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Friday, 30 August 2013

Random Thoughts, 5th Edition

Just in case you need more evidence of the financial shambles we are currently in. This letterrecently  shared by Zambia News Features seems to say it all.  We wont really get anything sensible truth out of the Ministry of Finance until the Budget 2014 comes in October. But it is obvious that Zambia'scurrent financial  situation is perilous due to poor decision making  at the Ministry of Finance. 

Talking of incompetence. Alexander Chikwanda recently said, “Yes there is a budget deficit but deficits are normal. It happens everywhere and there is nothing strange about it but what it is important is the measures that the treasury will devise to cut the deficit” Deficits are certainly normal. What is not normal is increasing your deficit from 4.3% of GDP to more than double. Effectively leaving a huge spending gap that can only be financed by more borrowing or heftier taxes. It is also not normal to create such a deficit by a unnecessary wage increases that previous Finance Ministers rightly rejected because they understood the economics of running a country.

Energy Minister Chris Yaluma recently claimed that ZESCO has been totally transformed : "The ZESCO of about nine months ago is totally different from the ZESCO is see today...Clearly the ZESCO of today is far much better than the ZESCO we had before. We have a focused management team and the fruits are beginning to show. The ZESCO I see today has totally changed in terms of customer service....You know the biggest problem [is that] you never know what ZESCO is doing until when you have load shedding but I know that these guys are busy planning on how to serve you better....ZESCO has ambitious programme, a basket of things, approved and not just a basket of wish list but approved projects to improve electricity supply.." Needless to say that shocked and annoyed  many of our Facebook readers!

The Supreme Court recently upheld the election of Lufwanyama MMD MP Anne Munshya. The losing PF candidate Christopher Kalenge had petitioned the election of Munshya in the High Court citing electoral malpractices. The High Court had dismissed the election petition with costs but Kalenge appealed to the Supreme Court where Justice Elizabeth Muyovwe upheld the High Court’s decision. The judgement is significant because it lends further credibility to the competent manner with which Justice Muyovwe has been handling the petitions. What of course is unsurprising is that this judgement has garnered little attention.

Chola Mukanga | Economist
Copyright © Zambian Economist 2013

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