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Alba Iulia
Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Government Treasury is empty because of heavy consumption and wastage of public resources-President Hichilema

Headlines Government Treasury is empty because of heavy consumption and wastage of public...

President Hakainde Hichilema says the country’s treasury is empty. Mr Hichilema says this is the reason the country has been failing to service its debt because there is no money in the treasury.

The President attributed the empty treasury to heavy consumption and wastage of public resources.

“We are taking over a country whose treasury is empty. The treasury is empty, there is no money” said President Hichilema.

Mr Hichilema said there is urgent need for a progressive budget that will realign management and usage of public resources away from consumption and wastage to revenue generation and investment in social and economic sectors.

The Head of State said this when he swore- in United Party for National Development ( UPND ) Liuwa Member of Parliament Situmbeko Musokotwane as Minister of Finance.

This will be Dr Musokotwane’s second stint as Minister of Finance, having served in the portfolio in the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) administration over ten years ago under former President Rupiah Banda.

President Hichilema said Dr Musokotwane is highly qualified and has vast experience having served in various positions such as Bank of Zambia Deputy Governor, Deputy Secretary to Cabinet for Economic Affairs as well as special economic advisor to late President Levy Mwanawasa.

President Hichilema has since tasked Dr Musokotwane to draw up a progressive budget and find money to ensure that services begin to reach all Zambians especially the youths and vulnerable mothers across the country.

Mr Hichilema said the office of the Minister of Finance is a core office for the realisation of campaign promises and his administration’s agenda of reviving the economy to promote business growth, and creation of jobs and wealth.

The President has therefore, directed the Minister of Finance to address the tendering process in government and ensure it is taken away from Lusaka to benefit all other regions.

Mr Hichilema stressed that his Presidency comes with a new way of doing things to ensure economic growth.

He said his administration remains committed to creating jobs, attaining food security, promoting business growth and education and health service delivery.

“Frivolous expenditure has no room in my administration except for fiscal discipline. There will no longer be large government delegations and government ministers and officials will have to downgrade from business class, “the President explained.

President Hichilema said his administration will adopt and pursue a zero-tolerance to corruption.

He said his government will let institutions mandated to fight corruption to do their professional job and ensure there is no political interference.

President Hichilema expressed delight that local authorities are already collecting revenue from markets and bus stations following the outlawing of cadreism.

He however challenged local authorities to ensure that they start providing the necessary services to their residents such as clean water, cleaning up markets, decent ablution services among others.

President Hichilema said his administration will vigorously pursue the implementation of the decentralization process as it holds the key to improving governance and provision of services to citizens.

The Head of State called for calm and patience as he continues to constitute his Cabinet. He said he was compelled to first appoint the minister of Finance in order for him to look for money and draw up a budget.

“Be patient, we are in no rush, we are organized, and methodical” said President Hichilema.

He assured that people will be appointed in government on merit and their surname will not be a factor.

The swearing’ in ceremony of Dr Musokotwane was witnessed by Vice President Mutale Nalumango, Secretary to the Cabinet Simon Miti, Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba and Zambia Revenue Authority Commissioner ,General Kingsley Chanda.

Others in attendance were UPND Alliance Council of presidents partners, UPND Secretary General, Batuke Imenda and other senior UPND party and government officials.


  1. Your Excellency, I can help you…take Cornelius Mweetwa to Home Affairs but don’t bring in Sangwa. Otherwise, ka patience theliz no . Quickly set up your team we want results

  2. Come on Bally, you had twenty years to hone your list of ministers – so why the wait? Contrary to your statement, we ARE in a rush!


  4. Calling for dismissal of your fellow citizens without saying what wrong they hv done is not the best way of fixing things. Let’s concentrate on wht was done wrongly.

  5. The Gloved one. Couldn’t touch the Bible with bare hands. Why.?

  6. Doesn’t surprise me that the national coffers are running on empty…
    For those saying he’s had a long time to think of a cabinet, consider that every football manager first accesses the current situation before determining who plays where.

  7. #6 Nemwine It is a serious issue where people act in vengeance. It’s cycle that must be broken. It’s not a way to give promised jobs by firing fellow zambians. Just find out what went wrong and correct it.

  8. @ Nemwine
    Regarding ZRA ?

