Green party President Peter Sinkamba says the delayed salaries for civil servants raises tough questions about the state of fiscal management at the Treasury.
Mr Sinkamba wondered why there is a delay when the Zambia Revenue Authority has not fallen short of its tax collection targets in the first and second quarters of 2016.
He said his party was worried that exams for primary and secondary schools my be affected due to delays in disbursement of funds to teachers.
“The salaries crisis raises tough questions about the state of fiscal management at the Treasury. We know for fact that high expenditure on servicing the country’s huge debt obligations is the main issue. This is so especially after the dollar exchange rate shot up by about 100%, meaning Zambia is now paying more Kwacha in dollar terms than the initial amount borrowed.
“From the reports posted in the last few weeks, Zambia Revenue Authority has not fallen short of its tax collection targets in the first and second quarters of 2016. So, where is the money for salaries? From our officials on the ground, all the 10 provinces have been affected by the problem, which has also spread to several key institutions, especially Education Loans and Home Affairs Ministries.
“Examinations for primary and secondary schools are around the corner. With the Education and Home Affairs Ministries having been starved of cash due to delays in disbursement of funds from the Treasury, we are worried that the exams may be adversely affected,” he said.
He added “We urge government to make the payments without further delay. It is this sort of cancer which results in leakage of exam papers and other malpractices.”
He further attributed the delay to some the policies by the Bank of Zambia.
“We are also aware that the high interest rates imposed on commercial banks by Bank of Zambia to stabilize the Kwacha, has, as we feared depressed borrowing and diminished economic activities in the country. Furthermore, we know for a fact the unfavourable exchange rate, which has seriously affected the net earnings from export-oriented corporations, is other reason the Treasury has run low on finances. Put simply, this is an indication of policy failure.
“Government should accept that its monetary and currency policy measures effected by Bank of Zambia late last year have simply failed,” Mr Sinkamba said.