UPP president Saviour Chishimba has accused the PF regime of overpricing the bill for fixing the Chingola Solwezi road by over one billion US dollars.
And Chishimba has accused the government of reducing the amount of money in circulation to just $1.4 billion in order to get a loan from the IMF.
As along as corruption and maintaining corrupt ministers remain the PF policy, our nation’s problems will not be solved by more debt. The money will still end up in the pockets of a few corrupt leaders and their ally contractors who inflate contract prices.
The Chingola-Solwezi Road has been overpriced by US$1 billion, which is about the same figure the PF wants to borrow from the IMF and later place the burden on the people through high taxes and less jobs to repay.
We in the UPP note that the current PF regime has over the past couple of years been implementing the MMD contractionary fiscal and monetary policies, which have resulted in a drastic decline in aggregate demand. Consequent upon this, is a decrease in inflation. This, in the absence of growth in GDP and other factors, is useless.
The 7% rate of inflation does not in anyway mean that Zambians are now well off. In the same breathe, it does not mean that the prices of essential commodities have reduced.
The purchasing power of the Kwacha keeps dropping and Zambians are buying less goods with the same amount of money that they were able to buy more goods with some years ago.
The bank interest rates are as high as 44% to 48%. Compare this with Botswana and South Africa whose bank interest rates are at 7.5% and 10.5% respectively.
In Zambia, the PF Government has been the major borrower and this has crowded out the private sector. Government borrowing increases the cost of money and this is one factor that the PF economists are overlooking.
Reducing the policy rate and the statutory reserve ratio are not the only factors that will result in the reduction of bank lending rates. Banks are businesses that are affected by the increased cost of doing business in Zambia.
Further, the pursuit of an IMF-focused economic policy for the sake of more debt, is injurious to Zambians and there are more devastating impacts that are yet to befall our nation.
We are fully aware that in order to please the IMF, the MMD-PF regime has over the past few months reduced the amount of money in circulation from US$2.4 billion to about US$1.4 billion.
The impending coming of the IMF economic regime will see an increase in the pump price of fuel and electricity tariffs.
Once this is done, the cost of business in Zambia will be even higher than ever before and more companies will shut down. The level of unemployment will also be pushed upwards.
The PF regime is doing the opposite of what we need to do to address our economic problems.
We shall be issuing a comprehensive state of the economy statement as soon as possible.
As we provide checks and balances under the #BringBackOurMoney! campaign, we shall not lose sight of our watchfulness over the IMF programme.
We were the first to warn the PF against going for more borrowing under the IMF. We gave the government advice on how to address the fiscal imbalances without hurting Zambians.
If need be, we shall repeat what we have been saying to save Zambian jobs as well as create more jobs.