  9. We all know the treasury was under stress but to just say it’s empty is a wrong sentiment. A few weeks ago the BOZ governor had issued a statement that reserves had actually gone up from $1.4bn to $1.7bn, and with the IMF SDRs of $1.3bn already in our coffers doesn’t that add up to $3.0bn?? Would our currency be appreciating on empty coffers??? That’s a careless statement from the president which will be misinterpreted in many circles in this age of social media.

  10. It’s a big mess lungu and his gang left…….

    From empty coffers to dysfunctional institutions to power hungry population weaned on free cash handouts and bribes to a civil service that operates on cronyism , the task is massive… …….

    HEHH is methodical as he says , days of chipantepante and u turns are gone…..

    After all the appointments, we need to retooth and rearm DEC and ACC to pursue the theives , all theives…….expect some absent PF MPs , who will frequent visitors there

  11. It’s a big mess the previous president and his gang left…….

    From empty coffers to dysfunctional institutions to power hungry population weaned on free cash handouts and bribes to a civil service that operates on cronyism , the task is massive… …….

    HEHH is methodical as he says , days of mediocre leadership and u turns are gone…..

    After all the appointments, we need to retooth and rearm DEC and ACC to pursue the theives , all theives…….expect some absent PF MPs , who will frequent visitors there

  12. From empty coffers to dysfunctional institutions to power hungry population weaned on free cash handouts and bribes to a civil service that operates on cronyism , the task is massive…

  13. Empty in English means, there is no. Taku, kuribilethu, Hakuna.
    Is the statement, Empty coming in as an excuse to failing to fix it?
    There is no? Are you sure Mr. Fixer Bally Sammy? Zeriz no! It is not well. Ni beans iwe.
    Free education fastele iwe bally.
    These are delaying tactics ka.
    I knew it that it would be Government of excuses.
    Even in the game of chess, if a team starts to complain too early, just know it is a losing camp.
    Youths, I think you were duped.
    Otherwise State House Has Fallen mwebantu.

  14. Definitely empty is an overstatement. He means there is little or just enough.
    That’s what with all his promises he was supposedly sworn in to fix.
    Empty but the dollar has plummeted drastically, no correlation.
    Theories and lies culminating into very serious excuse situation.
    He has a handful of impatient people especially the youth looking at him and he is already saying Empty.
    On the flipside, this sounds like a begging Government. We’re gonna be in more debt than we are right now with this tone. Come on, then, declare it a national disaster.

  15. I concur with Zambian citizen. If the coffers are empty, how are we sustaining the kwacha in the forex market? Our treasury is made up of both domestic and foreign reserves. Is the president saying that our country has zero foreign reserves and zero domestic reserves and yet be able to sustain the kwacha? What kind of economics is that?
    My simple interpretation is excuses. It is one thing to criticize and quite another to deliver.
    Welcome to the real world Mr. President!

  16. We’re looking forward to you to fix it, so what’s your problem? I’m surprised that you’re surprised that the Treasury is empty.

  17. All those empowerment programs these reckless morons were dishing out here is the result of Lazy Lungu and Co’s heavy spending just to be re-elected….this is another reason we need a Commission of Inquiry. We also need to find out what the source of funds for the Presidential Fund…you can not have one man buying 2000 solar hammermills from unknown Chi-nese source, buying fuel trucks . We need to know who paid those ministerial salaries for those former ministers who overstayed.

  18. Thank you ba kateka for highlighting what we know to be fact.
    The financial mismanagement under pf was absolutely shocking.
    Hopefully with the restored investor confidence resulting from their anticipation of good policies from the new government and appreciating bonds resulting from the same, things will stabilize.
    It’s great to see investors start pouring forex into the economy as well as buying more government bonds. The kwacha has been bullish as a result. The best performing currency in the world! Imagine if we had continued with another 5years of pf! We would be a next level Zimbabwe with a worthless currency.

  19. And while we are on the subject of the treasury, Mr. President, I would really love to hear you talk about what or how you intend to proceed regarding mining houses as the major earners of foreign currency.
    We all know that the problem that we have had in this area is taxation and non-return of copper earnings back to Zambia.
    If this issue is not addressed, we will not go anywhere.
    What’s the plan with Mopani and KCM? Back to glencore and Vedanta and non payment of Zambian suppliers?
    Address these core issues.

