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Monday, October 4, 2021

HH’s Statement on Inherited Empty Treasury is a Lie says Andyford Banda as Sean Tembo wonders why the President is Alarming the World

Headlines HH's Statement on Inherited Empty Treasury is a Lie says Andyford Banda...

Opposition People’s Alliance for Change (APC) president Andyford Banda, has charged that President Hakainde Hichilema’s statement that his government has inherited an empty treasury is a lie.

Reacting to statements by the president that his government found the treasury empty, Mr Banda said that this was a mere excuse not to fulfil some of the United Party for National Development (UPND) campaign promises such as Free Education and Youth Employment.

The president told the BBC that he had inherited an “empty” treasury, while “horrifying” amounts of money had been stolen.

“I don’t want to pre-empt things but what we are picking [up] is horrifying,” the president said. “You’ll feel nobody can do a thing like that but it’s being done. People have done it. They are still trying to do things now.”

“Even in 2011 when the PF took over, the MMD Government only left about US$2.4 billion. So the question then becomes; if the US$2.9 billion reserves is the highest that we have had in 13 years, why is President Hichilema insisting and telling the world that he has inherited “empty coffers”, he asked.

Yesterday Bank of Zambia (BoZ) data showed that Zambia’s international gross reserves increased to US $2.9 billion by the end of August, 2021, representing 5.4 months of import cover, from US $1.2 billion three months prior, the highest level since 2015.

The Kwacha appreciated by nearly 30 percent against major currency convertibles between July 1 and August 31, this year, mainly boosted by significant inflows from non-resident investors in government bonds and improved market sentiments.

Opposition PeP leader Sean Tembo
Opposition PeP leader Sean Tembo

Meanwhile, the Opposition leader of the Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP) Sean Tembo has wondered why the president is unnecessarily alarming the world by making wild claims that he has not fully determined.

In a long post on his Facebook page, Mr Tembo said that yesterday he debunked the empty treasury claim by the President and according to his estimate, on the day of his inauguration on 24th August 2021, there was approximately US$3 billion in the coffers.

“And for sure, during their quarterly media briefing this week, the Bank of Zambia indicated that our gross foreign reserves were standing at US$2.9 billion, which is not too far from the US$3 billion that l had estimated earlier. Suffice to mention that the $2.9 billion reserves that we have at the moment is largely due to the SDR allocation that we received of US$1.3 billion. But this is the largest amount of reserves that this country has had in the past 13 years or so.

“Even in 2011 when the PF took over, the MMD Government only left about US$2.4 billion. So the question then becomes; if the US$2.9 billion reserves is the highest that we have had in 13 years, why is President Hichilema insisting and telling the world that he has inherited “empty coffers”, he asked.

Mr Tembo said that while it is too early to stand up and criticise the new Government, it was also too early for them to start messing up the country.

Below is the full statement

1. When you are President of a country, it’s the same as when you’re a CEO of a company; your job is to paint a good picture about the country that you’re leading, in the eyes of your own people and the international community. That is because you need to build confidence. When you build confidence, local investors will bring back the money that they had stashed away and invest it locally because you as the President has painted a rosy picture about the country’s future outlook. Similarly, foreign investors will make the country to be their number one investment destination, because the future outlook is bright.

2. That is why l was shocked when l watched President Hakainde Hichilema’s interview yesterday with the BBC’s Lukwesa Burak. The President painted Zambia’s future economic outlook in the eyes of the world as black. Not grey or brown, but black. He did this in two ways; firstly by saying that Zambia’s debt burden is bigger than the PF government had disclosed. In other words, that there was hidden debt, but without revealing how much that hidden debt was. The journalist asked him how much is the hidden debt that we are talking about here, and the President said that his Government is yet to determine. So why go to the media to alarm the world if you have not yet determined the exact amount of the so-called hidden debt? How do you even know that the debt is hidden before you confirm it with the actual creditors? In auditing we don’t take any debt on face value until such a time that you meet the creditors and they confirm the details of the debt and they have provided its amortization schedule to-date. So far President Hichilema’s Government has not convened any creditors meeting that we know about. His alarmist statements are based on the small bits of exaggerated information that his “sources” are giving him in the system, in a desperate quest to save their jobs under the new Government.

3. The total effect of the President making such a wild statement about hidden debt, which is not quantified is that he is leaving up to the world to speculate about the quantum of the alleged hidden debt. The world is now thinking; could the alleged hidden debt be US$1 billion? Maybe US$5 billion? Or perhaps it is US$15 billion? Or maybe US$75 billion? Well, nobody knows for sure but one thing is certain; there is no investor from anywhere in the world who will want to come and invest in Zambia. No one. And for sure, immediately after the President’s alarmist statement, the yields on our Eurobond dropped by about 600 basis points which is a bigger fall than that which was caused by pre-election uncertainty. This means that we will now struggle to refinance our Eurobonds when they fall due in 2022, 2023 and 2024.

