We are concerned with the state of our pensioners and we intend to effect the following reforms once voted into power.
The UPND believes that in a declining economy such as ours, where poverty, inequality and unemployment are rife, it is NOT beneficial for government through NAPSA, so continue holding on to workers’ contributions until the legally prescribed retirement age.
With the low life expectancy , it means MOST contributors are expected to die well before they have an opportunity to receive their working life pensions packages.
In fact, NAPSA is now a money laundering conduit where pensions money is being plundered in inflated infrastructure related investments.
To reform NAPSA,
1. A UPND administration will allow partial, percentage based access to pensions contributions after a determined period of actively contributing into the NAPSA pool
2. A UPND administration to devise NAPSA based UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS once a contributor is out of work and actively seeking employment for at least THREE (3) months.
3. A UPND administration to focus on leveraging NAPSA to deliver RENT TO OWN low – medium cost housing units which contributors may rent with a view to own.
This will go a long way towards alleviating the housing crisis among civil servants and young professionals.
The UPND also believes NAPSA should be more accountable and transparent in their investment portfolio management, as well as fully disclosing the actual month on month returns on the various investments in which public pensions money has been ploughed.
These measures are aimed at delivering pensions justice for thousands, if not millions, of working class people. This will also be a bold and huge step towards redressing the poverty and inequality traps.
*Contact* : UPND Presidential Spokesperson,: Anthony Bwalya +260 97 8138847
Lusaka – (27.02.2021)
The UPND’s economic reconstruction plan is anchored on the transference of the control of money and economic power back to individuals and households.
This is the precise opposite of what the PF regime have done, by robbing individuals and households of all economic power and opportunity in the name of big government spending, which is fuelled by grand corruption.
The UPND believes that a K1 in the pocket of an individual is worth more than a K1 in government Control 99 account.
While an individual or family will spend their K1 on things that directly impact their welfare and well-being, government will spend its K1 on cars, fancy luxury aircrafts and big roads heading to nowhere.
This is why the UPND administration , as part of the process of shifting economic power back to the people, we have committed to the following measures among several:
1. Reform PAYE so that tax exempt bracket is K4,000, upper tax bracket to reduce to 22.5% from the current 37.5%, middle tax bracket to hover between 10 – 15%.
This translates as at least $1.5bn injected directly into the micro economy over an initial 5 year period.
The impact is a minimum K830 into the pockets of individuals and families.
2. Reform NAPSA to allow contributors partial, periodic access to their money ahead of retirement.
This will also be the basis of a NAPSA supported unemployment benefit scheme for out of work contributors.
3. Stamp out government sponsored corruption and redirect a minimum a minimum $2.5bn per annum away from corrupt government elements and back into critical public sectors such as education, skills development, healthcare, agriculture and actual job creation through rapid industrialization.
A different Zambia is possible.
But we must deliver it together by committing to moving #forward.
UPND MEDIA TEAM
Ngabwe – 29.02.2021
Video —VEEP donates Bicycles
PEOPLE of Ngabwe district of Central province stand ready to vote out the Patriotic Front (PF) owing to numerous hardships and lack of infrastructure in a region that has remained neglected.
This was when UPND Vice President, Mutale Nalumango donated eight bicycles for ward mobilization in Lufubu constituency of Ngabwe district.
In her speech through NMC member Collins Maoma, Mrs Nalumango said the bicycles were a way of empowering the local leadership to reach every member of the community in order to bring about change of government through the ballot.
And Presidential Campaign Team (PCT) Secretary Vincent Chimuka told the gathering that a special training program was underway for polling station management to ensure effective vote protection.
The handover ceremony was witnessed by Provincial Chairperson, Albert Chifita, Provincial Chairlady, Catharine Lemba and Provincial Secretary, Davy Siamuzulu. Others present included District Chairperson, Weston Kayumba, District Chairlady, Magaret Champanga, District Secretary, Paison Ngangula and Constituency Chairperson, Steven Silungwe.
Also in attendance were three UPND Councilors, namely; Chrispine Himuntanga from Mukubwe ward, Borden Kalebuka from Ngabwe ward, Mulenga from Kirwa Island and some ward officials who received the donated bicycles.
The people have declared that; “Kuno kwesu, ivoti lya ba president ba Hakainde Hichilema, tuli votele kale; ne kukakapo ulushishi; tulepembela cabe August 12, epela!” (Here in Ngabwe district, president Hichilema’s vote is already cast and sealed; we are eagerly waiting for the August 12 polls, period).
