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The Economic recovery program IMF “wants” Zambia to implement now!

Columns The Economic recovery program IMF “wants” Zambia to implement now!

President Edgar Lungu held meeting with An International Monetary Fund (IMF) team led by Tsidi Tsikata who is division chief African department in Washingston and Mr Tobis Nybo Rasmussen IMF Resident Representative in Lusaka at State house. Picture By Eddie Mwanaleza/State house.20-11-2015.
President Edgar Lungu held meeting with An International Monetary Fund (IMF) team led by Tsidi Tsikata who is division chief African department in Washington and Mr Tobis Nybo Rasmussen IMF Resident Representative in Lusaka at State house. Picture By Eddie Mwanaleza/State house.20-11-2015.

By Kalima Nkonde

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded its mission to Zambia on the 18th March, 2016 and it is apparent that there was no agreement on a deal again purely because of disagreement on the timing of the economic recovery programme. President Edgar Lungu fears that he would lose the August 11, 2016 elections if the tough austerity measures the IMF insists on are implemented before the elections.

At the end of the mission, the head of IMF mission, Mr. Tsidi Tsikata noted that the Zambian economy is in dire straits. The IMF is now waiting to hear the policy measures that the Government intends to put in place. They will evaluate those measures in Mid April, 2016 during the next meetings between the Zambian Government and IMF/World Bank.

“The Zambian economy is under intense pressure. Lower copper prices, electricity shortages, and poor rainfall have dampened the pace of economic activity. Moreover, inflation has increased, expenditure pressures have raised, and financing conditions have tightened substantially. The mission estimated that economic growth declined to about 3 percent in 2015. Resolute action is needed as quickly as possible to restore macroeconomic stability and pave the way for a return to high sustained growth.

“Government finances are under immense stress. Expenditure is running far above budget, in large part as a result of fuel subsidies and contracted emergency electricity imports that together are estimated to cost the treasury about US$660 million a year at the current pace (equivalent to 3.2 percent of GDP). At the same time, domestic and external financing options have become more limited along with rising interest rates. Mounting domestic arrears are adding to concerns about debt sustainability,” he said.

In view of the fact that Zambia is supposed to be an open society, the writer feels that Zambians need to be educated about the program that the IMF is most likely demanding from the Zambian government to implement and why President Lungu is reluctant to implement it before elections but rather after the elections.

Nobody has clearly explained to the public in simple terms what the costs and benefits of the IMF program are so that the public can make informed decisions in this elections year. Although I am not privy to the negotiations and the IMF’s positions, as a fairly knowledgeable, exposed and objective analyst, I believe the contents of this article are a reasonable reflection of what the final IMF deal will look like. This is because the options for Zambia’s economic recovery are very limited due to the delayed action by government and the weak negotiating position they are in at the moment!

Objectives of the IMF program

The IMF program will in general, aim to achieve the following objectives: fiscal consolidation which simply means measures meant to reduce government expenditure and increase revenue, restore macro economic stability which means stabilization of the kwacha exchange rate, reduction in inflation and reduction in interest rates, better debt public debt management and fostering the restoration of market confidence.

It is expected that the IMF will require the government to implement the following: strong front loaded expenditure cutting and revenue raising measures, structural reforms to strengthen public financial management in order to enhance fiscal discipline, enhance the monetary policy. There are also likely to insist on a comprehensive debt management strategy.

Budget deficit measures

With regard to budget deficit reduction, it is anticipated that the design of the IMF program will aim at the reduction in public expenditure and mobilization of additional revenue. On the expenditure side, we should expect measures aimed at the reduction of the public sector wage bill which is one of the causes of government expenditure overruns as it makes up over 52% of the government budget instead of a more sustainable 20%. This could be done through limiting or reduction of numbers or freezing of the hiring of civil servants hopefully apart from health and education. It also likely to involve the limiting of percentage wage awards to civil servants.

A number of measures such as cleaning up the public payroll by eliminating ghost workers and strengthening the control of the public wage bill should be expected. All in all, we should expect some reforms in the civil service aimed at reducing the size of the civil service and enhancing productivity

In addition, the subsidies on electricity and petroleum products are likely to be fully eliminated with devastating effects on the cost of doing business as well as the cost of living in the short term.