  20. Those asking why he is wearing gloves …do you not know they is covid-19 he is following the guideline. Plus this bible is nothing but a novel located in the fiction section of a Library…how can you be so fooooolish to believe plagiarised stories from Kemet era, FYI “Kemet,” which means the “black land.” The Romans stole you knowledge compiled it together to suit them omitted the greatness of your ancestors..then gave you the bible which has been revised a thousand times to suits Western Kings. Go and open any page in the bible and show me a date …how can you believe such rubbish?
    Wake up from your stupidity…study about sellf!!!

  21. Throwing a towel already?
    It’s hot in there.
    Are you seeing stars? The droopy posture is not welcome at day 3 in office.
    Indeed, welcome to the real world the said Hakainde Sammy Hichilema.
    Are you equal to the task? Let’s see the genius in you.
    Did anyone say it was that easy.

  22. Coffers are empty. We want to fix the economy. We are in no rush. What are you trying to say?

    Don’t throw around words like ‘WANT’ to, you ‘HAVE’ to.

  23. That was just a by the way statement, a highly learned jugde will call it obiter dictum. And also these pf guys were thirsty worms they could have depleted everything if we had let them.

  24. I have seen him empty at talking and vibes, he is definitely not going to ride me through empty at action like I have always guessed.
    Come on Hachilema prove a skeptic like me wrong. Stop talking like that.
    Screen you talk and endeavor to inspire hope.
    I miss ECL kwati.

  25. We all know that the slogan for UPND is forward but what we are seeing is the opposite going backwards to what destroyed the Zambian industry.
    1. Is going back to MMD policies.
    2. Going back to the Old Guard.
    3. Going back to the western world who said they don’t want Africa to develop.
    4. Appointing Musokotwane the same guys who sold the mines on a song.
    5. The same western world who brought un told suffering and deaths to thousands of Zambians .
    6.The western world will not allow any African country to prosper .
    All these shows how we have changed from going forward to going backwards.
    This is just a reminder to our leaders as for me I can see dangers that will repeat the 1992 evils.

  26. Lobyolo – The govt needs to raise money to do that…I feel Hakiande is being kind and courtesy to the PF govt…he needs to tell the people the extent of problem and disclose a lot of information because for some people to tell them coffers are empty they can not believe it as Lazy Lungu was good at recklessly misappropriating funds. When people were shouting corruption where do you think the money was coming from? You enjoyed the loot and bogus empowerment programs…who do you think was funding that exclusive party?
    FYI I am not UPND member I just want a better Zambia!!

  27. nshilimubemba – The same MMD govt that left a very good international rating and reserves…anything is far far better than the damage PF has done in the last 10 years!!

  28. Pharaoh’s Braggadocio – When did your ECL ever talk about the economy extensively…he left everything to his Finance Ministers because he was clueless…really laughable!!

  29. This another reason AG, DEC and ACC should follow up on the former Ministers ….as dull PF supporters will soon start thinking PF were such good managers….really laughable!!

  30. No way. You knew all this before we voted for you. You can’t tell us today about empty cofers.
    Did you and your team for once thought you are contesting in US elections or what?.
    Mwana give us jobs and better salaries. Fyabupuba ifyo watampa.

    You went to vote around 10 do you even have an idea what time I woke up just to give you that trust I banked?.

  31. Tarino @ 23

    1.. Yes, I agree HH must put measures to protect himself from Covid. He will be meeting and shaking people’s hands almost every single day. So questioning his cloves is not fair.

    You are 100% entitled NOT to believe the Bible. Because you have the FREE WILL to do what you want in your life, express yourself, choose how to live your life, what you believe. If you don’t believe in the Bible, it’s all fine. Again, it’s a choice every individual makes.

    However, calling people stupid just because they believe in a certain dogma, religion or faith or the Bible is not up to your call. They have the same right to believe in what they want. You just have to Agree to Disagree and respects what someone believes. If someone believes in the Bible, it should not have any single…

  32. Tarino Orange @ 23

    2.. The world has full of people who are Happy, Healthy, Successful, Wise and Positively-Influential, Game Changers & Make A Big Difference. Yet they DONT BELIEVE in the Bible, Religion or God.

    Just as well…

    The world is also full of people who are Happy, Healthy, Successful, Wise, Game Changers, Positively-Influential & Make A Big Difference. Yet BELIEVE in the Bible and God, because it works for them.

    Have a wonderful day and keep posting comments we all want what is best for Zambia….

