PRESIDENT LUNGU_FIRST LADY 011. Introduction

President Edgar Lungu’s warning that the government will be compelled to introduce statutory price controls, nationalize milling companies or close down the companies if they continue to hike mealie meal prices is a clear revelation of his intention to unilaterally re-introduce the socialist policies that were characteristic of the UNIP era between 1968 and 1991.

Potential and current investors in any of our beloved country’s commercial and industrial sectors are rational actors who are likely to be fanned away by the President’s threats. There is a need for our President to realize that the statements he makes in public actually become the country’s policy initiatives.

2. Reversion to Socialist Policies

Nevertheless, it is already clear that the Patriotic Front (PF) and the President have decided to re-introduce the socialist system of government in Zambia. The creation (or is it resurrection?) of the Industrial Development Corporation (INDECO or IDC) and the recent transfer of 29 state companies to the IDC are tell-tale signs of the country’s re-adoption of the socialist ideology.

Another manifestation of the resurrection of socialist policies is the creation of government-operated maize milling plants, which will certainly lead to the establishment of retail outlets akin to the infamous ZCBC, Mwaiseni and NIEC Stores, and the eventual nationalization or fanning away of private milling companies and large-scale retail outlets.

3. Effects of Socialist Policies

From the late 1960s to 1991, the Zambian economy was captained by nationalized private companies and state enterprises created by the government. The government’s socialist policies barred both local and foreign private inves­tors from certain commer­cial and indus­trial sec­tors of the country’s econo­my.

Naturally, the monopolis­tic position enjoyed by the state-owned enterprises culminated in com­placence and gross inefficien­cy be­cause, in the absence of com­peti­tion, the compa­nies appar­ently found it unnecessary to seek or use discoveries that would have im­proved the quality and quantity of their outputs.

Unfortunately, the creation of monopolistic state companies culminated in widespread shortages of essential commodities, the evolvement of black markets, and rampant smuggling of commodities. (I have explained how these effects evolved in the ensuing sub-sections.)

This, in part, prom­pt­­ed the next govern­ment of the late Dr. Frederick Chiluba to embark on an economic liberalization program upon inaugura­tion in October 1991 in a deliberate attempt to boost competition in com­merce and indus­try, as well as wean the national government from direct involvement in commercial and industrial activities.

The program was lat­er adopted and sustained by the late Dr. Levy Mwa­nawasa (who succee­ded Dr. Chiluba in 2002) and President Rupiah Banda, who succeeded Dr. Mwanawasa in 2008.

Price controls and the nationalization of private companies are among important elements of the socialist system of government. In the ensuing sub-sections, let us consider the negative effects associated with these two elements of socialism. (I leave the discussion of any potential benefits to society of the socialist ideology to proponents of such an ideology.)

3.1 Price Controls

The term “price control” refers to the unilateral setting, by a govern­ment, of maxi­mum prices at which certain goods or services are to be transacted in the marketplace. Ordinari­ly, such price ceilings are set against a background of commodity shortages. Important fac­tors which give rise to an imbalance between supply and demand, thereby necessitat­ing price controls, tend to vary from country to country and from situation to situation.

In modern times, price controls were first used during the last two World Wars when the war effort caused disrup­tions in normal produc­tion, and further necessitat­ed the diversion of limited resources from the civilian population to the military effort, leaving the barest minimum for the civil­ian popula­tion.

It was, there­fore, considered necessary by governments in affected econ­omies to institute price con­trols on the limited supplies available to ensure that there were enough supplies to sus­tain not only the war effort, but also the civilian popula­tion.

Price controls have also been instituted when shortag­es have been occasioned by the process of economic develop­ment, prompting govern­ments in affected countries to divert resources to higher priority pro­jects. Further, price controls have been instituted in many develop­ing countries as a response to shortages occasioned by lack of ade­quate foreign exchange re­serves for importing essential production inputs, shipping problems, delays in the deliv­ery of imported consu­mer goods, and unprecedented growth in the demand for manufac­tured goods.