The UPND Team earlier paid a courtesy call on Chief Mukubwe to deliver a special message from Mrs Nalumango.
(C) UPND MEDIA TEAM
Lusaka – 24/02/21
Mazabuka Central Member of Parliament Gary Nkombo this afternoon questioned why the Zambia Police has failed to act decisively against criminal elements at Lusaka’s Intercity bus terminus and Kamugodi near Soweto Market.
During a question for oral answer session in Parliament today, Mr Nkombo questioned Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo why the police found it easy to raid Mutinta Hichilema’s relatives in Shibuyunji when it has failed to get rid of the criminal elements at the two mentioned places who were harassing people for belonging to a different political party other than the PF.
“I will cite a few examples on why people might think that this was a targeted operation. The deputy Secretary-General of the PF madam Mumbi Phiri in the period prior to the arrest of Mr Hichilema on vexatious and fictitious charge of treason is quoted as having said that they will smoke him out like a rat. And a day later, police converged at his house, broke his house, took him like a common criminal and eventually transported him from prison back and forth in a dog kernel. There was gassing in this country and a Mr Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba indicated to the country that he knew the people behind the gassing. The police have not arrested anyone even in the volunteering of that information. When the market was gutted, the Vice President Her Honour Mrs Wina seemed to know who those people were”, he said.
He wondered why the same police cannot raid intercity and kamugodi and arrest the elements that were harassing people and normalise life at the two places.
Mr Nkombo’s question followed Mwembezhi independent member of Parliament Machila Jamba who asked the Minister of Home Affairs whether the Ministry is aware of the Shibuyunji police raid and that the affected villagers were left traumatised.
Speaker Patrick Matibini could however not allow Minister Kampyongo to respond to the question saying it was different from the subject on the order paper.
(C) UPND MEDIA TEAM
This afternoon we joined our fellow Alliance Partners in the opposition to address various issues on how we are going to progress ahead of the August 12 elections.
We made a declaration to commit ourselves to working together as an electoral pact to liberate our country and bring it to normalcy.
Our alliance partners entrusted us with the responsibility to be the flag carrier of this electoral pact; a gesture which we humbly accepted.
The Alliance resolved that going forward, the pact will now be called the UPND Alliance.
Our partners further entrusted us with the responsibility to nominate a running mate when the right time comes.
This is not just an alliance with our opposition partners but it is also an Alliance with the people of Zambia. Together we will liberate this country.
Let’s all join hands and bring the change for Zambia.
HH aka Bally
Mopani, KCM, the Mining Industry and the future of the Zambian Economy
National Management Committee Member
United Party for National Development (UPND)
The Zambian government through ZCCM-IH has taken over Mopani Copper Mines from Glencoe. The take-over transaction is through a debt equity swap under which the former owner, Glencoe, will be paid $1.5 billion. The government is also pitched into legal battles to take control of another mining company, Konkola Copper Mines from Vedanta.
What do these spates of take-overs mean for the mining industry? And for the economy at large, now and in future?
Mining will continue to be the mainstay of the Zambian economy now and in the foreseeable future. Whilst economic diversification to reduce the dominance of copper is necessary, that is that objective is best achieved when the mining sector is expanding and thriving. Not when it is declining because mining helps to provide the resources that are required for diversification.
The performance of the Zambian economy has been closely intertwined with that of the performance of the mining industry. Generally speaking, when mining is performing well, the economy tends to do the same, and vice versa. Economic managers must therefore at all times pay attention to the performance of the sector.
In the few years after independence, copper production was fairly high, exceeding 700, 000 MT per year. In those years, the population of the country at around three million people was fairly small. The level of copper production and the attendant benefits through taxes and jobs generally yielded resources that on average supported rising social-economic progress.
After the nationalisation of the mines in the early 1970s, there was a clear downward trend in mining production. Also, copper prices fell while petroleum prices spiked, creating severe imbalances between export revenues and the import bill. In an attempt to sustain living standards amidst the growing external financial gap, the country went into a borrowing spree with the hope that when prices recovered the debts would be repaid. It did not happen: the prices did not recover and mining output continued falling.
As external earnings declined, combined with high public indebtedness, the authorities were forced to print money for public expenditure. Together with misalignment in the Kwacha exchange rate, this led to some of the nasty economic experiences of those days such as near hyper-inflation, shortages of foreign exchange and commodities. About 35 years later from that period, there is risk that aspects of those sad experiences could repeat themselves.