Capital expenditure in general, is likely to be cut drastically as it a major contributor to the deficit. Specifically, the ambitious, massive infrastructure projects, which are the flagship election campaign tool for the ruling party, will also go out of the window and fall victim to the IMF austerity measures.

The IMF will also certainly want to eliminate the current agriculture subsidies, especially the farmers input support programme(FISP).This may result in the reduction of food production as peasant farmers will not be able afford farm inputs. We should expect increased levels of poverty! In general, government goods and services (recurrent) budget will also be cut drastically with negative multiplier effects on private sector suppliers of goods and services to Government. More redundancies should be expected as a result.

On the revenue side, the IMF is likely to require that revenue administration is strengthened by ensuring that the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) introduces measures to combat tax avoidance and tax evasion. It will also not be surprising if IMF insist on far reaching Tax administration reforms to enhance revenue collection. The reforms could include a change in ZRA management in order to stem the alleged corruption culture in the institution which facilitates tax evasion and smuggling.

Public Financial Management

In order to address the weak public sector financial management, indiscipline and waste, measures to reform and strengthen the public financial management system will be required to be put in place. The measures will aim at establishing credibility, predictability and control over budget execution. We should also expect the IMF to review the administrative and legal frameworks so as to protect Public finances. This may require the revision of the existing legislation by the enactment of a new public financial management Act.

The purpose of the act would be to ensure among other things, that wasteful, fruitless, irregular, unbudgeted and over expenditure are treated as financial misconduct offences subject to disciplinary action. This will help restore budget credibility and avoid cost overruns and accumulation of expenditure arrears.

Public debt management

The IMF program is likely to require the Government to oversee the development of a detailed debt management strategy. The program is expected to call for a prudent borrowing strategy which will encourage concessional borrowing from multilateral and bilateral institutions rather than commercial borrowings from the capital markets. The IMF is likely to insist on the use of commercial borrowing only for highly productive development projects. Generally, the program will place strict borrowing limits on the government. The government will also be required to strengthen its risk management practices including the reduction of its exposure to contingent liabilities by minimizing government guarantees to State owned enterprises.

Monetary Policy

The Bank of Zambia has been lauded by the IMF in the past for having been carrying out its mandate of implementing a prudent monetary policy regime. The problem in the Zambian economy is that monetary policies have not been complimented by prudent fiscal policy resulting in the depreciation of the kwacha; high interest rates and the run away double digit inflation. We should expect the IMF to encourage the Bank of Zambia to continue with the current monetary policy strategies apart from the persistent interference in the foreign exchange market. The IMF program is likely to require that the kwacha exchange rate should be determined by the market with no intervention or minimum intervention from the Central bank.

Loan disbursement conditions

IMF programs come with a lot of conditionalities to which disbursements are tied. When the IMF says they will give you $1billion dollar loan, do not think you will get it all immediately, the same way that the Government used to get the EUROBONDS loans – within days of concluding negotiations! Before the Government can even get a cent, the Fund will give them a number of prior actions to implement.

It is after the fulfillment of those conditions that the first disbursement will be made. Ghana got $114.8 million or 12.5% as the first installment on the fulfillment of prior conditions of the total $918million loan package. The Fund will also set quantitative targets to be fulfilled before further disbursements are made.

Expected benefits of IMF program

The expected benefits from the IMF program will be that it will compel the Zambian government to be financially disciplined, bring macro economic stability in the economy and thereby help with the stabilization of the kwacha through the balance of payments support, reduce or contain public expenditure, restore investor confidence and help in foreign direct investment inflows, facilitate mobilizing additional revenue sources from multilateral institution and bilateral Donors.

Conclusion

As a patriotic Zambian, I would advice government to resist cutting subsidies on the productive sectors of the economy especially the agriculture sector to ensure food security because even developed countries like United States of America, European Union, China all subsidize their farmers and protect their infant industries! We have been able to be food sufficient for some time now and a net exporter of grain because of the progressive and common sense agriculture policies our late president – and probably the best President so far – Dr. Levy Mwanawasa implemented.

The government should also resist cutting budgets of social sectors like education and health. Lastly, the reduction in the public sector wage bill by way of rationalizing and reduction of the size of civil service should be done over a period of time and not in a big bang approach to avoid undue suffering for our people.