Shortages, however, may also be caused by an inability of local suppliers of commodi­ties which are in short supply to satisfy demand, such as in situations where a government nationalizes or expropriates privately owned business entities and creates inefficient state monopolies to supply com­modities. In some instances, price controls may them­selves cause or exacerbate commodi­ty shortages, as Sanderson has maint­ained in the following words:

“Price con­trols have the effect of discourag­ing supply while en­couraging demand. The inevita­ble result is scarcity of commodi­ties; and when there is scarcity, you always get people who buy up commodities wherever they can and resell them on the black mar­ket. In Zambia, we call them ‘black marke­teers.’ It is a useful term, for it puts the blame upon them rather than the authori­ties.”

The objectives of price control in response to shortag­es have tended to have distrib­utive overtones. During the two World Wars, price con­trols were aimed at discourag­ing the making of high profits on scarce goods, which tended to skew the distribution of scarce goods against the poor. Price controls on food were particularly impor­tant because it was felt that, in the absence of such controls, the poor would not be able to afford to maintain a decent level of subsi­stence.

In developing countries, price controls on scarce com­modities have similarly been aimed at preventing the mak­ing of high profits and effect­ing a more egalitarian distri­bution of the scarce commod­ities than would obtain if prices were allowed to rise in response to the market forces of supply and demand.

Among the goals of price control measures instituted by the government in Tanzania during the 1970s, for in­stance, were as follows: (a) to prevent the income of peas­ants and workers from being affected adversely by unneces­sary and unjustified price increases; (b) to facilitate the develop­ment of trade and commerce in rural as well as in urban areas; and (c) to maintain fair relation­ships among inco­mes of different sectors of the country’s econ­omy.

In Zambia, the distributive goals of price controls were not explicitly spelt out in the Control of Goods Act (Chap­ter 690 of the Laws of Zam­bia). However, the objectives of price controls could be inferred from the rationale for the formal establish­ment of a government depart­ment responsible for price controls, as well as the speeches of govern­ment lead­ers and the National Develop­ment Plans.

First, the period beginning from 1966 through 1992 was character­ized by serious commodity shortages in the Zambian economy; the Control of Goods Regula­tions were prescribed during the same period, and the Price Control Department was also formally estab­lished in 1966.

The essential elements of the regulations were as follows: (a) to prescribe a maxi­mum price at which certain speci­fied commodi­ties would be sold; (b) to provide for the govern­ment to direct the display of prices at which such commodi­ties could be sold; and (c) to deter­mine acceptable business costs for the purpose of arriving at a pre­scribed price.

Second, it was widely recognized that standards of living had to be evenly spread among all segments of society if the country was to achieve well-integrated and balanced economic development. Con­trol of prices of essential commodities was one sure way in which it was hoped that basic necessities of life would be made available to a larger segment of the countr­y’s people.

Accord­ing­ly, the Third Natio­nal Develop­ment Plan envisaged uniform prices on essential commod­ities throughout the country. This was further reinforced by expand­ed state partici­pation in trade through state-ow­ned wholesale and retail outlets.

Effectiveness of Price Controls:

The effectiveness of a ceiling price in making com­modities widely available depends on a number of fac­tors. The first factor pertains to the severity of shortages. Price control functions better the smaller the difference between disposable income and the value placed on a commodity whose price is con­trolled.

It has been main­tained that there would be a tendency to violate price controls among those who feel deprived of a given commodi­ty at the controlled price; these would be the relatively wealthier people who can afford to pay a higher price than the one prescribed. They would, therefore, be more willing to pay a higher price to those who might buy the commodi­ty and offer it for sale outside regular retail outlets than face the prospect of going without it.

Besides, they are likely to form coali­tions with suppliers to violate price controls, and the greater the disparity be­tween the market price and the government-fixed price, the greater would be the propor­tion of potential buyers will­ing to violate the con­trols.

