PEP challenges govt to give detailed expenditure of $750m Eurobond
Patriots for Economic Progress has challenged the government to avail a detailed breakdown of how much was spent on each of the areas mentioned by presidential spokesperson Amos Chanda to justify the expenditure of US$750 million Eurobond.
PeP president Sean Tembo, who said the unbudgeted costs could not amount to $750 million, dared government to clearly tabulate how much was spent on electricity importation in 2015 as well as the fight against cholera and army worms.
Chanda, who claimed President Edgar Lungu did not beg for the refinancing of the Eurobond from a Turkish company, blamed Cholera, electricity imports and army worms for Zambia’s inability to build a Sinking Fund meant to pay off the Euro-bond.
"We may not have been able to build a Sinking Fund because electricity imports almost disrupted everything during the drought, Cholera, and army worms also took a huge chunk. The President must be praised for his transparency on how we intend to handle the debt. There is no default or vulture funding arrangement at all,” said Chanda.
But Tembo said a detailed breakdown from the government would enable the citizenry to ascertain the veracity of the excuses, which have been put forward for failing to put aside funds to repay the $750 million Eurobond portion.
“As Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP), we have noted the excuses that have been put forward by government, through the presidential spokesperson Mr Amos Chanda, as to why government has failed to build the promised Sinking Fund for repayment of the $750 million portion of the Eurobond. The excuses put forward by government include the alleged unbudgeted cost of importing electricity during the 2015 drought season as well as the alleged unbudgeted cost of fighting the army worms and cholera outbreaks,” Tembo said. “As Patriots for Economic Progress, our assessment is that when added together, these unbudgeted costs cannot amount to $750 million. On this basis, we would like to challenge government, as we hereby do, to give the citizens of this Republic a detailed breakdown of how much was spent on electricity importation in 2015 as well as the fight against cholera and army worms. Such a detailed breakdown will enable us the citizenry to ascertain the veracity of the excuses which have been put forward by government, for failing to put aside funds to repay the $750 million Eurobond portion.”
Tembo further said failure, ignoring or neglecting to provide the demanded breakdown of how the cost of electricity importation plus the costs of fighting army worms and cholera add up to $750 million, would justify the conclusion that there was a mediocre government in office.
“As Patriots for Economic Progress, we would further like to caution government that whatever breakdown of the alleged unbudgeted costs that is provided, it must be in conformity with the Accounts of the Republic of Zambia for the relevant financial years, as audited by the Auditor General. Should Government fail, ignore or neglect to provide the demanded breakdown of how the cost of electricity importation plus the costs of fighting army worms and cholera add up to $750 million, then the good citizens of this Republic will be justified to conclude that we have a mediocre government in office which is resisting to account to its citizens,” said Tembo.
Source: The Mast