Saturday, February 24, 2024

We are headed for very difficult times, UPND have failed to deliver on many of their promises

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By Dr. Fred M’membe

When the UPND took over the running of government in August 2021 the prices of petrol and low sulphur diesel were K17.62 and K17.82 respectively. Today, seven months later, the fuel prices are K26.50 for petrol (50.4 per cent higher) and K26.22 for low sulphur diesel (50.5 per cent higher). The UPND leadership had promised the Zambian people fuel price reductions of at least K4.02 if they were voted into office. They went to length to demonstrate arithmetically how this fuel price reduction would be achieved.

Today the story has changed. Makani abija! Like for many other things they promised but have failed to deliver, so many things or factors are being blamed for this failed fuel price reduction. On Tuesday, January 25, 2022, the Energy Regulatory Board announced that they were migrating to a thirty-day pricing cycle for petrol, diesel and low sulphur gas oil. And in that regard, fuel prices would now be reviewed every month starting with January, 2022. We warned that it was highly unlikely that fuel prices will be reduced at these reviews – they will instead be increased.

The price of fuel has a significant weighting in the basket of goods and services that are used to measure inflation in the country. Producers of services and goods are also expected to factor in the higher cost of fuel. This makes fuel prices a key determinant of the rate of inflation.

The economy also uses diesel for transportation, power generation and running of agricultural machinery such as tractors, with a direct impact on the cost of farm produce. At the individual level, higher fuel prices mean that each of us pays more at the filling station, leaving less to spend on other goods and services. But higher fuel prices affect more than just the cost to fill up at the filling station; higher fuel prices have an effect on the broader economy. Inversely, when fuel prices fall, it is cheaper to fill up the tank for both households and businesses, and really eases costs on transportation-focused industries like trucking and buses – but it also puts a damper on the domestic fuel industry.

In general, higher fuel prices are a drag on the economy. When fuel prices rise, it can be a drag on the economy – impacting everything from consumer spending to bus fares to hiring practices. Fuel is an important input for transportation, which directly impacts households as they drive, but also businesses that rely on logistics and transportation chains. If discretionary spending is hampered by higher fuel costs, it can have knock-on effects throughout the broader economy.

A side effect of high fuel prices is that the discretionary spending of consumers drops as they spend a relatively larger portion of their income on fuel. Higher fuel prices also mean that shoppers will tend to drive less – including to places like the mall or shopping centers. All retailers are further squeezed as they are forced to pass on the higher expenses they also experience, which are associated with increased shipping costs to consumers. Anything that has to be transported could cost more as fuel prices rise. Likewise, many products that contain plastics or synthetic materials are based in part on petroleum. Higher fuel prices mean higher prices for these materials too.

Rising fuel prices will negatively impact efforts at economic recovery in terms of hiring practices. Rising fuel prices will force some businesses to re-evaluate their hiring plans, holding off because they are uncertain about the economy’s health. Less discretionary spending results in decreased sales, both of which can influence a company’s ability to hire.

Many job candidates have to weigh prospective positions against the costs associated with the commute. Some workers who have been offered new jobs have been forced to turn down the position simply because the costs to get to and from work would eat up such a large percentage of the salary. There is an undeniable correlation between consumer confidence, spending habits, and fuel prices. Increases in fuel prices makes people feel more pessimistic about the economy.

Clearly, we are headed for very difficult times!

37 COMMENTS

  1. Firing technocrats under the blanket of corruption and yet the real reason is to create jobs for your supporters is the most unwise thing Mr Hakainde has done. In the process you have fired people who could have guided you through their experience on matters like this.
    Remember the story of the young chief who ordered the killing of all old men in his village…it turned out to be a grave mistake. What can a person like Kawana contribute to the development of the country a part from parroting without comprehending.

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  2. Firing technocrats under the impression of corruption is the most unwise thing Mr Hakainde has committed. In the process even people who could have guided you through experience got fired simply because you want to create space for your supporters. Remember the story of the young Chief who ordered the killing of all old people in his village…it turned out to be a grave mistake. What can a person like Kawana contribute to the development of the country apart from parroting without comprehending….he jump ship as soon as he senses that Upnd is losing.

  3. Where was such an article when PF and Michael Sata failed to deliver on “more money in your pockets in 90 days” Bwana Mmembe ???

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  4. Oh please, here we go again, yet ANOTHER far toooooo looooooong article from Uncle Fred, remember him? He got 0.00000001% of the votes in last year’s election, and failed to get even ONE seat in parliament. And therefore we should just IGNORE the nonsense he dreams up. Fred, go get a newspaper and fill it to your heart’s content, but don’t bother us

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  5. It’s a real shame that a presidential candidate like membe does not know what is happening on the world stage……….

    Ignorance is dangerous………….

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  6. Membe is right. The fuel increases started long before the Russia-Ukrean conflict during the reign of upnd. Who is the government trying to hoodwink?