The second factor relates to the cost structure. Price controls are less likely to be violated if they are instituted in relation to the cost struc­ture. Thus, there are likely to be fewer temptations to violate the controls in constant and decreasing cost indus­tries than in increas­ing cost industries unless, in the case of increas­ing cost indus­tries, the permit­ted price provides for busi­ness entities to maintain their profit margins.

Although reasonable business costs (such as those pertaining to wages and sala­ries, bank charges, procure­ment of raw materials, and so forth) are taken into account in arriving at a ceiling price, these costs would tend to change faster than controlled prices.

Moreover, the controlled prices are not sensitive to individual traders’ costs of dealing in price-con­trol­led commodi­ties.

The third factor pertains to the nature of the market structure. Imperfect markets, characterized by few and large sellers, are less likely to violate price controls than competitive mar­kets. This is mainly due to the fact that it is much easier to police a few, large traders than it is to police numerous and small traders that are characteristic of competi­tive markets.

Besides, large business undertakings tend to be more sensitive to political and public senti­ments since they are aware that they can be singled out very easily if they violate price controls.

An additional factor which can affect the effective­ness of price controls is formal ration­ing. By themselves, price controls cannot work effec­tively in re-distribut­ing scarce commodities equitably. In situations where shortages are particular­ly severe, price controls work better when they are accompa­nied by rationing.

Without rationing, price controls merely make commodities affordable even to the poorest, but this does not ensure that the commodities are easily obtainable by all those who can afford to pay the maximum prices set for the commodities.

Ration­ing, if properly adminis­tered, can provide a mechanism for directing commodities to those who are in posses­sion of ration coupons in the sense that commodities can only be obtained in exchange for coupons—no more, no less—and can, therefore, protect each and every individual’s right to obtain commodities that are in short supply.

Economic Effects of Price Controls:

The unilateral setting, by a govern­ment, of a maximum price at which a given com­modity is to be sold hinders the free distribu­tion of the commodity in the market­place. Specifical­ly, it inter­feres with the right of those who distribute the affected commodi­ty to: (a) use the commodity or exclude others from its use; (b) receive income generated from the exclusive use of the commodi­ty; and (c) transfer the owner­ship of the commodity to preferred parties in the mar­ket­place.

Cheung has con­tribut­ed two proposi­tions for examining the effects of price control; they are as fol­lows:

(a) When the right to receive income is partly or fully taken away from a con­tracting party, the diverted income will tend to dissipate unless the right to it is exclu­sively as­signed to another party. The dissi­pa­tion of non ex­clu­sive income will occur either through a cha­nge in contrac­tual behavior or through a combination of the two. And

(b) Given the exis­tence of non?exclu­sive income and its tendency to dissipate, each and every party involved will seek to maximize the dissipa­tion subject to con­straints. This will be done either through seeking alterna­tives in using or produc­ing the commodity or through forming alternative contractu­al arrange­ments to govern the use or production of the com­modi­ty with the least possible transac­tion costs, or through a less-costly combi­na­tion of the two proce­dures.

By and large, the alterna­tive arrangements which suppliers may resort to in an effort to maximize income, or minimize costs, under a re­gime of price controls will tend to have adverse effects on economic welfare; exam­ples of such arrangements include the following:

(a) Discon­tinuing the production or sale of affected commodi­ties;
(b) Restricting or reduc­ing the quantity and/or quality of affected commodi­ties;
(c) Dispensing with marginal customers;
(d) Restricting or abandoning attendant market­ing services, such as delivery service, and after-sales ser­vice;
(e) Impos­ing condition­al sales, such as tying contracts;
(f) Engaging in under-th­e-counter sales manifest­ed by sales to favored custom­ers, black market operatio­ns, or speculation in the con­trolled commodi­ty;
(g) Engaging in speculation in the controlled commodity; and/or
(h) Smuggling of affected commodities to countries where prices are higher than controlled prices obtaining in the domestic market.

