Authored By Mupishi Jones

The problem with Zambia is squarely with it’s leadership.When you have leadership that makes decisions based on the next election and not on the next generation, just no that soon after elections it’s payback time!

I don’t see any logic in the PF to settle loan obligations on behalf of the civil servants and yet the same PF government is failing to pay retirees their hard earned terminal benefits!
The PF government has internal debt amounting to almost K53 billion to suppliers, contractors and other creditors which it is failing to pay whenever they fall due! When one is failing to service his debt,it simply means that person is broke!!!

Many contractors have demobilised project sites because the PF government have been failing to pay these contractors and suppliers.This same PF government is on record of abandoning all government projects that are below 80% completion period because it had run out of money to pay contractors.

Kafue hook bridge project stalled many years ago because the contractor has not been paid todate, Mufulira/Mokambo road is in an extremely bad shape but works have stalled because the contractor has not been paid todate,King Lewanika University in Mongu has stalled because the contractor has not been paid,Mongu stadium has been stalled because of lack of funds to pay the contractor.Chililabombwe/Kasumbalesa road project seem to be dying a natural death due to the contractor not being paid! Many projects have stalled because contractors have not been paid!
The PF government has been defaulting on its loan repayments because of lack of funds to meet it’s contractual obligations!

The US$750m first eurobond loan will be maturing next year and the government is obliged to pay it as a single bullet on the agreed date and time!!! If the PF government has been defaulting on the interest, how then is it going to pay it?

However, during peak of it’s political re-election campaigns,it wakes up and promises civil servants of taking up their loan liabilities….. the question is, how sustainable is this considering that the PF itself is heavily indebted???????? In a rare event that this happens, how would the retirees take it? How would the contractors take it? Above all , how would the PF government convince the IMF,World Bank and eurobond holders to restructure it’s loans when it recently took up the liabilities of civil servants? In my view, the best option the government should have taken if it was serious with cushioning civil servants debt stress would have been to raise the tax exempt probably to K6,000 for all civil servants! This is a much more practical solution than the so-called debt swap? This debt swap is simply digging a new pit to use the soil to bury an old one!

It was going to make sense if all the civil servants had contracted loans from government or quasi government financial institutions and not from private sector!

If the government can go to such myopic levels of thinking in sorting out economic problems,I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that it’s printing excess cash for such activities!

*Mupishi Jones*
Presidential Campaign Team/ Vice Provincial Treasurer UPND Western


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