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  7. We warned you about under 5 ati no pf is corrupt. now see your lives. Moonyellow to whoever voted those failures in. Me I am not suffering . I invested wisely and can weather the storm. Your daughters are now coming to me for money favours in exchange for doombwiza all because daddy voted f00Iishly

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  8. WHY CANT THESE PF BLOGGERS REALISE THEY LOST !!
    PF LEGACY HUGE NATIONAL DEBT !!
    THE WORLD IS PRAYING WITH US THAT PF IS BURIED WITH UNIP NEVER TO RETURN
    UNIP STANDS MORE CHANCE OF RECOVERY IN THE DISTANT FUTURE THAN PF
    GET THAT IN YOUR THICK HEADS

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  9. Can you please call back the Lecturer to come explain again to come and lecture us again on how to reduce the cost of fuel!!!
    Professor Hakainde…… we are waiting!

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  10. #6 Spaka So it’s now you are knowing what goes on in the world. You didn’t agree with MR IT’S GLOBAL. And how come what’s happening in the world only affects Zambia in our region? Rwanda have even reduced the price. What has happened to the promises to remove the middle men? You are able to get rid of middle men in the scandalous pole purchase but not in oil… wait a minute… some Upnd official owns an oil truck or not?

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  11. #9 TIKKI the subject is not about PF losing, it’s about the injuries your Government is inflicting on me….I talk about myself because I don’t know about other people’s views. Whether PF bounces back or not or whether Upnd will win the next election is not the issue here Please be focused if you want to learn. I hope Upnd members have a special filling station where they are given free fuel.

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  12. This man must think beyond the box. Raising prices are anticipated world wide. Even here 2€/litre = K40
    What is the DIFFERENCE???

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  13. WE ARE IN BETTER AND SAFER HANDS. WE NEED TO THANK OURSELVES FOR BOOTING OUT YOUR VERY INCOMPETENT PF CORRUPT THIEVES – “BAKELENKA”. WE HAVE A VERY STABLE PRESIDENT WHO WILL STEAR THE SHIP OUT OF THE INCREASING TUBULANT TIMES. IN FACT IF WE GIVE HIM ALL THE SUPPORT, HE WILL TURN THE CURRENT CHALLENGES INTO OPPORTUNITIES, WHICH WILL ALSO BENFIT YOUR RELATIVES, GARDEN BOY AND COOK.

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  14. @ Deja Vu
    Yes Sir times are hard for all of us indeed
    Now you tell me how do you take over a bankrupt country, riddled with corruption and unwanted looting
    and fix such without putting in good economic policies as painful as they may be ….
    You still want subsidies etc ?
    I blame previous Gov”s yes … as they started this rot thus our position now
    The ills of this country cannot be fix now or in 5 years this is a long term project
    First is to get rid of corruption its in every Gov department … No easy task to change a mindset

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  15. The gov should do more to address prices of commodities moreso for fuel pursuing options possible to reduce cost even procurement on reserve margins to make money Small prices of commodities have pychological impact on expectations of prices and others that should be modelled to achieve economic performance though making no decision and allow market to self correct is a decisions but it could be a hard landing for the economy exploration in fields potential and Investments in storage in those critical metals for batteries could be a could transition long-term For your cdf you rather fund more councils for revenues and capacity now and also see how FInancing is achieved long-term retain the Presidential projects monitoring also otherwise you are failing

  16. #15 TIKKI. Incredible! Mr Hakainde created this room for criticism by himself: 1) He confidently used to tell us he was being briefed daily on Government goings on…. implying he knew exactly the situation.
    2) Himself confidently assured us he was going to reverse all the negatives created by the Lungu Government (in hours,days and weeks).
    The first sign of the lies were manifested by the claim they inherited empty coffers but were able to operate by magic.
    South Africa and Rwanda have reduced fuel prices while others have kept the old ones. Sensibly the Government is not coming out in the open the real reason behind the hike. If it’s because of IMF they should tell us, we are human and we will understand.

  17. What most businesses are complaining about is instability. This idea of adjusting fuel prices every month isn’t good for business and economy.

    We’re better off with high prices that are stable but low prices that aren’t stable.

    Cant we find a solution of adjusting say every 3-6months?

  18. Says the man who contributed to the confusion by promoting pf until godfather was called to heaven then all hell broke loose…can DBZ collect that debt with interest it must have now spiraled out of control…please pay us back with your defuncted airline

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  19. Ba hakainde ba hakainde moneni efyo chaba do something consider Angola it mighht just work out for the country

  20. It’s the story of our lives! Look, I really don’t see the point of tearing each other’s heads off. Whether you trust absolutely, or are doubtful – the die is cast! But, at the end of this Presidential term, one side will be vindicated and the real schmucks revealed! As of now, let’s be measured either way.

    #plant a tree please!

