By: Anthony Bwalya – UPND Member
Since the year 2012, the Patriotic Front (PF) has been entrenching political power using excessive public borrowing to appease an often unsuspecting Zambian public under the guise of infrastructure development.
Here is some perspective: the PF has since borrowed around $20bn, in both local and foreign debt.
Out of this amount, only $7.4bn has actually been used to build roads, hospitals, and school buildings – nothing to do with the actual ability for people to access decent, affordable public healthcare or education services.
The other $12.6bn has literally been stolen by PF politicians, who have further diverted substantial portions into party mobilization activities of the PF all across the country.
This is the money Zambians now see Ministers and MPs, including cadres from the PF, now throwing around in gifts and empowerment projects.
Literally, everyone in the PF has morphed into a MOTHER THERESA and a charitable organization by themselves. They are all giving, giving, and giving.
I have always mentioned, that ALL the so-called empowerment schemes being sponsored by the PF are anchored on pure criminal activities of theft, corruption, and fraud against the Zambian people.
Where do you think the so-called Presidential Empowerment Fund Initiative gets its money from? And where do you think the so-called Kalumbila Cooperative get its money from?
So, now, public coffers are dry. The only people and organization with money are the PF, and even theirs is fast drying up.
ENTER DEBT REPAYMENT POSTPONEMENT NOISE
You see, the PF knows very well, that the poverty trap they have deliberately orchestrated in Zambia will very soon backfire on them and potentially stir civil unrest and almost immediate demand for them to vacate office.
This is what happens every time and everywhere when the economy fails and people start scrapping for a living, with no meaningful access to health or education, not even jobs and the currency collapses.
See Zimbabwe and Venezuela.
So, what do they do? With less than 365 days to a historical general election in Zambia, the regime is seeking the keys to the cash vault.
They started with attempts to use BILL 10 as a tool to move monetary policy operations from the Bank of Zambia to a dysfunctional parliament, so that they may be able to print money as they please.
This has turned out to be a long route. They cannot wait.
So, they have now started making noise asking EUROBOND holders to postpone effectively $1.2bn of repayments over Six (6) months.
But the question is: what do you think the PF requires this money for?
The Eurobond holders are NOT foolish. They know what the game plan of the PF is. With $1.2bn in their control, the PF can and will literally BUY OFF the general election even before it has taken place.
They will bribe the ECZ, they will bribe polling station officers, they will bribe the police, they will bribe the Judiciary and they will certainly bribe the electorate.
If and when Eurobond holders make the mistake of granting this evil request by the PF, they will lose much more than the money they are owed. They will have contributed to throwing away Zambia’s chance of starting the long process of rebuilding itself and rethinking how we can make good on our various debt obligations. Not only this, but they will also have contributed towards setting the country on a warpath with itself, because the consequences of a PF victory, aided by debt money, will be catastrophic and will ring out for many years to come.
WHAT ZAMBIA NEEDS NOW IS NOT MONEY.
ZAMBIA NEEDS LEADERSHIP.