The Patriotic Front (PF) government should not abuse the donor trust the MMD regime created by contracting unsustainable loans that will push back the country into high levels of indebtedness, says Former Civil Society for Poverty Reduction chairman Partner Siabutuba.
Commenting on reports that government has borrowed US$19 million for military related activities from China, Mr. Siabutuba said that it was wrong for the PF government to abuse the donor trust the MMD left.
He said that the good economic prevailing indicators and condition which the MMD government left in place which included a massive reduction of Zambia’s external debts should be nurtured to ensure that the Zambian economic and social conditions were improved.
“At the movement the PF government should not borrow money which will bring or slide us back into high levels of indebtedness. But should instead focus on developing and expanding the economic capacity of the country and that is the only way we can manage and afford to pay back the loans if the economy expands,” said Mr. Siabutuba.
Mr. Siabutuba said that the MMD government worked hard to reduce external borrowing, adding that the PF government should also consider redirecting its effort at a plan on how they would expand the economy of the country.
He said that the current situation was worrying because it seemed as if the PF was borrowing for consumption.
“The PF seems to be going back to borrowing for consumption. It is difficult to justify why Zambia should get US$19 million to finance military related activities as if the country was at war. The war the PF should fight now is high levels of poverty the country is facing and not military activities. This country is not at war,” he said.
Mr. Siabutuba said that in order to fight poverty among Zambians the PF government must seriously consider investing in the agriculture, health and education sectors.
He also said that the PF should invest in roads and rural development in order to create jobs for the unemployed youths.
“We need to start creating jobs for our young people and therefore this government should state clearly the use of the Eurobond they got some time back. They are bluffing to suggest that they have already disbursed the monies.
“They should come out clearly and tell the nation what they have done with the money. They have to tell us which projects they have financed so that as tax payers we know. That is not PF money and the PF will not pay it back but it is the people of Zambia. We don’t want to slide into another HIPC like it was last time.” he said