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
By Joseph Lungu. UPND Deputy Chair, Policy and Research.
Our economy is in a mess. All the pre-2011 developmental gains that the Zambian economy had registered under the MMD government have been completely wiped out by the PF. The majority of our people are suffering at levels which most of our younger population have never seen before. We are deep in debt, have defaulted, cannot meet our interest payments and now have the world’s second-worst sovereign credit rating. The interest payments alone, at 44 % of total government revenue, are the second-highest of any country in the world. At the same time, our budget cannot adequately finance the public wage bill and meet the much-needed social expenditures and the value of our once-rising kwacha is now severely eroded.
All in all, we are now saddled with loans that have delivered very little benefit to the Zambian people, but an awful lot of benefit to corrupt politicians and corrupt government officials. So, when they ask us to “Sonta” they are actually asking us to “Sonta” the few that have benefitted from the loans.
The PF administration has now come up with an Economic Recovery Plan. At least we can give them credit that they now acknowledge they have messed up our economy and need a plan to recover. But do we seriously believe that they can dig us out of this mess? Do we really buy into any of their plans when they have destroyed the economy in the first place through their own greed and incompetence? Do greed and incompetence just disappear overnight? Or do we believe they are doing anything to rid themselves of their greed and incompetency? No, we can only remove it through the polls later this year.
We would like to share our immediate (short term) actions to lift our economy to the pre-2011 levels:
- Our immediate task will be to engage our creditors to restructure our debt on terms mutually beneficial to our country and our creditors. At the same time, we will engage our multilateral partners to re-establish investor confidence in our economy.
- Develop and implement medium to long-term strategies to improve government revenues. This will be anchored on reforming both our tax policies and administration by reducing the number of taxes and focusing on a few but with enhanced capacities to generate higher revenues through improved compliance. In the short term, we will address the currently rampant wastage in government spending and promote accountability among government officials (politicians and civil servants) to ensure every ngwee counts for the benefit of the majority of our people.
- Resolve the deteriorating business environment in the mining sector and develop a policy framework anchored on stability for investment and local participation in the mining sector. Everything required to lift productivity in our mining sector is available and ready to go and all that is required is a government that is capable of creating a conducive business environment for investment in the sectors. Copper prices are at their highest annual average rate since 2012, and yet many of our mines are either under care and maintenance or operating at low levels of production. We will improve engagement with key players in the sectors in the formulation of policies.
There is an urgent need to leverage the mining sector to drive economic transformation for our country. Mining is by far Zambia’s largest industry, tax contributor, and employer (direct and indirect, formal and informal employer). It is critical to boosting its performance while at the same time looking to diversify the economy to reduce the country’s reliance on the success of the mining industry – which PF has failed on both counts in their time in government. Under PF, key policy shifts in connection with the.
By Charles Kakoma, UPND Spokesperson.
Many Zambians have been asking questions about what UPND President Hakainde Hichilema meant when he told the nation during a radio programme recently that the kwacha will immediately appreciate when he becomes President. Some doubting Thomases believe that it is next to impossible for the battered kwacha to immediately pick up when HH becomes President in August this year.
What HH said is not fiction. It is based on sound economics. Here is why.
The first reason why the kwacha will appreciate is because of a market intangible commodity called “CONFIDENCE ” in the economy. Many players in the economy look forward to the type of leadership that will run the economy to make decisions in the foreign exchange market. Based on their EXPECTATIONS, the players in the market can decide to buy or sell foreign currency. If in their assessment of the type of leadership that will drive the economy, they conclude that the economy is going to get worse, they will quickly buy foreign currency in preparation to leave the country or indeed store their hard earned income in a stable and convertible currency such as the United States Dollar. The cumulative high demand for the foreign currency will result in the kwacha depreciating or losing value as supply of foreign currency will be less than demand.
On the other hand, if players in the market assess the new leadership and find that they have the capacity to improve the economy , they will develop CONFIDENCE in the economy. Based on their EXPECTATIONS, they will take it easy and prepare to remain in the country. There will be no need for them to panic and buy foreign currency to leave the country. Some of the investors sit on the fence waiting to see how the elections go before committing themselves to huge investments in the country. The moment they know that the correct leadership has taken over the running of the country , they will develop confidence in the economy and pump huge sums of money in the economy in terms of investment. The cumulative total of their decisions will result in increased supply of foreign currency in the market , resulting in appreciation of the kwacha as the supply of foreign currency will be more than the demand.
It is therefore sound economics to expect the kwacha to immediately appreciate when HH takes over the leadership of this country in August this year because many players in the market are expecting change of leadership and have expressed confidence in the leadership of Hakainde Hichilema.
