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Medium term economic framework and 2020 Budget proposals

Medium term economic framework and 2020 Budget proposals

Delivered by Dr Cosmas Musumali – on behalf of the Politburo

Garden Compound – 26 September 2019

A. INTRODUCTION

1. Good morning ladies and gentlemen from the press. This morning, our focus is on the context of and options for the 2020 National Budget. As the 2021 incoming government, our perspectives on the topic are needed and desirable.

2. Since 1991, Zambians have been subjected to the neo-liberal global programme that aims at redistribution of wealth from workers to capital, wages to profits and from the poor to the rich. The strategies have included the rolling back of workers rights (through neoliberal labour reforms), taking away people’s sovereignty, privatisation of all public assets and further restrictions of freedom of the press, association and expression. This has led to the widening of inequality, increased poverty, conflicts, expropriation, and the increasing barbarization of human relationships.

3. Today, we can therefore confidently state that neoliberal capitalism is not delivering and will not deliver to the workers, peasants and poor people of Zambia. Nominal economic growth has not reduced poverty. The system has delivered to the rich, politically connected and to foreign capital that continues to dominate this economy – but not to the masses. This is how periphery capitalism works.

4. This Medium Term Framework (MTF) and budget proposal aims to redress the situation. Its theme is “Delivering on Equity”. It covers economic and social sectors where urgent restructuring and reforms are needed in order to transform our country into Socialist state, where the working class shall have the fullest possible opportunity of benefiting from their own efforts and national resources.

B. POLITICAL-ECONOMIC ANALYSIS

5. The Global Perspective

We are today going through a very complex moment of human history. A series of economic and political crises are unfolding that affect our lives and the survival of our planet:

5.1. The capitalist economic crisis is deep and profound. The 26 richest people in the world have the same net worth as half the population of the world. Millions of human beings, workers, and producers of goods are marginalized in this system of production. They cannot find work, labour, income or ways to survive. The capitalist way of organising global production can no longer ensure work, income, and the production of goods to meet the needs of the entire global population.

5.2. Second, there is a crisis in the nature of the bourgeois state. Industrial capitalism, with its bourgeois revolution of the eighteenth century, created the republic, the three powers, and the guarantee that all citizens would be equal before the law, including that the state would guarantee everyone the same rights to public services (health, education, transportation, and so on), as well as the right to fight for political power. This model has failed. Capitalists manipulate laws, mass communication and governments. A new state – the state of exception is created. It ensures the accumulation of capital by charging collective taxes via the state or consumers, privatizes the goods produced by nature, takes over public heritages, and despises the rights of the population ensured by the state. The consequence of all of this is that the people no longer believe in politicians or in formal democracy. Elections do not effectively guarantee that the people can exert their will. We are therefore experiencing a serious social crisis in which the state and the capitalist mode of production no longer ensure social progress or the well-being of the majority. The rates of unemployment, starvation, violence, femicide, attacks on historical rights, and the despair of impoverished youth have been rising all over the world.

5.3. Third, there is an increasing environmental crisis. Capital, in its desire to get back to rapid accumulation, knows that the private appropriation of goods from nature, which should be in service of all, constitutes an extraordinary source of income for companies seeking to increase the rate of accumulation. In the automobile or mobile-phone production industries, which are the spearheads of industrial capitalism, the average annual profit rate is 13%. However, whoever manages to appropriate petroleum can obtain a 200% profit; water, as another example, can have profits reaching 700%; electric energy from natural sources, such as hydroelectric and wind, produces profits up to 300%. This is a similar pattern for mining and other commodities coming directly from nature. Capital is therefore mercilessly assaulting nature. And the last reserves of the planet are to be found primarily in the periphery of the system, especially in the southern hemisphere: Latin America and Africa. From climate change to water contamination and decreased rainfall in various regions, the consequence of this extreme privatization of natural wealth is the unlimited exploitation of these countries. It has provoked environmental crimes of all types against their populations.

