Govt dishonest over IMF bailout – Kapiri MP
By Staff Reporter
OPPOSITION United Party for National Development (UPND) member of parliament for Kapiri Mposhi, Stanley Kakubo has accused the Patriotic Front government of dishonest over the country’s relationship with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
And Kakubo also said the PF had lamentably failed to deliver on the 2018 budget dubbed, Zambia Plus presented to parliament by former finance minister Felix Mutati.
Contributing to the 2019 budget in parliament yesterday, Kakubo said government was being dishonest by suggesting that the IMF would give Zambia a bailout to ease its liquidity pressure arising from its indebtedness.
“Our relationship with IMF is one of the areas that this Patriotic Front government has not been honest. In 2017 …. or is it the date when the President (Lungu) of the republic of Zambia declared the State of threatened Emergency, he is quoted even in government tabloids where he says the IMF can leave but three months ago or less she (Mwanakatwe) was attending IMF meetings but as far we are concerned the Head of State chased IMF, so what discussions are there?” he asked.
Kakubo disclosed that in a meeting he attended as a member of parliament with the IMF a few weeks ago, they clearly indicated there were no discussions of a bailout as claimed by Mwanakatwe and other government officials.
“But again, her ministry has been misleading the nation that a bailout deal is on the horizon and its coming – that’s not true, you can’t expect that kind of pronouncement from our minister of finance. Put it exactly the way it is,” he said. “I get animated when politicians do not speak the truth.”
Kakubo advised the ruling party to listen to what the people were currently saying and that they were not inspired by the current leadership.
Kakubo reminded Mwanakatwe that whatever she said regarding policy direction affected the entire country.
“Your ministry again madam is critical such that what you say, your inconsistences and consistencies have an effect on the business environment, have an effect on the lives of the Zambian people,” he told Mwanakatwe. “You recall madam chairperson, that in 2017 her predecessor came to this house and announced what the PF dubbed, Zambia Plus. It is worth noting from the very beginning that all the targets that they set out in Zambia Plus failed, they have underperformed on all critical issues they committed to the Zambian people”.
He said it was disappointing that the allocation to the education sector in the 2019 budget was only 1.1% of the GDP, making Zambia one of the countries on the continent with least budgetary allocation to the sector.
Kakubo said it was unacceptable and shameful that nothing was disbursed in the 2018 budget to the empowerment of women and youths and yet some budget lines such as personal emoluments were fully and, in some cases, over-funded.
“But then in contrast, … foreign travels and allowances to top government officials, those of you seated there, you have been able to disburse more than 100% of what was allocated in this house,” he said. “It’s clear madam chairperson, that we know the priorities of this government – emoluments to yourselves and allowances in travel”.
He wondered why the PF government had gone ahead to procure a presidential jet at a cost US$68 million when that money could have been used to sink boreholes or improve animal husbandry by constructing dip tanks in all constituencies.
He appealed to minister of religious affairs to advise ‘her colleagues’ that they would reap what there sow in view of a myriad of financial impropriety and corruption at the expense of the majority Zambians.
He also cautioned newly nominated member of parliament Raphael Nakachinda to pay allegiance and to be more patriotic to the people of Zambia before his line of debate was curtailed by deputy speaker Catherine Namugala.
He congratulated newly elected member of parliament for Mangangu Putu and Nakachinda for their election to parliament.