  21. BEMBAS ARE POLITICALLY WISER THAN THE BANTU BOTATWE AND UPND IS EASY TO REMOVE FROM POWER

    1. Bembaz believe in raising and grooming many politicians that are presidential material whilst the Bantu botatwe believe IN ONE SUPER PERSON with no plan B of succession

    2. They have accumulated very few politicians of minister level of seniority who can still be remembered IN THIS ERA by Zambians. Bembaz have over 42 people who have been ministers in the past ten years from which they can select presidential material. The bantu botatwe have only raised Wilbur Simuusa, Slyvia Masebo, Japhen Mwakalombe, Richwell Siamunene, Edify Hamukale, Lackson Kazabu and Emmanuel Chenda,

    3. If Bembaz see lunique and outstanding leadership qualities in any of their subjects, Chiefs from the…

  22. 11  Deja Vu 
    April 1, 2022 At 9:20 am

    “#6 Spaka So it’s now you are knowing what goes on in the world. You didn’t agree with MR IT’S GLOBAL. And how come what’s happening in the world only affects Zambia in our region? Rwanda have even reduced the price. What has happened to the………..”

    PF were blaming ” IT’S GROBO”………

    After they had billions of dollars at their disposal……….

    No other GRZ has had so much money to kick-start the economy and turn zambia into a manufacturing superpower like the PF government………..

    UPND are working from a bankrupt economy and ethically decayed civil service, in very difficult times

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  23. I really can’t believe that some people, as informed and educated as they portray, can sink so low as to heap blame on the increase of fuel products on President Hivhilema. The same people parrot the narrative that if pf cadres beat up and robbed marketers of their meagre sales money, UPND should not follow suit or revenge, today they sing about promises allegedly made by UPND conveniently being silent on the famous “more money in your pockets”. South Africa, just to jerk your mind up, besides relying on imported fuel, have their own indigenous fuel made from coal in Sasolburg and can afford the luxury of reducing their pump price.

  24. What can a person like Kawana contribute to the development of the country a part from parroting without comprehending…..kikikikikkikikikikikikikikikikikikikikikiki

  25. WHY DID THEY FIRE ALL THE EXPERIENCED PERSONS AND BROUGHT IN BABIES WHO ARE CLUELESS AND ARE DRIVING THIS NATION INTO BID? WHEN YOU BOOED ECL AFTER ALL HE HAS CONTRIBUTED TO THIS NATION, YOU THOUGHT GOD WAS ASLEEP? NOW YOU HAVE BROUGHT IN CAPITALISTS. REMINDS ME OF SAUL IN THE BIBLE THAT GOD REJECTED AND ASKED THAT DAVID BE SEARCHED FOR INSTEAD, WE ARE YET TO HAVE A GOD APPOINTED LEADER.

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  26. #27( Hypocrisy is siding with Mmembe when Lungu was harassing him and only to support Lungu just because Mmembe is criticizing the Upnd.

  27. Leave our dear president alone, even here in Canada( a fuel producing country) prices of the commodity have been hiked. Zambia is not an island so just be brave in the midst of a world wide storm.Can you imagine having the past regime in these hard times? People were going to be told to ride bicycles or jog to work. Kandolo 4 bread.

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  28. Mmembe one of the leaders of “brief case nashala neka parties’ always making meaningless comments or assessments. Did you force or put pressure on Sata to implement everything in his useless 90 days promises. You didn’t because you were his praise singer so that in return you would not pay taxes. Every day it is HH this HH that. If you continue on this path, more zeroes are waiting for you in 2026. Are you damn, go and mobilise and organise your Kantemba Party. All politicians on earth including yourself make promises, they implement some and fail on others. A wise leader does not implement something just because he promised but because the idea is still feasible and beneficial to his people and can be funded. All of you have already forgotten that the most corrupt, thieving, violent…

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  29. and incompetent leader Lungu and his criminal and Gangster Pf inherited an Economy that was growing at 7 percent GDP per annum and drugged it into the mud to -4 percent ( negative 4). Rome was not built in a day. Every time we are discussing the Economy, let’s impute that, so Mr. Mmembe don’t patronise us, we are not children. Free advice, go and grow your Party on the ground, that is what your Sata used to do every time he lost Elections. I notice that most of the attacks on HH are on style not policy. You win elections then you can come and do things your way.

  30. During campaigns HH never said he was going to fail because Lungu had looted Government coffers. He said he had a quick solution that would work within hours. So where’s this talk about Lungu coming from? Personally I feel defrauded by the Upnd conmen.

  31. Deja Vu, there is one philosopher, I think it is Niccolo Machavieli who said ( am paraphrasing here) ‘those who don’t talk or refer to their history are bound to repeat mistakes of the past, and it becomes a tragedy’ so that is why we talk about Lazy Lungu, he misruled and destroyed this country. Most of what is happening in Zambia today is largely because of him. Furthermore, talking about his failures does not mean we are not dealing with current issues, the Government and its people are working hard to find solutions. Ten years ago our Economy was growing at 7 percent of GDP per annum, Lungu took it down to -4 GDP (negative 4) think about. I guess you are aware that an Economy only creates new jobs when it is growing at 7 percent GDP and above. This is why we talk about him and…

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