  33. Issachar#22 Typical of Zambian politics. The Upnd supporters are not different from PF supporters… it’s follow the leader. There rules are 1 The Boss is Never Wrong, 2 If he’s Wrong refer to Rule No1. And you blame Lungu’s loss on wrong advisers when you are doing exactly that.

  34. #12 Zambian citizen you’re very very wrong. The treasury (ministry of finance) is a different institution from central bank (where forex reserves are maintained)

  35. #22 Used wrong number.. However the point about getting revenue from housing houses is complicated by our fellow Zambians who are always ready to throw spanners in the works. When government demands obligatory contributions from the mines, it’s a Zambian who’s in the forefront to say that the mines are operating at a loss etc. There’s issue of VAT reimbursement, someone does actually help these companies manipulate transactions. Even employment of foreigners in the mines is abetted by Zambians in the Human Resources department of such companies.

  36. INDEPENDENT OBSERVER – Everyone has 100% right to believe in whatever they wish but you should be aware that we are born to believe in Christianity by default. We are taught not to question it, most Africans do not know its origins and the people who created it in relation to their African ancestors, the legitimacy of the characters in the bible.
    I am not here to persuade anyone to convert to any “system of conformity” but to encourage them to ask questions, be curious like they do when they purchase food at the market.

  37. LT next time embed a video with your article…I just watched this swearing ceremony and the new Finance Minsters address to the Press at MOF which is more informative at what the task at hand entails given the challenges left by Lungu’s reckless regime.
    People should be asking where PF was getting all that money for social transfer…

  38. Abanyoli easy , bonse twa li voter but someone cannot just put up a strategy to recovery untill they examine the current status quo and thats why he is disclosing this.

  39. flag Corruption scandals: 48 Houses Social Security Cash Luxury Presidential Jet Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans Honeybee

    Who is surprised that the treasury is empty? With all that massive debt by the PF from the China and inflated contracts, of course it is empty. We were the first country in the world to default on our external and internal debt since the start of COVID-19. Why do you think the IMF was refusing to restructure our debt and refusing to lend us more money?
    By the way even if you have $100 in your bank account, but you have $500 in debt and liability, you have no money as your money -$400. And don’t confuse BOZ printing useless paper money with the treasury, go read.

  40. People knew things were a mess. This is why we voted for you. Don’t tell us about the wrongs of PF, we already know. Tell us the solution and get to work to FIX IT. This is why we employed you through the ballot

  41. Tarino Orange

    Yes and indeed. A child can grow up in a family that instils or even imposes religions such as Christianity, Islam, Judaism etc. But once you become an adult , you can choose what you think is truth or not, and works for you. No one must impose what to believe.

    Today, HH said Zambia will continue to be a Christian Nation. Yet we have non-believers who very are good people. And they are no less humans than religious people of Zambia.

    Keep sharing your views on lusakatimes. We are a people that learn from each other. No person is perfect or knows everything.

  42. Let us be fair to the young Zambians , I will first ask if this Musokotwane has any knowledge about computers in that office, which I know he has no idea about he will be too easy to deceive by any computer geniuses in his office, better you rule Zambia with time and not going back wards .
    It is the youths who voted for you but you are there honouring those who were fast asleep when they were on the road running errands for you, Mr President be grateful to the young people include them in your cabinet to balance up.

  43. By Moombe Hamobola:
    The Zambia Revenue Authority -ZRA- has collected one point four billion Kwacha in the last three months at the Kazungula One Stop Border Post .
    ZRA Corporate Communications Manager Topsy Sikalinda has told journalists in Kazungula that the amount was collected from May 11, 2021 to August 25, 2021
    Mr. Sikalinda says the one point four billion is a huge improvement compared to last year the same period where ZRA collected four hundred million.
    He attributed the increase in revenue collection to the enhanced trade facilitation measures that have come with the benefits of the One Stop Border Post.
    Mr. Sikalinda says the authority has continued to do exceedingly well and beyond expectations despite being affected by the COVID 19 pandemic.

