Patriotic Front (PF) Vice president, Given Lubinda, has described the economic policies being pursued by President Hakainde Hichilema as impotent.
Lubinda said the economic policies of the Hichilema administration had made it worse for Zambians, who are now reportedly suffering the worst high cost of living.
During a media briefing in Lusaka on Monday, Lubinda said the reduced economic output and reduced earnings especially from the agriculture and mining sectors, would contract the rate of economic growth.
He claimed that as a result, government had revised the economic growth rate for 2023 from 4.7 percent to 2.7 percent and the prospects for 2024 could therefore be more pesimistic.
“We have noted that the 2022 Budget was K172,9 billion, it dropped to K167,3 billion for 2023 Budget and now is at K177.8 billion for 2024,” Lubinda said.
He said all these numbers meant nothing as government had been bringing to parliament huge amounts as supplementary expenditure to the annual budgets.
Lubinda noted that Hichilema and his Ministers had sung a repeated song alleging that they found empty coffers, a mountain of debt and a damaged economy.
“These assertions have frequently been repeated hoping that the lies will achieve the status of truth,” he said.
Lubinda stated that on August 24, 2021, Hichilema took over $3.1 billion Foreign Reserves or Gross International Reserves which was equivalent of 3.8months of import cover.
He said in July 2021, the reserves had just been boosted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) $1.3billion, a general allocation of Special Drawing Rights to Zambia granted on August 2, 2021.
“This allocation was part of the $650million approved by the IMF for the Global Liquidity Stabilization Programme for eligible member states to attend to global economic and social crisis caused by COVID19 Pandemic,” Lubinda said.
He claimed that Hichilema met extensive infrastructural development done with roads, bridges, airports, dams, schools, colleges and universities, health centres, clinics and hospitals, all built.
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