5.4. Fourth, there is a crisis in the values that guide behaviour in society. This is the so-called civilization crisis. It is provoked by a permanent ideological campaign through mass communication and the bourgeois cultural apparatuses that constantly defend false social values, such as individualism, greed, egoism, unbridled competition and consumerism. These conceptions are deeply antisocial. No society in human civilization has progressed through individualism or individual progress. Much to the contrary: humankind’s historical values are solidarity, social justice, and the unrelenting pursuit of equality for all people. There is no biological or racial distinction between human beings. There are only cultural differences, differences in perceptions and experiences, determined by the territory where we live and our social relationships.

5.5. Fifth, there is a crisis related to the working class and its emancipatory project. Workers have always fought against exploitation, humiliation, and all sorts of social injustices. And in their image of socialism, they have constantly promoted the ideal of a post-capitalist or anti-capitalist society. However, left-wing parties have recently suffered ideological as well as political defeats and have been unable to maintain the hegemony of revolutionary, post-capitalist, emancipatory ideas within the working class. American and European imperialist interests have also brutally fought against any progressive movements and governments. The hybrid wars against Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, El Salvador and other countries are all meant to weaken pro-worker and pro-poor global opportunities.

5.6. Facing such a complex scenario of global crises, it is vital to reflect on and debate the future of the working class in the world and in Zambia. Talking and thinking about social revolution means thinking about structural changes to our society, economy, the state’s political regime, social classes, and values. And its construction essentially depends on a new hegemony of the working class, the majority of society that is alienated and fights only for survival. What we can be sure of is that the capitalist way of organizing society is no longer the future, it is just the past. But the emancipatory future of the people, an egalitarian and just society, will depend not on desires or convictions, but on social resistance and struggles, as well as the time the masses will take to fight for a new society.

6. The Political Economy of Zambia

6.1. High levels of poverty: The Zambian masses are denied a dignified life. Headcount poverty is as high as 82.2% in Western Province, 81.1% in Luapula, 79.7% in Northern, 70% in Eastern, 69.3% in Muchinga and 66.4% in North Western. Overall, 76.6% of our people in the rural areas live miserable poverty-stricken lives. This is 55 years after attainment of political independence!

6.2. High Inequity: The gap between the rich and poor is one of the highest in the world. The rich have ‘first world standard’ goods and services whereas the poor masses access poor quality services or none at all. Alone between 2010 and 2015, the Gin Coefficient increased from 0.65 to 0.69. This is a very high incidence of income inequality. It is volatile and dangerous for national development. Neo-liberal capitalism has therefore become an impediment to the socio-economic development of our people.

6.3. Anti-social value systems: The value systems that at one time Zambians hoped to create for their country, those of equity, non-violence, a sense of justice and national unity are becoming a distant vision. Instead, today Zambia has become a shameful example of how capitalism is creating and reproducing itself under conditions of extreme injustice, inequity and state sponsored violence.

6.4. Crisis of the state: The Zambian people have been subjected to an electoral system that is highly manipulative and corrupt – one that favours a greedy petty bourgeois elite. This elite, despite having established dozens of political parties, is deeply anchored in neo-liberal capitalism. It does not have a project for the majority or for the nation. It is just a project for international capital, dominated by global corporations and a tiny proportion of domestic capital. This has led to a succession of governments made up of many pillars of power that, despite internal contradictions, remain in agreement as a unit with regard to the project of capitalism.

6.5. A daunting future: Fifteen years from now, we will have a population of 28 million. This is 11 million more people compared to today. Some 30 years from now, we will have 24 million more people to take care of. The greatest majority (over 60%) of this fast growing population will be below 24 years old. A growing and youthful population will therefore continue to come of age in a time with no, or minimal job and housing prospects; an absence of social services like health, let alone recreation and limited opportunity to better educate itself and gain new skills under the capitalist order. Zambia will therefore be socially fragmented, politically disenfranchised, with extremely poor populace that would have been dispossessed from its land, resources and heritage – and most likely at war with each other!