The road to economic recovery for Zambia may turn out to be long and challenging given the hole that the PF administration’s mismanagement of economy has put us in, external factors notwithstanding. The fiscal tightening that the IMF program may insist on may be politically difficult to implement. President Lungu is caught between a rock and a hard place.

Implementing the IMF austerity measures come with political risks on his side, in terms of re-election. On the other hand, if he delays implementing the economic recovery measures, the economy is likely to get worse and still reduce his chances of re-election! He is damned he does and damned he doesn’t! He has to choose the lesser of the two devils.

This is where rational, wise and statesmanship decision making is needed. My advice is for him to make a decision which is in the best interests of the country and not based on narrow personal and Party interests!

The writer is a Chartered Accountant by profession and a financial management expert. He is an independent and non partisan commentator/analyst. He has lived in the diaspora in England, South Africa and Botswana for over 25 years before returning home two years ago.

47 COMMENTS

  1. I stopped reading when i reached this part “Although I am not privy to the negotiations and the IMF’s positions”

    • THE CARELESSNESS, THE LAVISH SPENDING, THE EXTRAVAGANCE, THE CORRUPTION, THE LOOTING BY PF GOVERNMENT UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF LATE MICHAEL SATA AND CURRENT EDGAR LUNGU HAVE ALL GOT US INTO THIS MESS. PF IS HELL FOR ZAMBIA. ONLY UPND CAN RESTORE OUR COUNTRY. LET US ALL STAND UP AND VOTE FOR UPND TO PUT TO AN END THIS UNACCEPTABLE ABUSE OF OFFICE BY LUNGU AND HIS PF MINIONS.

    • My doubts were consolidated when he talked about Ghana borrowing from IMF without mentioning that Ghana in fact secrectly re-introduced fuel subsidies behind the back of IMF.

    • Nkonde, we know these things and are not rocket science.
      The problem is why didn’t mmd put up infrastructure.
      IMF measure will not stabilize the kwacha, they will worsen it as financing on their part will become very cheap. Give $1 but get $4 after economy is destroyed.

    • THE ANALYSIS OF THE IMF LOAN IMPLICATIONS TO ZAMBIA WAS COMING ON WELL. BUT, THE SPOIL WAS IN THE LAST CONCLUSION PART OF THE ARTICLE WHERE THE WRITER APPEARS TO BE PARTISAN BY SAYING HE IS NOT, BUT, QUICKLY STARTS SAYING THINGS WHICH REFLECTS THAT HE IS ACTUALLY PARTISAN AND A VERY BITTER PERSON. HE DOES NOT SAY TO WHICH PARTY THOUGH, BUT THE GUESS IS YOURS. HE ALSO FAILS TO SEE THAT CURRENT ZAMBIA’S ECONOMIC BLUES ARE AS A RESULT OF FAILING TO IMPLEMENT THE COUNTRY’S INFRASTRUCTURE BASE BY ALL GOVERNMENTS BUT PF. THERE CAN NEVER BE ANY MEANINGFUL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN ANY COUNTRY WITHOUT A FULLY FLEDGED AND INTEGRATED INFRASTRUCTURE.

    • why does the author have to put this trash at the end of his articles: “he has lived in england and south africa”, as though it is such a priveledge and a CV that we should all respect. Most educated zambians are nothing but brainwashed imbeciles who are propagaters of white supremacy. they have no independent thoughts other than those planted in a pro white education systems.

    • @ Peter

      Did you by any chance take in to consideration your inbreed bias against anything which goes contrary to your worship of “vise”, “humble”, “visionary” and “anointed” leader?

  2. I experienced the effects of the IMF pill under the great KK wamuyaya with Chikwanda involved. to go thru another one because of PF’s mismanagement is painful. I won’t feel it but my family and other Zambians will feel it. this is the more reason to kick out PF and let someone else manage our economy.

    • Agreed…history is repeating itself and one common denominator is evident – Alexander B. Chikwanda (the most incompetent) finance minister I have ever heard of has been in charge in both cases. Austerity with the PF’s incompetent Chagwa leadership would be catastrophic for this country – change of government is a must to survive the times ahead.

    • So if someone else comes in to manage the economy, then suddenly Zambia will have enough money not to require IMF bail. Nidye ukopo uyu. Mamama!

    • @ Condemn tribalism like Chitimukulu

      According to your “reasoning” (oxymoron), we should stick with the same person who is today refusing to accept bitter medicine which in his opinion will spoil his re-election success?

