jctrZambia is experiencing the worst economic crisis since the 2008 global financial crisis. The strong economic growth trajectory the country has been experiencing has taken a nose dive and all macroeconomic fundamentals are in disarray.

Our productive capacity as a nation has been constrained by electricity supply deficit threatening hundreds of jobs of our people especially in the mines. While inflation and exchange rates have stabilized, they have remained high making it difficult for ordinary people to afford cost of living. Our revenues and expenditures as a nation are not in balance with the country recording all time high budget deficit of over 8% of GDP.

These are hard times and they call for radical measures. The new Minister of Finance has openly warned the nation that we have to make difficult decisions going ahead that call for tightening of our belts.

We want to remind the Minister of Finance and the Government at large that tightening our belts must not only be expected from ordinary people but government as well. Stringent measures must be put in place in order to increase revenue and cut down unnecessary expenditure. It is thus shocking that a government that is in the process of addressing its deficit and expenditure wants to create more Ministries.

The President’s creation of the Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs at a time of economic hardship for example, important as religious issues may be, will unnecessarily stretch the already scarce resources of the Treasury which must be targeted at high growth sectors and reduction of poverty.

The formulation of this ministry comes at a time when Zambia is looking for a possible loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that must be used sustainably looking at the many expenditure saving conditions that are likely to be implemented along with it. JCTR views this ministry as an increase of expenditure that could be directed at economic sectors such as agriculture and manufacturing and therefore appeals to the President to reconsider the ministry whose duties could be performed by an already existing ministry and officers.

Further, no clear justification has been given for this Ministry especially taking into consideration that a ministry will need to have structures up to ward level. JCTR questions the mandate for this ministry as it may also duplicate the work done by church mother bodies such as ZEC, CCZ and EFZ. We urge IMF that one of the conditionalities for the loan that the Government wants to get should be non-creation of new Ministries and not removal of subsidies.

In line with this, the constitutional court ruling made for ministers to vacate office during the campaign process and refund state salaries and allowances over the period must be commended and acted upon by the Minister of Finance.

The court ruling made on this matter of public revenue must be a priority before the Minister of Finance presents the Budget for 2017 if his message of reversing economic woes is to be taken seriously. In ensuring we curb corruption, instill a sense on fiscal discipline and place our nation’s economy back to a growth trajectory, JCTR appeals to the Constitutional Court to make the necessary issuance of the ruling that includes the amounts owing for each Minister and a relevant date of repayment before they begin the parliamentary sessions.

JCTR also appeals to the President and the Treasury not to create a new ministry and prioritize funds directed to growing and diversifying the economy as well as putting in place targets for poverty reduction for the remaining 2016 fiscal year and 2017 budget. The Spiritual welfare of the nation is already taken care of, what people want are sustainable jobs, reduction of poverty and inequality which will not be addressed by creating a new Ministry of Religious Affairs.

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22 COMMENTS

  1. Even Edgar is laughing and asking what the hell is this?? We just doubled ministries and someone is dreaming of reducing expenditure?

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  2. Creation of new ministries is essentially increasing expenditure. Will the increase of ministries address the fiscal policy required?

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    • How is the Ministry of religion and docility going to increase expenditure….even analyzing issues has suddenly gone to the dogs.

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  3. Its possible for a Dog to give birth to a cat than for Edgar Chakolwa Kaloba Wrungu to prudently manage the country economic well.

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  4. The masses are starving because Kaponya (HH) and the Boer mercenary thug Gay Scott have restrained their South African imports from Shoprite where Hadlof Hitler (HH) has shares.
    We have mitigated this economic Armageddon assault by strengthening our local agric markets.
    Kaponya (HH) thinks he can control the nation by restricting the sale of his beef cattle what a pilock. Lumpen

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    • Grow your own food. Why complain about somebody else’s beef when you think being a kachema is lowlife?

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    • Yaba Chakubaba Kudos.Wait you are yet to see more hunger.Your sister will start migrating to Namibia and south Africa as prostitutes.For young men will hard core criminals.Zambia will be hell under this forged president of criminal gang party. HH will be watching and praying to real zambians to open their eyes and hearts to reality and remove these sheep in wolfs skins.

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  5. “Reduction of Expenditure, Prudent use of Resources..”? What are you talking about?

    “We want to remind the Minister of Finance and the Government at large that tightening our belts must not only be expected from ordinary people but government as well….” No way!

    Are you people crazy? Look how hard we worked to put TWO MILLION DOLLARS of taxpayers money in Lungus bank account! And dont you think we deserve a 400,000 Dollar party in New York for winning the election? Even if we had to pay a few bribes here and there?

    Now it is YOUR TIME to tighten your belts. We are in Government and we itis our TIME TO EAT!

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  6. At whose expense has Emmanuel Mwamba escorted those football experts to Zambia. Those are the expenses we should reduce. Even K1 is critical in our current situation.

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    • President Edgar Lungu must start monitoring some of these High Commissioners who are moving aimlessly and bringing his name into disrepute…Since the person who is supposed to control and supervise them seems not to see anything wrong any their unproductive trips…

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  7. Chakolwa is a Tsunami to our economy,the guy is only good at swindling and drinking Lutuku mwa misisi compound.

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  8. If you voted the 2016 most incompetent and id1otic president of the millenium Edgar Chakolwa Kaloba Wrungu then just know that you qualified to go to Chainama mental hospital

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    • @Lutuku your postings are the most id1otic on this blog.We have been observing you for sometime now, count your days becuase very soon you will be smoked out from where ever you are hiding. scambug!!!!

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  9. The ministry will mean job creation and opportunity for ordinary Zambians during a crippling recession. The private sector will be shedding employees to protect their profits during this time. Tough Times ahead, an organised Religious Minitry will help in providing a Christian calm in the country. We shall have to fall hard on our faith to carry us through.

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  10. How much will the ministry of religion cost the country. We might just be making noise over something which may not even cost as much as pipo are imagining it would.

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    • When this selfsame ministry passes a legislation that requires all religions bodies to declare their tithes and be regulated will the greedy **** jump up in protest. what do they think it will be doing from Mon to Friday?

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  11. The only people whose views I do not respect are UPND cadres and their leaders. In the unlikely event (now impossible event) that they were in power, how would they run a better government with kaponyas like GBM at the top? I mean the old UPND of intellectuals and economists is not the same as the one we have seen recently is it? Since the alliance between Mmembe and his Past news and HH, and the appointment of GBM as room mate of HH, the UPND is not the same economic emancipation that Mazoka promised, or what UPND preached for HH? We no longer know what UPND stands for now, apart from simply wanting HH to be president, please tell me what GBM is doing at the top of UPND? Tribal cleansing for HH probably? No, well don’t expect me to guess tell me ba UPND.

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  12. I doubt ECL will pay heed because our problems are far deeper as a nation. It begins with our families, education and cultures. Religion has become a credo for the conman. Where on earth does an employee ask for advancement or food before they even start work? Lecturers asking to be paid for writing a module? Employees asking to be paid for attending CPD activities? How can such a country survive? We have a problem! Without a complete change in systems, approaches, laws etc, we’re doomed. Our businesses will continue to be stillborn, while the Chinese, Lebanese etc have a bonanza. Wake up people!

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