Economy

Opinion: The Impact Of A State Of Emergency On The Economy

By Blessings Kafwanka

Our economy has gone through a lot of stress in the recent past. The cost of doing business has risen sharply in the last few years. This can be attributed to the removal of electricity and fuel subsidies. It can also be attributed to circumstances that are beyond the control of our government such as the fall in copper prices and the increase of fuel prices on the international market.

This has increased the cost of production/service provision for many entrepreneurs and business houses. The Austerity measures that were put in place have also had a role to play in this. The changes in our tax regime i.e. changes in the PAYE bands, the introduction of the 15% excise duty on talk time, introduction of bands to our turnover tax system and many other changes have contributed to this problem.

The cost of borrowing has also significantly increased in the last 5 years from about 16% in 2011 to the current range of about 30% to 35%. Business people factor in all of these costs into their cost of production and provision of various services. Ultimately, it’s the consumer that is adversely affected. Everybody, regardless of their political affiliation is affected.

With the stress that our economy has gone through in the recent past, the possibility of a State of Emergency being declared will further compound this problem. I do not want to get in the debate of whether there’s tension in the country or not. His Excellency, President Edgar Lungu has clarified that we are not in a State of Emergency. The best legal minds have labored to explain the situation we are in. But what I’m certain about is that if a State of Emergency is eventually declared, it will certainly create a perception that our political environment is very unstable. Political instability can have a significant impact on overseas investment decisions.

At a time when the country is struggling to resolve huge current account deficits we have seen over the years, we cannot afford to lose the earnings in form of corporate taxes that comes with Foreign Direct Investment. In his “State of the economy address to parliament”, the finance Minister Felix Mutati disclosed that the country’s current account deficit stood at US$257m in the first quarter of 2017. On revenue collection in the first five months of 2017, Mr Mutati said revenues under-performed by 10% compared to the budget. If a State of Emergency is declared it will become practically impossible for the government to achieve their goal of increasing domestic Resource mobilization and attaining fiscal Consolidation in 2017.

Foreign Direct investment (FDI) also contributes to the creation of employment. Unemployment is one of the major challenges that Zambia has been experiencing and successive governments have tried to resolve this issue. Recipients of FDI often gain employee training in the course of operating the new businesses, which contributes to human capital development in the host country. How will the State of emergency impact on government’s goal of creating 200 thousand decent jobs annually?

A State of Emergency might come with restrictions on the freedom of movement after certain hours e.g from 19:00hrs to 06:00hrs. This means that traders that make the bulk of their sales after 17:00hrs will be adversely affected by this move. The traffic of customers in supermarkets, shopping malls and other trading places increases after 18:00hrs. This is also a time when Mini bus and taxi drivers compensate for the slow business during the day to make their “Cash-in” for the day.
Restrictions on telecommunications companies might be imposed for security reasons. This will not only reduce the profits for the telecommunications.

Communication is a very vital component of every business. Small traders that cannot afford to rent office space heavily rely on their phones to communicate and clinch business deals. Social media such as Facebook, whatsap and twitter has become a vital part of our lives not just for entertainment but for cheaper advertising, communication and marketing of products and services. Most students rely on the internet to conduct their research and collect study materials.

The internet has also made it possible for people to know what is happening both locally and globally at a click of a button. Gone are the days when people would surround a radio or wait for the main news at 19:00hrs to know what is happening in the country.

I believe that we all have a role to play to avoid a State of Emergency from being declared and ensure that there’s peace and stability in Zambia. Our leaders should explore peaceful avenues of resolving the current situation. Our leaders regardless of their political affiliation must realize that no Zambian deserves to suffer in any way because of their political ambitions.

No Zambian should lose their life because of the political ambitions of a few individuals. Young people should refuse to be used as tools of violence.

BLESSINGS KAFWANKA is a Business & Financial Analyst

17 Comments

  1. Henrly

    True, no one deserves to die

  2. Muzo

    Good articulation bakalamba how do we suffer for the seek of one person to get to state house at all Cost. The best way is to be peaceful, campaign,and pipo will vote for you so easy.

  3. Roydah

    Yes this true we are suffering because of politics how can we survive while everything is been restricted as youths and as students no no no Zambia.

  4. ndolesha

    The government is to blame for what is happening because the signs were written all over that there is tension in Zambia and the church called for dialogue but Lungu didn’t listen and he even boasted that he was too busy. prevention is cheaper than cure

  5. arcky

    true

  6. Himz

    Thumbs up for the writer.
    I mean we keep suffering because a few Individuals are power hungry.

    Lets swallow our pride and preserve Zambia. Zambia is bigger than any single individual.

  7. HH Junior

    Tell them this power hungry fool,in bemba they say “ukupoka icinsenda kunkoko kunakilila” they don’t say koca ama government infrastructures nooooo and a big NOOOOO !!! you don’t know that you are decompegning your self’s,because we as voters are watching what is happening come 2021 you will see not even that vote I wasted for you . we will dundumwise ,we will not forget our capitals you have burned at city market .ndifye pamaka nomba.

