We ain’t seen nothing yet

The Civil Society for Poverty Reduction says Zambia’s economy has shrunk and that a year-end growth of about 4.2 per cent is “quite debatable”.
Patrick Nshindano, the executive director of Civil Society for Poverty Reduction, says Zambia is too economically stressed.
“The economy has not done very well…So, you have on one hand the economy that is not doing very well – the economy has not done well; it has shrunk. The reality is that we are in problems and we need to own up and be able to find solutions,” says Nshindano.

This reminds us of an article written by Richard W that has been circulating online:
“Failure is moving from 7 per cent growth under MMD to 2 per cent growth in 2018 under PF. Failure is when you move from US$1.6 billion external debt in 2011 to US$9.3 billion external debt in 2018 (US$1.1 billion per year). You have US$5.3 domestic debt at the same time your Financial Intelligence Centre is reporting of suspicious transactions of US$4.5 billion.
Government spends 50 per cent of the national budget on salaries and 25 per cent on debt servicing. A 40 per cent of the same budget is funded by donors from whom you are stealing money through drugs worth millions of dollars and promise to payback using the national budget which the same donors are supporting, “Ukutumpa!”. Halfway through the year, you are already running a US$500 million budget deficit, never learning lessons from deficits you have failed to minimise since 2011. Your minister announces austerity measures without revising the budget. She suspends funding to projects that are less than 85 per cent complete and is immediately contradicted by the President who exempts the Chinese managed projects, who by the way make up the bulk of the infrastructure projects.

We have an incompetent government which claimed negotiations with IMF were smooth until we learnt they have not been submitting the complete debt position and correct figures. It is like they were singing “dununa reverse” in IMF meetings with the hope of convincing the IMF, who must be professional enough to look at facts on paper. IMF won’t help Zambia if PF is unwilling to accept the reality check, that’s how IMF do things. Accountability is enshrined in their conditions because they are not interested in our land or minerals. You can’t be begging for US$1.3 billion yet on the other hand one of your controversial ministers is entering deals to build a 400km road at US$1.2 billion.
The President even calls China a friend. But by no means is China a charity organisation, we need to realise how slowly they are out-competing local companies with their unfair access to government contracts, tax incentives, cheap money and relaxed labour and safety supervision. This is where we should challenge the Central Statistical Office to produce GDP figures attributable to majority Zambian owned companies and Government alone.
The government is now so enticed to give China projects just because China will fund everything and government will take over after 30 years under PPP transactions (What they are calling BOT – Build, Own and Transfer). This seems attractive but the devil lies in the detail. Firstly, in 30 years the current leaders will be frail or dead, so they don’t care. Secondly, government does not realise that after 30 years, some infrastructure may require refurbishing by the new owners which will cost money. In the 30 years, China will recover all its money and profit massively such that It could have been better for Zambia to have owned it throughout unlike taking over after 30 years.
PF was once labelled a “Kaponya” styled government, well this current lack of judgement, proper assessments and rampant sale of property and land is proving that notion. The planned refinancing of Eurobonds with loans to be paid over a further 20 years means even unborn children will find the PF mess…”
For some time now, Edgar Lungu and his minions have posturing, pretending all is well – the country is doing well. We have been bombarded with ceaseless propaganda on television, radio and newspapers about developmental projects that are being undertaken by Edgar’s government everywhere. And it has been sonta apoubombele all the time!
But the truth is that the Zambian economy is in shambles and is headed for disaster. We ain’t seen nothing yet!!!

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