Monday, February 26, 2024

If Felix Mutati wants to cut costs, he should scrap personal-to-holder car schemes-Sinkamba


Green Party leader Peter Sinkamba
Green Party leader Peter Sinkamba
If Finance Minister Felix Mutati is serious about cost-saving, instead of banning first-class flying for executives of loss-making State owned Enterprises (SoEs), he should abolish personal-to-holder car schemes in all Government and quasi-government institutions, Green Party leader Peter Sinkamba has charged.

“The decision by Minister of Finance Felix Mutati to ban chief executives of loss-making State owned Enterprises (SoEs) from flying first-class is no saving at all. How many such executives really often fly overseas? Even when they fly locally, how many of them do actually first-class? What first-class is there to fly in Zambia between Lusaka and Livingstone or indeed between Lusaka and Ndola? Isn’t it Ministers and their Permanent Secretaries who day-in-day out fly abroad in first-class and business-class?” Sinkamba asked.

“If Mutati is serious about cost-saving, he should first of all abolish personal-to-holder car schemes in Government and quasi-government institutions. This is where there is really serious waste of public resources. A loan scheme which is currently obtaining at Parliament should be uniform across the public service. It should be integrated too. If one gets a loan through Parliament, that person should not be eligible to get a similar loan through the Executive or indeed the Judiciary branch of Government. There should be a one-person-one car loan policy across the continuum of Government,” Sinkamba said, adding, “and those cars gotten should be used for official business too, whereby Government’s role should be to provide a modest allowance for fuel and car maintenance only.”

On banning first-class flying, the Green Party leader said the ban should be extended to all officials in Government and quasi-government institutions, including the President and Vice President. He said such a ban should not be by word of mouth. It must be written policy and enacted as law so that it is not easily changed when there is regime change.

“Take for instance during the reign of the late Levy Mwanawasa and Michael Sata, they banned flying first-class besides the President and Vice President. However, because these measures were by way of word of mouth and not written policy and enacted as law, as soon as there was regime change, the austerity measures thrown to the wind. There was policy change as soon as the leaders were buried. So, based on the lesson learnt from the past, we need to do things differently by putting measures to paper through written policy and enacted as law,” Sinkamba said.

“If you look at the 2018 budget expenditure for General Public Service, Mutati increased it from 27.9 per cent of the budget to 35.6 per cent. This is almost a 10 per cent increase. The trouble is that the bulk of it is going towards buying of new cars, fuel and maintenance expenses as well as first-class and business class flying. This sort of waste of public resources should really come to an end. We need to dedicate more of our meager resources towards deserving areas, especially social protection, housing for the poor, health and education,” Sinkamba added.

Last week Minister of Finance Felix Mutati banned first-class international travel on aeroplanes for chief executive officers (CEOs) of State-owned enterprises.

And Mr Mutati has directed that parastatals should start publishing quarterly reports in newspapers on the performance of their companies.

Mr Mutati said CEOs should also seek authority and clearance from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) whenever they are undertaking an international trip.

The minister said this during the first-ever CEO conference for State-owned enterprises which also attracted board chairpersons, heads of finance and company secretaries.


  1. Sinkamba first of all I hold a PhD so I would like to think my contribution here hold more credence than a lot here.

    Felix is doing a hell of a job. It Ian under through him snd Pres Lungu that now the pula and rand are weaker than the kwacha.

    My point is – he doesn’t need advise from your kind. PAck it up and let him do what he is doing.

    End of Mesaage



    • Can somebody advise this PHD holder that its not advise but advice. And also somebody teach her where to put capital letters and where not.

    • This is why Peter Sinkamba is the best opposition voice in Zambia! Well said Sir!
      Please continue to raise REAL ISSUES and not under5 politics like what the so called main opposition is doing. I wish Green Party was the main opposition as they raise better real issues than UPND whose MPs are only in Prley to eat,!
      One luxury SUV costs in the range of USD 100,000 and how many do these ministries buy each year, add the cost of maintenance and fuel to that you’ll find the state is spending millions of dollars on luxury SUVs!
      This must and should change but can only happen if the govt are held accountable by an opposition that raises valid points.
      Well said ba Sinkamba!

    • Why we never hear this from opposition in Parliament…is it because they are too busy enjoying taxpayer allowances and vehicles.

    • Sinkamba reminds of soprano high pitched komboni barking dogs, whose entire energy is wasted on looking for food in neighboring yards and barking and chasing cars in the streets aimlessly all day, African ruling parties love such aimless opposition politicians who don’t bite but bark a lot.


    • Mushota..: holding a PhD does not make you it. I have it, suffered for it… not sure how you got it, read and Understand what Sinkamba is saying.

      We need more of debate as there is no one solution that can correct what’s obtaining now. Am actually embarrassed in your thinking might I add.

  2. The choice between personal to holder scheme and private owner car scheme deserves further scrutiny. Perhaps car hire scheme or leasing scheme is more economical. The prudent approach is to call for a study conducted by an independent credible consultant. It is does not follow that private ownership of cars is the solution. What are the actual costs of maintaining a functional fleet of government vehicles by MSB? What are the cost-benefit implications? There is no need to orchestrate against any public servant. The country is asking for service delivery.

