The Minister of Finance Margaret Mwanakatwe will today issue a statement on the performance of the economy in 2017. According to statement released to the media yesterday by Ministry of Finance Spokesperson Chileshe Kandeta, Mrs Mwanakatwe will also provide the outlook for 2018, which will be her Ministry’s focus going forward.
Yesterday, Mrs. Mwanakatwe held her first strategic visioning meeting with top management in the Ministry of Finance.
During the meeting, the Minister commended the team for ensuring that economic stability was attained. She reiterated the consensus of Cabinet to improve domestic resource mobilisation.
Mrs. Mwanakatwe asked her top management team to ensure that the actions and performance of the Ministry of Finance met people’s expectations.
Those in attendance at the meeting were Secretary to the Treasury FREDSON YAMBA, Permanent Secretary for Economic Management and Finance MUKULI CHIKUBA, Permanent Secretary for Budget and Economic Affairs Dr. EMMANUEL MULENGA PAMU, Accountant General Dr. DICK CHELLAH SICHEMBE, and Controller of Internal Audit JOYCE SUNDANO. Others in attendance were Treasury Counsel KAWAMA GOMA-SIMUMBA, and Director [HRA] JOYCE NYAMA.
“We have an economy to run, we have an economy to protect, we have an economy to grow,” she said, adding that “we have to intensify our domestic resource mobilisation while at the same time developing sustainable plans for concessional, cost-effective, and value for money external resource mobilisation.”
The Minister requested her team to formulate a plan for offsetting domestic arrears in a systematic manner in order to help dismantle the K9 billion domestic debt. She also directed the team to develop a sustainable plan for timely payment of salaries to public service workers.
Mrs. Mwanakatwe reiterated governments concern with the perception of corruption in some public offices and urged her team to ensure that the Ministry of Finance “demonstrated and practiced transparency and accountability in the discharge of treasury and economic management functions” in order to augment the public confidence in the trustworthiness of the Ministry to mobilise, manage, and keep custody of public resources “without raising credibility and governance red-lights.”
“This Ministry is key and must play its role in assuring the public that the perception of corruption which has been appended to some public offices will be addressed,” she said.
Mrs. Mwanakatwe called for hard work at all levels of the Ministry to ensure that the country reaches Growth Domestic Product [GDP] in excess of 5% and so that “in the near future” the benefits of growth begin to trickle down to the citizenry.
Speaking during the same meeting, SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY FREDSON YAMBA disclosed that the Ministry of Finance was formulating a plan to deal with the obligations that the country will have to fulfill as the Eurobonds fall due. Mr. Yamba assured the Minister that plans were also underway to dismantle domestic arrears and timely pay public service workers.