There are several important elements which suppliers take into account when making pricing decisions other than transportation and storage costs; they include costs relating to labor, insurance, advertising, buildings, and contributions to host communities. These costs may not necessarily be the same among the retailers or manufacturers of controlled products in any given country.

3.2 Nationalization

Among other things, adoption of socialist policies can have the following adverse effects on a country’s economy:

(a) It can culminate in increased public-sector borrow­ing and government spend­ing to finance its operations, and the operations of its subsidiaries, especially in times when it will not generate profits.

(b) It can culminate in stunted economic growth, rampant shortages of commodities, and cross-border smuggling of commodities. For example, the infamous long queues for essential commodities like sugar and cooking oil during the UNIP era, which would start building up as early as 03:00 hours even without the assurance that everyone in the queue would eventually buy the commodities they needed, are still fresh in the minds of those who endured the economic hardships of such an era.

(c) It can be an enormous consumer of our beloved country’s meager foreign exchange reserves, like the defunct INDECO, and also lead to the rationing of foreign exchange and the re-introduction of exchange-rate controls.

(d) It can certainly put our country at odds with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and our development partners—institutions and countries which have worked so hard in bolstering our efforts at meeting the development needs of our country and the needs and expectations of the majority of our people since 1991. That will leave only profit-seeking commercial creditors to lend us money at exorbitant interest rates!

(e) It can stifle competi­tion and innova­tion in com­merce and industry in the national economy, which, as stated elsewhere in this article, can lead to lower prices, high-quality products, and greater variety and abun­dance of products in the economy, as well as cure the problem of black markets.

(f) Re-introduction of socialism can very easily drive our country from a potentially wealthy nation to a nation saddled with unprecedented socioeconomic malaise as experience during the UNIP era has already taught us.

(g) In socialist economies, constraints on the process of innova­tion, as Goldman and Simon have discerned, are ideologi­cal in nature; and since socialist ideology re­gards S&T knowl­edge as belonging to all the people in a given country, it treats such knowledge as a free good. This underval­ues the knowledge and, as a result, removes the necessary incentive for cre­ativity and innova­tion.

(h) Socialism largely depends on a government’s suppression of civil liberties, and certainly on authoritarian rule by government authorities. And it would eventually require the creation of a one-party system of government! And

(i) It can reverse the benefits of the privatization of state-owned enterprises, which, according David Chilipamushi, has the potential to stimulate private investment, has given econom­ic power to a greater number of people through stock owner­ship, has promoted com­petition and consequently encouraged efficiency in com­merce and industry, has beefed up government coffers through the sale of govern­ment hold­ings in state companies, and has eased the financial burden of state companies on the public treasury.

These disadvantages relating to socialism are real, and they outweigh any theoretical, ideological, and/or philosophical arguments for (or advantages of) socialist ideals. In all, history should offer us guidance on this matter. Socialist policies are simply a pain in the neck! There is, therefore, no justification for re-introducing an ideology that economically traumatized our people from the late 1960s to 1991.

What our beloved country needs now is the creation of what may be referred to as a “social welfare state”—that is, a dynamic free-market economy that has a human face; or, more precisely, a socioeconomic setting that simultaneously provides for a highly competitive business system and an effective mechanism for re-distributing wealth to the needy.

Countries which have succeeded in meeting the basic needs and aspirations of the majority of their people—such as Australia, the United States of America, Luxembourg, Norway, Switzerland, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands (Holland), and Germany—are essentially social welfare states!

So, neither socialist nor crude capitalism in its quest for profit maximization can facilitate the attainment of improvements in the livelihoods of the majority of citizens in any given country.

4. The Global Hunger Index

On the 2015 Global Hunger Index (GHI), Zambia is ranked 3rd from the bottom out of 117 countries surveyed, excluding higher income countries where the prevalence of hunger is very low. Among the indicators measured by the Index include undernourishment, child mortality, and child wasting and stunting.

