9.5 C
Alba Iulia
Sunday, April 11, 2021

Zambia’s Economy is in a Mess: UPND Strategy to Rebuild it

Columns Zambia's Economy is in a Mess: UPND Strategy to Rebuild it

By Joseph Lungu. UPND Deputy Chair, Policy and Research.

Our economy is in a mess. All the pre-2011 developmental gains that the Zambian economy had registered under the MMD government have been completely wiped out by the PF.

The majority of our people are suffering at levels which most of our younger population have never seen before. We are deep in debt, have defaulted, cannot meet our interest payments and now have the world’s second-worst sovereign credit rating.

The interest payments alone, at 44 % of total government revenue, are the second-highest of any country in the world. At the same time, our budget cannot adequately finance the public wage bill and meet the much-needed social expenditures and the value of our once-rising kwacha is now severely eroded.

All in all, we are now saddled with loans that have delivered very little benefit to the Zambian people, but an awful lot of benefit to corrupt politicians and corrupt government officials. So, when they ask us to “Sonta” they are actually asking us to “Sonta” the few that have benefitted from the loans.

The PF administration has now come up with an Economic Recovery Plan. At least we can give them credit that they now acknowledge they have messed up our economy and need a plan to recover. But do we seriously believe that they can dig us out of this mess? Do we really buy into any of their plans when they have destroyed the economy in the first place through their own greed and incompetence? Do greed and incompetence just disappear overnight? Or do we believe they are doing anything to rid themselves of their greed and incompetency? No, we can only remove it through the polls later this year.

We would like to share our immediate (short term) actions to lift our economy to the pre-2011 levels:

  1. Our immediate task will be to engage our creditors to restructure our debt on terms mutually beneficial to our country and our creditors. At the same time, we will engage our multilateral partners to re-establish investor confidence in our economy.
  2. Develop and implement medium to long-term strategies to improve government revenues. This will be anchored on reforming both our tax policies and administration by reducing the number of taxes and focusing on a few but with enhanced capacities to generate higher revenues through improved compliance. In the short term, we will address the currently rampant wastage in government spending and promote accountability among government officials (politicians and civil servants) to ensure every ngwee counts for the benefit of the majority of our people.
  3. Resolve the deteriorating business environment in the mining sector and develop a policy framework anchored on stability for investment and local participation in the mining sector. Everything required to lift productivity in our mining sector is available and ready to go and all that is required is a government that is capable of creating a conducive business environment for investment in the sectors. Copper prices are at their highest annual average rate since 2012, and yet many of our mines are either under care and maintenance or operating at low levels of production. We will improve engagement with key players in the sectors in the formulation of policies.

There is an urgent need to leverage the mining sector to drive economic transformation for our country. Mining is by far Zambia’s largest industry, tax contributor, and employer (direct and indirect, formal and informal employer). It is critical to boosting its performance while at the same time looking to diversify the economy to reduce the country’s reliance on the success of the mining industry – which PF has failed on both counts in their time in government. Under PF, key policy shifts in connection with the.

33 COMMENTS

  1. Rupiah Banda and MMD had the best economy with all pistons firing powerfully. Then clueless PF came and ruined it all.

    9
    4
  2. This is like going to a board meeting with scribbles on a stick-it note. Of particular interest, point 3-Resolve mining sector, what does he mean “resolve”??? Can we have clarity from upnd??? This plan is vague and blur. Engage our creditors??? Isn’t that in motion already??? That’s why Zambians are never convinced by upnd.

    9
    6
  3. To run a viable Economy u need Economic and Financial Literacy Managers. That’s a Commodity u will not find in PF hence the Zambian Economy is in a mess. Change is the spice of life!

    8
    2
  4. Zambia imports too much and producers too little…..the little that is produced is in forigne hands and all monies externalised ….

    Force shopping malls to cut profit margins on local produce to make them more attractive while GRZ should improve work on quality of local produce ……

    3
    2
  5. UPND this is too shallow analysis to convince the educated masses. My interest is in pont number 2 where you claim enhanced revenue mobilisation through reduction in the number of taxes and taxpayer compliance. This cant be achieved reason being that taxes are levied to reaise revenue for the government to meet its operations inter alia servincing its debt. Reduction in the number of taxes constitutes reduced revenue for the government and tax compliance is long term nature. When revenue is reduced how will UPND as government meet its obligations such as wage bill for the civil servants, health, roads, education, debt servincing. No wonder people are still skeptical about voting for UPND.

    6
    1
  6. It is katukas ugly face which is a mess. I had night mares of him last night.how can a party have so many ugly people.

    As for upnd they are just a bunch of opportunists with no solid agenda. Ask them what they will do differently from pf for this country and you won’t get a straight answer. They will start insulting you and calling you corrupt. This is how ignorant baboons operate.

    I just woke up next to my beautiful wlfe who is just walking around our room getting ready. I am just admiring her and thinking how lucky I am.

    6
    8
  7. It’s a shame that someone can say that all economic gains before 2011 are gone… It’s such kind of propaganda that makes most of us not to follow these opposition political parties because we are able to see for ourselves that what he is saying is a complete lie. We have seen what the PF government has done despite some challenges.. learn to speak honestly. Lies won’t buy you votes

    3
    2
  8. Stop speaking in parables and give it to us straight. We don’t another donchi kubeba saga like PF who keep on qualifying what they meant with their “more money in the pocket” slogan. It will reduce on misunderstandings leading to unfortunate statements like ” Utupuba tuletalika”.