  3. Very well articulated article. Thanks a lot ba Kalima Nkonde. From what you have pointed out it is very simple to understand that our country’s economy is in intensive care and needs a professional doctor to treat it. This is not the first time we are in this situation. The consequences we know. True Levi was the solution and now we need someone just like him. By the way ba Kalima are we not beyond HIPC this time? Educate me on this one.

  4. Thank you Kalima, one again & again. It’s clear that we have a very selfish leader, if only we as citizens would petition this government to take this route now, if only we as citizens would petition the government not to ever borrow again until our economy stabilizes. The funny thing is these guys are still borrowing amidst talks with IMF, I tend to wonder how these leaders of ours think.

  5. SOME HIPPOS THINK SOMEONE AMONGST THE OPPOSITION CAN COME AND DO MAGIC TO THIS NATURAL AND EXTERNAL INDUCED DAMAGE TO OUR COUNTRY BCOZ HE OR SHE HAS MANAGED TO KEEP ALOT OF CATTLE NONSES.
    #MIND U WHETHER LUNGU WINS OR NOT THESE CONDITIONS FROM IMF WILL BE THERE. ITS A DAMAGE YOU CANT POINT AT ANY ONE.BIG NATIONS LIKE NIGERIA TRIED TO CHANGE LEADERSHIP THE SITUATION HAS WORSENED X10 THEY REGRET HAVING CHANGED.
    GOOD THING IS GOVT IS OPEN WE ARE ABLE TO GET WHAT IS INSIDE.
    QUESTION IS WHICH WAY FORWARD.IMPOSING THESE IMF THING BEFORE ELECTIONS IS OUT IT WILL BE UNFAIR O ONE SIDE GIVING ADVANTAGE TO MAY BE NOVICE CHAPS WHO MAY COME AND FINISH EVERY THING DOWN.
    ITS TIME TO BE TOGETHER NOT USELESS CRITICS TAKING THE FRONT STOOL

    • Really dull. Typical PF cadre.
      There is nothing externally induced here Bwana. All the reckless spending and financial mismanagement of public funds was done in Lusaka by the PF through Alexander Chikwanda. Check the atlas for the location of Lusaka if you think it is an external location like i suspect you do. It is this reckless and clueless spending that has driven us to negative growth. And rather than consider the IMF program as the only way out of this mess please remember also that the Fund does not take responsibility for ensuring that growth returns after the implementation of the the Austerity program. It is up to the government to ensure that this happens. And with an able leadership this is very very easy to achieve by simply developing markets around us and spreading out…

    • @Jkalusa, you miss the point entirely. I hope in your personal life you do accept responsibility for bad and good. The fact is that the economy has tanked, hence the courting of the IMF. It’s Zambia that’s at fault. We have mismanaged, or rather ABC has, the economy. And all they can say is the infrastructure development. What about the welfare of the nation and its people? Human development and other factors. It’s not just about building roads to nowhere.

      From what I see ECL is simply clueless.

    • I saw Christopher Yaluma fumbling on BBC yesterday. It was a disaster. Zambian ministers should know that the BBC is not ZNBC which just listens and later report in the usual fashion of “President Lungu says…” “the minister of mines says…” With the current calibre of PF ministers Zambia will just be moving in circles.

  6. Kadansa is actually “stuck” in a very wide door, he just needs a little blowing back to the taverns of chawama.
    Our economy will have to depend on the private sector as public spending will be reduced. This time around there will be no privatisation. What will be the effect compared to the last SAP?

  7. This problem started in 2011 when the whole country celebrated some naked the victory of one being… I knew on that night that trouble is on its way. Believe me or not I have been proved right. More trouble is coming

  8. IMF/WORLD WHOSE INTEREST DO THEY SERVE. IMAGINE REMOVING FUEL SUBSIDIES, INCREASE ELECTRICITY TARIFFS, STOP DEVELOPMENTAL PROJECTS, CUT CIVIL SERVANTS SALARIES FROM 50% TO SOMEWHERE 20%, LAY OFF WORKERS…IN THE NAME OF STABILIZING THE KWACHA. COME ON PEOPLE THESE MEASURES ARE TO HOSTILE FOR A DEVELOPING COUNTRY LIKE ZAMBIA. AND YOU EXPECT ECL TO SIGN SUCH NONSENSE DOC. LETS BE SERIOUS FOR ONCE.

