President Edgar Lungu delivering the State of Nation Address on progress made in the Application of National Values and Principles at Parliament on Friday, 15th March, 2019. Picture by Eddie Mwanaleza/State House
File:President Edgar Lungu delivering the State of Nation Address on progress made in the Application of National Values and Principles at Parliament on Friday, 15th March, 2019.
Picture by Eddie Mwanaleza/State House

The Centre for Trade Policy and Development has asked President Edgar Lungu to use his official opening of Parliament speech on Friday to clearly explain the road to economic recovery.

CTPD Executive Director Isaac Mwaipopo said the Presidential speech during the opening of Parliament is meant to set the tone on some of the key issues Parliamentarians will be focusing on during the sessions.

“As the Republican President officially opens the 4th Session of the 12th National Assembly. The Centre for Trade Policy and Development will be expecting the head of state to speak to the critical issues affecting the Zambian economy,” Mr Mwaipopo said.

“We understand that the speech by the President is meant to set the tone on some of the key issues the House of Representatives will be focusing on during the sessions. It is our considered view that the president’s speech should also clearly explain the roadmap towards economic recovery,” he said.

Mr Mwaipopo said the speech must address issues regarding how Zambia will be set on the path to economic recovery because economic growth has continued to reduce and is projected to reduce further to 2.9% in 2019 from 3.7% in 2018.

“The foreign reserves have fallen from $2.4 billion in 2016 to $2.1 billion in 2017 and to $1.57 billion at the end of 2018. These have compromised macroeconomic stability and resulted a higher cost of living. Zambia has contracted excessive debt, way over US$ 20 billion inclusive of public guaranteed debt and domestic arrears, and interest payments towards this debt has crowded out government spending towards the social sectors,” he said.

“It is our hope that the 2020 National Budget will not follow the trajectory of the 2019 budget which reduced allocations towards social protection and health due to increased spending on debt interest payments from about 20% of the budget to 27%,” he said.

Mr Mwaipopo said Government needs to consider restricting the current debt stock in order to increase spending on basic needs for Zambians.

“There is therefore need, through the speech, to assure the nation that the challenges facing the economy will be improved. The current electricity shortage presents yet another situation which needs urgent attention since it is constraining productivity and will negatively affect economic growth,” he observed.

He said Government should take urgent measures to address the power deficit in both the short-term and long-term.

“The President should also provide policy guidance on whether Zambia will still persist to implement a sales tax policy and relaunch Zambia Airways while grappling with fiscal constraints.”

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18 COMMENTS

  1. When will the President take questions from various stakeholders besides his biased media and cadre questions at airports or PF functions.
    Even his parliamentary speech is devoid of real substance as it’s a prepared one that I doubt he understands himself.

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    • Ba Edgar shouldn’t even go to parliament, with all Valden Findlay scandles.
      It will be better for him to go through all the 18 major scandles from Firetrucks through to 49 houses down to drug traffickers on Presidential Gulf Stream.
      Fucvk the economy, it’s already in deep shhit!!

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  2. His speech will be about blaming opposition parties, blaming social media, making silly jokes that makes the other full pot bellied individuals laugh, won’t address mealie meal prices, nothing will be said about load shedding no mention of any real reforms
    how’ talk about how anybody who blames or questions the govet. is unpatriotic …
    it’ll be all be blame game and deflection, to introspective or accepting failed polices and what they’ve done to fix those

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  3. Economy recovery is not important.
    Ba Edgar’s speech should be about people riding on his Gulf Stream plane, the Valden Findlay.
    He should explain each one’s duty and how much they get paid.
    Part 2 of speech should be about staff at State house, what they do and how much they consume from national budget.
    Trust me both presidential travels and State House daily parties spend 10 times the budget you want to hear.
    Part 3 and last, should be about who give him all these bunch of thugs and crooks he appoints.
    Who are his advisors???
    That can give confidence for his last 1 year, so we send him off with some dignity.

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  4. WHY DO PEOPLE EVEN WASTE TIME WITH QUESTIONING HIM, JUST LET HIM RUN THE FEW METERS REMAINING AND GIVE HIM THE BOOT WE ARE ALREADY IN EXTRA TIME.

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  5. Edgar Lungu cannot give a State of the Nation Address becoz he has No Vision and ability to analyze the State of the Economy this. All he knows is counting Money from his Corruption deals.

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  6. “The foreign reserves have fallen from $2.4 billion in 2016 to $2.1 billion in 2017 and to $1.57 billion at the end of 2018.”

    Wow now thats almost $1 billion drop in foreign reserves within two years.What happened to fiscal discipline?

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  7. As usual, it likely to be an empty speech where the president has no clue what he is reading from words selected by his aides. But the crap read will cause spontaneous grinning and chants from pF cadres.

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  8. After all the man made problems he has created for the country ,I doubt if he will even touch on the economy let alone the 48 houses which have no owners . This government is packed with thieves that we know .

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  9. What do us Zambians expect from him tht he hasn’t address us? Ad wht better change do we expect since. He’s exiting wht do we expect, nothing!! It’s a waste of time to address us, whn nothing has come out from him.

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  10. There is more chance of a pumpkin giving birth to a break dancing goat than Lungu talking about any economic recovery bane. Let’s be real please.

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  11. Two days ago toll gate collections last quarter showed K750 Million. he also mension the commencent of lusaka-ndola dual carriage way. we need to know where this cash is used.

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  12. its funny how you expect a cab driver to drive a loaded truck to southafrica who has never driven a truck before you werent supposed to vote for him hes unfit

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