Time to act is now, we will therefore, need to be bold and decisive-President Lungu

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President Edgar Lungu addressing the nation on the eve of independence day.
President Edgar Lungu

In Zambia’s quest to restore fiscal fitness for sustained inclusive growth and development, President Edgar Lungu has affirmed that the time to act is now, adding that, “we will therefore, need to be bold and decisive.”

Reflecting on developments in the last decade in the forward of the recently disseminated Economic Stabilisation and Growth Programme 2017-2019, Zambia Plus, President Lungu observed that there has been turbulence in our development agenda, as a consequence of which, “this made it difficult to implement long-term policies for sustained economic stability and higher growth.”

Mr. Lungu said the mandate that the Zambian people have given his administration provides ample time to achieve set goals and objectives in stabilizing and growing the economy.

“The government is committed to the achievement of a fiscal balance as it is a critical step in getting the economy back towards a growth trajectory that is more sustainable and inclusive,” he said, further stating that, “the team work exhibited by all well-meaning Zambians in coming up with this home-grown programme is a true testimony of our commitment to restore fiscal fitness and stimulate sustainable economic growth and development, ” he said.

Mr. Lungu said the government would ensure that development reforms that could not previously be undertaken were also implemented.

“We are all agreed that the task of restoring stability and accelerating growth comes with its own challenges,” said the President, adding that, “turning the economy around and improving the lives of our people requires that we make hard choices and implement appropriate reforms.

“The time to act is now and we will therefore, need to be bold and decisive,” said President Lungu.

The economic environment in which the 2017 budget has been executed and the subsequent Government budgets will be implemented is expected to be challenging. This is on account of anticipated continuation of subdued growth in the global economy and domestic shocks which may constrain production and general economic activities.

“ This reality means that we have to act decisively to address the challenges we face in order to restore economic stability,” further guiding that, “only unity and hard work will help us overcome these challenges for shared prosperity.

“It is in this regard that Government has developed this Economic Stabilisation and Growth Programme (ESGP) for the period 2017 to 2019 dubbed Zambia Plus,” he said.

The ESGP is a home-grown programme and a product of wide consultations with various stakeholders. This Programme is a medium-term document that sets out concrete actions that are required to restore fiscal fitness, so as to reinvigorate the economy after a few years of sluggish growth. This is embodied in the theme of the document, “Restoring Fiscal Fitness for Sustained Inclusive Growth and Development”.

The document also serves as the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) for the period 2017-2019. The ESGP which is an anchor to the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP), 2017-2021, has five key pillars. These are:

1) Restoring credibility of the budget by minimising unplanned expenditures and halting the accumulation of arrears;

2) Enhancing domestic resource mobilisation and refocusing of public spending on core public sector mandates;

3) Improving our economic and fiscal governance by raising the levels of accountability and transparency in the allocation and use of public finances;

4) Ensuring greater economic stability, growth and job creation through policy consistency to raise confidence for sustained private sector investment; and,

5) Scaling-up Government’s social protection programmes to shield the most vulnerable in our society from negative effects of the programme.

The President has also observed that the successful attainment of the above pillars will require concerted efforts, and commitment of all stakeholders to shared prosperity.

“We are alive to the fact that the hard choices we are making have consequences, therefore, we commit to scale-up our social safety net programmes in order to mitigate the impact on the poor,” said Mr. Lungu, adding that, “the government’s commitment is that resources over the programme period are allocated to promote equitable development across the country.”

He emphasized that Cooperating Partners will play a significant role in complementing the implementation of Zambia Plus.

“I wish to re-echo that, the time to act is now, for sustained, inclusive growth and development,” he said.

In the foreword of the 2017-2019 Economic Stabilisation and Growth Programme, President Lungu listed the key success factors for the programme as:

1) Strong governance and political will;

2) Ensuring policy consistency;

3) Strict implementation of structural reforms;
4) Adherence to fiscal discipline; sustainable debt management; and,

5) Provision of quality and timely statistics.

And Mr. Mutai explains that the ESGP, 2017-2019, is Government’s response to the current economic challenges.

