By Anthony Bwalya – UPND Member

They will not want you to hear this, but the real total public debt has now eclipsed our national Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Here is rundown of disclosed public debt so far: External = $10.23bn, Internal: Guarantees = $1.2bn, Securities = K60.7bn, Domestic arrears = K20.2bn, VAT refunds = K22bn.

The aggregate of these liabilities is just a few notches shy of $20bn, while our real GDP, if we factor in exchange losses associated with a dipping Kwacha will not beat $26bn as at December 2019. The public are cautioned to be extremely weary of further undisclosed debt, especially from China, as well as debt held by our various parastatals. This is why the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) must be as transparent as possible in making public the aggregate debt figure attributable to SOEs.

All the foregoing taken into account point to a debt mountain that is now above 100% of our GDP.

We are here today because the PF’s claim to superstardom has been a poorly orchestrated infrastructure development narrative whose funding has been nothing short of dubious, while the workmanship across many of our public projects has been woefully poor.

Let us be clear: Zambians want good infrastructure for development. But Zambians want these to be executed sustainably, to the extent that the projects should be able to yield the required return to be able to pay off it’s associated debt money. Zambians also want quality workmanship, as opposed to substandard, cheaply acquired works who lifespan falls way short of the life of the debt associated with these projects.

And this has been the failure of the PF around infrastructure development. They have failed to project fund sustainably and they have failed to ensure quality workmanship across many of the projects.

This is nothing short of criminal and economic espionage against the Zambian people.

Today, the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) are saying the PF owes close to $2bn in VAT refunds, while an aggregate $10bn has been sucked out of the local economy in local borrowing. The tragedy of this story is that only a very small fraction of this debt money has actually gone into productive areas of our economy. One only has to take a look at successive Auditor General’s Reports, FIC and other barometers to draw the conclusion that much of this money has actually been stolen!

And thanks to the duplicity and conniving conduct of PF leaders, including State House, Zambians will now have to pay a very heavy price for the poor, selfish decision making of the PF government.

We have to be weary, that a vote for the PF in 2021 will be an endorsement of what has been their diabolical inability to do a very simple job – to take care of Zambians.

We need to have a new and honest national conversation around social and economic reforms. For example, how have the PF allowed NAPSA to continue sitting on piles of cash while consistently failing to pay retirees’ benefits? How has the PF continued to allow President Lungu, the Veep and government Ministers to enjoy health tourism services abroad, while lying to Zambians that they are making “massive, unprecedented” investments in the health sector?

And how has this tinkering, inept PF government allowed for the rule of law to be applied selectively to different citizens and societal stakeholders, leading to the creation of a class society?

What a joke of a government!

The foregoing sits at the heart of the poor and general lack of community development across our vast country.

The macro economy is broken and it has sucked the life out of the micro economy.

In 2021, we must be bold and decisive and not blink in booting the PF out of power.

We cannot afford another lost 5 years. We simply cannot. The damage will be impossible to undo in our lifetime.

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54 COMMENTS

    • You have outdone yourself. You are an asset to the UPND and the people of Zambia. Anthony Bwalya, you have continuously exhibited maturity throughout your critical discourses regarding social, political and economic matters in the Republic of Zambia during the current PF rule. Additionally, and critically, your critical discourses are free of trivial tribal arguments. However, I am not arguing that you are biased towards tribal matters. Instead, you employ the aforementioned triple sectors as lenses through which you carefully examine all injustices under the PF government, including the manipulation of ethnicity and tribal differences that lead to restricted development in specific areas and stagnation in other places. You an asset to all Zambians. Keep it up. One Zambia, one Nation.

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    • Anthony, I start to put you in same category as HH and Sinkamba, my competitors. We think big.
      But need to see your picture so I can categorize the respect you deserve.

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    • Hakainde Ichilema successfully digs a sinkhole debt in PRIVATIZATION theft in Zambia and takes the sand out to PANAMA.

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    • @UNDERGRADUATE Group 4 INCOMPOS reassuring himself with an HaAnthony HaBwalya Inside trading paper!

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  1. Good morning Anthony!
    A brilliant write up.
    I’m just wondering why you haven’t been appointed as UPND national youth chair person. The current youth chair – Gilbert Liswaniso is a disaster who can’t debate any issues critically. Well unless you are no longer a youth that’s you haven’t been appointed.
    I endorse you for National Youth Chairperson. And also maybe in your next writeup you should tell why you are not National Youth Chairperson.