4. When l featured on Radio Phoenix “Let the People Talk” earlier this week, l made it clear that the international community had a lot of confidence in the new administration as witnessed by the gain in the yield of our Eurobonds the moment that Mr Hichilema was announced the winner of the general elections. I also made it clear that such investor confidence will make it easier for us to refinance our Eurobonds once they become due in the next couple of years, and that it will remain until such a time that the UPND Government messes it up themselves. Unbeknown to me that the President was actually planning to do just that; mess up the investor confidence through unsolicited wild statements that are not backed up by any actual figures!

5. Suffice to mention that the issue of hidden debt is not the only unsubstantiated wild allegation that the President has made. During the interview President Hichilema repeated his previous baseless claims that he was inheriting an “empty treasury”. During my interview on Radio Phoenix on Tuesday, l debunked that claim by the President and l estimated that on the day of his inauguration on 24th August 2021, there was approximately US$3 billion in the coffers. And for sure, during their quarterly media briefing this week, the Bank of Zambia indicated that our gross foreign reserves were standing at US$2.9 billion, which is not too far from the US$3 billion that l had estimated earlier. Suffice to mention that the $2.9 billion reserves that we have at the moment is largely due to the SDR allocation that we received of US$1.3 billion. But this is the largest amount of reserves that this country has had in the past 13 years or so. Even in 2011 when the PF took over, the MMD Government only left about US$2.4 billion. So the question then becomes; if the US$2.9 billion reserves is the highest that we have had in 13 years, why is President Hichilema insisting and telling the world that he has inherited “empty coffers”? Why unnecessarily alarm the world?

6. That is the question which the Zambian people should be asking themselves. Why is President Hichilema unnecessarily alarming the world? In my view, it is because of self-aggrandizement. President Hichilema wants to exaggerate the extent to which the economy was damaged by the PF so that he can use it to escape some of the grandiose promises that he made to Zambians before elections such as free education from nursery school to University. And to some extent, the BBC’s Lukwesa Burak was able to figure that out and decided to pin him with a question of whether he will still go ahead with his promise of free education in view of the extremely bad state of the economy, to which he started making it conditional that free education will be provided to bright students only. But why is President Hichilema playing politics with our economy so early in his tenure of office? Why is he putting his personal and partisan interests ahead of the national interest? Where is he going to take this country in the next 5 years if politicking is more important to him than genuinely turning around the economy and improving the lives of the Zambian people? And when we stand up and condemn such selfish actions, they say it is too early to criticize. Well, it is also too early for them to start messing up our country.

I am very worried about where we are going.

59 COMMENTS

  1. What is alarming is the shallow level of the opposition for the next five years. They have nothing to offer in terms of so called checks and balances.

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  2. This is embarassing from Tembo who claims to have a business/financial background. Reserves are reserves, they’re NOT for Consumption. Can the UPND use these reserves to pay civil servants or build a road or clinic? No they can’t because these are reserves.

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  3. Even if we’re not educated we are able to separate reality from fiction. You have a currency that has a miraculous appreciation and people getting their salaries on but the coffers are empty? Are ever going to get straight people in government? Inama yaba ice tainona cacine. The same PF mentality of defending the indefensible is loudly demonstrated. This man said he was going to solve the problems in record time, he didn’t promise to give a record number of excuses. Pichen Kazembe has song called ba Willie. Listen to it.

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  4. This is the shallow mentality of people like Andyford who prefer lying instead of telling the truth like it is. It is disingenous. If Andyford has facts contradcting the government let him present them for all to see. He has no evidence that the president is telling lies. ANDYFORD grow up, behave like a responsible politician.

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  5. First of all, BOZ should not include the $1.3 billion credit facility extended to all countries by the IMF as part of the international reserves.
    Seriously ,you owe local suppliers $5 billion and international lenders in excess of $15 billion.
    How possibly can you have cash reserves??
    You cant equate debt to cash reserves.

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  6. Who is Sean Tembo?

