By Hakainde Hichilema
Government borrowing affects consumption and saving behaviour of citizens. When the people of Zambia favour us with the opportunity to superintend on the affairs of this country, UPND Government borrowing if at all, will primarily be guided by five fundamental questions in addition to Parliamentary approval, as follows:
- What is the borrowing going to be used for?
- Is the activity going to boost future productivity?
- What is the cost of the loan?
- Which generation will bear the burden of repaying the debt?
- Will the borrowing aid or impede financial market development?
Our friends in PF used the borrowed money to build cheap roads at an exorbitant cost. Surprisingly the roads are already undergoing repairs in less than three years. Also, there is anecdotal evidence of the borrowed money ending in the politicians’ pocket—corruption at its worst. Houses now even grow like mushrooms—boom 48 house with no owners.
The unemployed youth, women, retirees and many others are unable to earn a decent living as almost 80 percent of what ZRA collects go into paying the nkongole leaving nothing for economic development.
Clearly PF have learnt nothing about the dangers of reckless borrowing. Every week they are on the market borrowing through treasury bills and the recently issued COVID 19 bond. That K8 billion Covid 19 bond should have been money available to entrepreneurs and citizens to borrow for help grow our economy — private investment supplements government efforts. Those who try to compete with the government in borrowing in our financial market end up paying high-interest rates.
Can you imagine that our hard working fellow citizens who borrow via mobile money just for one month the interest is as high as 21.4 percent? If you borrow K4,500 within one month, you are expected to pay back K5,463.00.
After we are sworn in with your support, you the people of Zambia, all these huge loans ending in politicians’ pockets, and extortionate loans with high interest that citizens borrow will come to an end. High bank interest rates and the Kwacha will behave. Bally will Fix it.