  44. This has been the story under PF lately in as far as revenue collection is concerned and last month secretary to the treasury announced collection of above target in some certain tax system 100% above target so this statement doesn’t appear real unless otherwise. The challenge some of us have is that we have the President who was fond of tongue twisting while in the opposition and we hope that will stop since UPND has formed Govt. You can fault PF on cadrerism and corruption but not on steering the economy out of the doldrums under very difficult circumstances ranging from droughts ,floods depressed copper prices, load shedding, army worms and now covid that closed the entire tourism sector from forex inflows. We also had the international financial cattle that didn’t like Edgar’s…

  45. inclination to China withdraw forex from the system in order to cause price hikes and help with regime change possibly for mineral rights.
    We started seeing the rebounding of the economy with the forex stabilising leading to appreciation just before elections and was bound to continue. With copper prices on the rise and adquate power supply, UPND will only claim credit for the hard work and sweat of the previous Govt. The task is not as daunting as they claim PF has laid a solid foundation for them.

  46. Mr President I very much want you to succeed and I have agreed to most of the statements you have made since you were declared winner. It’s true the Zambian economy has had serious challenges even before Covid-19 but I don’t agree with you that theres no money in the treasury because not even developed countries have money in their treasuries. Recently USA printed money which we can’t do. As an economist you know that governments ‘treasury’is the taxes collected everyday. The collect statement should be our expenses are more than our revenue and that’s what I want to correct. People are discussing loans and confusing them with operating expenses. Even at individual levels if we put together all loans and net them with actual cash in the bank accounts and disregard expected income…

  47. …Even at individual levels if we put together all loans and net them with actual cash in the bank accounts and disregard expected income from salaries most citizens economic outlooks will be worse than Zambia. The same way people borrow on expected salaries that’s how PF also borrowed and you know this fact sir as an economist. What you should tell us is I will reduce the expenditure to match our revenue collections, not that the treasury is empty. Thats deliberately making the previous government look like everything they were doing was wrong. The same way people who genuinely embark on building a house will face financial challenges is the same way we should look at what Zambia is going through as a result of infrastructure development. Sir PF has given Zambia energy independence,…

  48. … upgraded airports, built new schools with 4 universities, built hospitals and upgraded some clinics to mini hospitals, built strategic roads and many more infrastructure. The challenge is we don’t have enough medical staff and no medicines in these hospitals, not enough qualified teachers and lecturers in schools, not enough economic activities for the roads built, not enough industries to benefit from the more electricity we have now etc. These are the major issues Zambians voted you for because after your friends did all these things it’s like amano yalipela. So please engage in drive mode sir.

  49. That is the language they use so that they can steal what is in the coffers we are already seeing the jargon of emptying the treasury , all these guys are crooks.
    We know you found money you want to sweep it into your pockets.
    When they are reporting money coming in from taxes and other world banks then you jump in to say that the coffers are empty, empty strange is this what we are going to see in the five years?

  50. Wow wow, I am scared we may be hearing stories of the government has no money, even par month end when ZRA has paid our taxes into GRZ coffers. I thank ’empty’ is an exaggeration. Why do Zambians like exaggeration? But Bally your job is not to complain but ‘fix it iwe.’

  51. Just fix it, you already said this before elections. Its now time for you to fix it. We also expect free education and 50, 000 employment opportunities this month since you are now in state house. Please just fix

  52. So the 1000 Doctors won’t be employed and the K1500 increment won’t be possible. Ca we re-voted maybe I can take my vote to Trepple H. Hamundudu

  53. You just need to get on with it. Your campaign slogan was “Bally will fix it” so what’s the point of complaining? We know the coffers are empty that’s why PF was voted out of office. You campaigned for years to get to state house now that you are there, you refused to move in. Bally should fix it otherwise we shall fix him in round one.

  54. Very difficult to understand some responses here, unless they are being made with malice. When he says the coffers are ’empty’ do you in your wildest imaginations think literally zero? He is merely amplifying the extent of the financial damage. There is something but we are scrapping at the bottom of the barrel and sane objective people know where most of the money went. Conspicuous consumption that did not benefit the people, opulent mansions built by officials who had nothing before coming into office, over priced tenders – the list goes on. It was free for all for the privileged in the PF regime.

  55. Rebuilding or rectifying this kind of damage is not, and will not be by the stroke of a pen or waving a magic wand. But the unthinking objectors who benefited from the previous regimes banquet table would have us believe that everything should change the day after the inauguration. It’s all tongue cheeked malice that wants to criticise for it’s own sake and claim failure of a government that has just come in and has to go through a process to put a mess of a country in order. It’s good that malicious characters like some of you here and your regime were finally removed from the feasting table and from decision making – and long over due, I might add.

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