    An interesting article about Sean Tembo below:

    A local consultancy company, Enosyst Consulting and its managing director Sean Tembo could be investigated for corruption after forgery of research findings into a study intended to guide the formulation of Ministry of Health framework to tackle drug abuse in this country…….,,,,,,

    https : / / w w w(dot)thegazette(dot)news/business-2/consultancy-company-fakes-research-findings/

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  7. From Govt of Bandits to Govt of lies,,,,,hahahaha Politician is a wicked man….now what happens to the youths….Food is getting more expensive…Fuel is still expensive…just people lining up to buy Zambia…USA, INDIA, CHINA….soon you will miss Lungu

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  8. Banda and Sean Tembo, serious investors already know that the investment environment under PF and ECL was too risky compared to the investment environment under the UPND alliance and HH. You can fool the few voters who voted for you but not clever investors and the majority Zambians who voted for HH and the UPND alliance. Which investors have been alarmed with the BBC interview HH had?? What have these investors said for you to claim they are alarmed with a leader who is prepared to tell them the truth that money was mismanaged under the PF regime?? HH is not stupid to cheat investors and those who have outstanding loans with Zambia that Zambia has enough money when PF failed to even pay interest on outstanding loans!! Just nurse your losses during the last elections. HH and UPND alliance…

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  9. Please differentiate between reserves and coffers. If the only money that have is that which you can use when there is a funeral in the family, then my friend, you are broke.

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  10. Speak the truth. Financial markets were aware that PF was borrowing recklessly and there was hidden debt. This is actually good because will slow down the leachate appreciation. Sean Tembo has become a very ardent critic of HH.

    These issues have to be brought to the fore and be reckoned with,.

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  11. “OPPOSITION PEOPLE’S ALLIANCE FOR CHANGE (APC) PRESIDENT ANDYFORD BANDA, HAS CHARGED THAT PRESIDENT HAKAINDE HICHILEMA’S STATEMENT THAT HIS GOVERNMENT HAS INHERITED AN EMPTY TREASURY IS A LIE”.
    “MR TEMBO SAID THAT YESTERDAY HE DEBUNKED THE EMPTY TREASURY CLAIM BY THE PRESIDENT AND ACCORDING TO HIS ESTIMATE, ON THE DAY OF HIS INAUGURATION ON 24TH AUGUST 2021, THERE WAS APPROXIMATELY US$3 BILLION IN THE COFFERS.
    “AND FOR SURE, DURING THEIR QUARTERLY MEDIA BRIEFING THIS WEEK, THE BANK OF ZAMBIA INDICATED THAT OUR GROSS FOREIGN RESERVES WERE STANDING AT US$2.9 BILLION, WHICH IS NOT TOO FAR FROM THE US$3 BILLION THAT L HAD ESTIMATED EARLIER”.

    # Mr Andyford Banda & Mr Sean Tembo!

    If you two leaders don’t understand the differences between RESERVES and TREASURY, then your followers…

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  12. Don’t know about you but I did not think HH meant there was no ngwee when he said ” coffers were empty.”
    It’s a figure of speech. When you nephew asks you for money and you respond ” I don’t have any money” do you mean there’s nothing in the bank, no savings and no money tied in capital assets?

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  13. The challenge for all is to define empty. A few days ago, salaries were paid and grants could be disbursed soon. Depending on what he meant, empty could mean zero, 1 billion or 30 billion. The media should ask at a media briefing

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  14. By HEHH telling it as it is , he has halted the appreciation of the Kwacha with out intervention ……..

    Some would call this a master move……

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  15. Ladies and Gentlemen we have now officially switched over from Government of Bandits to Government of Liars…..HH IS NOW LIAR IN CHIEF….all his followers will soon be hiding in shame….so no difference between a thief and a liar….

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  16. Strategic reserves are like your minimum balance in your bank account..its there but you cant touch it.If you touch it then you are closing your account.Get your facts right iwe chi banda na chi tembo

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  17. H.HH make sure you give us positive things as you not counting problems starting from campaign until now PF’s errors as gone we were tired on hearing from pf’s complaints and starting hearing from no HE.HH.2026 is near walk up plz.

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  18. If indeed the UPND has inherited an empty treasury then there’s really nothing to look forward to. They have to start generating some revenue from the scratch. Where are we headed to?

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  19. Kaizar you are just a scumbag who cannot contribute anything to the discussion. All you know is tribalism I am above that nonsense. Insults will get you nowhere. You cannot even your real name what are you afraid of. Your Andyford just revealed how ignorant he is about econmics and finance.

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  20. Its interesting how these nonentities are already campaigning for 2026 while trying to replace PF. Now that Bally has fixed the freedom of speech, they are mushrooming all over.
    The point is that if your 90% of your revenue goes to servicing debts and payment of salaries, you do not have money for any other services that government is is expected to carry out like village sanitation, etc, which means you are BROKE….YOU HAVE….. NO MONEY.
    Reserves are for rain days, just as @chentigo commented above, reserves are “like your minimum balance in your bank account..its there but you cant touch it.If you touch it then you are closing your account.”. To use that money, there will have to be parliamentary approval.