    MY ADVICE TO OTHER BLOGGERS PLEASE BETTER YOU KEEP QUITE IF YOU DONT UNDERSTAND THE IMPLICATION OF THE IMF/WORLD BANK INTENTIONS.

    PLEASE PF AND ITS ENTIRE LEADERSHIP NEVER SUCCUMB TO SUCH AUSTERITY EVIL SO CALLED FISCAL MEASURES.

    • ” PLEASE PF AND ITS ENTIRE LEADERSHIP NEVER SUCCUMB TO SUCH AUSTERITY EVIL SO CALLED FISCAL MEASURES.,,”

      Zambia is bankrupt. Salaries and subsidies are being paid for using borrowed monies and PF cant stop the buildings of the most overinflated projects in the world because that is where they steal from. Zambia is consuming more than it can produce. So what do you suggest ?

    • IT heads you lose and tails you lose. That is the position Chagwa finds himself in. The only option open to this chakolwa of President is to handover power to competent economists.

  9. It is unfortunate that we have found it difficult to set personal interest aside with some form of cross party commitment to spend a period of time jointly tackling the economy for the benefit of all. What our politicians need to understand is the difference between their parties and the role of any given government.

    While the citizens vote in their chosen navigator, one hopes that the person in charge gets all the advice and support needed to make informed decisions. Some solutions might require one to seek talent, skills and knowledge from across parties or from outside be it local or international, including diasporan.

    We can prevail if we change our mindset to positive development and lose bad habits. We get an F. We want an A plus.

  10. IMF and WORLD bank are vicious dogs sniffing for African blood, wherever it is they look for it. They told us same stories under the Chiluba administration, and he implemented it to the letter Z. Some of you might have been young by then, it was during Chiluba administration that they removed subsidies of production and we had the worst hunger in the country. The government stopped buying maize from farmers and there was literally nothing being produced in the country. Edgar, you listen to IMF and WORLD dogs you do it at your own peril. Yes some points listen to them but do not forget those are vicious dogs looking for African blood,” Mugabe. They re simply crook, go to China trade with China they will help us in this area. I have no respect for IMF and WORLD DOGS

  11. Zambians lets use our minds. God did not only give Europeans and Americans or Asians minds. The make up of the brain is the same regardless of race and continent. The hatred on President Edgar Lungu for some Zambians is shocking. For how long has this man being in authority and when did economic problems begin in Zambia? Hasn’t government opened up the country with roads to stimulate economic development. PF be warned. IMF is working for UPND because the people who fund IMF have had their representatives in this country endorse HH recently. Open your eyes. They have not out rightly denied that they endorsed HH but are just explaining themselves subtly. Never accept IMF programme its meant to decampaign PF.

  12. If its borrowing please borrow from China or Japan or from indivual countries in Europe not IMF or World Bank. By the way hasn’t African Development Bank got money for us to be talking about IMF in Africa. If it has no money then Africans we must be ashamed of ourselves. IMF and World Bank has investments world over, what is ADB doing? waiting for donations? Shame ,we must change our mind set.

  13. Menomeno, you are the one who is dull here. Maybe you are too young to remember under the Chiluba administration. IMF and World bank gave us same posterity measures, such as downsizing the civil service, HIPC and all sort of nonsense. Did we achieve anything better. Leadership has nothing to do with tribe or race. You like calling Edgar as lacking leadership, but what is the difference between Edgar and HH? For your own information in case you do not know, Edgar is a graduate, with distinction in Law.And HH is also a graduate from UNZA. They have both been to school and were in the same stream, except that HH was a year behind. So be above partisaniship. I do not think, HH if he came into power will do wonders here. We Zambians are all in this. Lets us advise our government what is…