7. The situation of the Zambian working class

7.1. The crisis of capital has worldwide effects, but these effects are not felt the same way everywhere. In peripheral countries like Zambia, the effects are even worse and more profound, and while we have always had precarious and unsafe jobs, they have gone alongside a certain margin of workers’ rights.

7.2. Historically, we have thought of casualisation as the informal worker, but the labour reform in Zambia since 1991 has altered this. The main characteristics of the current configuration of the workforce can be summarized as follows:

6.1.1. The reduction of the industrial proletariat, while at the same time deepening the process of casualisation of what is left of this group of workers.

6.1.2. The process of deregulation of the service sector that, at first, absorbs some of the workers who have lost their factory jobs, but later finds that there are limits. This sector was also affected by the privatization of public services.

6.1.3. The systematic exclusion of youths, the group most affected by unemployment, from the processes of labour. The result has been an increase in poverty, destitution, suicide and crime among young people.

6.1.4. The increase in unemployment among the elderly, spreading the idea of undesirable generations: the useless young and the useless elderly.

6.1.5. Increased joblessness of Zambian intellectuals, academicians and those who would normally have occupied managerial positions. The privatisation of parastatals and complete halt of the Zambianisation programme has rendered this critical group irrelevant to wealth creation. Most of them are today “entrepreneurs” or “consultants” without a solid economic foothold.

6.1.6. The increase in pay based directly on units of production generated (piece work), in contrast with the decrease in wages based on working time. In piecework, workers tend to increase the rhythm of work on their own accord and at their own risk, rendering workdays even more exhausting.

6.1.7. The rise in legal entities in which workers relate to the labour process as if they were independent contractors and not individual workers, increasing the exposure to casual labour.

6.1.8. The structural rise of unemployment that cannot be resolved with requalification, retraining, or higher education. This has led to an expansion of the reserve army of labour.

6.1.9. The idea of being your own boss as something positive and freeing has spread, especially attracting young people because of the apparent lack of rules, regular working hours, and rigid expectations. This idea of entrepreneurship and working on your own accord has led to the creation of a type of subjective autonomy that allows for the exploitation of workers by the workers themselves.

In this conjuncture, the working class faces severe challenges, including the need to create a new strategic project of society, new organizational forms, and new forms of counter hegemony in the ideological struggle. What this means, is that the solution can no longer lie in the rhetoric and power struggles of the capitalist political elite. It lies in the court of the Zambia’s masses – its workers, the unemployed, peasants, women, youth, progressive intelligentsia, students and all other marginalised groups. They hold the key for a better and humane Zambian society.

C. MEDIUM TERM FRAMEWORK AND POLICIES

7. The policy pillars

7.1. The MTF and requisite policies are anchored on achieving the following: (i) Economic freedom for the Zambian people, (ii) job creation, (iii) enabling fast economic growth, (iv) a stable macro-economy, (v) getting a fair share from our mineral resources, (vi) creating a financial system that supports the local economy, and (vii) leveraging our renewable natural resources (fresh water, forests, arable land).

9. Economic freedom for the Zambian people

9.1. Zambia gained political independence more than 5 decades ago. Yet the ownership of its economy is overwhelmingly foreign and along colonial patterns. The local bourgeoisie is small and weak. State ownership and control, which had seen an increase during a 20-year post independence period, has receded with the onslaught of neo-liberal capitalism. Effectively, a narrow elite under the influence of the world capitalist system makes decisions about our economy.

9.2. Our socialist government will ensure more democratic ownership structures and workers control that would help the economy to deliver for the masses and lead to a fairer distribution of wealth by: (i) Gaining more control of the command centres of the economy (finance, mining, transportation, energy, food production and pharmaceuticals); (ii) giving Zambians a huge stake in the economy through a robust co-operative sector – covering financial services, housing, retailing, commercial and engineering services, agriculture input supply, processing and marketing; (iii) legislating the “right to own,” making employees the buyer of first refusal when the company they work for is up for sale; (iv) making state owned companies, cooperatives and public agencies the preferred providers for all public and local council services; (iv) Bringing back basic goods and services that were taken out of democratic control through privatization and are currently attracting higher prices and with poorer quality standards.

