MMD leader Nevers Mumba has asked government to be honest and accountable in the management of national resources. And Mumba has proposed a freeze on all borrowing by the government beginning next year. In his Christmas message to Zambians, Mumba said the past seven years had left Zambians bruised and bitter against each other.
“On behalf of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy, and indeed on my own behalf, I wish every Zambian a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year. As we celebrate the birth of Christ and prepare for the New Year, let us try, with God’s help, to invoke three values for at least three months. Starting on January 1, 2018, if we can sustain these values for three months, there will be nothing to stop us from making it our way of life,”
He urged Zambians to take advantage of the current celebratory and reflective season to consider the birth of Christ as a symbol of new birth for the country.
“Birth speaks of a new beginning. By dedicating our lives to Christ, we share in his eternal values of love, honesty and living at peace with one another. Firstly, I would like to propose to all Zambians to try to love people we have considered our enemies in the past. Write a short list of people you didn’t like and ask for God’s grace to try to love them at least for three months,”
He proposed that the country tries to freeze all borrowing and aspire to live “within our means” and be lenders.
“No more debt. Thirdly, I wish to propose that government tries to be honest and accountable in the management of national resources. To avoid any form of corruption at least for the next three months,” Mumba said.
The opposition leader last week alleged that the country’s debt, based on details availed by the Ministry of Finance on all contracted debts, is not less than $23 billion and not what was being claimed by finance minister Felix Mutati (in the region of $7 billion).
And Africa Confidential’s recent release on Zambia had also indicated that the country’s debt was around $22 billion, which was around 80 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
The IMF also recently disclosed that it had halted talks for a $1.6 billion bailout package with Zambia because of its huge appetite for interest based loans. The Bretton Wood institution had earlier advised Zambia to rationalize its infrastructure projects, which are currently gobbling millions of dollars of borrowed funds.
And Mumba said there was need to give a new birth to the country.
“The past seven years have left us bruised and bitter against each other, disjointed and divided as a people and economically anaemic as a nation,” said Mumba.
“These three goals – to love, to lend instead of borrowing and to resist all manner of corruption will give a new birth to our country. May the spirit of Christmas be our guiding light throughout 2018. Merry Christmas!”