  9. Mr Joseph Lungu, would you kindly take trouble to explain what research on policy making is undertaken by UPND? Because whenever Mr Hakainde Hichilema presents any so called vision document on development and welfare, it completely lacks the vision! It never speaks of plans to implement policy and never seems to be a researched one.

    2
    2
  10. UPND, is this all you have? No wonder you guys lose elections. It is not policies that win you elections anywhere in the world. It is POLITICS. Politics is marketing, it is selling what people NEED, not what you have. Just look at what you have written here. What can the single mother of three in Kanyama get out of it? What does the peasant farmer in Muyombe benefit from this? What is in it for Mulenga the street vendor? These are the things you must consider. The ordinary voter does not really care whether the government is in debt or not. He does not care whether Lusambo is corrupt or not. Truth be told people see a tarred road and they applaud the government even if 75% of the money went into an individual’s pocket! If UPND wants to rule Zambia, you must come DOWN to the level of a 4…

    4
    2
  11. Business men are like armchair footballers when it comes to government.
    Transforming UPND & Sons Ltd into a government is likely to be another Trumpian experiment weighed down by the endemic corruption found in every Zambian including Hakainde.

    1
    1
  12. It is always easy to criticise others and difficult to perform. Instead of this tall talk and long essays, why don’t you tell the nation, what is that you would do and how? In the vision documents HH presented about agricultural reforms, youth welfare and economic revolution, there was nothing which spoke about the plan on how the vision will be realised.

    1
    1
  13. Your article is based on hypothesis. Do you really think that there is even an iota of truth in it? You are selling dreams but not telling how they will come true, what would you do to make them come true.

    2
    2
  14. By what stretch of imagination, can launching of ERP amounts to admission that economy is messed up? On the contrary, it is the most vibrant vision and policy document. Economy is never stagnant. It keeps on changing depending upon the market forces and global conditions.

  15. When will UPND give us its plan? All that we need is your manifesto. Since you have not given that yet, it means it is not ready and probably, won’t be ready ever.

    1
    3
  16. In reference to point 1 in this essay – the government is already negotiating with the creditors. Some of them have agreed to help us out while some are taking little time. What is that is not done till now and you would do?

    2
    1
  17. If UPND wants to rule Zambia, you must come DOWN to the level of a 4 year old. Promise sweets. Otherwise, it is continua for PF beyond August. People will not change for anything that they do not know. As the saying goes, ‘Better the devil you know’ and what devils we have known!

    2
    2
  18. You appear to be as clueless as your leader. You both are telling us that the government is not doing its duty and has ruined the economy. But when it comes to talk about the recovery plan, you have nothing to offer. All the solutions you mentioned here are already being implemented.

    1
    2
  19. The point 2 is the most serious. It says, you will develop strategies to improve government revenue! That means you have not worked on it at all. It also means, you will start thinking on the possible solutions when you come to power! What have you been doing all these years? Shouldn’t have you been ready with the plan by now? This shows that you are highly casual about administration and economic revival.

  20. How the so called deteriorating business environment in mining sector will be resolved? What is your plan? What do you mean by framework anchored on stability for investment? Does that mean you will sell the mines to foreign investors? That’s exactly what Mr Hichilema said in the tweet after government acquired majority stake in Mopani Copper Mine. How can people of Zambia trust you when your leader doesn’t have faith in our capacities!

    2
    1
  21. The 3 points to lift the economy are obviously not enough. A lot more work is required to revive economic growth. We all know the economy is struggling but we also know that it is easier to point out the symptoms of a disease than to find a cure for it. Nevertheless, an exclusive article to explain the stragtegy in detail as government did with the ERP would be more appreciated.

    2
    2
  22. You say there is an urgent need to leverage the mining sector to drive economic transformation for our country. Then please tell me, what the government is doing? Isn’t doing exactly the same thing by acquiring majority stakes in strategic mines?

  23. @Kaizer I gave you a thumbs up for your half-naked wife. But women, how on earth do you sleep with such ugly men like Kaizar?

    1
    2
  24. Firstly Multilateral partners that UPND has are the ones that have been funding the party for over a decade. These people will come to collect what they have invested. Secondly when HH was entrusted to privatize government asset, he come out richer than everyone. UPND can not talk about mines because HH their leaders killed the mines. It appears UPND have just started writing their manifesto six months before elections and it is already a grade one piece. Zambians are not blind and can see what PF have done and it is not completely nothing like this article seem to suggest.

    2
    1
  25. It looks like UPND have just started working on their manifesto. We know what HH did to the mines when he had a chance. He sold them for a song and come out very rich. His partners and financiers are Aglo American who are terrible investors.

    1
    1
  26. We take your comments as feedback that will assist us become better. As we believe that iron sharpens iron. Thanks for your comments. We value every feedback especially that which us relevant to our articles. Thanks. Be blessed

  27. These luna.tics are at it. The economy we talk about day in day out, Before privatization this country used to produce 90% of things on the shelves were locally made..HH was a consultant if he had a heart for this country he should have advised the than government to sale 50% share if the was done we can’t be talking about the economy and dollar issue today. Today 95% of things we are using are imported into Zambia. The two mines are for Zambians not for foreigners.

Comments are closed.

- Advertisement -
Loading...

Latest News

Northern Province backs President Lungu’s candidature

Northern Province Minister Chungu Bwalya says the Patriotic Front in Northern Province is ready to support the agenda...

More Articles In This Category

- Advertisement -