10. We will create 800,000 jobs

10.1. Joblessness in Zambia is a serious problem. It is one of the main reasons causing high poverty levels. In order to deliver a benefit from an economy, people must be able to participate in it. And for most people the primary means to participate is through work.

10.2. The Socialist party in government targets to create 800,000 jobs in 5 years through its massive investments in education, health, housing construction and agro processing.

11. We will create the fastest growing economy in Africa

11.1. In order to create the needed jobs, the economy will have to grow faster than today. However, under the current neo-liberal capitalist system for organising production, exchange and finance in Zambia, GDP growth could under a “best-case scenario” ranging from 4-5% during the period 2021-2026 – assuming that there will be (a) no sharper than expected decline in commodity prices due to continued trade tensions, (b) no faster monetary policy tightening in advanced economies that would tighten financial conditions, (c) no slower growth in China and the Euro area that would reduce export demand and investment, and (d) less domestic risks that include fiscal slippages, political conflicts and adverse weather conditions. A “middle-of-the road” scenario would bring down GDP growth to about 2-3%.

11.2. In comparison, we will achieve broad-based, job creating, equity enhancing and sustainable economic growth rates of 8-10%. A socialist inspired and driven economy will accord highest focus to (a) human capital formation (education and health) of the masses; (b) food production system based on agro-ecological and climate-smart farming practices by millions of smallholders – aimed at meeting domestic and regional demand; and (c) a systematic harnessing of the country’s abundant natural resource endowment, especially renewable capital and (d) maximising returns from non-renewable resources (minerals).

12. We will attain a stable macro-economic environment that does not impose huge costs on the livelihoods of workers, peasants, students and the poor.

12.1. Zambia’s macroeconomic imbalances have highly negative implications for workers, peasants, women, students and the poor. First, with debt service and the compensation of employees now accounting for over 85 percent of Government’s domestic revenue, space for discretionary spending is shrinking quickly and affecting social spending. Second, rising payment arrears and tighter bank financing conditions could affect the prospects for job creation and quality. Third, the tightening credit conditions in the banking sector will have a disproportionate impact on SMEs and low-income households that already normally face tight financing conditions. Lastly, pressures on inflation is also disproportionately affect the purchasing power of low-income households, which tend to have low savings rates.

12.2. We will therefore (i) renegotiate the bi- and multilateral debt to ensure sustainable repayments (maximum 12% of revenue per annum); (ii) front-load fiscal consolidation to return to a medium risk of debt distress and create fiscal space for inclusive growth; (iii) strengthen debt management to reduce the debt service burden and minimize debt-related vulnerabilities of the working masses; (iii) rebuild foreign exchange reserves to 4 months import cover in order to buttress external stability and (iv) stop wastage, misappropriation and theft of public finances by the country’s elite.

13. We will get a fare share from our mineral resources

13.1. Zambia’s economy has been dominated by expansion and fluctuations in the minerals sector, with its direct contribution to GDP in recent years increasing from an average of 6.3% over 1994-99 to 9.2% over 2010-15.

13.2. However, reliance on non-renewable resources like minerals for growth is, by definition, unsustainable. The extractives-based growth in recent years has actually not significantly contributed to poverty reduction. Foreign multinational corporations have been the major beneficiaries. In order to maximise profits, the mining industry is capitalising but creating fewer jobs, paying comparatively less taxes to the Zambian state, out-sourcing services, using increased numbers of subcontracted labour, and limiting its monetary transactions in the Zambian financial sector. Similarly, it has left a legacy of environmental liability in mining towns. In other words, the Zambian masses are not benefiting much from a mining industry still operating along colonial lines.

