Zambia risks falling into another heavy debt trap that would put Zambians into economic doldrums once the Patriotic Front (PF) government leaves power, Christian Democratic Party (CDP) president Dan Pule has warned.
Dr Pule said the current rate at which the country was borrowing was too high to effectively manage as a third world country.
“Look at the current budget, the borrowing levels are increasing at a frightening very fast, is now at highest level ever reached in the early 1990s,” he said.
He explained that according to the Secretary of the Treasury Fredson Yamba, the levels of domestic debt would reach up to K20 billion while external debts would exceed US $3million which was not good for the country’s economy.
He said the recent celebrated successful acquisition of the US$1 billion euro bond which has been compounded to the first US $750,000 was extremely alarming and had the potential to lead the country back to indebtedness.
Dr Pule said before 1992, there was no local debt in the country contrary to what was currently obtaining where the PF government had become lavishly extravagant with the potential to cause the country to accumulate a debt of over $10 billion.
And Dr Pule has bemoaned the high cost of living which has befallen the majority Zambians who were wallowing in abject poverty due to the rising cost of essential commodities such as mealie meal.
He said the recent hike in fuel prices had devastating consequences on the people of Zambia especially in terms of bus fares, housing and food costs without increasing domestic income.
And on the Labour Day commemorations, Dr Pule has appealed to the workers not to allow politicians to steal their day, but instead take advantage of the gatherings to press the government for the release of the draft constitution.
“On this Labour Day, the workers of Zambia should seize this opportunity to join the majority of Zambians to petition Government for a people driven constitution. President Michael Sata must provide leadership and honour his campaign promises by giving the nation a people driven constitution. It should be a day for the workers to fight/lobby for their rights with their employers and government,” he explained.
He said workers must also petition government regarding the escalating cost of living.
“Since PF government came into power in 2011 cost of living has been through rising virtually month by month food, fuel, bus fares and housing.
Even the proposals to shift the retirement age from 55 years to 65 years, should consider energy levels for old people working,” he said. He has since called on the Zambia Police Service to act professional and protect all Zambians regardless of their political affiliation.
He said the PF has been leading in perpetrating violence especially at by-elections and called on the President to speak to the people and not through his facebook postings.
“We all remember President Sata as a man who was always personally on radio and television,” he said.