Dr. Fred M’membe, the President of the Socialist Party, has issued a statement criticizing the economic policies of the United Party for National Development (UPND) and their leader, Mr. Hakainde Hichilema. In his statement, Dr. M’membe said, “It requires little intelligence – if a little is all one has – to realize that UPND’s neoliberal capitalist policies are taking us nowhere. The economic policies being pursued by the leadership of this government are pro transnational corporations, pro imperialist puppet regime will not take Zambians to the ‘promised land’.”
Dr. M’membe further explained that these policies will certainly not help the UPND leadership to deliver on the many promises they made to the masses of our people. He stated, “We are not at all being malicious or wishing them to fail. We are patriots who wish the best for our country and people with or without us.” He emphasized that Zambia needs “concrete, realistic and definitive solutions” and not the path of agony. He said, “We must choose a clear, intelligent, effective solution that strives for a just, fair and equitable Zambia and world.”
The President of the Socialist Party also warned that the cost of living will continue to rise, hardships for Zambian families will continue to increase and prices of necessities will continue to rise. He said, “Soon the effects of being on the broad road to hell will be fully felt!”
Meanwhile, Dr. M’membe also issued a statement on the financial stability of the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA). He said, “For the better part of last year, Mr Hakainde Hichilema and his UPND government financed recurrent expenditure, including civil service salaries, by issuing treasury bills and government bonds.” He added that “There may be nothing wrong with this approach, desperate as it may be, especially in the absence of adequate domestic taxes. The challenge, however, is that nearly all this money has come from the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA).”
Dr. M’membe also warned that NAPSA may soon find itself in a “fix” as it will soon face high demand to pay retiring pensioners, but there may not be enough money available because most of its funds are locked in treasury bills and government bonds. He said, “NAPSA, as a relatively new pension fund – it was established in 2000 – has not yet faced serious requests from pensioners because employees who moved to it are now just reaching retirement age. So from this year, NAPSA will start experiencing a high demand to pay retiring pensioners, and there could be insufficient money because most of its funds are locked in treasury bills and government bonds.”
Furthermore, Dr. M’membe claims that NAPSA’s investment decisions over the past 21 years have been imprudent, citing examples such as the Levy Mall in Lusaka and the Kalulushi housing project. He said, “Added to this, NAPSA’s investment decisions over the past 21 years have been imprudent, examples being Levy Mall in Lusaka with shops that have not been rented out for many months, Kalulushi housing project with properties sold below cost, land bought from Meanwood, and Mandevu housing project, among others.”
In conclusion, Dr. Fred M’membe, the President of the Socialist Party, has raised serious concerns about the economic policies of the United Party for National Development (UPND) and their leader, Mr. Hakainde Hichilema, as well as the financial stability of the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA). He urged the government to take concrete and realistic
measures to ensure a just and equitable society for all Zambians, and to make sure that the country’s pension fund is protected and managed responsibly.