DID YOU KNOW?
By Yona Musukwa.
1. In 2011, before the PF took over government, Zambia was reclassified by The World Bank as a middle-income country, with consistent and robust economic growth, averaging 7.4% per year. International rating agencies rated Zambia with B+ sovereign credit, a very good rating. Zambia was on a developmental path.
But in 2019, International rating agencies are now rating Zambia very poorly, CAA2, two steps deep into Junk Status. They are basically saying Zambia is now JUNK. Economic growth is now growing at a junk rate of 3%, with no significant impact on the lives of the people. Zambia is in a reverse gear, dununa reverse par excellence.
2. In 2011, Zambia’s public debt was a very small component of our national budget, it stood at US$1.9 billion. Government only used 17% of it’s domestic revenues to service debt. Also, publicly guaranteed debt for ZESCO and ZAMTEL stood between US$100 – 130 million, with minimal loadsheding.
But in 2019, Zambia’s public debt is the only growing component of our national budget, and it is growing bigly, now stands at about US$15 billion. The PF Government is now using 51.9% of our national budget to service debt. Also publicly guaranteed debt for ZESCO and ZAMTEL is now standing way above $771 million, more than 7 times the amount in 2011, with more than 10 hours loadshedding.
3. In 2011, Zambia was rated as having progressed to the medium human development category 5. More Zambians were getting into the middle class bracket.
But in 2018, the Global Hunger Index rated Zambia as the 5th hungriest nation on earth. With the current hunger situation in the country, the 2019/2020 rating might even get worse. The middle class is getting weakened, more people are getting poorer. Zambia also ranks among the countries with the highest levels of inequality globally. More than 60% of Zambia’s population is poor, 46% of them being extremely poor.
5. In 2011, the exchange rate of dollar to kwacha was, $1 = K5.6
But in 2019, the exchange rate of dollar to kwacha is now $1 = K13.4
6. In 2011, Mealie Meal was K36 per 25kg bag Breakfast. The Basic Needs Basket (BNB) for a family of five living in Lusaka stood at K1,680. Inflation was stable and low.
But in 2019, Mealie Meal is now selling at K140 per 25kg bag of Breakfast. The Basic Needs Basket (BNB) for a family of five living in Lusaka is now at K6, 780. Inflation is now heading to double digits.
For all this degeneration and economic mismanagement, PF Cabinet Ministers awarded themselves a pay rise for a job well done, take home pay doubled to K80,000 plus many allowances and benefits. Only their wages are not affected by climate change.