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International lenders will soon start grabbing Zambia’s assets over failure to repay loans – AndyfordBy Sipilisiwe Ncube on 10 Sep 2018
People’s Alliance for Change (PAC) president Andyford Banda has warned that other countries will soon start grabbing Zambia’s assets because the PF government is clueless on how to raise money to repay debt.
In an interview with News Diggers! Banda observed that over taxing citizens as a way of raising resources to repay debt would not work.
What’s going to happen eventually is that first the government will realize at a later stage that this was not the route because they will not raise enough taxes from taxing people. And then when they realize that, they will start defaulting on these debts. Trust me this government does not have ideas on how they are going to create enough money to pay debts, so all these assets that they are putting to get debt from different countries, trust me, sooner or later we will start seeing some of these assets being grabbed,” Banda warned.
“And trust me, everyday, businesses are hurting, they are closing down as many youths have got no jobs. All they know is to buy votes when it’s time for by-elections and time will come when people will realize that enough is enough and I think that will be the fall of the PF government.”
He said the PF was only good at borrowing.
“They don’t have ideas, they don’t know how to run an economy, they don’t know how to empower businesses, they don’t know how to empower people, they don’t know how to create opportunities for jobs. The only thing that they know is just to rushing looking for loans. Like right now, I can tell you that as a country we don’t have any aspirations, the only aspiration that we have is to find a way of paying the debt. But the government is not coming up with ventures apart from taxing people, ventures that would help increase the tax base by empowering people. The only thing that they know is to create new taxes from the few people who have some income,” Banda said.
He condemned government’s move to recover the loans from people who benefitd from the higher education loans scheme without consulting stakeholders on how to go about it.
“The government is trying to milk money from Zambian people in any way they can do. I am sure from the 30Ngwe tax, to the bursaries, to the borehole taxes, there is a lot that is coming. And you see the problem is that they will just say ‘oh, these people already went to UNZA, so let’s recover’ and those people don’t have a choice because they have already been to UNZA. They will say let’s charge tax on internet because they know that whether they charge tax or not, you are going to pay, you are going to use internet to call or whatsapp. Now this should be scary because the budget is about to be announced. Our fear is that there will be a lot of taxes that may be introduced,” Banda said.
“A number of taxes may go up just for the government to recover some money and I think that is the only solution that they think they have. But like I have always said, the government needs to understand that it cannot tax itself into prosperity. They need to create opportunities for each and every Zambian, not just opportunities for PF aligned individuals. If they are going to always limit the cycle of people who can make money, then it will be difficult for the economy to be sustained because the economy can only be sustained and supported by the buying power. Now the buying power is not just in one individual with a lot of money. The buying power is in a whole lot of individuals with little money. Now they want to be doing things like just milking people,” he said.
Banda asked government not to introduce any more taxes but create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.
“This loan recovery from the students I think it’s about government lacking ideas of how they can create an environment which is able to produce more jobs and support more businesses. They don’t have ideas on how they can ensure that they increase the buying power in the market for them to create more taxes from people buying more products because you must remember that for every product that you buy, you pay tax, but they don’t have ideas, they are blank. To that’s a situation right now. And our advise in the same vein is that as they prepare for the national budget, we should not see more taxes being introduced as a way of increasing revenue. We hope that they keep their taxes where they are and find a way of creating an environment for job and wealth creation,” said Banda.
About Sipilisiwe Ncube
Sipilisiwe Ncube is a Zambian journalist with a background in radio news.
Email: sipilisiwe [at] diggers [dot] news
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