United Party for National Development (UPND) Alliance has warned teachers throughout the country against listening to outgoing Vice-President Inonge Wina who, according to the party. is telling desperate lies that her broke Patriotic Front (PF) regime will negotiate a debt swap with financial lending institutions they owe money.
Reacting to remarks by the Vice President over the weekend to expedite debt swap for teachers, UPND National Chairman Steven Katuka said that debt swap is only possible where two parties owe each other for services rendered to both parties and that the party knows that that even Mrs Wina did not believe the lies she was trying to sweet-talk the hardworking teachers whose circumstances have been made difficult by a collapsing economy.
Below is the full statement
Civil service debt swap, another PF Don’t Kubeba
We would like to warn teachers throughout the country against listening to outgoing Vice-President Inonge Wina who is telling desperate lies that her broke Patriotic Front (PF) regime will negotiate a debt swap with financial lending institutions they owe money.
This is, yet, another of the usual PF campaign lies that come when the country is approaching elections. Who does not know that the indebtedness facing many public service workers in particular and Zambians, in general, is due to the PF’s mismanagement of the country’s economy?
It is, therefore, with utter indignation that we have heard Mrs Wina hoodwinking vulnerable teachers in the Western Province that the destructive PF government is committed to negotiating a debt swap on behalf of teachers burdened with debt due to prevailing economic hardships in the country.
We, in the United Party for National Development (UPND) Alliance, are perturbed by these levels of desperation, especially when such lies are being disseminated by an elderly woman who should be worrying about her legacy when she is finally retires next month. Of course, we are aware that our colleagues in the PF are devoid of compelling campaign messages ahead of the August 12 elections. But we still do not understand what makes them think teachers or, indeed, any reasonable Zambian will believe what Mrs Wina is struggling to communicate.Do these financial lending institutions owe the government for Mrs Wina to hallucinate about arranging to a debt swap with individuals working in the public service?
Debt swap is only possible where two parties owe each other for services rendered to both parties. We know that even Mrs Wina did not believe the lies she was trying to sweet-talk our hardworking teachers whose circumstances have been made difficult by a collapsing economy.
Given the prevailing economic environment, we expect Mrs Wina and her friends in the PF government to be more concerned about improving the remunerations of public service workers, without which they will continue borrowing. The indebtedness is due to the high cost of living which has gone up threefold without corresponding increment in their earnings. We urge our teachers, nurses, doctors, engineers and other public service workers not to be excited with such fake promises as they are only intended to woo support for the August general elections.
Public service workers deserve decent salaries and other emoluments to enable them afford their basic needs. Once they stop worrying about their daily family needs, they shall increase productivity and efficiency. Mrs Wina should not think Zambians are not aware that it is the PF government’s lack of fiscal and monetary discipline that led the country defaulting on its loans repayment obligations to international lenders. This should signal to all gullible public service workers that government is in serious financial problems and has no capacity to pay any lender at the moment.
We are also concerned that the target sector for this benevolence announced by Mrs Wina is the teaching service. We all know that teachers are actively involved in presiding over the forthcoming local government, parliamentary and presidential elections. Our teachers are appointed electoral officers to manage elections throughout the country on behalf of the Electoral Commission of Zambia.
What message is Mrs Wina trying to communicate? Why is she only talking about teachers in the PF ‘debt swap’ initiative? We appeal to our hardworking teachers across the country, especially those who will be involved in the management of the August 12 elections, to be patriotic and prevent the PF from engaging in fraudulent. Like other public service workers, teachers have a duty to protect the future of our homeland and our children.
UPND National Chairman