“ Given the scale of the challenges we are facing, we need a coordinated approach based on domestic solutions that will be supported by our cooperating partners. The focus of the Programme is restoring fiscal fitness for sustained inclusive growth and development. This will be done through curbing unproductive expenditure while raising domestically generated revenues, ‘ he said.

Monetary policy will be re-aligned to Government’s fiscal consolidation measures without compromising inflation and growth objectives. To unlock economic activity, Government will work towards dismantling arrears owed to suppliers of goods and services, as well as contractors, he said.

“ Government will at the same time ensure that the country remains within sustainable debt levels. Further, Government will pursue necessary structural reforms while implementing an effective social safety net to lessen the impact of stabilisation measures on the most vulnerable. These principles will be key to laying a foundation for the successful implementation of the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP), 2017 – 2021, “ he added.

Consistent with the 7NDP, the ESGP puts particular emphasis on agriculture, tourism, energy, mining, as the basis for diversification. Access to markets, ICT and infrastructure development are emphasized as key growth enablers.

Meanwhile Mr. Mutati is expected to present the 2018 National Budget to Parliament on Friday, 29th September, 2017.

This is contained in a statement issued by Chileshe Kandeta, the ministry of finance senior public relations officer.

34 COMMENTS

  1. This man is insulting.
    – Decisive in paying a friend $1million for a firetrucks smaller than a sewage tanker?
    – Bold in selling hats to boys who punch ZPs?
    – Bold in sticking to dangerous thugs at statehouse?
    – When are you going to be BOLD in summoning Grandview LTD for swindling Kapyongo ministry of $42million?
    Answer!!!

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    • This statement is brilliant. He has the blessing of all Zambians.

      It will be a stroll in 2021.

      Thanks

      Bb2014,2016

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    • The goodness of freedom of speech is that even fools have freedom to that speech.

      The fool above is a person who will oppose anything as long as it comes from his hated ECL.
      Give the same statement to his gods and the same person will scream ‘that is my man’
      Your hatred won’t take you anywhere

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    • I like it when ECL thinks he is speaking big words. Many a times he has used the word “decisive” stating that they should be decisive. The PF has been on office for 5 years now and that is when they have realised that they should be decisive. All along they have been acting like the opposition. Speaking and issuing statements when they are not supposed to.

      For sure they have been chipantepante and now that they have realised they want to be decisive in their administration. Now I hope ECL is going to put action to the words well spoken. Decisive!

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    • Your Excellency, As President of peaceful Zambia, you have a historic opportunity to correct a record of our African ills in economic failure and ravaging poverty on the masses. You have so much support and there is no reason to leave Zambian behind. I hasten to say, national success or prosperity is not by accident, it is a product of planning, discipline, political will, inclusiveness, culture change and a good purpose driven leadership with a sense of doing everything for the common good. Egyptian tycoon Mo Ibrahim famously said when asked what Africa’s problem actually is. He summed it up in just one word: “leadership”. Sort out the inner lining and everything else will fall into place. The worst would be to betray the solidarity of the masses who vote with hope.

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    • Kabolala Iwe “Restoring credibility of the budget by minimising unplanned expenditures and halting the accumulation of arrears;”

      I would like to see your travel expenses in the budget.

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    • I fail to see Zambia ever progressing if we keep voting for people like Jonathan into power.

      It is either Zambians are very dull, or the elections are constantly rigged.

      You can not have both, surely.

      I hope whoever comes after Jonathan will cage this chakolwa.

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    • Mr President you & GRZ are on right track. There will no doubt be lot of opposition when you’re making progress. Us Zambians have seen unprecedented growth in last few years. Your focus on all inclusive growth that doesn’t leave the poor behind is what I like most. Your fear of God is priceless. Officially, you’ve done more under your tenure than any President has done in the past. You’ve built more roads, more schools, more hospitals, & soon more universities & airports. Your govt just needs to learn to communicate better however. Information is power. Don’t let detractors control this with fake news. You need a PR strategy. God Bless Zambia

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    • “Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP), 2017 – 2021”

      You have to love the budget titles which comes from the ministry of finance. They used to be meaningless, but after the #Firegate they are simply hollow and a waste of time. bla lalalalala

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    • This man told you with his own mouth that he’s VISIONLESS, you insisted. There it is RHETORIC after RHETORIC.