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  21. Please break it down for me please please napapata…so I should also now start telling my wife that even though the bank account is showing minuses since my friends Banda and Tembo have said they will lend me K2,000 then I should also tell Judy that I have K2,000?
    Economists and finance guys please explain it clearly for us in IT twishibe..pantu I cant be telling people that I don’t have a coin when Sean and Andyford are ready to lend me K2,000

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  22. Mr Kaizar zulu, I saw you fighting on the video with someone saying don’t point this on me. What happened Sir

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  23. Please sir,do not address this impersonator as Kaizer Zulu. As much as they are both horrible human beings, do not inflate this scumbag’s ego by calling him what he is not.

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  24. Coca-Cola loses $4 billion in market value after Cristiano Ronaldo shuns or moves away Coke bottles from the conference table.
    This is analogous to hh behavior on TV and media as it regards our country. Discrediting the nation like that is tantamount to moving coke bottles aside.
    Bakateka besu cikopo sana. I wonder why he keeps lying. If MMD left US$2.4 billion did PF complain and yell to the world? And PF left US$2.9 billion in reserves as in this article why lie? Why hh why? Caught red handed.
    Gon’ga presido.

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  25. Ba @statehousehasfallen..icikopo niwebo. MMD left $2.4bn in reserves and the country was owing just about $600m in bilateral and multilateral debts. The country today is owing over $18 billion and you think the reserves left by PF are anything worth talking about. Just wait for a full exposure of the PF theft which i believe will warrant a lifting of ECL’s immunity in due course.

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  26. So, HH expects government coffers to be full. Is government not supposed to be using the money it generates from taxes to provide services to its people. Is it not prudent management of the economy that even when tax money is spend on service delivery government has $3 billon in reserves? Which empty coffers is HH talking about when NRF has been announcing periodically how much money it rakes in from road tolls or when ZRA is now telling us it has exceeded the target for revenue collection set for it? It is good Andyford Banda and Sean Tembo are taking on HH for peddling lies to the outside world and trying to find excuses for the fantastic campaign promises he made and is realising he will not fulfill. HH is already throwing his arms in the air and telling us what we know that he is…

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  27. … just a damn liar. In addition to that HH even when he is President of the country is showing to all and sundry how unpatriotic he is by telling lies about the country’s debt situation and state coffers.

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  28. Is there a way LT can start blocking some people because all they know is insults and that does not benefit anybody here. That Tembo guy is also attention seeker and nothing else.

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  29. These two folks do not understand why countries have reserves. HH is right. Beside reserves, the coffers are empty. Sean Tembo is very childish.

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  30. He simply doesn’t have self esteem or self belief.
    Police Questioning: I want the world to know
    Low leveled coffers: World I have inherited empty account.

    What kind of a coward president is this?
    Please sir if you are no courageous enough give it to Nkombo he seems to be man enough.

    DAY10

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  31. Why are u guys even wasting your time here trying to argue with the two nonentities above? Don’t even a school pupil know that Zambia is Broke by now?

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  32. Werent these two , Andyford Banda and Sean Tembo even defeated by rejected ballot papers in the elections, their votes combined were even beaten by rejected ballots, and they should today be hallucinating

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  33. If govt is not broke, can Andyford explain why govt was not paying microfinance banks on behalf of civil servants with loans ? Remember the debt swap initiative ? Why was PF kicked out due to lack of even simple pain killers in govt hospitals ? Zambia is among the least vaccinated Sadc countries against Covid-19 coz we have to wait for free vaccine handouts. Was it just a case of criminal negligence by the recently “deceased PF” ? Andyford should be impeached by his party executive if he can’t understand basic issues……we had no census in 2020 coz Zed is butt broke…..

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  34. These are the effects of having 16 Presidential candidates, two real contenders and 14 comedians. They are now exposing their antics, sorry the theater is closed, no more drama

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  35. Ba Performance Failures are very dull. Insults, hatred, mistreatment by these Criminals is what made HH a hero in the eyes of the Voters. Continue insulting and see if you will come back to power.

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  36. People whether we like it or not Mr Hakainde is the Republican president. I urge all of us debating to educate each other instead of insulting those with different opinions. After all PF was voted out because of suppression of freedom of speech among other reasons. As Kaiser, the more you talk about him the more you encourage him to post those detestables.

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  37. PF [email protected] looted the country, we have always said that, Lungu and his crew where there just to loot, pity the id1ot Lungu couldn’t even think of cleaning those stinking ugly yellow teeth, as for this d0g called KZ, his days are numbered… Just all these PF d0gs are numbered

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  38. 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

    You have $30 billion in debt and you have “gross” reserves of $3 billion, you are effectively broke. We are the only country to default on our debt… these are facts! Argue all the semantics you like but Bally is right.

