Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Emmanuel Mwamba Calls on Government to Settle Outstanding Payments to Contractors and Suppliers”

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Patriotic Front Presidential Candidate, Amb. Emmanuel Mwamba, called on the government to settle outstanding payments to contractors and suppliers. Amb Mwamba’s comments come in response to the announcement that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) President, Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, will be visiting Zambia.

“The government’s focus and efforts have been spent on resolving international and foreign debt, leaving domestic debt neglected,” said Amb Mwamba. He highlighted the local debt of K76.8 billion as being too large to withhold from the local economy and causing destruction to companies, small, and medium enterprises. “It is clear that the government is determined to impoverish its own citizens by withholding payments for public works done by the private sector and supplies of goods submitted to government ministries and agencies,” he added.

In July 2022, the Ministry of Finance appointed EY Advisory Services, PwC, Client Focus Solutions Chartered Accountants, CYMA Chartered Public Accountants, and Management Consultants, and Mark Daniels Chartered Accountants to audit the local debt accrued by the government. The areas of focus included value-added tax refunds, fuel arrears, farmer input-support program arrears, salaries, road contract arrears, and General Goods and Services arrears. The exercise was expected to take two months to complete and the consultants were expected to submit their final reports at the end of that period.

“The excuse that the local debt was being audited is no longer tenable as the consultants were given two months to do the work and submit reports. Government should not be allowed to willfully bankrupt local businesses for flimsy and unfounded reasons such as the entities were associated with the former ruling party, the Patriotic Front,” said Amb Mwamba. He called on the government to release the audit reports and pay the suppliers and contractors.

He also expressed concern at the delays for the government to obtain the much-publicized $1.3 billion IMF bailout. “It is clear that the bailout depends on the agreement by creditors to restructure or write-off Zambia’s debt,” he said. Amb Mwamba called on President Hakainde Hichilema to heighten diplomatic engagements with China to help resolve the debt crisis.

“All these visits to New York, Washington or Dubai have yielded nothing but mere Memoranda of Understanding. A visit to China will however resolve the current biggest economic crisis brought about as a result of the foreign debt,” said Amb Mwamba. He further stated that Zambia, like Chad and Ethiopia, owe China more money than any other creditors and the Creditors Committees so far established in these countries faced challenges to resolve the issues. He called on the Minister of Finance to concentrate on mobilizing local resources through collection of fair and just taxes, especially from the mining sector, rather than chasing the wind provided by the IMF. He also warned that the growing budget deficit will destabilize any measures to grow the economy and must be plugged by raising adequate domestic revenue, especially through the mining sector.

15 COMMENTS

  1. He has a point. If audits have been done, then those who supplied air have been identified and excluded from the list of those to be paid. The rest should be paid like yesterday.

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  2. All of a sudden this buffoon is awake to the fact that Government has not been paying contractors. The criminal and corrupt PF Government never paid contractors from 2019 up to the time it left office in 2021, where was this Tanzanian to complain, why didn’t he open his mouth then. I know this because I work for the Government, please Mr. Mwamba we are not children.

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  3. Thanks Amb Emmanuel Mwamba for highlighting pertinent economic issues affecting the country. You have rightly identified the non payment of suppliers and contractors as a big elephant in the room. The UPND govt is on the trail to cripple the SMEs who are literally limping, barely surviving. The waters have reached the neck level and if nothing is done asap we shall all sink including the praise singers.
    Those alleged to have supplied air(nothing) must be prosecuted and genuine ones to be paid like yesterday so that local economy can be stimulated. ZRA has been cooking up figures of collections above target, and yet the generators of taxes are limping. Things are not adding up. Wake up Mr. President and listen to people’s cries!!

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  4. Most PF thieves have shined pushing for outstanding payments of supplying air and phoney contractors who made nothing.
    Mwamba their spokesperson needs payment from these same crooks – crooks uphill battle with New Dawn Admin.

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  5. This vile moron who is not an Ambassdor only cares about himself and his clique of crooks …tell him to name several of these contractors and suppliers and you will find they are either PF cadres who supplied nothing or they are his relatives.
    PF elections are around the corner and these morons are barking about other issues instead of telling their members what they would do ..this is why I said that K250,000 fee they paid to stand was just a way of laundering money as elections have already been decided or worse Lazy Lungu will decide to throw his silly hat in the ring.

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    • If any of the companies owed money didn’t supply anything but air, take them to court as fraudsters, including the civil servants as accomplices. I can assure no one will be prosecuted! The govt is just buying time since they are broke.

  6. Brother Mwamba, leave this to our credible government and leadership. The new dawn government is serious and PF had its own time and please allow our elected government to work and you have 2026 to lead your party

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  7. THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF WORKERS WALLOWING IN POVERTY AND HUNGRY BECAUSE CONTRACTORS WHO DID GENUINE WORK HAVE NOT BEEN PAID.
    THIS IS CRUEL.
    GOD IS LOOKING!

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