By Doctor Charles Ngoma
The other day, I saw this advert in a named Zambian newspaper. I was impressed with figures only to find that this was a magician’s sleight of hand. I longed for a kind of FACT CHECK forum like they have in the western world where claims are checked continuously against the facts. It looks like politicians know what human beings are like. They run with the headline as the news. So, here we are with the Patriotic Front claim that in 2016, the Indisutrial Development Corporation (IDC) had a dividend income of K95,200,000. This has increased to K143,200,000 as of September 2020. This looks impressive indeed and someone has done the Mathematics and concluded that this is a 50% increase in dividend income for the Zambian treasury. This looks like we are not in an economic quagmire at all (to borrow the Mpombo Advanced English dictionary). It is when you convert these numbers to the United States dollar that you discover that their is a magician’s sleight of hand at play. In June 2016 the Zambia Kwacha was at K10.50 per US dollar. So K95,200,000 was $9.1 million. In September 2020, the Kwacha was at K20 per US dollar. So, K143.2 million converts to $7.2 million. What? In real terms, the Zambian treasury lost $1.9 million. This is not a 50% increase as we are meant to believe UNLESS of course, this has already been taken into account. The Kwacha has lost so much value that we are essentially losing money.
But, that is the nature of political engineering. Whether it is because we do not have good Standard 4 mathematicians in the Patriotic Front or this is a deliberate attempt to hoodwink (a Freemasonic term) we may never know. I hope that Zambians will not be going to the polls hoodwinked but with eyes wide open.
DR CHARLES NGOMA