Chart 1 (Source: Chamber of Mines) is a graphical presentation of copper production over the years. The following facts emerge. Firstly copper production as mentioned above fell within a fews years after nationlisation. Secondly, after privatisation at the turn of the century, copper prroduction has been rising fairly fast. Within a decade, production had almost returned to the peak levels of the 1970s. The drop in production took thirty years but the recovery took only ten years. Thirdly, Zambia’s share in the world production of copper has fallen as her own output declined (see the green line in the chart, whose scale is on the right hand y-axis). Around 1967,
read more in the attached PDF document…Mopani and KCM-2
“You cannot redistribute poverty. You can distribute value…That the top of our agenda.”
Unruly PF cadres this afternoon rounded and assaulted UPND die-hard supporter, Mercy Changwe.
This is the third time the 51-year-old gallant woman has been assaulted by PF cadres in a space of 11 months.
And recounting the unfortunate ordeal in an interview this afternoon, Ms. Changwe narrated that a horde of PF cadres armed with offensive weapons charged on her while she was serving her customers at her stand situated in Woodlands.
She said that the attack comes in the wake of numerous attempts and threats to burn her alive for supporting the opposition UPND, with the most recent one being a failed attempt yesterday as she wasn’t home.
“They (PF) came here yesterday to come and attack me. But when they didn’t find me at home, they interrogated on my whereabouts and phone number. [But] after my daughter told them that she wasn’t aware of my whereabouts, they told her that they’d come back to attack me today,” she said.
She said that around 14 hours, she was confronted by a PF gang driving an unregistered Toyota Alphard who threatened to beat her and pour battery acid on her body, she however refused to succumb to their demands for her to remove UPND regalia from her stand, and they drove off.
She said to her surprise, around 16:00 hours, the same unregistered Toyota Alphard resurfaced buses laden with PF thugs armed with offensive weapons including machetes, iron bars, and knives, who then descended on her.
“It was around 14 hours this afternoon when an unregistered Toyota Alphard drove to my stand (Woodlands). The people on board were PF cadres, they s threatened me and said they were going to burn me to death or pour acid on me. After I challenged them to they decided to drive off. Around 16 hours, the same vehicle reappeared but this time around with buses behind it. That’s how those on the buses started beating me with iron bars and other weapons,” she said.
She said they hit her head and knees and kept warning her that she should never again display her regalia on her stand.
The cadres have since walked away with K3, 000 cash, and merchandise worth K2,000.
Ms. Changwe has sustained a broken ankle, bleeding ears, wounds, head injuries, and fractured arms.
She reported the matter at Nyumba Yanga police station and later went to Chilenje clinic for treatment.
UPND MEDIA TEAM
By Charles Kakoma,
The cost of living in Zambia is very high. Everybody is complaining about the rising prices of goods and services. Inflation has run out of control.
When one goes to the market these days, he or she is greeted by high prices of tomatoes, onions, and other vegetables. In fact, marketeers now count how many tomatoes they put in a packet or on a hip. Tomato yadula!!.
Gone are the days when one would walk in a supermarket and just start picking things and throwing them in the trolley without looking at the prices. Prices of groceries have gone up. Sugar is now about K40 per 2kg while the bread is now about K15 per loaf. Mealie-meal prices have jumped from K35 per 25 kg under the MMD government to K150 or more under the PF government.
The general increase in the price level is what economists call inflation. By definition, inflation is a persistent generalized increase in the overall level of prices of goods and services in the economy. Rising prices reduce the buying power of money. In other words, inflation is the decline in the value of money. When inflation gets out of control, it is called hyperinflation. Zambia is now close to hyperinflation.
In 2006, Zambia managed to reduce inflation to a single-digit level of 9% for the first time in three decades. This achievement has been wiped out by the PF government in the last 10 years of their irresponsible rule. Inflation has jumped from 7% before PF took over the government to more than 18% last month, according to the Central Statistics Office.
Inflation is the number one enemy of the economy. It is practically impossible to manage the economy under inflationary conditions.
Inflation has to be brought under control if standards of living for the people are to be uplifted. Inflation tends to affect the poor people the hardest. This is because the largest component of inflation in Zambia is food inflation and most poor people’s income is spent on food.