  8. POSTERITY

    Those of you that are referring to HH and UPND as being the few who want power, I don’t think your brains are functioning properly. That is a general statement. All politicians are the few that are fighting to make government. City market, ZESCO installments or any other infrastructure that was destroyed in the name of ‘probable-political tension’ is not a big problem at all. But where the current government is heading to is the greatest problem. HH might be in prison and may be even die there, PF and Lungu may rule for eternity, there can be no more burnings or violence caused by the opposition either framed or not – Zambia will suffer.. And you vaginas will feel the heat. It is only fools that would support the current government!

    • Wise Me

      We are here today because of that mentality of insulting and belittling authority. It doesn’t matter how many times you insult God will not grant your team power because our God does not reward people who have evil minds. If you want God’s favour in having a leader like HH starting with you as well as any high profile person missing the point. The power you people so much comes God whose cost is loving others. Look much as you may want to blame the other people in the political field blessing can only bestowed on you if you respect authority and everybody else. I believe even now things could change for the better if you could accept that God blesses put leadership in Zambia in August 2016. How would HH like to be treated if he became a President? The biggest problem is ignoring that only God can create a situation for anyone as a response to that individual’s action. The sooner one realises and repentance the better for everybody. The UPND and it’s supporters should learn that freedom comes from God not from people South Africa’s EFF. If the PF are at fault and UPND are good let us see the difference. God loves us all don’t escalate the violence promote love and peace.

  9. K.O.N

    thumbs up for the article and remember one zambia one nation

  10. TJ

    The article very educative:Instead leave the master minders of troubles in Zambia loose their own souls including both their political and economical status

  11. M Vincent

    It is indeed sad to read the minds of people here. This one is pointing fingers that is opposition who did this. Well, it’s one of those things. May I drop this one. I don’t know whether one agrees or not. God is not God of politics. On no account, no verse in the Bible which tells us that God Chooses leaders here on earth. If someone believes in that, better get that scrap out your head. Challenge me if you want, when the devil came to the Lord Jesus Christ to to tempt him, he took him on top of the mountain and show him the kingdoms, every country the who entire world. Then said to him if you bow down and worship me I shall give you all these. On that point which is controlling the entire world. The devil controls all the countries on earth.

    God is the God of peace, if God is the one controlling the world, why then are there sufferings, murdering, persecutions etc. In the kingdom of GOD is peace. There is know ponting fingers at each other.

    The moment we will understand what Christianity mean the better. Christianity mean Christ like. If we claim to be, Christianity is founded on for forgiveness there at Calvary where he paid it all.

    Not all this hatred we seeing in our leaders we chose for ourselves lead. That is what happened when Israel come over to the PROMISED land. They chose themselves a king Saul. Look how saul was . God is not in campaigns, where you are been cheated ,lied and people are to broken cesterns which can’t water all.

    All this is madness, which shows that people are far away from GOD. Why fighting each other. The same so called leader are in forefront condemning others instead of reuniting people. Leadership requires a GOD fearing man. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, Proverbs 1:7

  12. Daywalker

    The SOE has benefited traffic cops. The road blocks are back. Cashing has increased. The traffic cop economy is booming.

  13. vern

    Let UPND be shanted here and there Empty Tin.

  14. nsanga ,ga

    thank u mr m vincent for i have seen u to be the only God fearing person in all these coment.wat can a man gain if he owns the whole world? these are earthly thing we need to be carefull brethren ,these are last days were kingdom will arise against the other kingdom if u know yoself or count yoself to be a christian ,a real child of God stop involving yoself in politics .bcoz no one can cheat that a politician is a servant of of God .If u want to be a true christian leave politics and be the a fisher of good news of our juses christ…read about how satan have used this girl chich in her languege on her article she is bosting of bright colour,rich and academic instead of thanking God of that ,wat of if God says that u fooling u have forgot to praise me that i am the one wo did these thing for u ,he remove his soul ‘can u ejoying those riches don’t think that the poors insulted God no no no!!!!! learn to respect others and God as well i thank u all God bless those wo are hunger in spirity.

  15. GOOD

    That’s 100% true.

  16. chileshe francis

    Mr vincent, thank u very much God bless u abundantly.
    Jesus also said; go he therefore and preach the gospel to every nation, kindred, tung, and to all people!
    Am sure those who are wise enough have gotten something from your Bible sharing so to call it.
    My brother, its high time to let every person known what it is said in the Bible concerning worldly leadership, cause have been hearing also it from these false prophets professing that; this president is the winer of which God can not give him such a vision!
    Only the overall boss (satan) can disclose to his servants false prophets.

    Never should one be cheated, God is not is not involved in the worlds calamities.

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