Not too long ago, great concerns were being expressed by many citizens about the continuous depreciation of the Kwacha which was impacting the high cost of living.
The Minister of Finance, Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane, explained that this was largely due the delayed debt restructuring programme.
We are delighted that the Kwacha has significantly appreciated in the last two days and we pray that this trend helps to lower the high cost of living. We also hope that it will have a consequential effect of maintaining inflation within the target range of 6-8 per cent. As SP, we are delighted because such positive developments will cushion the citizens from the high costs of living and improve their livelihoods.
However, in order to give confidence to the citizens on the sustainability of this positive move, can government clearly state what measures it has put in place for this positive change? We are aware that the debt restructuring programme has not been concluded, so what has changed and is this change sustainable?
You will recall that I did point out that the exchange rate was being impacted by multiple factors, but government insisted that the depreciation was largely driven by stalled debt restructuring talks. How credible are statements being issued by government? And based on this example can we as citizens believe what government is telling the nation?
Credibility is critical for citizens to buy into government pronouncements, failure to which the citizenry loses faith in government. Can the Minister of Finance explain circumstances leading to this new development seeing as debt restructuring is still stalled so as to enable citizens to better plan going forward.
Our take is that in addition to first quarter tax receipts, they have released huge amounts from international reserves under panic.
President of the Socialist Party