“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man rules, the people groan” Proverbs 29:2 (NKJV)
At midnight on 27th December 2019, the PF Government increased prices of petroleum products (petrol, diesel, kerosene, LSG, etc.) by about 12 per cent on average, with the biggest hike of 18 per cent being imposed on the poor family’s commodity, kerosene.
At midnight on 1st January 2020, the PF Government raised electricity tariffs for domestic consumers by between 117 and 213 per cent, with the biggest hike of 213 per cent being applied on the poor family’s electricity tariff band, R1, which affects most families who consume between 1-100 kWh of electricity per month.
On 2nd January 2020, the PF Government, through the Ministry of General Education (MoGE), sent out a circular to all provinces, instructing that school fees in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) schools – or more commonly called Technical schools – be increased by 325 per cent from K600 to K2,550 per year. However, only K600 remains at schools while the rest, K1,950, is paid directly to MoGE headquarters, via the Bank Account of the Directorate of National Science Centre (NSC) (0393785305726, ZANACO), implying that the money goes into Control 99 (Treasury) to finance the operations of a wasteful, irresponsible and undisciplined government.
If you think we are exaggerating about the wastefulness and irresponsibility of the PF Government, know this: according to Ministry of Finance (MOF) records, between January and September last year (2019), the PF Government overspent by 9 per cent on Overseas Allowances having spent K507 million instead of the budgeted K465 million, and further overspent by 73 per cent on Public Affairs and Summit Meetings (K228 million instead of K132 as budgeted); that’s a total of about K138 million overspending, mostly on trips abroad by Mr. Lungu and his entourages of stooges.
Meanwhile over the same period, the failed PF Government denied the poor and voiceless the money that was budget for them in 2019. The Food Security Pack programme was underfunded by 35 per cent, the Pension Fund was underfunded by 91 per cent, Social Cash Transfer was 78 per cent underfunded, Water and Sanitation was 94 per cent underfunded and (women and youth economic) Empowerment Funds programmes was 99 per cent underfunded.
What is most upsetting is that the Food Security Pack and Empowerment Fund programmes were underfunded by a total of K139 million, almost the exact same amount that went as over-expenditure on Mr. Lungu’s trips abroad. If you didn’t know what Mr. Lungu meant by “ubomba mwibala…” or what PF meant by “dununa reverse…”, now you know! The PF regime will callously take for themselves what is meant for food for the poor and vulnerable, without shame or remorse. This is why the Bible in Proverbs 29:2 says: “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man rules, the people groan” (NKJV).
As if this failed PF Government has not saddled the future generations with enough debt, it now wants learners, our young people in STEM schools, to pay 325 per cent more than they did before; and for what? To pay for Mr. Lungu’s lavish lifestyle of flying around the world in an overpriced jet aircraft! Making STEM education unaffordable is the surest way of killing our future generations and stifling our prospects for productivity and growth.
Why did China do so well in increasing its export and economic growth rates over the past decade? It invested in STEM from 2004 onward and built a workforce of over 150 million highly STEM-trained people. These became the inventers and innovators who develop state-of-the-art technology, built and run factories, captained industries, and achieved world domination in exports.
And yet in Zambia, the youthful STEM talent that should come out of Technical schools is precisely the subgroup that Mr. Lungu and the PF are now setting out to destroy; firstly by raising the fees by 325 per cent and secondly, by cutting the salaries of those who support the learners, the public workers. As reflected in Mr. Lungu’s own statement of 27th December 2019 that: “On today’s directive, the President says public officers in the highest salary brackets will have their salaries cut by 20 percent whereas those in the middle will have theirs reduced by 15 percent, and those in the lower rank will be down by 10 percent.”
The record is clear, and the evidence is blatant of wastefulness, corruption and malpractice under Mr. Lungu’s watch. Come 2021, he will answer to the Zambian people for these evils. Let the ruin he has laid on this once beautiful and thriving country be his legacy and the legacy of his children and his children’s children. Let it stand as a testimony against him, an example of how the wickedness of a corrupt leadership destroyed a once great nation. These evil deeds will not go unpunished in his lifetime, we assure the Zambian people.