Wednesday, July 17, 2024

The IMF Deal: Time will Tell

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By Fred M’membe President of the Socialist Party

Another patriot has joined Dr Grieve Chalwe and I in grieving over the IMF Deal our President has proudly and happily entered into. This griever is Dr Mbita Chitala, who together with Dr Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika initiated our country’s return to a multiparty political dispensation under the Movement for Multiparty Democracy in 1990. And Dr Chitala was Deputy Minister of Finance under the Chiluba government. He is a specialist (researcher) in public finance. And here is his grief:

“Dear countrymen and women. The challenge Zambia faces is to pay $8.4 billion to our creditors which we do not have. The $1.3 billion extended credit facility or overdraft for 38 months and its painful austere conditionalities is aimed to help us have the due debt cancelled or deferred or paid. How, our leaders must tell us. What we should however be prepared is to really sacrifice our happiness as the austerity measures our government has agreed to unleash will be really painful. Our government has agreed to move our economy from the 6% deficit to 3.2% surplus within three years. This will be done by cutting expenditures and raising taxes. Tax to GDP ratio will rise to 3.4%. Corporate taxes will reduce from 4.5% to 4.2%. There will be no VAT exemptions on such basic needs as medicines, food etc. The wage bill will marginally rise from 8.1% to 8.6% even as the average ought to be 9%. Taxes on labour will go up. Subsidies on electricity will end by December to reflect cost of provision. Fuel subsidies will end as from this month. FISP will be cut as well as any subsidies to our farmers.

The government will enact a PPP Act to introduce user fees for public services. The Social Cash Transfer will marginally increase from K90 to K110 per month. On signing to these conditions, Zambia will receive the first $185 million to help in our balance of payments challenges. That is to service some of our debts. At the same time, the World Bank has announced to give us some loans and budget support grants. We also hope other multi laterals and bilateral as well as FDI will come in to support our program. This is a summary of the economy we should all prepare to endure. Austerity and sacrifice. Tears and pain. Cry my beloved country indeed.

Dr Mbita Chitala.”

This is what Mr Hakainde Hichilema, the UPND and its government celebrated and want you to glorify! But as Jimmy Cliff sang in a reggae rhythm, “Time will tell, time alone will tell…”

13 COMMENTS

  1. But what’s Mmembe’s point here ? What is his own intellectual contribution to the debate? Does he have any alternative to proposal to debt restructuring and economic growth? This is not as as easy as downloading PhDs from some third class university in Asia !! HH has uncommon powers of a genius, and Mmembe can even hide his jealous.

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  2. @Musa, take your praise-singing out of here. Fred had his views already and if you did not read it’s your problem. Mbita has just joined in and all Fred is doing is to share.

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  3. Cde Membe AKA mwansa kapinga on LT………

    Every nation has to endure the sweat of hard work and sacrifice to secure the future for Generations…………

    • Exactly!!! All the learned PhDs went mute during the ten years of borrowing and plunder. Who is supposed to foot the bill?

  4. Mr.Meembe.Can you also lament about how we so stupidly came to this state of affairs.We are going to pay in sweat abd tears for our own foolishness.Dont bame one person,especially if you cannot provide a better practical alternative than cry th beloved country

    • What do you mean by we? Why shall we hear the brunt when morning MPs get salaries and allowances tax free. Tax them, before we tighten belts.

  5. HH is on course, Love him or hate him, the guy is steering the ship in the right direction. After September when waivers for fuel are out due to IMF conditionalities , it will be a bumpy ride but a necessary one

  6. The problem I have is not with the message but the messager remember this is Derrick Chitala the former ZCCM Chairman who was happy to see the plundering at KCM and also okayed the Mopani Deal, yes he objected to some ZESCO deal or something like that but such chaps are just equally culpable you have this hypocrite now turned socialists Fred Mmembe who made millions of dollars from benefiting in a capitalist environment wasn’t even paying taxes at some point today he is a socialist. He is an Accountant by profession but he would not advice you what he would do apart from these articles…you can not borrow money and expect to continue living like you dont have debt you have to tighten the belt I warned people about this 10 years ago. Fred Mmembe what were you doing 10 years ago? You…

    • Fred Mm embe what were you doing 10 years ago? You were busy praising your friend Michael…today you want to the beacon of light for all…how laughable indeed; Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

  7. Fred Mmembe what were you doing 10 years ago? You were busy praising your friend Michael…today you want to the beacon of light for all…how laughable indeed; Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

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