13.3. We will redress this exploitation: (i) The socialist government will declare minerals as strategic metals for the country and provide a protective legal environment. Under these laws, the export of concentrates will be outlawed and the marketing of minerals will be coordinated by the state. (ii) Zambian labour will be accorded priority. It will have stronger legal protection. (iii) 30% of all industrial inputs into mining will have to be Zambian. Mining will, this way, play a role in supporting the manufacturing base of the country. (iv) ZCCM (IH) will take controlling interest in all new mines to be opened. (v) Resource rent or variable income tax will be introduced to secure additional mineral rents. (vi) All proceeds from mineral sales will first be credited in Bank of Zambia accounts – an essential aspect of currency and balance of payments management and stability. (vii) Mines will have to adhere to state-of-the-art environmental technologies, practices and standards.

14. We will create a financial system that supports our economy and the working masses

14.1. Neo-liberal capitalism has surrendered the ownership of the Zambian financial system to foreign corporations. Only about 18% of finance capital in the economy is Zambian owned. Without ownership and control of such a strategic sector, broad-based development, priority setting and macro-economic stability are difficult to accomplish.

14.2. A socialist government will overhaul the financial sector. The aim will be to (i) enhance Zambian ownership and control, (ii) foster financial deepening, (iii) secure increased long-term finance to the local economy and (iv) provide access for all.

14.3. We will transform the Development of Bank of Zambia to support a network of regional development banks, credit and savings associations, a state owned bank (to be formed), NATSAVE, ZamPost and Zambian owned digital financial services. This network will deliver the finance that parastatals, small businesses, co-operatives, local government authorities, innovative projects and the masses of our people need across the whole country.

14.4. Further, (i) government accounts shall only be held in the state owned bank, (ii) Domestic government transactions will be limited to state owned, cooperatives and other Zambian owned financial institutions (this includes salary transfers and other payments), and (iii) priority for the purchase of government treasury bills will be accorded to Zambian owned institutions. By limiting government transactions (25% of GDP and almost 65% of the formal financial sector) to Zambian owned and controlled financial institutions, a chance will be provided to grow the domestic financial sector.

15. We will leverage our renewable natural capital to foster economic growth and equity

15.1. The contribution of agriculture, forestry and fishing to GDP has declined in recent years from about 20% during the 1990s to only 5% by 2019. However, the sector’s linkages with the rest of the economy remains significant. The sector still employs over 75% of the workforce. Similarly, in contrast to non-renewables, renewable capital (e.g. agricultural land, forests) can produce benefits in perpetuity and bring benefits to the rural economy and majority of the Zambian workforce.

15.2. However, the development of capitalism, globalization, the agribusiness model, and class conflict in general have put in place new paradigms that we must confront. In this context, it is important to consider what is happening around the world – a collective working-class process of updating the agrarian programme. The focus is no longer just on the classic agrarian reforms of democratization of land ownership as well as guaranteeing the right to land for those who work it. The economic, social and ecological sustainability of land, water, forests and other renewable resources has become critical.

15.3. Within this context, the following will constitute our agrarian programme to guide the struggle of the rural working class:

15.3.1. A holistic approach to land use: Zambia’s population is expected to continue growing for years to come. It is expected to reach 140 million by 2100. Other projections point to a peak of 250 million around 2200 before the population growth rates stagnate. This high population growth, in addition to increasing urbanisation (currently at 45%), will increasingly place a heavy burden on food production, education, housing, roads, water, sanitation, healthcare and energy provision. The Socialist government will therefore conduct a land audit and zoning programme that takes care of urban settlements, infrastructure development, farming, forestry, aquifers, game parks and recreational facilities capable of sustaining (a) biodiversity, (b) the livelihoods of 250 million inhabitants, and above all (c) the cultures of its inhabitants. This holistic approach to land use will then guide subsequent legislative processes meant to empower the masses of our people to access and gain control over land.

