The propensity by PF government to keep on borrowing money from international lenders is a sign that the ruling party is not only top heavy, wasteful, but also lacks planning, says UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema.
Mr Hichilema said Zambians, especially the younger generation, should by now know that PF had basically consigned them into slavery for years to come due to another debt mountain that other people sacrificed to dismantle.
Mr Hichilema was reacting to reports that the PF government was considering to issue another US$1 billion international Eurobond specifically to target the agriculture sector.
“This does not surprise us in the UPND because we still insist that the current regime has no capacity to generate revenue from local resources. But what is now becoming reckless by the PF is that we seem to be moving to a situation where every sector or government ministry will now be borrowing for its operations,
“And what is even more worrying is that the latest Eurobond also earmarked before this year, comes at a time when the other US$1 billion amount borrowed for this year has not even been exhausted” said Mr Hichilema
In a press statement yesterday, Mr Hichilema said the PF has to date not fully accounted for the first US$750 million Eurobond it borrowed in 2013, adding that there was evidence that the borrowed money did not fully benefit the nation.
“Therefore, there is no assurance that the money PF government intends to borrow for the agriculture sector will be used for the right purpose as it is normally used for personal benefits through corrupt contracts to friends and relatives,” said Hichilema
He said however that with a responsible government, agriculture, if well managed, was capable of generating its own resources for reinvestment in the sector.
Mr Hichilema said it would have made more sense to UPND if the huge chunk of the first Eurobond was targeted at the agriculture sector than some of the projects that have no potential whatsoever to contribute to the repayment of the loans.
“We advise President Michael Sata and his PF government to restructure government and set priorities so that they generate and make use of domestic resources rationally and wisely” he said
He said the continuous borrowing of money was not because there were inadequate domestic resources to finance the budget, but the PF government was top heavy, wasteful, and lacked planning.
“That’s why in UPND, we have been calling for a new constitution to provide strict parliamentary oversight on borrowing and usage of such and other resources,” he said