Stop making ‘shopping’ list from borrowed funds which you could have raised from windfall taxes- PF told

UPND Bweengwa MP, Hyve Hamududu, says the PF have chosen a more expensive option by borrowing through the recently acquired Eurobond when they could have raised the same or more money if they had implemented the windfall tax on mines which they promised.

And the Bweengwa parliamentarian said it was wrong for the PF to pre-determine where the borrowed money will be spent without approval from parliament as the money was not a PF party project funds.

Last week, the Zambian government borrowed $750 million through a Eurobond that pushed the country’s external debt to more than USD 2 billion and 250 million.

Mr. Hamududu, who is an economist, said the PF government missed the opportunity and a better option of raising through windfall taxes the USD750 million from the high mineral prices within about 5 years without contracting a 10 year-debt that future generations will have to pay.

He said there may not even be a guaranteed of honouring re-payments for the contracted debt within 10 years, especially if mineral prices go down, thereby putting the country at risk of defaulting and paying more money.

On the usage of the borrowed funds, Mr. Hamududu said it was wrong for the PF party to make a ‘shopping list’ of items to be ‘bought’ from the money to the exclusion of others because every Zambian will have to bear the debt burden.

He said the borrowed amount constitute a national treasury and not PF party project funds hence the expenditure should be agreed by people’s representatives across the country.

Several PF leaders have been ‘drawing shopping lists’ of items to spend the money on without parliament approval.

Late president Levy Mwanawasa and his finance Minister Ngandu Magandu laboured succesfully to remove Zambia’s $7 billion external debt which was accrued mostly in the first ten years of the MMD rule.

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