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  2. Waiting for the incoherent and critically dull comments of bene Thorn, his wife Sharon and the rest of the shallow twits who reside in Lungu’s bottom.

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  3. PFoools wont understand any thing in this article toooooo dull.. 0 IQ fooools who are only good at stealing from the people of Zambia…with their ka useless scatter teeth president who is actually the worst president on earth. The drunk is also a thieving lawyer wanna be who stole from a widow, theif

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    • I like Prof. HANSONI! How is he? Has he written the UN HAFGAIN on a University Letterhead about xenophobia in South Africa? Oh he can’t or else he would be kicked HAOUTU from there!

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  4. Well written and articulated article. Stating the reality – against which a lot of people have chosen to bury their heads in the sand.

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  5. Lungu was chosen by God and Sata saw this in him, he is humble and we need a humble leader like Lungu to lead us to the promised land. Let us all bow down and pray for Lungu and the PF so that they may continue to lead Zambia. We thank God for Lungu. Amen

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  6. The same upnd who told us Gadaffi was shot by PF cadres when he was shot by his upnd colleague wants to convince us with more lies???

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    • It’s clear Bwalya is merely campaining for UPND for 2021. As such nothing new in the ears of Zambians. The framing of the write up is that of a jealousy competitor, who can never say something good about you. Come 2021 one will cry again.

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  7. The writer of this economic reasoning in those debt analysis is misplaced he has failed to see the Douglas in his review of the economic history Zambia

    Let him see what could have been of the Zambian economy GDP and concessional and concessional Financing had some of these interventions made by GRZ were not done He has to focus on GDP numbers in 2003 and 2011 and see the similarities

    what is lacking in moving the GDP numbers to sustainability is the Productive factors in those Douglas that have not been put to return and reinvest to reduce the debt The PMI composite Index is now its lowest signals productivity

    So the writer should objectively look and analyse the…

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  8. the real issues facing and shaping the Zambian economy from now and long-term The financing methods in debt is one of them reflecting our productivity and returns but you can see these efforts in driving productivity by GRZ You should see the policy stance and see how the GRZ has been trying to manage the economy and increase productivity to manage the trades and account balances You invest but then your economic rate of return is slow Otherwise the Numbers are sustainable if there are sufficient returns from those Investments in the sectors invested

    A historical review since 2000 will help readers to see the long-term futures

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    • Naptjali, the author is one who is biased to the left. Only wants to hear what he wants. He concludes by saying that come 2021 PF must be voted out of power. He is not like you who is looking at things in an analytic way and let the reader make his/her own conclusion.

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  9. Now In these environments of low Growth and Our Productivity Those debt levels if nothing is done to PRODUCTIVITY and GROW the economy on WHICH revenues will accrue could rise by 9.3% with 2019 as baseline This is chiefly would be as result of unattained fiscal deficit reductions as projected in the ministers 2020 budget and that could come with other un intended consequences of the kwacha or increased portfolio of non-concessional debts
    But if Productivity and growth results the median GRZ Gross DEBT to GDP could fall towards a median of 62% and further as PRODUCTIVITY impacts towards those long-term sustainable levels
    So get the excel and put the numbers with 2019 as base…

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  10. as base line and see what the levels and the economy could have been worse-off from 2003 or from 2011 had not GRZ used the infrastructure programmes to manage the economy

    So even putting your analysis on Taylor rule shows that PFs economics in the current Zambian and Global environments is well designed except should be commiserated by Growth

    So your analysis cannot be any better than PFs and they are managing amidst head winds

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  11. The author is indirectly responding to the sentiments attributed to President Lungu that in 2015 and 2016, he defeated the “most intelligent man” in Zambia, the alpha and omega of all solutions, and that in 2021, he will again defeat him clean and squarely. How? Its not for HH and UPND to know the strattegy, but just know that in 2021, HH will be relegated to the political dustbin. Coming to the shallow analysis from this author, a country of Zambia’s economic potential or capacity wealth CANNOT be scared of a USD15 Billion debt, NO! What in fact these guys in UPND are saying is that Zambia must continue lagging behind in infrastructure development so as to appease the short-term thinkers. The word infrastructure is a building of roads, health, schools, agriculture, energy facilities…

