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Alba Iulia
Friday, September 24, 2021

It will be suicidal for Zambians to vote back Mr Edgar Lungu and the PF-Fred M’membe

Feature Politics It will be suicidal for Zambians to vote back Mr Edgar Lungu...

Socialist Party Presidential candidate Fred M’membe has said that it will be suicidal for Zambians to vote back President Edgar Lungu and the ruling Patriotic Front (PF).

In a statement to the media, Dr M’membe said that a vote for President Lungu and the PF will be a vote to finish off whatever little life still remains in Zambia because the economic trajectory of the country started going down as soon as President Lungu took the reign of power

“A few months before the PF came to power in 2011 Zambia was reclassified as a lower-middle-income country. For the first three years of the PF’s reign under Mr Michael Sata, they managed to maintain the same economic growth trajectory. However, economic growth, which averaged 6.4 percent at the time, immediately started a downward spiral when Mr. Lungu took over the presidency.

“From a growth of 7.6 per cent in 2014, for instance, economic growth plummeted to 2.9 per cent in 2015. And has since been a deteriorating year in year out, reaching to 1.4 per cent in 2019 and negative 4.2 percent last year,” Dr Membe said.

On the fiscal side, De M’membe said the president Lungu and his government threw away fiscal prudence and replaced it with reckless borrowing, done in the name of infrastructure development when it is well known that the ulterior motive has been to create expenditure lines for corruption.

“As a result, we see a fiscal deficit, which basically is borrowing to finance the budget, increasing from an average of 2.5 per cent of GDP per annum when the PF took over to an average of 5.4 percent of GDP per annum under Mr Sata’s reign, to 11.7 per cent last years under Mr Lungu’s PF government.

“The idea of massive infrastructure development was right in and of itself but was not well thought out from the very beginning. It was irrational. The World Bank and the IMF, among many others, advised them to rationalise their infrastructure development expenditure but they were not ready to listen, ” he said.

Dr. M’membe said that there was need for equitable distribution of projects coupled with prudent fiscal consolidation so that every province of Zambia can benefit and the country only spends money that it has.

Dr. M’membe further said that the PF government went into high gear of borrowing for projects that only benefited a few areas at a very expensive cost.

“For example, statistics from the Ministry of Finance show that by end of this year – 2021 – debt service costs will have increased to US $3.3 billion which is equivalent to over ZMW 70 billion at the current exchange rate of K22/US$. So if your domestic resource mobilisation capacity is at K65 billion then you factor in K27 billion for salaries, K4 billion for grant aided institutions and K7 billion for government operations you have a budget deficit of K43 billion.

“When Zambia was classified as a middle-lower income economy, we went to what is called frontier market to borrow money to bridge our financing gap as a country as opposed to the traditional Paris Club members. While some of our debt to China is bilateral, most of it is either quasi-government or commercial. This has very serious consequences,” Dr M’membe said.

Dr. M’membe said that the high dent has made Zambia become a Highly Indebted Poor Country again and that excessive borrowing has increased Zambia’s public debt from 20.8 percent of GDP when the PF took over government in 2011 to more than 100 per cent in 2021, basically put Zambia on the world map for the wrong reason, being the first country to default on its debt service post COVID 19.

Dr M’membe said that the high debt has resulted in higher costs of debt service which the PF government, unfortunately, has now failed to manage adding that, for the first time, the country has defaulted on its debt service obligations, and that Zambia’s sovereignty is at risk because no one knows under what conditions the commercial Chinese debt was contracted.

“This is certainly not a recipe for the revival of our country’s economic fortunes. It’s also not a recipe for governing well,” he concluded.

21 COMMENTS

  1. In some countries, someone who were not paying tax, could not be allowed to stand as Presidential candidate. But here we are made to listen to such people. Zambians PF under Lungu have the solution to our economy, let us give him the vote.

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  2. For the first brother Fred has spoken something very interesting unlike in the past when he was attacking HH and UPND Alliance. For some of our friends in PF they don’t see the damage that has been done to the economy because they have benefited from corruption. Right now Amos Malupenga is busy labourig on Radio 87.7 to justify the debt swap. Even the 3 months grace period will not solve matters because interest will be accumulate in arrears. The whole problem was compounded by PF govt not remitting what was being deducted from civil servants. At the moment the treasury is almost dry and this debt swap is just a gap stop measure to cheat the civil servants in exchange for their votes there after 3 months they will in a worse position than they are in.

