said and the best they can comment is “CRAP”. This shows how little the brains of some people are. Don’t comment if you don’t understand anything coz we don’t want to know your ignorance.

  8. I note the comments about HH and the so-called prayers held on 18th October 2015. The only conclusion I can reach is that attendance to those ‘prayers’ was a political campaign gimmick, becoz we are now told we have a “Christian” president (who drinks inordinately by the way), while those who did not attend are satan!c. True prayers to God will humble all those who participate. Those who call others names based on attendance at these prayers show that they did not benefit at all from the same ‘prayers’. They are still as lost as before the same prayers. Christ commended the tax collector and not the pharisee, who, as Christ said “…prayed to himself..”.

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