By far the largest cause of inflation in Zambia is food prices. Food items dominate the Consumer Price Index. Food prices are affected by shocks such as fuel price increases and exchange rate depreciation that lead to increases in transportation costs.
In order to tackle food inflation, the costs of production of food have to be brought down. The UPND has committed itself through its manifesto to subsidize farming inputs to lower the cost of producing food. I have just bought urea fertilizer at K625 at Farmers Barn in Lusaka. At that high price of fertilizer, it is impossible to produce cheap maize. Similarly, the prices of stock feed are skyrocketing. A 50kg bag of chicken feed is now over K400. No wonder broiler chickens at markets are now selling at K70 one while eggs which used to be a poor man’s relish are now at K50 per tray. Which poor person will afford to have a chicken or eggs?
High inflation has to be fought because it contributes to poverty as the purchasing power of people’s income is eroded. High and unstable inflation makes it difficult for the business community and households to plan. At the household level, for example, it throws the family budget into disarray when one plans to buy a stove for K3000 and has taken a long time to make savings but only to discover that the price has gone up to K4000. It also leads to a loss of confidence in the local currency. We have witnessed a situation in Zimbabwe where the country abandoned the use of the local currency and resorted to using the American dollar.
Even here in Zambia, people prefer to quote their rentals in dollars rather than kwacha.
High inflation also discourages mobilization of savings since the saving public is aware of the loss of purchasing power of their money if it is deposited in a bank where the interest rate on savings is lower than the inflation rate.
High inflation also leads to high lending interest rates which in turn discourages borrowing for investment which is critical for sustained economic growth.
Apart from high food inflation, the country is also facing high non-food inflation. In this category are items like transport, communication, rent, fuel, electricity, clothing, education, health, and household goods.
Non-food inflation is caused by an increase in money supply, prices of fuel, depreciation of the kwacha, fiscal deficit financing, and high inflation expectations by the public.
Excessive money supply growth which is not supported by economic growth is inflationary. In simpler economic terms, increased money supply results in “too much money chasing too few goods “.
Over the years, we have witnessed growth in the money supply without corresponding economic growth.
In particular, the growth in money supply has been linked to fiscal deficit financing. The government has more and more resorted to borrowing money from the Bank of Zambia and other local financial institutions for consumption.
When the borrowed funds through treasury bills, bonds, and other instruments are spent on consumption, it results in the increased money supply not supported by production.
In its desperation, the PF government has been intimidating the Central Bank to give them money to meet their excessive expenditure. The financial indiscipline in government has resulted in the government living beyond its means. The PF government is broke and to continue sustaining government operations, they have resorted to financing the budget through excessive borrowing from the local banking system. They have also overborrowed from abroad thereby landing the country in a serious external debt crisis.
When the UPND government comes into power in August this year, we shall limit deficit financing to no more than 2% of the Gross Domestic Product from the current 6% of GDP. The UPND government will also cut reckless and excessive expenditure on consumption. The combined effect will be to lower inflation in the economy.
In addition, the UPND government will lower the prices of petroleum products. Increases in fuel prices are a major contributor to inflation in Zambia. Increased fuel prices are transmitted through the prices of other goods and services in form of higher transportation and production costs. In order to tackle the high petroleum prices, the UPND government will cut off middlemen from the supply chain and remove the incentives for corruption in oil purchases. It will also encourage the private sector to get more involved in the direct importation of fuel supply instead of depending on the government to import the fuel.
Lastly, the UPND government will reduce inflation by lowering the exchange rate of the kwacha against other currencies. In an import-dependent economy like Zambia, the exchange rate is a major cause of inflation. Each time the kwacha depreciates, almost all the prices of goods and services increase. The kwacha will appreciate UPND President Hakainde Hichilema taking over as Republican President after the August 12 presidential and general elections because of market expectations and confidence in his ability to manage the economy. The kwacha will also appreciate it because President Hakainde Hichilema has a solution to the country’s choking foreign debt. The high external debt has by far the greatest impact on the exchange rate in Zambia. By putting a moratorium on debt, restructuring the debt portfolio, attracting foreign direct investments and donor support, there will be increased inflows of foreign currency which will result in the appreciation of the kwacha and lowering down of inflation. In the long run, the inflationary pressures will come down through increased production for both domestic and export markets which will result in supply outstripping demand and lowering both the exchange rate of the kwacha and inflation.
HH AZATYOLA MITENGO.