YOTAM Mtayachalo has described the 2018 budget as ‘Dununa Reverse part two’ because it was not good for Zambians.
Dununa Reverse was a PF campaign mantra, which the opposition contended was ominous.
In a statement, Mtayachalo, the former general secretary of the National Energy Sector and Allied Workers’ Union, stated that the 2018 budget had nothing for the common man in the street.
“It has not brought smiles on the face of the small and medium entrepreneurs. The workers and the farmers expected the [finance] minister to increase disposable income for workers by increasing the PAYE tax exception thresholds because they have made a huge sacrifice as a result of 3-4 years wage freeze, which was imposed on them. I can safely describe the 2018 national budget as a ‘Dununa Reverse part two budget’. It is full of tax increases, taxing the already overtaxed population. The minister has failed to come up with measures which will promote tax compliance such as lowering taxes in order to achieve high tax compliance,”
He stated that he expected the government to reduce corporate tax as an incentive to companies in order to promote job creation for the youth.
“The budget has also removed income tax holiday which was managed by the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA), which is a huge drawback to them growth of SMES. We as opposition and the labour movement should have taken this government to task so that they can explain how the money saved from removal of subsidies has been spent,” Mtayachalo stated.
“The PF government since coming into power has taken radical measures to removal subsidies. They promised the nation that the country shall make huge savings after subsidies have been removed and money be invested in infrastructure development and other economic sectors but there are still busy borrowing and increasing taxes. This is unacceptable and the government must be taken to task.”
He stated that excessive government borrowing might expose the nation to a serious economic catastrophe similar to what happened in Greece and other European countries, hence enslaving the future generations.
“In a nutshell, the opposition needs to work together in unison and not attack each other. The ‘pull him down syndrome’ in the opposition shall not take us anywhere as the ruling party will be the greatest beneficiary,” he stated.
Mtayachalo stated that EPP president Chilufya Tayali should reflect on his actions.
“I want to particularly address my brother Mr Chilufya Tayali and several other young, promising, dynamic and intelligent upcoming young political leaders. I believe young people can make a difference and help elevate our politics to a much higher level than the usual politics of scandalizing each other at the expense of productive politics. l always admire and talk highly about Dr Kenneth Kaunda, Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe and other great nationalists because of the great contributions they made to this great nation during their youthful days,” Mtayachalo stated.
“KK was 40 when he became president of a new independent Zambia. These gallant men and women despite many of them having humble education, they did great things for our beloved Zambia because they put national interest first rather than their personal interests. They were actually selfless and patriotic to the nation. They dedicated their lives to building the nation without focusing at accumulating financial and material benefits for themselves and their families.”
He stated that Tayali’s move to release the alleged dossier on Chishimba Kambwili’s corruption was meant to divert peoples’ attention from real issues.
“As things stand now, the issues at hand which have drawn a lot of attention in the nation are the $42m fire tender, the $1.2billion Lusaka-dual carriageway and the national budget. These are issues, which any serious opposition is supposed to address because they touch on issues of bread and butter. We are supposed to scrutinize the budget and make necessary observations, which can help the nation instead of throwing stones at Chishimba Kambwili. I believe the move by Mr Tayali is meant to divert peoples’ attention from discussing the corruption allegations Kambwili has raised,” stated Mtayachalo.