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UPND Questions Mwanakatwe’s Austerity Drive

The opposition United Party for National Development has taken issue with Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe’s recently announced austerity measures in view of the worsening debt situation.

UPND chairperson for Labour Percy Chanda said the measures introduced were not in tandem with the alleged extravagance of the PF.

Saturday 16th June 2018

PRESS STATEMENT

Let’s brace ourselves for hard times ahead due to PF economic incompetence

When we warned about the PF leadership and its appetite to borrow money from expensive sources way back in 2011, we were labelled all sorts of derogatory and demeaning names.

Our colleagues insisted that they were in a hurry to develop the country using borrowed money while we proposed a more streamlined approach which insured that we spent resources according to what were able to generate as country.

What is even worse, is that we now know that most of the borrowed resources especially Eurobonds that were applied in areas such as Zambia Railways, ZESCO, roads and other sectors were basically a conduit for corruption which benefited a minority within the PF leadership.

Now on Thursday, the Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe announced further austerity measures almost along the lines of what we proposed years back. But when she was announcing austerity measures such as travel bans, Edgar Lungu was in the air going out of the country for some unannounced visit to Kenya at taxpayers’ expense.

Edgar Lungu was in Western Province last weekend where he publicly told the nation that there would be more by-elections, which are costly to the country, as more UPND councillors were being enticed to join the PF.

In a democracy, one would have expected that they be encouraged to deliver to their people in their communities than enticing them to defect and create costly by-elections. This process has become synonymous with violence and intimidation against the innocent voting public, a trademark of PF’s elections.

With these announced austerity measures, we as ordinary citizens must brace ourselves for hard times ahead and it’s just the beginning. There would be tight liquidity in the economy resulting many people not having a disposable income for spending. This is just the beginning of the economic meltdown which we predicted and sounded a warning a long time ago.

Unfortunately, the pinch of Edgar Lungu and his PF leadership economic mismanagement won’t be felt by the few people enjoying the stolen money within the PF government, it’s the common person in the streets and villages who will feel it more.

It is now up to us Zambians to find a way to democratically liberate ourselves from this greed and corruption where we are paying the high price.

Percy Chanda

UPND Chairperson for Mines and Freedom Fighter

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