Govt urged to reduce defense budget

The Zambia Civic Education Association has questioned the 15.2 percent increment to the defense budget in the 2015 national budget.
Submitting before the Expanded Committee on Estimates on the 2015 national budget, Zambia Civic Education Association Executive Director Judith Mulenga proposed that the 15.2 percent increment for defense was high and should instead be channeled to social sectors since Zambia was enjoying peace.
She reminded the committee that Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda had told parliament in his budget speech that Zambia had enjoyed stability for 50 years hence she (Mulenga) saw no need for a sharp rise in defense spending.
She argued that in the absence of the freedom of information bill, the money would be prone to abuse by the security wings.
“Without the freedom to information bill, we won’t even know how this money will be spent” Mulenga said.
Kabwata member of parliament Given Lubinda however warned that the great lakes region was experiencing conflict and in the event that it spills into Zambia there was need for the country to protect its citizens.
Intelligence sources however indicate that the rise has been necessitated by the huge deployment of defense personnel to Western Province to check on the activities of Barotseland activists.
A week ago acting President and Defense Minister Edgar Lungu told ZNBC news that he was frequenting Western Province to check on the situation due to some activities he did not specify especially along the Zambia/ Angola boarder. Lungu repeated the same statement when he was attending a defense meeting in Angola recently.

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