This is, no doubt, an embarrassment to us all as bona fide citizens of the Republic of Zambia! Equally embarrassment is the revelation by the Zambia Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition (CSOSUN) Alliance in March 9, 2014 that 45% of Zambian children who are below the age of 5 are stunted due to malnutrition.

We should be concerned about this because undernourished children are more vulnerable to disease due to weakened immune response. Besides, they are at a greater risk of having difficulties in learning, playing or engaging in normal childhood activities.

These statistics are among the unfortunate consequences of the high levels of poverty in the country, and limited variety and availability of affordable foodstuff—a situation that can be remedied through ambitious agricultural policies designed to enhance the country’s food security, which, according to the World Food Summit (1996) “exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.”

A meaningful level of food security can be achieved easily within 1½ years of adequate support and appropriate incentives to agribusinesses and to both small and large-scale farmers. Widespread hunger and malnutrition can, therefore, be addressed within a very short period of time!

In this regard, we need to take the following measures, among other things:

(a) Address the following factors identified by the COMESA Secretary General in 2000 as having contributed to the low levels of agri­cultur­al production in Zambia: non-availability of financial capital, and the high cost of agricultural credit; inadequate trans­port and storage infrastruc­ture, and the high cost of transport; the under-provision and high cost of agri­cultural inputs; an inefficient agricultural marketing system; inade­quate skills in agricul­tural production and marketing; inconsistent and unrealis­tic agricultur­al policies; and inade­quate investment in agricultur­al develop­ment by the national government.

(b) Revive and revitalize the Zambia National Service (ZNS) production camps, which should accept enroll­ment by Zambian citizens on a volu­ntary basis, as well as promo­te and bolster agri­cultural pro­duction in the camps thro­ugh greater fina­ncial support and generous condi­tions of service for ZNS person­nel.

(c) Utilize the vacated refugee camps dotted across Zambia for agriculture-related training, crop production, and other vocations to be facilitated by a cadre of skilled and professional trainers.

(d) Require all provinces to create revenue-generating Provincial Agricultural Estates, and to use a portion of the output of the schemes to maintain their own local food reserves, and also require all district councils, educational and training institu­tions, police camps, military barracks, garrisons, and prisons to initiate and maintain agricultural production units.

(e) Encourage resettlement schemes to produce more food by providing for irrigation dams and canals at all such schemes, and provide for attractive agri­cultural incen­tives to boost both small-scale and large-scale farm­ers.

(f) Promote effi­ciency in process­ing, sourc­ing, and distribution of agricultural inputs by provi­ding for informal trade in agricultural inputs among farmers.

(g) Promote effi­ciency in process­ing, sourc­ing, and distribution of agricultural inputs by provi­ding for informal trade in agricultural inputs among farmers, and the crea­tion of a “Far­mers’ Hold­ing Company” by farmers (through a low-interest loan, if need­ed), to supply low-cost inputs nationwide at zero value-added tax—inc­luding seeds, seed­lings, ferti­lize­rs, pesti­cides, insecticides, stock feeds, and grain bags. The cooperating farm­ers will as­sume ownership of the com­pany as founding sharehold­ers, and the com­pany will prefera­bly be registered and operat­ed as a corporate entity.

(h) Create and maint­ain irri­gation schemes at taxpayer expense, including the damming of rivers and const­ruction of irri­gation can­als nationwide. We want to promote all-season crop production—January through Decem­ber. In this regard, we appreciate the pledge made by donor countries to bolster the viability of the envisaged National Irrigation Plan (NIP), which we will earnestly embrace.

(i) Create feeder roads and maintain old ones nationwide, im­prove training conducted in agri­cultural re­search centers, provide for low-interest loans for erecting secure storage facilities, and extend incen­tives to agri­busi­nesses and canners and proce­ssors of agricultural pro­duce.

