With all the 90 day PF promises abandoned, it is now official that President Sata and the PF are liars and the 2013 budget is another set of lies, says MMD leader Nevers Mumba.
Commenting on the 2013 budget, Mumba said telling lies is the PFs new brand name. He said they lied to Zambians to provide certain goods and services within 90 days in exchange for power to govern.
‘The Zambians delivered on the transaction, but the President and the PF abrogated their side of the deal. They are now governing by deceit, and can only remain in power if the Zambian people choose not to take class action through the courts of law against the PF for assuming power through deceptive means, and false pretence, Mumba said on Tuesday.
‘We therefore, can only analyse their 2013 budget in view of who they are. If they lied their way to State House, is this budget another set of lies meant to keep them in office?
The MMD through party president Mumba said the structure of the Budget has not changed.
Mumba said regardless of all the attempts made by the PF at distancing itself from the MMD legacy, even the pronouncement that this (2013) is the first PF budget are all just typical dishonest talk and claims by the PF.
‘First, the structure of the Budget has not changed, it is exactly the structure that the MMD has been using in the last few years necessitated by the allocation pattern set by the fifth National development Plan, the Sixth National development Plan and the Vision 2030. The Macro Economic parameters are exactly the same (These are not the parameters that the PF were indicating would be the case once they come into government),’ he said.
‘Secondly,’ said Mumba, ‘the trajectory of budget allocation to the key social sector of Health and Education are identical to the direction the MMD has been taking in the last few budget. Robust and greater allocation to these sectors both in terms of absolute figures on an annualized basis as well as a greater portion as percentage of both GDP and total budget allocation.
‘Thirdly, same trajectory in terms of greater allocations towards the economic sectors such as general Infrastructure, tourism, energy, roads and rail.
‘All these are key pillars of the MMD policy which the PF gave the impression they would either change or dramatically accelerate. None of this has happened. Instead a worrying trend to make the free market less attractive and to discourage innovation and investment by taking away tax incentives which almost everyone in the regions gives- Maybe with the exception of Zimbabwe
Mumba said there is a dangerous attempt in the 2013 budget presentation to erase the budget implementation of the PF for the last 365 days beginning from the time they took office and even disavowing their own budget as presented in 2011.
He said the 2012 budget was a budget read and presented by a PF Minister of Finance and the assumption is that a Cabinet meeting was held and they took ownership whatever ideas that may have originated from the MMD. If they have failed to implement them, they should just say so rather than attempting to do away with 365 days when they promised results in 90 days.
He explained that a typical example is in relation to JOB creation which was the most significant promise.
‘In the 2013 budget, there is absolute no reference as to the number of jobs created in 2012. A million jobs were promised in five years and no indication of 200,000 jobs in 2012. So how do we believe that they will create 200,000 Jobs in 2013?
‘Then, this reference to 550 000 jobs in this or that sector with the next four to five years is deceptive and tantamount to giving themselves an extra year which has not been given to them by an electoral mandate. There are only four more years left and one year which has not been accounted for in terms of Job creation, has already been spent. Zambians should be careful to watch this scheme with great concern,’ he said.
Mumba observed that in accordance to the PF talk, the most important sector for creating jobs and putting more money in people’s pockets is the Agriculture sector and tourism sector.
But he observed that the actual allocation to these sectors, the amounts provided for are dismal and therefore create a disproportionate relationship between the promise and the actual allocation. He said the agriculture sector and the Tourism sector, from the perspective of budget allocation, does not indicate prioritization.
‘In fact, in as far as agriculture goes, the amount provided does not even purchase a third of the Maize crop. This means that farmers should next year be prepared to sell their produce to brief case business men. This has its own implications. There is no plausible explanation as to how the Agriculture sector and the tourism sector will produce an estimated 700,000 jobs. The jobs figures clearly were put in as an afterthought,‘ he said.
Mumba explained that budget is tool for implementing long term policy, strategy and programmes which are based on your planning framework
But, he said ‘from the budget address, we were told that an industrial policy will be introduced in 2013 which will explain how a million jobs will be created. The only problem with this is that, the budget to reflect this policy framework will only be realistically possible in the 2014 budget. A budget follows a policy framework.
‘ It is not possible to have a policy framework fit the allocated resources. It means it is an afterthought. If the PF were serious about an industrial policy, and taking into consideration two facts (trying to disavow the 2012 budget as not being their own and their 90 day promise) all effort should have been made to present the JOBS Bill or an Industrial policy or an Investment policy, in 2012 so that it can be effectively cost-ed in the 2013 budget. The fact that this has not been done indicates that they are having trouble framing a convincing and workable industrial policy different from the MMD with key Macroeconomic parameters differing from those held by the last 12 years of MMD growth. They said their policy framework would be different. More than a year later, the second PF budget is still on the basis of MMD unadjusted planning instruments; a direction which they condemned. This is a total failure in policy direction by the PF and hence a big minus in the 2013 budget process.’
Mumba further observed that even if one assumes that a budget is well prepared, the effectiveness and usefulness is in the implementation of it. If the structure, the Ideas and the parameters set in a budget are yours and one takes full ownership, the chances of effective implementation are very high.
‘However, if ideas are not yours and no responsibility is taken, the chances of effective implementation are very poor. This is the reason there is an attempt to erase the implementation record of 2012 and this is the reason that the 2013 budget is most likely to fail. For the same reasons the 2012 budget is disavowed, the same reasons cam be used for the 2013 budget. No new industrial policy, no jobs bill, just MMD raised money and infrastructure plans as designed by the MMD. No ownership, hence poor chance of success,’ he said.
Mumba concluded by stating that this is not the first time PF is promising the Zambian people millions of jobs.
‘In this case a million jobs within the next four years. By repeating this promise, the President is hanging himself twice. The question is why?, he asked.
‘I wish to prove that this is another lie meant to keep Zambians hoping that some miracle will happen, ‘ Mumba said.
He said that the largest category of people in our country today are the youth, who also happen to suffer the most from lack of employment. Contrary to their expectations the 2013 budget lacks any substance at all regarding how jobs will be created. In the budget, the PF claims they will create at least a million jobs during their first term in office and that in 2013 another 200, 000 new jobs will be created. Agriculture, tourism, manufacturing and construction are expected to create these jobs. ‘Sadly, no credible plan has been outlined on how this will come about. We are therefore left with no choice but to conclude that the number of jobs the PF claim they will create as per budget speech was a mere afterthought which they had to insert in the speech so as to appear to be doing something about job creation,’ said Mumba.
He said the MMD is of the view that the PF government is on a war path to oppress, victimize and compromise the values of democracy for which Zambians fought for in 1991.
The ban on holding political rallies, the assault on democracy by buying off MP’s from the opposition and the abuse of the police in fixing political opponents demands that we take a position meant to resolve these disputes.
He said it is in this light that we have advanced our argument that we shall not be willing to participate in the passing of this budget unless these governance issues are dealt with.
‘ We are also convinced that the constituency development fund should be increased to K5 billion in order to make this budget truly pro poor,’ concluded Mumba.