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  3. Fred M’membe is a confused Leader of the SP. One day he is attacking HH a fellow Opposition Leader and now he is saying the truth about ECL and PF. On this one Fred M’membe is Right. Voting for ECL and PF is voting for continued suffering,hunger, harassment by PF Cadres, PF Gassing,PF corruption etc. Indeed voting for ECL is suicidal. Should ECL steal his way back in Power Zambia will become a Police-PF Cadre State where our lives will be in danger and our Rights and Freedoms will be taken away by these PF marauding Cadres. The only way to restore Rule of Law, Peace and Stability is to elect HH and UPND Alliance and usher them into State House. President HH will put a Stop to PF Cadre violence and thuggery on the streets, Markets,Townships and Govt Offices. The writing is on the…

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  4. MMembe is back to his senses.
    Yes now that is stuff with substance, not attacking HH over socialist colors like a girl.

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  5. He believed in socialism so much that he got away with not paying tax because he was close to his friend Michael….Fred you propped up PF, you created this monster

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  6. Mmembe in this matter he has dissected Zambia’s economic malignancy with a surgeon’s precision. This is not what one hears from HH who is an economist. HH has one very big problem and that is that he fails to communicate facts to a FOUR year old child. This is the definition of politics. In politics, one must be able to say something so simply that even a 4 year old child can understand. I know that HH will make one of the best Presidents Zambia ever had, but he must pass the hurdle of poor communication. As Dr Ngoma wrote, HH must make people feel good and one way of feeling good is UNDERSTANDING what the man is saying. A doctor can deliver bad news, but still make you feel good.

  7. He has now seen that even PF don’t like him. He thought they would ask him to come back to the wretched PF but now the chicken have come home to roost. It has dawned on him that his fellow plunderers have completely rejected him. The hyena of the political world. The fool is trying to confuse voters with his red colors all out of jealousy to disadvantage the mighty UPND. It will not work. Voters are being sensitized about the evil intensions of the mmembe the foolish tribalist.

  8. This guy is just scheming and he knows his main opponent is capitalism which is the main agenda of UPND and its the weakest to defeat in 2026 if they won this year’s elections because they will come with a lot of baggage. Its very easy to mobilise people on the aspect of social services against a pure capitalist regime. PF and Socialist party have the similar ideology except Socialist is too extreme. UPND regime will be too hostile and intolerant to make inclusive and meaningful progress and that will be its weakness. For instance how do you honestly use seer 1 as one of the campaigners? What sort of culture will this nation be subjected to?

  9. Mmembe your article is a shallow analysis for UPND to digest. We are in this situation because our failure to mine copper/cobalt, process the minerals and manufacture cobalt copper products during MMD, instead we privatised. Mmembe , the adverse impact due to wrong decisions by MMD is what you are seeing today. ECL and PF, though not to our expectations, have put us on the right track to grow our economy and make debts a thing of the past. Now, I am glad I can smile. Mmembe, we sold factories like Kafironda Explosives, mansa batteries etc, you think the adverse impact, in not time, disappeared in the air. Mmembe, the pain is with us. As of now PF is a better party.

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  10. He has however elaborated the challenge the nation has found itself in but he has also not mentioned other serious external factors that have contributed to this problem. Unless he is not privy to whats happening globally with regards to commodity boom and the impending super cycle which make countries like Zambia cash in and help the exchange rate stabilise. With the foundation laid the country will rebound from this depressed situation. Its foolish to allow another party to come and claim credit for the so much work PF has done. The country is in safe hands with ECL. The alternative is not credible enough to bring about real growth.
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  11. Even if Sata had continued we would also be at negative GDP. Bot him and his dull successor have no clue.

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  12. @ Saint, HH started out by preaching such messages about the economy and then realised that Zambians have been conditioned to only be swayed by slogans and empty rhetoric and so he had to dispense with actual intelligent discourse to a language Zambian voters actually understand.

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  13. I agree with you for every project done there is always an ulterior motive to create expenditure lines for corruption. That is why the only development the PF knows is “. Thanks M’membe for the forthrightness in your article.

  14. People wake up, it’s no time to split the votes, let stand together to remove the PF ad lungu. Voting for Mmembe won’t help us to remove lungu ad his cadres, better we concentrate on one thing, ad ws disappointed with Mmembe over HH. Why? Whn u in opposition.

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