(j) Create—in collaboration with the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU), the Millers Association of Zambia (MAZ), the Zambia Cooperative Federation (ZCF), and other relevant stakeholders—a marketing system for all kinds of agri­cultural produce designed to provide for the following: direct sourcing of such produce from farmers by mill­ers, re­tailers and other industrial buyers; and procure­ment of unsold produce by the Food Re­serve Agency at wholesale prices for preser­vation and/or distri­bu­tion to government institutions like boarding schools, colleges and hos­pitals. And

(k) Ensure that the various kinds of imports that are currently exempted from customs duty will continue to enjoy the duty-free status—including fertilizer, irrigation equipment, irrigation pumps, tractors, machinery for soil preparation and cultivation, harvesting and threshing machinery, poultry machinery, fungicides, and herbicides.

Besides, there is a need to support all kinds of agricultural pursuits and en­deavors, including poultry, dairy farming, cattle ranching, fish-farming, horticul­ture, and crop husband­ry.

These kinds of measures can make it possible for us to attain greater levels of agricultural output, the greater supply of which can culminate in lower prices of food and enhanced food security. Imposition of price controls on mealie meal and/or nationalization of privately owned milling companies would be counterproductive.

The author, Mr. Henry Kyambalesa, is a Zambian academic currently living in the City and County of Denver in the State of Colorado, USA.

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21 COMMENTS

  1. Mr Lungu has no idea how to run this country. He has no vision and now it is clear nichipantepantefye ba Lungu aba. Price controls have no place in a liberalized economy like Zambia. If not checked the dollar will hit K20 if Mr Lungu continues to talk about imposition of autocratic laws and policies that touch on prices.

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  2. The onus lays on us zambians to reject this path which lungu has started taking us,even china has allowed private companies from western world to invest in their country,eg,walmart.for those of us who have memories of unip,it is an unthinkable path to embrace.

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  3. A government has commitment to make life bearable and palatable for its citizens. If it entails nationalisation….SO BE IT!

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    • Stela your father must still be wiping your backside and under parts meaning you are still a baby. Where did Nationalisation take us in the Kaunda era? Where is North Korea, Where is Cuba ( They have just turned to a libera economy to bring some development, Where was China? Please shut you mouth as they say in Nigeria. Do you know what happened to Zimbabwe. We are exactly like that now and we will be worth. You drive through one day going down south Africa and a burger will jump from 100,000 to 300,000 thousand Zim in one week. That’s what happens. Shut your mouth young silly girl. Sha!!

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  4. If people wanted evidence of failure to govern, they are experiencing that right now in Zambia! There is total failure in all areas!

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  5. All of the above can be summarised in fewer words.

    The LAW of Supply and Demand.

    But shortages come from too much money chasing too few goods. And it is Government that prints the money. That is shown by UNCONTROLLED INFLATION.

    So the blame, and the solutio must be put squarely on the fossil Chilkwanda. And the person that appointed him!

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  6. ” Naturally, the monopolis­tic position enjoyed by the state-owned enterprises culminated in com­placence and gross inefficien­cy be­cause, in the absence of com­peti­tion, the compa­nies appar­ently found it unnecessary to seek or use discoveries that would have im­proved the quality and quantity of their outputs.”

    At the same time, they were not: syphoning off profits to foreign countries; setting up headquarters in Switzerland (Glencore Xstrata); transfer pricing profits to subsidiaries in Madagascar.

    Is it not remarkable, that in 24 years of neoliberal economic thinking, the market has not stepped in and replaced socialist Indeni with a bigger, more efficient oil refinery? That in fact 24 years after neoliberalism, whenever Indeni has repairs, the economy grinds to a halt?…

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    • Indeni was a total mistake. The is no where in the world were an inland oil refinery has been established. Indani is the only one in the world, that was Kaunda’s socialist thinking no capitalist can invest in Indeni because it does not make economic sense to transport crude oil thousands of kilometres which is of little economic value to be refined inland thereby increasing the input cost to the refinery process

      Capitalists are not stupid

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    • So Indeni was a total mistake? Or Indeni proves your neoliberal hypotheses wrong? Why is there no commercial version of Indeni in the country, why does the country grind to a halt when it stops operations, and why has no privately owned business stepped in to provide the same service cheaper and more efficiently? Clearly, there is a demand for fuel.

