The Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) has challenged compromised Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini to provide proof showing when the National Assembly approved contraction of a 200 million US dollars loan from the World Bank.
Finance Minister Felix Mutati disclosed on Thursday that cabinet approved the acquisition of US$200 million from the World Bank on Wednesday for feeder roads works in all parts of the country.
But FDD Spokesperson Antonio Mwanza has pointed out that clause 63 and 207 of the Constituion of Zambia clearly stipulates that government cannot contract a loan or debt without the express approval of the National Assembly.
Mwanza has challenged Dr Matibini to provide proof showing when the National Assembly approved the contraction of the loan.
Below is the full statement by Antonio Mwanza:
Speaker Patrick Matibini must explain to the Zambian people whether or not Parliament authorised the contraction of the latest loan of $200 million by the PF Government from the World Bank in accordance with the Constitution.
Articles 63 and 207 of the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia clearly states that Government can not contract any loan or debt without the express approval of the National Assembly. And in line with these provisions of the law, we as a Party beseech Mr Matibini to provide proof to the nation showing when the National Assembly approved the contraction of the said loan.
The PF is killing the future of our children with the enormous debt burden and the gener
al mismanagement of the country’s economy. What is worrying about this whole thing is not just the ballooning debt levels we are witnessing but the imprudent use of the debt money, unbelievable fiscal indiscipline and the sheer incompetence of the government to effectively manage the economy, eradicate poverty, create decent jobs and business opportunities for our people, especially the women and youths.
This Government cannot account for the huge debt that they have accrued since coming into office in 2011. It is clear that the bulk of the debt money has been squandered through corruption, over-pricing of projects, plain theft and sheer incompetence on the part of the state to effectively and efficiently apply national resources to the productive sectors of our economy in order to spur growth and deal with the excruciating and dehumanising levels of poverty and destitution among our people.
The full rumifications of the debt-trap the PF has plunged this country into are yet to be felt since most of these debts have not yet matured. The impact of these debts will be devastating as government shall be forced to cut down on social and economic expenditure to finance the debt most of which was contracted at very high interest rates.
And if the long-term fiscal challenges remain unaddressed, our economic environment will weaken further as confidence will continue to suffer, access to capital will continue to shrink, the interest costs will continue crowding out key investments in our future, leading to conditions for growth to deteriorate, hence putting our nation at greater risk of economic crisis. If our long-term fiscal imbalance is not addressed, our future economy will be diminished, with fewer economic opportunities for individuals and families, and less fiscal flexibility to respond to future crises.
The following summarizes several of the negative ramifications of our growing debt:
Reduced Public Investment. As the national debt increases, the government will spend more of its budget on interest costs, increasingly crowding out public investments. And the more that resources are diverted to interest payments, the less that will be available for the government to invest in areas such as education, agriculture, energy, processing and manufacturing that are important to economic growth. This will eventually lead to more joblessness, more energy deficits, more youths forced out of the education system owing to high tuition fees, more sick children due to malnutrition, high mortality rates and generally high poverty levels across the country. Reduced government expenditure in key economic areas is stifling innovation and slowing the advancement of new breakthroughs that could improve our lives.
Investors are beginning to doubt the government’s ability to repay debt and could demand even higher interest rates, further raising the cost of borrowing for businesses and households. Over time, lower confidence and reduced investment would slow the growth of productivity and wages of our workers.
Growing long-term debt also has a direct, real world effect on the economic opportunities available to every Zambian.
In short, the PF has morgaged our country to shylocks due to incompetence, theft of public resources, corruption and general mismanagement of our country’s economy. Mutatinomics is not working and Zambians must brace themselves for harder economic times.
As the economy continue to slide and people’s lives become harder, the PF will resort to more oppressive tactics to silence the opposition, dissenting voices, the church as well as independent media in order to stifle debate and send terror in citizens, gagging them from voicing their discontent at regime that has failed to manage our country’s economy.
Issued by Antonio Mwanza, FDD Deputy National Secretary and Party Spokesperson.