Leader of opposition business in the House Jack Mwiimbu says as Parliament resumes sitting this week, his party expects issues of excessive borrowing, massive corruption in the current government and the breakdown in the rule of law to be addressed.
In an interview with News Diggers! Mwiimbu said the new Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe should also tell parliamentarians how government would ensure that Zambia does not fall into a debt trap.
“As UPND and other opposition political parties, we have been imploring government to desist from excessive borrowing. We have advised on several occasions that Zambia is almost bankrupt as a result of unplanned borrowing by government. The budget can not sustain the borrowings which government is making. We expect the minister of finance to address us, as MPS when Parliament opens, how they intend to ensure that Zambia does not fall into a debt trap. We are aware that currently whatever is budgeted for, 50 per cent is going to expenditure, 40 percent to debt servicing [and] only 10 per cent is available for other projects. So we expect government to address this issue seriously,” he said.
“The second issue is high corruption levels currently obtaining in government. Every right thinking member of the public has been talking about corruption which is endemic in government. We expect that this matter be dealt with especially when the President comes to address Parliament. We expect him to tell us how he will address the issues of high corruption in his government. Evidence is available to show that there is massive corruption in government. He talked about ‘ubomba mwibala alya mwibala’. That statement is encouraging those who are responsible for managing our finances to be corrupt.”
Mwiimbu said farmers also expected government to give hope to farmers following the drought.
“As members of parliament, we want him to tell us how they will address the consequences of severe drought that affected this country which will lead into shortages of food. Crops were destroyed during the drought period. The rains have come very late and even when they have come late, they are also destroying whatever little that had remained through the floods. So we need to hear how government will deal with that. Aparat from that, we want him to address the imbalances in terms of projects. We are aware that certain areas are not being developed by the government. They are concentrating in other areas. We do not want discrimination to continue as part of our culture in this country. We want fairness,” said Mwiimbu.
“We need to address the issues of the rule of law. There is a break down pertaining to the rule of law in this country. Party cadres don’t consider that there are laws. All citizens are supposed to be equal before the law, but what has transpired is that PF cadres are above the law. For the Public Order Act, the PF do not even require to notify the police to demonstrate and have meetings but other political parties are required to comply with the Public Order Act. Even when they comply they are not being given their liberty and the rights that are bestowed on them by the constitution. So we want fairness as we progress.”