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  12. contd
    The word infrastructure is a building of roads, health, schools, agriculture, energy facilities etc. The development of a country wholly depends on the availability of its infrastructural facilities. It also plays an important role in contributing to a higher rate of economic growth. Economic infrastructure refers to the facilities, activities and services which support operation and development of other sectors of the economy. These facilities, activities and services help in increasing the overall productivity of the economy. If you evaluate and compare Zambia with the rest of the world, given the peaceful environment that it enjoys, you realise that Zambia does not have the infrastructure to support any meaningful economic growth. Then, how do you expect your economy to grow…

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  13. contd
    Then, how do you expect your economy to grow when then these facilities are non existent? It therefore leaves one wondering how on earth someone in UPND can be so naive and be so consumed with a USD15 Billion debt which in other countries, this is the money spent on one or two massive projects. In Zambia, this debt cuts across all aspects of the economy. If therefore UPND is so scared of USD15 Billion, it simply mean they are wrong guys altogether. This is money that the economy of Zambia can easily make and repay even from one sector called Agriculture in 3-5 years. I know many would argue this point but aint surprised because they cant read and predict the future. In 2050, the world will be in dare need of food to support the exponential population growth estimated to be around…

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  14. contd
    In 2050, the world will be in dare need of food to support the exponential population growth estimated to be around 8-9 billion people. Africa and Zambia in particular is expected to be the key producer of food given its favourable climate conditions. Zambia is today in this rather peculiar situation because people in the past used to think like HH and UPND are doing today. Postponement of issues does solve anything but rather just compounds the problem. What is expected of anyone worth of their mantle is to exploit the resources at hand SUSTAIN ABLY, study the markets (current and future) and make long-term investments of which modern infrastructure cannot be over emphasized. In short, President Lungu and the PF know exactly what is good for Zambia to foster growth and be able to…

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  15. contd
    In short, President Lungu and the PF know exactly what is good for Zambia to foster growth and be able to support the future generations. HH studied economics but never understood the principles it appears and hence just an empty tin.

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    • Where did Lungu study his economics which he has applied and has resulted in the reverse of all economic indicators? What economic basis exactly are you using to claim that Lungu knows what is right for the country? Can you support your discourse with actual figures on a comparative basis? For example GDP growth under MMD was on average at 6% and under PF it is 2%. Can you explain why you think the negative disparity is a good thing?

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  16. The debt-to-GDP ratio compares a country’s sovereign debt to its total economic output for the year. Its output is measured by gross domestic product. In the first quarter of 2019, the U.S. debt-to-GDP ratio was 103%.

    In the long-term, the Japan General Government Gross Debt to GDP is projected to trend around 249.00 percent in 2020, according to our econometric models.

    At the end of the financial year ending March 2019, UK general government gross debt was £1,821.3 billion, equivalent to 85.2% of gross domestic product (GDP)

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  17. Its a Global transition but countries have comparative advantages in those growth cyclical forecast Our friends have had there growth revised much lower than us below 0.9% YOY Its a taxonomy that requires policies to grow the productivity in those investments that have received allocation of Investments

    You need also to see the real options in the INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENTS like the beauty that comes with ” east gate mall at unza” attracting growth productive sectors There is also a danger of loss in “crowding in ” private sector by not doing these infrastructure developments

    From the humble little economics i know that Under investment over the long-term results in…

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    • Naptjali, the author is one who is biased to the left. Only wants to hear what he wants. He concludes by saying that come 2021 PF must be voted out of power. He is not like you who is looking at things in an analytic way and let the reader make his/her own conclusion.

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  18. over the long-term results in rising prices of good and services over the long-term Prices will normally respond to levels of Investments especially in public good infrastructure and services over the long-term So sometimes the benefits of Investing now is better than postponements to then when prices could have been worse than now if GRZ had not Invested the way they have

    Managing those potholes in those roads is a contractual issue and should not deter infrastructure developments

    It will get better in Real GDP and Investments invested when debt levels re-balance with increased refocus on restructuring to acceptable levels of 40% but not necessary a standard measure

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  19. We ourselves made our choice and when that choice backfires and turns out to be a terrible choice, we comfort ourselves by blaspheming God. God says we reap what WE sow! Zambians sowed Edgar Chagwa Lungu and have reaped a bankrupt Zambia! USD $19.1 Billion from PF lie of USD$ 10 Billion and still counting! We were also told PF has been legally stealing $65 of every borrowed $100! How could someone who stole mercilessly from a poor widow and orphans be expected to spare the treasury? Enjoy your miserable country O naive Zambians who vote for tribal wakos and meaningless reverse songs! People who are used to suffering must continue with bad leaders! To get back at Zambians, I am voting PF again in 2021 to sentence Zambians to 400 years to walk in the PF wilderness!!!!!!!