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  39. Andyford should not display his 1diocy in public like that. Has he even been to school? I wonder!

    If the coffers were not empty why were civil servants not getting their pay on time? Why did PF default on the bonds if there was money?

    If there is money where is it? Is it stacked in Andyford and kaiser s houses?

    How much money was left if PF thugs were given millions to display on their beds and show off?

    Thanks to Andford we have to start with him searching for money then go to Kaiser and then others.

    On the question of disclosing the financial status of the Country it is right for the incoming government to ask the outgoing government how much is left. If HH did not mention it the question would have been asked in parliament. And a true picture of the Country s finances…

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  40. This reasoning is embarrassing……….

    They think like lungu, that reserves are for spending……..

    Nothing to debate here…..

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  41. Really shocking that Sean Tembo thinks reserves is money meant to run the country, reserves are reserves and you have 15 billion dollars bounty on your head as debt, and Sean thinks the country is well oiled, un believable

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  42. CHAKUBA BANDA NDABA UNALUZA KUYIPA. NGATI NI BA SHANI TEMBO BEVE SITIKAMBA. YOU TWO ARE TOO BITTER WITH HH JUST BECAUSE YOU LOST AND HE BEAT YOU CONVINCINGLY. QUICKLY COME TO TERMS WITH REALITY LICK YOUR WOUNDS IN DIGNIFIED SILENCE. STOP HOWLING!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  43. Comparing MMD with figures on paper and economics of the lower dollar, lower inflation rate, good growth in GDP and all the good economic talk when you don’t own a mine and you have horrible roads and ran down infrastructure is not my thing.
    I believe in seeing, money generators like toll gates, good bridges, a deconjested Lusaka, built hospitals not mobile ones, schools, good road infrastructure, market shelters, Airports and any more staff in the country. Quantify all the money and take it to the treasury. Take the surplus and pay your debt then come let’s talk.

  44. Comment: Ala nomba elyo lwanya. The devil you know is better than angel you have never seen. As our expectatins are high. People will kill others just to satisfy their desires. Those empty promise have resulted in empty tressury. What a shock.!

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  45. Zambia was looking war torn under mmd but good in the coffers with imf money full of conditions.
    Not a good place to be.

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  46. Simple logic, if you are not eating from your reserves, then it simply means you are able to make ends meet.YES! NOT BROKE

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  47. When handover Instruments of power the out going ruling party should also handover a statement of account showing how much is left in State coffers. Otherwise this circus of just handover over a briefcase not even seeing what is inside that briefcase will continue.

  48. Aren’t the international community laughing at us quaralling about whether the coffers are empty or not? Someone is now saying empty is relative, kikiki. Bane empty is empty. Are you saying the treasury is half empty or quarter empty. Please napapata spare me, kikiki. Any way lets give our president some time to settle say three months I am sure if he issued a wrong statement he will come and correct it . The one who organised that interview is the one who made a mistake. Kuti umunenu talaikala nabwino pa chipuna ati balemita. Its like inviting a newly wedded person for a family meeting in another town.

  49. Mr HH is our republican president yes, but to have a president who tells lies is not good for anyone. its common sense to note that the term EMPTY RESERVES used here by our president is not ok or is not true to say the least. for Gods sake let the man say the truth and he will get our support for this regime to succeed ,but this lie is demoralising, its actually trying to say I WILL NOT BE ABLE TO FULFILL MY PROMISES ANYTIME SOON BECAUSE THERE IS NO MONEY HERE. we all need to support the president and the president needs to tell us the truth for us to have confidence in him and his GRZ. otherwise NOT EVEN A KING IS WISER THAN THE PEOPLE HE LEADS, So the saying goes.

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  50. Let us put politics aside and see how we can help the government to make Zambia a better place. We have to fold our sleeves get to work. Time to cry is over show me that you a better than my former husband.

  51. Don’t post like you didn’t win, you won my friend. Easy on the toxic rants and thoughts. You won. Time to Enjoy!

  52. Even if mmd left $600 million they lest the country like an abandoned village. Pf have left $12b with a roast infratrures program which is an matched not even the current regime can try to emulate. Without pf boldness in spent as they spent we can’t have a president staying in new Kasma and move on the daily basis to syayenouse for work without the Lusaka reconnection project. HH and his party must be advised to get to work and put up clear programed to out smart pf otherwise they are dead meant in 2026. Pf raised a high bar in as far as infrastructure is concerned.

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