Kalabo central UPND member of parliament Harry Kamboni has charged that allowing the Patriotic Front to govern Zambia was the country’s worst tragedy.
And Kamboni says he was shocked to hear Minister of Finance Margaret Mwanakatwe announcing a new tax on powdered milk for infants when she is also a woman.
Debating the K86.6 billion 2019 budget presented to Parliament by the Minister of Finance on September 28th, 2018, Kambole said the country would lose more assets if the PF government continued to acquire loans.
“Corruption has been really costly to this country. We are all suffering now because all these loans were gotten illegally. I have consulted very seasoned professors in law and they have said these loans are supposed to pass through the Parliament, which they didn’t do. They get the loans secretly and everyone is being made to pay back. We are taxing people and these taxes are not coming back to Zambia, it’s going to China and other countries. This budget Mr Speaker is China one, Chambia one. Our local lending institutions are now burdened, it’s too much. The government has borrowed too much even from local lenders, to a point where now some of them are suffocating. If you go anywhere [people are saying] ‘the government owes me so much, I haven’t gotten my money from the government. And social responsibilities in this government are all gone, we have just learnt that University of Zambia will be cut and put into parts, and who are going to do the other [things]? The Chinese! NRDC is sold to who? The Chinese! ZNBC is no longer ours, even Kenneth Kaunda International Airport will be taken,” Kambole said.
“And when I look at this debt plan here of getting another loan when we are so bad at paying back, getting another loan to pay interest, then I see us losing a lot of institutions. The questions is, what did the PF government come for? I think the worst tragedy for Zambia was to allow the PF to come to government. It has brought misery, it has brought confusion, they use deviant rule on things that are straight forward. You don’t pay students their allowances, what do you expect them to do? How will they complain? Then when they come you say ‘it’s that man there because he doesn’t like me’. I think we need to be more serious than that. We need to be very serious. The Kwacha has gone down because of loans, things have gone up because of these loans. Everything now it is loan first and then country second. You can’t run the country like that. In a normal country I think we should have called for early elections because surely the PF government, whether we like it or not has failed on how to run this country. They should call for a workshop and we will give them ideas.”
Kambole said his party, just like many other Zambians did not support the 2019 national budget because it was destroying the country.
“As UPND we don’t support this budget, from Kalomo central, we don’t! And even Zambians don’t support this budget because it is destroying us, leaving us naked. Let me now go to taxes Mr Speaker, the purpose of taxes is to offer service. Not where you tax people, you send money outside the country. All the tax that we are paying now, it’s going to China and all those we are owing. So what am I paying tax for? This is supposed to offer services in schools, it is supposed to offer services in hospitals and it is supposed to offer services to the police. But because you don’t have money, you employ cadres who will shoot innocent women. What kind of people are those who will throw a [teargas] cannister in a university that they didn’t build? I have never seen buildings being burnt by the same people who are supposed to protect you and when it happens they say ‘it must be that one in the opposition’. When the Kwacha goes down, it’s the opposition. We must learn to face reality!” exclaimed Kambole.
“Face reality and solve problems, that’s why we are there in leadership. Leadership is not about roses. Mr Speaker, I was shocked. I was hoping that this budget being done by our mother, it would consider the fate of children. Children who are born in prison are not given any share by this government. They have to depend on their mothers and in circumstances where the mother is HIV positive, the child will depend on donated milk. How could you put tax on powered milk? The PF are even destroying children, this milk is eaten by children so how do you put tax on milk? What is the motive? Honestly we can’t feel pity that children should grow well? That is the responsibility of leadership, but we put in tax.”