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  20. Little knowledge is dangerous. Now this guy is misleading the naïve after reading a bit of economics.

    Look at the quotes from tradingeconomics.com

    The debt-to-GDP ratio compares a country’s sovereign debt to its total economic output for the year. Its output is measured by gross domestic product. In the first quarter of 2019, the U.S. debt-to-GDP ratio was 103%.

    In the long-term, the Japan General Government Gross Debt to GDP is projected to trend around 249.00 percent in 2020, according to our econometric models.

    At the end of the financial year ending March 2019, UK general government gross debt was £1,821.3 billion, equivalent to 85.2% of gross domestic product (GDP)

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    • Ba Kennedy, just because Lizards look like Crocodiles does not make Lizards Crocodiles! You can’t compare the US economy to that of a $hithole country like Zambia! Learn to compare Apples with Apples! Zambia is a tiny little Lizard compared to the US Dinosaur!
      It is this habit of copying things blindly that has messed us up as a country! We plagiarize everything from other countries and call that national policy! Are we that deficient when it comes to originating our own ideas which other countries can copy from? If USA and Zambia have Debt to GDP ratios of 103% each, don’t comfort yourselves! You know which one is worse off! This is where DJT is doing a great job by cutting unnecessary spending on wars, the UN, foreign aid, etc. and you know which country will suffer when foreign aid is…

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    • @Kennedy, Japan produces Toyotas, Lexus, Sony, JBL and other interesting things that will keep them going. Imwe you just produce thieves and liars… awe mwe. I even found vinkuwala wanaikila because of exchange rate…

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  21. WE ARE STUCK WITH PF BECAUSE WE DO NOT SEE HOPE ANYWHERE ELSE. NOT EVEN IN PF ITSELF. THE DEVIL WE KNOW IS MUCH BETTER THAN THE TRIBALIST WE DO NOT KNOW. SO WE WILL MOVE WITH PF FOR NOW UNTIL WE SEE A BETTER ALTERNATIVE. UPND HAS NOT CLEANSED ITSELF OF TRIBALISM AND NOW WITH GAYISM. EVEN IF THEY TRY TO SPEAK SOME SWEET ECONOMIC LANGUAGE HERE AND THERE. BUT AT THEIR CORE IS TRIBALISM WHICH WILL DISSIPATE ALL THE HOPES OF ZAMBIANS AND INTRODUCE TRIBAL CLEANSING.

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  22. The debt-to-GDP ratio compares a country’s sovereign debt to its total economic output for the year.

    Now look at my analysis after reading the definition above.

    This year Zambia makes US$26bn and this number will grow by 3% or more. With the amount of infrastructure development and opening the Country for more investment, the nation is likely to its GDP to well over US$40bn in 10 years. Easy.

    Zambia has debt amounting to USD20m to be repaid not in one year but by 2030.

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  23. Zambia has already defaulted on it’s first Eurobond no doubt! In 2022, Zambia will need to pay $750,000,000 in full! Where will the money come from unless we sacrifice our national assets and say bye to our sovereignty? Thus, the borrower shall remain a slave to the lender!

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    • We will borrow from Rwanda in 2022 to pay back the Eurobond then tizakayamba kulipila slowly to the Rwandans. Kaili already ka Bridge over Kazungula kali pa nkongole to Masisi… you are lucky Khama moved away asembe mwakaula a mambala.

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  24. Sovereign Debt in Bonds is not like Private Debt Zambia has so many options to repay and restructure the Euro Bonds in Non concessional and concesional loans including other cost effective ways Its what and how you manage your debt that is important between low and higher amounts of debt Lower debts means a lot of assets accumulations to GDP reduced interest rates and increased investments probably in capital assets lower interest have their own discussion also on availability of capital The biggest issue for capital much needed Zambia therefore is policies that encourages productivity in its factors from those FDIs and others forms of Investments Without productivity no amount of…

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  25. Financing GRZ Budgets and Fiscal Plans in the NDPs investments will put Zambia on a path to sustainable growth and GDP debt ratios that are within “International acceptable Ratios” for long-term.What will make a difference is what you do now with the debts Invested to grow the economy and make a return to re-gear your gearing’s The issue is lack of investments and scarcity of capital for those sites of potential return and how you procure to finance sustainably to invest and make a return to reinvest again

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