Reports that the PF government is considering issuing another US$1 billion international Eurobond specifically targeted at the agriculture sector does not surprise us in the UPND because we still insist that the current regime has no capacity to generate revenue from local resources.
But what is now becoming reckless by the PF is that we seem to be moving to a situation where every sector or government ministry will now be borrowing for its operations.
And what is even more worrying is that the latest Eurobond also earmarked before the end of this year, comes at a time when the other US$1 billion amount borrowed for this year has not even been exhausted.
Besides, PF has to date not fully accounted for the first US$750 million they borrowed in 2013. There is evidence that the borrowed money did not fully benefit the nation.
Therefore, there is no assurance that the money PF government intends to borrow for the agriculture sector will be used for the right purpose as it is normally used for personal benefits through corrupt contracts to friends and relatives.
We in UPND believe that with a responsible government, agriculture, if well managed, is capable of generating its own resources for reinvestment in the sector.
In fact, it even makes more sense to us if the huge chunk of the first Eurobond was targeted at the agriculture sector, than some of the projects that have no potential whatsoever to contribute to the repayment of the loans.
Zambians, especially the younger generation, should by now know that PF government has basically consigned them into slavery for years to come due to another debt mountain that other people sacrificed to dismantle.
We advise President Michael Sata and his PF government to please restructure government and set priorities right so that they generate and make use of domestic resources rationally and wisely.
As UPND, we can demonstrate that the continuous borrowing is not because there is inadequate domestic resources to finance the budget, but the PF government is also top heavy, wasteful, and lacks planning.
That’s why in UPND, we have been calling for a new constitution that will provide strict parliamentary oversight on borrowing and usage of such and other resources.