Creation of the Public Investment Management Board and Deceitful Economic Recovery Programme
This morning, President Edgar Lungu will be launching what insiders say are s a deceitful economic program meant to mislead the IMF and the bondholders that he has found solutions to treat the ailing economy.
Our source close to the Minister of National Planning informed us that the so-called economic recovery program contains nice to hear messages like stabilizing the exchange rate, reducing inflation, reducing fiscal deficit by creating a Public Investment Management Board (PIMB) to prioritize and approve all capital expenditure, making Zambia’s external debt sustainable, increasing social protection funding to the vulnerable members of society and reducing wasteful spending on procurement of fertilizer and fuel. This information was collaborated by the Economic Association of Zambia (EAZ) insiders who were part of the people who drafted the program. Our source informed us that the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) and the Ministry of Finance officials were not consulted during the economic recovery program’s preparation and, as such, is not aligned to the recently approved budget. They were only given the final product.
In-built in these measures is a fundraising mechanism to bankroll the PF 2021 election campaign. For example, the memorandum of understanding to purchase gold signed between Zambia Gold Company, BoZ, and others on which the plan’s exchange rate’s stabilization is fundamentally premised for the defense of the Kwacha’s unprecedented depreciation is nothing but a fundraising mechanism. BoZ has printed K31 billion to buy gold through the Zambia Gold Company, a company together with BoZ that lacks commodity trading experts to determine the real value of gold, also to sell the gold at the international market when servicing debt and also cannot process gold into bullion standard fit to hold as reserves. The bulk of the K31 billion, BoZ has printed will end up in the economy during the campaigns hence fueling inflation and the Kwacha’s final collapse. This is a recipe for disaster. It will end up like the Goldenberg scandal. The Kenyan government was found to have subsidized gold exports far beyond standard arrangements during the 1990s by paying the company Goldenberg International 35 percent more (in Kenyan shillings) than their foreign currency earnings.
The PIMB that will be housed under the Ministry of National Planning is meant to create an impression that the capital projects are under control. Funds set aside for social protection are targeted for purchasing meal mealie, seeds, and other goods to be branded with PF colors. Like happened with the scandal that led to the dismissal of Minister Kabanshi and Post Master General Mcpherson Chanda, the exercise is ring-fencing the theft from public scrutiny.