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    • ” Indeni was a total mistake. ”

      So Indeni was a total mistake? Or Indeni proves your neoliberal hypotheses wrong? Why is there no commercial version of Indeni in the country, why does the country grind to a halt when it stops operations, and why has no privately owned business stepped in to provide the same service cheaper and more efficiently? Clearly, there is a demand for fuel that is being met by Indeni.

      ” Capitalists are not stupid ”

      And yet 90% of all startups fail. In many economic sectors, where there were hundreds of corporations, there are now 6, and about to be fewer. I don’t know if all capitalists are stupid, however most don’t make it.

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  7. Mr. K better ask yourself why these companies think Switzerland and Madagascar are safer countries to keep their money in? Maybe because they have stable Governments run by competent people that are not advocating the seizure of Citizens private property?

    Zambia could become an International Financial Center where Companies SEND THEIR MONEY TO if we had policy consistency instead of Clowns like Kambwili a d Chanda shouting their mouths off about things they have no understanding of.

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    • ” Mr. K better ask yourself why these companies think Switzerland and Madagascar are safer countries to keep their money in? ”

      Because Madagascar doesn’t tax them, and Switzerland is notorious for it’s banking secrets. When you open a Swiss bank account, you pay them interest. Cheaper than paying taxes. However it is the same scam national politicians are pulling when they take a bribe so Glencore won’t get taxed.

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  8. Dear Editor there is nothing wrong with state or in our case para-state run companies if they are professionally run and make the much needed profit whilst paying a dividend to the owners. I work for Zambia State Insurance Company and I have worked here since 1995 rising. By 1999 this State owned company was in red we owed money we were facing a shut down unable to honor our obligations and basically a laughing stock. In 2001 GRZ the owners of this company made the a wise decision and appointed a Mr. Alison Singongo. This man run the company with so much competence and efficiency we forgot we were state owned. In China some of the richest companies are stated owned as is the case in Egypt. State owned must not translate into poverty. There is nothing wrong with the recreation of INDECO…

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  9. The Engineer and Hogwash…..I like reading your comments. They make good sense and shows that you are both well educated. 99.9% of Zambias’ leaders are uneducated or illiterate and should never be allowed to run this beautiful country. Zambia needs people like you to run the country. Only then will it move forward. Otherwise Zambia is destined to the dustbin.

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    • Localboy

      Thank you. The problem we have in Zambia today is that even bus conductors (callboys) think they can comment even on things well beyond their understanding just because they have access to airtime or data on the phone

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  10. Stella….you are a fool. The government has a commitment to make life bearable in Zambia, yes. It also has a commitment to stop wasting money on stupid things, spending money on wasteful allowances for hopeless ministers and their hangers on, up holding the law etc. The list can go on but what is the point? The current leaders of this great country are phucking useless!

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  11. Ba chikwanda should say something to discourage hisfriend ba Lungu. He was there when the economy when beserk under UNIP,inflation spinned out of control. We have already learnt lessons from socialist policies,please ba batata ba Lungu.We can’t back. Threats will take us nowhere

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  12. Few LDCs can safely privatise without ‘permission’ from multinationals. However there should be no fear in the optimal privatisation of milling firms and others with higher reliance on local resources

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  13. we are in real trouble pa zed . This economy already has collapsed its artificial ar the moment. The Govt s duty is to facilititate an enabling enviourment for the private sector which drives this economy. Careless statements will and already has devastating to local and foreign investors by word of mouth. I would not be surprised if this kwacha reaches k20 and then all will be lost and no new investments will come in.

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  14. Should submit this to his university for another PhD thesis. That is the trouble in Africa, poor academics who are begging, never employed anybody in their lives, never owned an economic portfolio to write home about, are busy expounding their theories while the illiterate kantemba owner is making wealth.
    How write is the adage that ‘those who can’t, teach but those who can, do.’

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