The second reason why the kwacha will appreciate is tied to the first explanation above. Huge foreign direct investments in the Zambian economy will improve the supply of foreign currency in the market. President Hakainde Hichilema has already demonstrated his ability and commitment to attracting investors to Zambia. During his trip to the USA recently, he managed to secure about $25 billion in investment pledges upon his ascendancy to power. This amount of $25 billion is actually almost equivalent to Zambia’s current total of all the goods and services produced in the economy ( which economists prefer to call the Gross Domestic Product or GDP). The impact of such huge investments in the economy will be to increase the supply of foreign currency in the market. There will be too much foreign currency in the market compared to demand, resulting in the appreciation of the kwacha. Apart from the kwacha appreciating, a lot of employment will be created leading to better standards of living.
The third reason why the kwacha will appreciate is that the leadership of Hakainde Hichilema will embark on massive exports . The production of goods for export will bring in foreign exchange. It is only through the massive export of value added products that the country will ensure sustainable foreign exchange supply. Obviously , the current Patriotic Front regime has also been singing about value addition, diversification and exports. The bottom line is that they have been in power for 10 years and have failed to do it. They have no capacity and no leadership to manage the economy.
The fourth reason and perhaps the most critical in the Zambian situation to strengthen the kwacha is to manage the choking foreign debt.
Currently, most of the foreign exchange being generated by the country is going towards foreign debt repayment. Under such a situation, there is scarcity of foreign currency in the market because demand is more than supply of foreign currency. For as long as the foreign debt is not resolved, the kwacha will continue to depreciate.
To resolve the current foreign debt crisis requires new leadership. The current leadership has lost credibility in the eyes of lenders. They cannot be trusted to restructure the debt or stick to any agreement on debt management.
Part of the solution to resolving the debt crisis and the depreciating kwacha is to change the leadership of the country in this year’s presidential and general election.
President Hakainde Hichilema has already put his cards on the table on how he is going to tackle the debt crisis.
First, he will place a moratorium on debt. This means that there will be no further reckless borrowing. Secondly, he will seek a debt write off from as many lenders as possible. Thirdly, he will restructure the remaining debt by replacing expensive loans with cheap ones. The lenders can only agree to help Zambia if they have confidence in the leadership of the country. The current leadership has failed and will never manage to carry out any of the above actions. No donor will agree to enter into an agreement with the current Patriotic Front regime because they have lost confidence in them. They luck credibility.
In conclusion, the kwacha will stop running mad with the installation of a new leadership in Zambia through the presidential and general elections in August this year . A combination of short term solutions such as the kwacha appreciating upon the change of leadership and long-term solutions such as attracting foreign investors and debt management are the medicines for the kwacha’s madness.
UPND leader, Hakainde Hichilema has called on the PF-led Government to pay redundancy packages for KCM miners all once and not in instalments.
President Hakainde Hichilema has condemned the proposed mode of payment and demanded that all miners be paid their packages all at once and in full.
President Hichilema said that the proposed repayment mode of redundancy packages in three instalments to KCM employees has led to unjustified anxieties among miners.
“We hear that they want to pay the miners in three instalments with the first one on 1st March and the second one being at the end of September 2021. And the last instalment they plan to pay 6 months after September, 2021. As UPND we agree with the miners that this payment mode is undesirable,” he said.
He has since proposed a lumpsome payment of KCM miners, adding that the previous incidences where PF failed to pay miners after changes of ownership of parastatals were a cause for concern.
“Due to the poor track record of the PF, we therefore, propose that any amount that arises from the splitting of the company must be paid in full. If you want to pay in February, pay the amount in full because there are concerns that amounts that are due to some workers from the previous changes of ownership have still not been paid,” he said.
UPND MEDIA TEAM
UPND President, Hakainde Hichilema has warned the PF against its intentions to split Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) into two separate entities saying the move would lead to massive job losses for miners.
And President Hichilema has assured Zambians of an unprecedented economic revolution that has never been witnessed in Africa that would lead to the creation of jobs.
Commenting on the planned splitting of KCM into two entities namely Konkola Mineral Resources (KMR) and KCM Smelter Company Limited this morning, President Hichilema warned that such a move is a technical disruption in KCM operations.
“In business, this is technically a disruption in KCM as we know it. Technically, it means, KCM, as we know it, will never be the same. They put their friends to scavenge on KCM’s assets; assets that belong to the people of Zambia, KCM will never be the same,” charged Hichilema.
He says the move will worsen the suffering of already impoverished majority Zambians whose life line is in the mining sector
“This may mean worsening the suffering [of impoverished Zambians] beyond the current levels which will [in turn] lead to our already suffering miners and retirees dying of hunger,” observed President Hichilema.
He also noted that the unwarranted planned move would result in the loss of jobs for the thousands of employees from KCM through redundancy.
“This means that all employees who were working under KCM will he declared redundant which will in turn add to the numerous economic challenges that the people of Zambia are currently grappling with. That’s why we believe that the PF cannot be trusted with the way they are handling KCM,” he said.
UPND MEDIA TEAM