The continued absence of fiscal discipline in economic management by Government will not serve the interests of the Zambian population, says Caritas programme officer Tommy Singongi.
In the midst of fiscal challenges including a building budget deficit and growing external and domestic debt levels, Caritas Zambia hopes that the Government will exercise prudence in its economic and natural resource management.
The wasteful use of public resources as exemplified by the recent Presidential trip to New York reportedly inclusive of the hiring of an aircraft at the cost of $300,000 is a shame for any well-meaning Government and an insult to the marginalised poor. It cannot be justified to be extravagant with public resources when the average citizen is not benefitting from efficient and adequate service delivery of clean water, energy, education and health amongst others.
A point of reference is the one by two school building block which was built at Sinantandabale Primary School in Sinazongwe District this year at K133, 000, the exchange rate as of Monday 28th 2015, of K13 to $1 means that it cost $10,230 to construct. This means that the chartered jet to New York could have built 30 such school blocks in any given district in a country where underprivileged children are learning under a tree due to lack of infrastructure.
All citizens have the right to demand for explanations and justifications on the use of public funds from the government of the day. Citizens contribute to these funds through taxes from hard earned incomes and they expect the Government to be prudent in their use.
We therefore call on the Government to clarify the manner in which it has spent public funds on the controversial trip to New York and commit to efficient and prudent public resource management for the benefit of all citizens. In the midst of fiscal challenges including a building budget deficit and growing external and domestic debt levels, Caritas Zambia hopes that the Government will exercise prudence in its economic and natural resource management.
By Tommy Singongi
Economic and Social Accountability