      Today he’s telling pipo to fast for National Prayer as if last week he wasn’t watching b.reasts of small Swazi girls. Nxaah!! Ma-rubbish yeka-yeka

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    • “4) Adherence to fiscal discipline; sustainable debt management”

      Does Lungu even know what that means?

      When he himself wastes MILLIONS traveling the world? With nothing to show for it?

      And BORROWING BILLIONS of kaloba that has been spent on unproductive overpriced contracts or simply STOLEN?

      Or is he just joking and mocking poor Zambians while he wastes more of their money on his travelling?

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    • He just reads after they write and then throw the paper away. He wants to sound as if he is working yet he is not. Sory you are losing it slowly now sir!

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  2. After you’ve helped waste 50yrs as a nation the time to act was Oct 1964.Lungu you’ve been part of the problem so you can’t be the solution.

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    • Was this man so drunk he forgot the time he chartered a plane for US $ 300, 000 to fly himself and his friends to have a party in New York?
      Or his joyride to.go and watch naked girls in Swaziland?
      Is that what he means by ‘only unity and hard work will help us overcome these challenges for shared prosperity.”…

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  3. Zambians have hard choices and must be decisive while you and your hang fill your bank accounts……lungu and his gang sold Zambians 42 trucks costing $380,000 each And charged poor Zambians $1 million each then he has the chick to come and say we must be carfull with our resources ?

    Shameless hyena in a goats skin.

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  4. Lungu and his gang think when they mention social programmes for the poor Zambian tax payers will trurn a blind eye to their looting and stealing ?

    We need concrete explanations on why and how your known associate ripped off Zambia in that $42 million truck scandal.. …your blabbering attempts in NY to clear your self won’t wash . Sorry mr lungu.

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  5. BIGGEST JOKE ZAMBIA’S EVER HAD THE MISFORTUNE OF HAVING!!
    This Drunk Clown Jonathan Pombe, even told Mugufuli, “Please call me Pombe, I’m the original Pombe, coz I love Whiskey, & the brown bottle”
    This joker wouldn’t know discipline & honesty even if it hit him full on in the face.
    WHAT FINANCIAL DISCIPLINE??
    – Spending huge cash reserves flying all over the place to drink, & dance.
    – Defrauding Zambia of meagre resources by overinflating Road prices, & scamming Zambia giving us used Fire engines @ a million Dollars?? Even your Mad Thug Max Chongo has complained about this, as the stolen proceeds didn’t reach his pocket
    PLEASE ZAMBIANS, COULD SOMEONE BREATHALYSE JONA WHENEVER HE BWETUKA’S AS HE ALWAYS ISSUING DRUNKEN STATEMENTS!

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  6. Time to act is now, says ECL but after that statement, I expected the resultant follow up actions put in place to walk the talk. Otherwise where is the news here?

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  7. The idea is brilliant, but look at our timber business our president came to chisali in muchinga province he promised us he will help put up a plant to add value to our Mukula, what do we see? Soldiers grabbing our Mukula which we invested in to much, we lost a lot money our children have stopped going to school, how do we contribute to our local grown economy?

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  8. Point of correction mo Ibrahim is not an Egyptian but Sudanese. You forget because you were in a rush to respond.

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  9. MC, mukula tree is a government trophy, try farming and you will never go wrong. You can do vegetable, soya, fish farming etc a part from maize, as for vegetables and tomatoes you will be having money every day and never be broke.

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  10. Wishful thinking !! A speech written by someone with an illusion of how things should or should have been. He has bee given the speech to read out to the “humble” Zambians who will believe the lies and carry on clapping and praising God that Zambia is a Christian country. These are empty words which even the author doesn’t understand the meaning of .

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    • What has this got to do with HH? Sharon, you should definitely go and see a psychiatrist, you obviously have a serious attention deficit disorder. Wish you a speedy recovery.

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  11. Yet another opportunity for under5 and his UP.NDonkeys to say something…kikikikiki. …what would the Donkeys do without President Lungu?

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