Don’t mislead Lungu by praising his speech-Musokotwani

Former Finance Minister under the MMD government and current Member of Parliament for Liuwa constituency Situmbeko Musokotwani has accused people praising President Lungu’s speech to the National Assembly of misleading the President.

And Felix Mutati has charged that it was not practical for the PF government to create a sinking fund to pay back the Eurobonds when there was a huge budget deficit.

Contributing to debate on the President’s speech Tuesday afternoon, Musokotwani told the House that the country was going through a crisis which the President failed to address in his speech but some people were misleading him by praising the speech.

He said the opposition should tell President Lungu the truth because those praising his speech were simply looking for jobs.

Musokotwani charged that President Lungu only acknowledged the crisis in the energy sector and yet the international media was talking about the crisis evolving in Zambia. He stressed that the impending loss of over 4,000 jobs on the Copperbelt will result in social turmoil on mining communities because all economic activities there were centred on the mines.

He observed that when the MMD came into government in 1991 copper production started improving from 250,000 metric tonnes to 833,000 metric tonnes in 2011 but since the PF took over, copper production only went up once while the rest of years it has been going down.

Musokotwani pointed out that non traditional exports have continued to reduce leading to reduced foreign exchange while the foreign reserves which were left at US 3.6 billion Dollars have now reduced to US 2.7 billion Dollars despite the Eurobonds.

He said the excuse by certain people (PF cadres) that all currencies were struggling did not make sense because out of 150 currencies monitored the Kwacha was the worst adding that what mattered was where one was standing in a queue instead of arguing that everybody was standing in a queue.

Musokotwani has further warned that at the rate the Kwacha was depreciating most of the shopping malls being opened may be forced to close.

He said the problems facing the mining sector was not as a result of activities in China only but was also due to financial indiscipline in management of the economy by the PF government.

And Felix Mutati has charged that it was not practical for the PF government to create a sinking fund to pay back the Eurobonds when there was a huge budget deficit.

Mutati stressed that the country’s revenue was diminishing while expenditure was increasing and warned that Zambia will not develop through borrowing ‘Kaloba’ (unconventional borrowing).

He said the country was faced with unprecedented challenges which needed proper coordination.

Mutati charged that millers were failing to export mealie-meal to neighbouring countries because the market was suffocated with maize coming from Zambia denying them benefits of value addition.

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