  14. I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN AMAZINGLY SHOCKED WITH THE WAY ZAMBIANS IGNORANCE OR JUST OR JUST TELL ABSOLUTE LIES ABOUT THEIR COUNTRY’S ECONOMIC SITUATION. AND I AM TALKING ABOUT HIGHLY EDUCATED ZAMBIANS. MAYBE THEIR LIES AND IGNORANCE IS DUE TO THEIR ALLEGIANCE. THEIR ALLEGIANCE IS TO THEIR PERSONAL INTERESTS AND NOT TO THE GLOBAL ZAMBIA’S INTERESTS. IF ZAMBIA HAS TO DEVELOP WE MUST AS ZAMBIANS BE TRUTHFUL TO OURSELVES. ALWAYS TRUSTING FOREIGNERS TO CLEAN UP OUR COUNTRY HAS PUT US IN BIG PROBLEMS. MEMORABLE EXAMPLES ARE INTERNATIONAL CORPORATE ENTITIES THAT FLEE ZAMBIA WHENEVER ZAMBIA’S ECONOMY TAKES A DOWN TURN. I AM PRETTY SURE WE CAN STILL REMEMBER ANGLO-AMERICAN COMPANIES AND OTHERS IN RECENT TIMES.

  15. IT SEEMS LIKE ZAMBIANS THINK WEALTH COME WITHOUT SWEAT. IN FACT THE MOST WEALTHY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD- USA UNDERWENT INTENSE SUFFERING AND MILLIONS OF PEOPLE ESPECIALLY AFRICAN AMERICANS DIED FOR AMERICA TO BE WHAT IT IS TODAY. THERE WAS BLACK HUMAN SACRIFICE ALL IN THE NAME OF BUILDING THE NECESSARY INFRASTRUCTURE TO ENABLE REAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF USA AND OTHER COUNTRIES. NO ONE IS ASKING FOR THE LIVES OF A FEW ZAMBIANS IN ORDER TO TRANSFORM THE COUNTRY. BUT, OF COURSE THERE WILL BE NO PARTYING DURING INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT. BUT, EVERYDAY WILL BE PARTY-TIME AFTER ENOUGH AND NECESSARY DEVELOPMENTAL INFRASTRUCTURE HAS BEEN ROLLED OUT ACROSS ZAMBIA.

  16. ZAMBIA NEEDS A FORMIDABLE (POWERFUL) AND INTEGRATED INFRASTRUCTURE STRATEGY AND POLICY CAST IN STONE FOR ALL FUTURE GOVERNMENTS TO FOLLOW. IN IT’S INFRASTRUCTURAL APPROACH, ZAMBIA NEED DIVERSIFICATION- EG WE NEED TO DEVELOP DIFFERENT SOURCES OF POWER AND ENERGY IN CASE ONE OR TWO SOURCES FAIL DUE TO UN FORESEEN NATURAL CALAMITIES. IN THE SAME VEIN, ZAMBIA NEEDS A DIVERSIFIED TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK- EG, ROAD, WATER, RAIL, AIR, ETC. IN TERMS OF WATER TRANSPORT- ZAMBIA IS BLESSED WITH SEA-LIKE LAKE AND BIG RIVERS. MODERN LAKE AND RIVER PORTS TO ACCOMMODATE CARGO AND HUMAN PASSENGER SHOULD AS A MATTER OF URGENCY BE BUILT AROUND/ALONG OUR LAKES AND RIVERS. AFTER 50+ YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE LAKES BANGWEULU, TANGANYIKA, MWERU/MWERUWANTIPA, KARIBA DON’T MAKE US BILLIONS OF POUNDS…

    • Where are you going to get the money? You have stolen all the money and you are in debt. You want to continue borrowing. Your govt has failed to run the economy, period. They are just bent on stealing what is left.

  17. The writer of this article forgot to mention the culture and behaviour in the Zambian situation. In the countiries he worked and lived before returning to Zambia tow years ago, he must have learnt that those conutries practice real democracy. We all know that borrowing more money to pay off other debts only creates more debt – this will only enrich the rich nations. These countries determine how you run your country. Zambia cannot afford more debt.
    We have resources to build our nation. We do not need outside finance to restore Zambia. Zambia needs to have a design policy on planning and development strategy. The countries mentioned in this article have well planned social cultural policies and designes unlike Zambia. We need to love our country for it to develop. We must have a good…

