Saturday, 29 March 2014


We Have A National Catastrophe On Our Hands Under The Patriotic Front Government Compounded By Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda's Patchwork Economics
PATCHWORK ECONOMICS: Zambian Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda
By Nyalubinge Ngwende
IF ZAMBIA does not hold together the spirit of good governance practices and moderation about government intrusiveness in private enterprise, it is going to cause rogue business practices and reverse the prospects of prosperity built over the period from 2001 to 2010.

Also huge spending in all fronts might appear admirable to the ignorant masses who think development is about three-storey universities in Muchinga and Chongwe, and roads that lead into the bush not too support production but to make the people who drink from sun rise to sun set have an opportunity to see what a tarmac road is so that at the end of the day they go and vote for those in government again.

But when a government is spending more money than the revenues it can raise, deficits sneak in quickly, interest rates are likely to go up (as already announced yesterday by the Bank of Zambia to increase its benchmark interest rate by 175 basis points to 12 percent on Friday following an all time low free fall in the strength of the Kwacha against the US Dollar) and low growth in the economy.

The 6.4 economic growth Zambia enjoys today is not riding on the policies of PF, this is a long rising curve as a result of what the previous fiscally disciplined people like Ng'andu Magande and his successor Situmbeko Musokotwane did to Zambia 10 years before the 2011 elections that ushered the Patriotic Front, Sata and Chikwanda into office.

The increase in interest rates might help strengthen the Kwacha in the interim, but that is not sustainable when the obvious and far reaching effects of increased interest rates is a drop in business activity that affects the production in the economy. Already the prices of commodities are up and businesses may access financing at a huge cost, further worsening the cost of living for the consumer.

The effects of overspending has already weighed down our Kwacha and the measures that are being taken like the offloading of US$178 million on to the market and the cancellation of intrusive Statutory Instruments 33 and 55 may have come too late and represent very little of the bigger damage that the PF has done to the economy in the last two and half years in office.
The SI No. 33 of 2012 is one intrusive act by government that stopped transactions in foreign currency within the country while the SI No. 55 of 2013, gave Bank of Zambia (BOZ) to monitor cash in and out flows and forced multinational companies to keep their revenues for 15 days within the country before sending their monies to their mother companies abroad. This meant that the multinationals could not make efficient decisions about what to do with their money and everything else was delayed by a fortnight.  

World Bank Group Country Director for Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe acknowledges Zambia's economic misadventure saying: "Zambia's economy had recently gotten into a difficult situation with a large budget overrun in 2013 and increasing uncertainty about economic policies and direction, partly reflected in the rapid depreciation of the Kwacha and accompanying sense of panic in the markets".

We have a national catastrophe on our hands as far as the Patriotic Front government is concerned and we may need a bold decision in 2016 to change this misfortune.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

People Driven Constitution: A Revolution Govt May Delay But Not Stop. PF Cheating Game Makes Them Ridiculous

CHEATING GAME: Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba
Every day Sata must read it on the wall of State House that this movement for a people driven constitution is a revolution that PF policy may guide but cannot afford to stop. People will continue to find ways to peacefully raise awareness, express discontent and pressure government to enact the document in the very form the supreme law will inspire their aspirations
By Nyalubinge Ngwende

Where is Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba getting his courage of thinking sensible Zambians who, just after freeing themselves from two decades of abuse under the MMD leadership through a revolt vote, would meekly submit to the tyranny of the PF government?  

The extent of serious political and economic malaise emanating from abuses by people in power this country has continued to suffer in the last 50 years since Independence are as a result of having a bad constitution.

Zambia’s constitution has never been tailored to national aspirations but crafted to serve narrow interests of those in government. Therefore it lacks the character that represents the 50 years growth of the country, while appreciation of the modern meaning of human rights cannot be realised. Essential freedoms are like nourishing oil to the spirit of citizenship to make it function happily in contributing to nationhood building. But these freedoms are under threat now as they have always been because the constitution has holes for misinterpretation by those in power.

Friday, 14 March 2014

After Tribunal Probe, Zambia Tourism Minister Is Not Hurt Alone

Whether Tourism Minister Sylvia Masebo is cleared or not by the tribunal investigating her, at the end individuals morals and institutional confidence would have been shredded by hidden interests. Vice president Scott insulted State Intelligence officers as dull, enmity among MPs of the ruling party has reached irretrievable depths and The Post newspaper disheveled its own credibility

EMBATTLED: Tourism Minister, Sylvia Masebo (left) with Veep Guy Scott
By Nyalubinge Ngwende
The tribunal investigating Zambian Tourism Minister Sylvia Masebo for her illegal interference with concession hunting licenses awarded to six companies closed on Monday (March 10, 2014), after several witnesses, including an Intelligence Officer and the country’s attorney general, testified against her.  

But whatever the outcome, Masebo would not have been the only one battered by the probe.

Innocent individuals would have been harangued and maligned, enmity between some senior members of the ruling Patriotic Front might have forever been pushed to irretrievable extents and government’s investigative institutions would have been discredited—dragged into bog.  

It did not just end there as the case also exposes further how much The Post newspaper is compromised beyond redemption, never again to represent credible media we know— that must be suffered by those in authority in order to protect the right of people to know. Now The Post is part of the government and is shamelessly serving the interests of PF leaders. 

The scandal, before a tribunal investigating Masebo for illegal interfering with awarded hunting licenses, also worsens the Kabwata ruling PF MP Given Lubinda’s problems that have made his party accuse him of being disloyal and a snitch, testifying against his own and leaking inside damaging information to party opponents.