    • I think there are some issues which do not need an independent study to come up with logical conclusions. Personal to holder vehicles are used not only for businesses part also personal use but at tax-payers expense. Because of this even the care and maintenance of these vehicles is suspect because the user has nothing to lose. So if government officials had private vehicles which are financed through personal loans, they will take better care of them and there will be no issue of abuse arising. Log books, which can be aided by electronic tracking can be used to determine actual mileage used for work-related trips that the concerned individual can then be paid a mileage allowance. This would cover for any wear and tear. It will save the government millions to remove the assets (vehicles)…

    • The cost-benefit analysis is still missing. Government vehicles belong to different categories. Are we talking about pickups, saloon cars, buses, minibuses, or lorries? What is the total cost involved? Out of the total cost, what is the proportion for service and maintenance? Talk about fuel, talk about vehicle purchase? Compare with countries in similar and different conditions. There is no need to try ignorance because knowledge is dependable. If a senior public officials is misusing public service vehicles, then the logical solution is to report the erring public servant to the police. Don’t touch any security vehicles.

  3. It is easy to show brilliance in this administration because nobody knows what everybody else is doing apart from when they do their standard praise singing and hate rhetoric competitions.

  4. Ms phd mushota your beloved pf has done such a wonderful job on the economy that the kwacha is 10.09 to the dollar.
    That is a 15% depreciation against the dollar in u der 2 months then that in turn makes our international debt higher and our Chinese loans will cost more to repay. All our borrowings are in us $

  5. just cut gratuity for mps by half including upendi. how can you have 90% mps from one province

    if u5 won zambian presidency the grisly bear knowns he can not take over this party

    only is assainate u5 and accuse opposition pf.

    then you see bloothbath

    whites will supply arms

    while you are fighting they are stealng copper

    thats what these white are doing in africa . and thats why they are surpoting a leader with 3 provinces

  6. Infact it should start with Ministers themselves. They should also stop flying first-class. They should lead by example.Unfortunately austerity measures that were announced by the President himself resulted in him undertaking the biggest number of trips ever. What a country!

  7. Do these Politicians even read what people write? I wonder. So much is contributed which just goes unheeded. Could there be another effective way that can be introduced so that the general public have a public audience to adress these people phyisically because I think much of the wisdom posted on Media is ever seen at all. And if they do see it they easily just brush it aside. Parliament is not serving the General public unless if people could also phone in.
    Many of the Ministers in Parliament are rubber stamps who will just nod to anything and those in opposition are there to just oppose everything.

  8. Sinkmaba muddle you always mean well, unfortunately our politicians in power do not see things the way you see them or even the way we the majority would like to see them work. As much as your arguments are valid and important, Muatati would rather cut costs were the poorest man will feel it to him even more desperate. Indeed cutting such costs would a positive move for a govt that wants to serve the people, but that is not their priority and they will not cut costs were they feel they are losing out on certain incentives.

  9. Presidential trips are draining government cofers a lot. You can not be paying civil servants using borrowed money. The government should have planned everything before. Too much entropy.

  10. Sinkamba means well. All he sys are very good points. He should just change his stance or paraphrase his ganja stance.

  11. The Finance Minister Mr Mutati should know that he cannot micro-manage the Government companies because they do not fall under his jurisdictionbut under various Ministries…Mr Mutati should concentrate on reducing public extravangance by himself stopping attending every meeting outside the country and holding unproductive meetings and conferences at the expense of working in the Office…People who talk too much are not performers…Same as bashi Nono this Finance Minister…

    • The Government must watch carefully this Finance Minister because his aim is to sell the remaining Government companies to his friends…He’s trying to push the MMD agenda of Classical Theories of the Government not to own companies but these theories have been challenged by the Keynes Theories where Governments all over the world have realised that they should have a stake in some companies to reach full employment…

  12. Dear Mushota

    Your PHD seems to be from a bush university. Your analysis that the Kwacha us stronger than the Rand is both misguided and pompous.

    A PhD grad would have said that it was the effect of rebasing that gave the kwacha some semblance of respectability. On a like for like basis the Kwacha is 10,000 to one USD whereas the Rand is 14,09 to one USD.

    Your PhD seems to be from the University of Cadres.

    • Those are closely guarded secrets , if any one tries to find out the free benefits of ministers and MPs you will be charged with treason…..especially benefits of ministers is a no go area….very dangerous…

  13. Generally, Peter Sinkamba is right. We can do more than just monitoring the expenditure of CEOs in government- owned enterprises. let this cut- down on unnecessary expenses be extended to ministries and other government institutions. For a start, its good that the minister voiced out his opinion on this matter in an effort to curtail the escalating travel expenses in state- owned entities. Next up should be the ministries and ministers in particular. We can be more financially efficient if we stop being selfish and financially careless.

  14. Message taken and hope you are doing the same in a small way at your level. You can start walking to work instead of riding a bicycle.


  16. I can tell you all now that ba sikamba, although is talking a lot of sense, is only allowed to do so because the corrupt lungu does not see Ba sikamba as a threat.

    you can all be guaranteed and rest assured that if and when Mr sikamba is seen as a threat to lungus corrupt rule, he will be bribed, failing that he will jailed, harassed and threatened with violence…..that is the modus operand of the corrupt lungu and his henchmen…

  17. i like his objectiveness ,same with his raising of funds he knows where the money will come from others just say we will find and now he has solutions while others are just saying we will perform better, be objective like sinkamba.

  18. Comment:This Mushota has not posted anything that has sense in it , I don’t understand why ? its like she have a PhD in insanity.

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