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I’m in politics to provide service, not to bootlick for a meal – Andrew

ANDREW Banda says finance minister Dr Bwalya Ng’andu should instruct banks and micro finance institutions to explicitly order or give relief to their customers by suspending loan repayments for a period of 90 to 120 days while the coronavirus situation is being monitored.

And Andrew says he is in politics to provide checks and balances and not to bootlick for a meal.

Andrew, a former diplomat and senior member of the UPND, said majority citizens were now feeling the pressure of the failed economy, which was currently growing at negative growth rate.

“We are glad the minister of finance Bwalya N’gandu acknowledged this in his press briefing to the nation yesterday (Monday). The shortage of cash or money is caused by excessive and reckless borrowing. In the process, civil servants, local government workers, small scale businesses and the majority of the unemployed have been left with no choice but to borrow from micro-finance institutions,” he stated.
Andrew noted the measures taken by government for companies and businesses to manage their cash flows.
“Unfortunately, the measures taken by the minister only seem to address the plight of big businesses and companies leaving out small businesses and others that are in this category. The reason for the shortage of kwacha on the market is as a result of excessive borrowing and the issue of debt repayment, which is 40 per cent per annum,” he stated. “Then comes the issue of personal emoluments for the blotted civil service which consumes 50 per cent of our earnings per annum, implying that 90 per cent of the total income goes towards meeting the above two obligations, leaving less than 10 per cent of kwacha in circulation to provide for social services.”

Andrew noted that the number of the unemployed had continued to escalate and civil servants who were not paid in time as well as small businesses had been compelled to borrow from micro–financing companies and banks at very exorbitant interest rates and exaggerated conditions which have seen most of them failing to pay back their loans.

He stated that the finance minister should instruct banks and micro finance institutions to explicitly order or instruct them to give relief to their customers by suspending loan repayments for a period of 90 to 120 days while the situation was being monitored.

Andrew stated that if the economic situation was normal like in Kenya, Rwanda, Botswana, he would have appealed to the PF to push for suspension of house rentals for the category of citizens who earn less than K15,000.

“If the economy of the country has collapsed as can be seen, how is it possible that economies at house hold level would not collapse? It is common sense,” Andrew stated.

“Lastly, I would like to respond to the ZRP president, Wright Musona, whatever his party stands for, who a few days ago criticized me for my statement why Zambia will not qualify for debt relief from IMF.”
Andrew stated that he was speaking as a politician and not as an economist.

He stated that one does not need to be a rocket scientist to know what had caused the collapse of the economy.

“I always refer to FIC reports, the Auditor General’s report, Transparency International’s report and Ministry of Finance reports when I am issuing statements in national interest. I am in politics to provide checks and balances and not to bootlick for a meal like Mr Musona and the likes,” Banda stated.

“I am not going to engage myself with a buffoon who probably has never ever seen the inside of a classroom in his life.

He stated that Musona called him a cadre and one who has differences with his father, former president Rupiah Banda.

“I wish to state that my position remains the same and the refusal to grant the Zambian government relief by rescheduling its debt repayment is because of Zambian’s poor governance record and rampant corruption,” he stated. “The issue of bringing in my dear father in my politics does not make sense at all. I ask this buffoon, Musona, to stick to facts…. What this Buffoon doesn’t know is that the big man [Rupiah Banda] respects my freedom of association and speech as enshrined in the constitution of Zambia and does not in any way interfere in my political affairs and has been so since the introduction of multi party politics in 1990/91. I am more than certain that Musona doesn’t know all this. I also personally doubt whether this element has ever seen the inside of a classroom in his life neither is he sufficiently exposed to appreciate what is at hand, so the best he can do is shut his mouth and let competent people in PF debate with me.”

Andrew stated that he had been in politics since 1990 for service to Zambia and not to bootlick.
He stated that Zambians would judge who makes sense.

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