  18. …TANGANYIKA, MWERU/MWERUWANTIPA, KARIBA DON’T MAKE US BILLIONS OF POUNDS PER YEAR IS A SCANDAL THAT NEEDS IMMEDIATE CORRECTION. RAILLINES MUST INTEGRATE INTO EXISTING/FUTURE WATER, ROAD AND AIR TRANSPORT STRATEGICALLY TO CONNECT INDUSTRIAL, AGRICULTURAL AND TOURISM TOWNS. THIS WILL EASY CONNECTIONS BY HUMAN AND CARGO PASSENGERS. EG, THERE SHOULD BE A TRAIN TRANSPORT THAT CONNECT EASTERN, MUCHINGA AND LUAPULA PROVINCES PASSING THROUGH CHIPATA, SERENJE, SAMFYA, KAWAMBWA, TO LAKE MWERU. ANYONE SUGGESTING ABANDONING THE INFRASTRURE DEVELOPMENT IS SIMPLY NOT INTERESTED IN YOUR COUNTRY BUT SOLLY IN MAKING MONEY FROM YOUR COUNTRY. THE SAME THING APPLIE WITH THE REMOVAL OF AGRICULTURAL SUBSIDIES.

  19. Good economic management requires competences that the PF Team doesn’t possess. If they did, they wouldnt have allowed fiscal indiscipline to creep back after MMD had controlled it. Zambia didn’t need universities in every provincial capital! Zambia didn’t need the many by-elections that PF instigated! Zambia doesn’t need the size of cabinet and deputy ministers it has now! There is a lot of waste in government. Zambia spends 52% on a civil service which is the least productive, probably in the whole Africa! Good article Nkonde.

  20. You may hate Kalima Nkonde and all that he stands for but it will be foolhardy to ignore and trash what he says above. I enjoyed especially the sentence saying “probably the best President so far – Dr. Levy Mwanawasa implemented” There is NO ARGUMENT indeed that Mwanawasa was the best of all presidents we have had so far. And one of the last few lines of the article says: “This is where rational, wise and statesmanship decision making is needed” Anyone who wishes to argue with that may do so considering we still have freedom to refuse to think. As for me, it makes plenty of sense!

  21. I AM SAYING THIS BECAUSE IMF COMES FROM A COUNTRY (USA) WHICH HIGH SUBSIDISES FARMERS JUST LIKE EUROPE AND BRITAIN. NOW FOR IMF TO COME AND NOT EVEN SUGGEST BUT IMPOSE THE REMOVAL OF SUBSIDIES ON FARMING IS DEVILISH, DOUBLE STANDARD AND HYPOCRITICAL. SURELY, IS THE MONEY ZAMBIA IS TRYING TO SOURCE NOT ATTAINABLE FROM THE AfDB, OTHER GOVERNMENTS, ETC? ONE THING ZAMBIA MUST KNOW IS THAT IMF IS AMERICA’S AND THEY WOULD LIKE TO FIX ANY COUNTRY IN GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH CHINA THE NEW SUPER POWER. CHINA THREATENS AMERICA AND IT IS THIS THREAT THEY WOULD LIKE TO CLIP IN ITS BUD BEFORE IT SHOOTS OUT. ZAMBIA IS STRATEGIC TO CHINA’S DEVELOPMENT DUE TO MINERALS AND A POLITICALLY STABLE STATE- GOOD FOR CONTINUOUS SUPPLY OF RAW MATERIAL, ETC.

    • Cold war revolutionary 1970s rhetoric.
      Who would want even waiste time fixing a bankrupt zambia??.
      Ati Zambia is strategic to China?? One of the largest copper mines is being developed in Mongolia, next door to China.
      Zambia is only used by the Chinese to have their convicts and unemployed to find work in Zambia and to dump their topic products.

  22. @Patriot abroad
    I’m just curious. Are you a victim of short sight or some such eye problem? Why don’t you hit the Caps Lock button on your keyboard to the left to remove the caps, otherwise?

  23. Those saying that we go borrow from China , AFDB and other countries are so naive, before China gives a loan to Zambia, there are conditions attached e.g more Chinese labourers to come and do the menial jobs, they will bring in all sort of guys to come and harvest raw resources, literally plundering the environment, don’t forget that most big USA companies are the ones running under the different local name, the Chinese are not dull to lend us money when they know that we are broke, We just have to admit that we have just mismanaged our economy, for instance how do we go on opening embassies all over the world, it’s only America which has resources to do so. Why have a large number of ministers in country whose economy is in ICU,? we can not pretend business…

  24. contd. as usual! We must not allow the status quo to continue, also allow us to exercise our right to vote for a candidate of our choice, insulting us will not change our minds, PF just convince me why I should vote for you. in 2011 I voted PF, but this time just convince me to vote for you.

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