15.3.2. Peasants and the people in rural areas as keepers of the collective goods of nature. The lives of all human beings depend on cohabitating with millions of other living beings, such as plants, animals, and bacteria. Our future depends on the survival of this biodiversity, which is under threat every day due to capital’s greed, poor farming practices and deforestation. We will redress the situation. Peasants, fisher folk and all those who live on the land under different forms of social organization, will be empowered to make a commitment to protect all of nature’s wealth, biodiversity, water, forests, rivers, animals, flora, and fauna as part of our living and future.

15.3.3. The production of healthy food for all: The social function of agriculture, the act of cultivating and tending to the earth, is to produce the necessary energy for human beings to survive. Capital, with its agribusiness model, cannot produce healthy foodstuffs except for a small, privileged minority, as its logic is aimed solely at making the most profit in the shortest amount of time. Today, Zambia is the fourth hungriest country in Africa after Central African Republic, Chad and Madagascar. We are committed to the production of affordable healthy foods for all. No one will go to bed hungry. Hunger undermines human dignity and is not an inevitable part of life. It is ultimately a product of human decisions and can be eradicated by human decisions. We will, therefore, reduce the cost of agriculture inputs, encourage conservation farming, diversify staple food from maize to other crops and invest in agro-processing. Peasant farming will be supported to form cooperatives for finance, input supply, processing, marketing and technological services.

15.3.4. The adoption of agroecology: Capital uses methods that enable profit maximisation, often adopting techniques that harm nature, increase the productivity of human labour and physical production per acre. However, this destroys nature, the future base of the production of food. This method also can no longer produce healthy food. We will take on the challenge of building agroecology as a model that represents a set of techniques for agricultural production, which will increase the productivity of work, the physical productivity per acre, and also decrease the physical labour of workers, maintaining equilibrium with nature. It is only with agroecology that we will be able to produce healthy food for the general population.

15.3.5. The adoption of mechanization that is compatible with nature and rural labour: The model favoured by capital relies intensively on agricultural mechanization, seeking only profit. Unmanned and driverless machines are already being used in Mpongwe and other commercial agricultural districts. We will mechanize work in agriculture, seeking to decrease human labour, but operate on a scale and with characteristics that are compatible with rural family units and are respectful toward the environment.

15.3.6. The adoption of cooperative agribusiness: Agribusiness is a necessity for the development of productive forces. However, our focus will be to ensure that agriculture produces quality food, avoids the use of preservatives and agrotoxins, and operates on a scale that is compatible with local communities. The income generated by agribusiness must be used for the benefit of workers, those who produce food, and cooperatives must be formed and controlled by peasants and agricultural workers.

16. The MTEF (5-year period) framework in figures

Item

Figure

GDP growth (average)

8-10%

Inflation (CPI)

7%

Domestic revenue

26% of GDP

Expenditure

28.5% of GDP

Fiscal deficit

2.5% of GDP

Foreign exchange reserves

4 months of import cover

Zambian ownership of the financial sector

70%

Mineral revenue

Increased by 30%

Share of peasant agriculture in GDP

20% (from 5%)

Jobs created in 5 years

800,000

Construction of low-cost houses for workers and the poor

100,000 per annum

D. THE 2020 BUDGET PR0POSALS

17. The working class is getting less of the national budget. This rapidly expanding population entails that we urgently need to expand the proportion of our budget required to meet the rising demands for food, education, healthcare, housing and employment. However, according to recent budget data – 2018 and 2019 budget, the allocation to critical production and service sectors is systematically reducing.

18. A case in point refers to the food production sector. Whereas the Farmers Input Support Program (FISP) allocation for 2018 was K2,226,000,000, in 2019 the allocation was K1,428,000,000, representing a total reduction of K789,000,000. The strategic food reserve allocation of 2018 was K1,051,200,000, and in 2019 it was K672,000,000, representing a reduction of K379,200,000.

19. Similarly; the drugs and medical supply budget for 2018 was 1,200,227,400, while the allocation for 2019 was K900,082,236, representing a reduction of K300,145,164.

20. The 2020 budget has to start reversing the situation. A socialist government would allocate 20% to education reform programme, 15% towards universal health coverage and10% towards food sovereignty.

21. K8bn towards the construction of 100,000 low-cost housing for workers and the poor. Charity will begin at homes of these deprived citizens and the tightening of belt will be at the highest level, the politicians, who will lead by example.

22. Three (possible) national emergencies need to be factored in the budget: (i) energy failure, (ii) hunger disaster in several parts of the country, (iii) possible epidemic outbreak of communicable diseases ravaging the neighbouring countries. An equivalent of USD150 million will be put aside for this purpose.

22. Some highlights of revenue measures:

22.1. About 500,000 workers in formal employment have carried the burden of paying for taxes. Corporate taxes are scandalously low. Given the high cost of living, we will exempt all workers earning less than K6,000 from PAYE.

22.2. All incomes above K42,000 per month will be taxed at 42%.

22.3. For SMEs, income of K120,000 per annum will be tax-exempt.

22.4. The mining sector is paying little in comparison to global standards. It is prudent to restructure the taxation regime in the mining and corporate sector to ensure that Zambians fully get the benefit of the natural resources in their land. The objective is to increase mineral revenue by 30%.

22.5. It is also recommended, that Value Added Tax (VAT) should be reduced to 10% so that it can leave the working-class people with reasonable disposable income.

22.6. Further, essential goods such as food, agriculture and health equipment should be zero-rated for tax-purposes.

23. Some highlights of policy measures

23.1. Cutting Unnecessary Institution and Public Expenditure: Currently, a huge portion of public expenditure is being spent on unnecessary items. A case in point is the excessive presidential and ministerial emoluments, foreign trips as well as creation of new ministries and districts, all of which are a drain on the Zambian tax-payer. We will reduce excessive public expenditure. We will cut on presidential and ministerial emoluments, foreign trips and government agencies, and reduce the number of ministries to 10.

23.2. Zero tolerance towards corruption, inefficiency and unethical behaviour: Corruption stands out to be a major cause of poverty, poor service delivery and it generally undermines development. According to the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) report of 2018, K5.6 billion was lost to corruption. This loss is roughly equivalent to the entire budget of the ministry of health. Capitalism is a system that endorses corruption. It is important that the fight against corruption be linked to the fight against the capitalist system and its values of individualism and unbridled competition and greed. Only a socialist government will marshal decisive political will and the strengthening of independent institutions that are key to fighting corruption.

23.3. Devolution of political power to provinces with allocation of tax collections based on population and revenue contribution made by the province.

23.4. ZRA capacity building: Capacity enhancement and no-interference in operations of Zambia Revenue Authority.

23.5. Personal liability/cccountability: Change in law to make personally liable the Permanent Secretaries, Ministers and Directors who misallocate resources, authorize purchase of goods and services, which are not paid on time and as per the agreed terms/time schedule.

23.6. Every income (including salary and benefits to politicians, including MPs, President and councillors) shall be taxed as is the case for any other individual.

23.7. There shall be no housing benefits and perks to the President or any other politician on retirement. The presidents presently enjoying these benefits to forfeit the same within 5 years of enacting the law. Politics is a voluntary service to society and not a business transaction.

23.8. No specialised medical treatment abroad paid for by the taxpayer.

23.9. Government funds shall not to be spent on funerals or any celebrations relating to any level of politician. As an ordinary citizen caters for such expenses so shall the politicians do.

23.9. Officials involved in loan contraction and projects that lack procedural and proper compliance will be held personally liable.

23.10. The civil service will be professionalized. No PS or diplomat will be appointed without meeting minimum qualifications and experience as prescribed by the Public service commission.

We are convinced these measures will be an entry towards delivering on equity.