The state must explain where part of the money left by the MMD government in the foreign reserves has gone if the PF 2013 budget has not been exhausted, says former minister of finance Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane.
And UNPD’s Douglas Syakalima has charged that the Patriotic Front leadership is ransacking the treasury to a point were the country would be depending on debts from other countries.
Dr Musokotwane said it was not clear why there had been a decline in the reserves if government’ 2013 budget was intact.
He said the statement by Mr Sata that Zambia had $2.4 billion in the reserves needed an explanation because it was a sign that the reserves were being tempered with since the MMD left US2.6 billion in the kit.
The former minster said President Sata should tell Zambians the truth about the budget figures and not just words that the financial plan was still intact.
He said that it was difficult to believe that this year’s budget has not been disturbed by commitments that were not part of the 2013 budget.
“There is something that the President is not saying. We are saying that there is a budget overrun because Mr Sata’s government is saying they are building more or less six universities in different districts and building a university is not something simple.
“As MMD we left $2.6 billion but Mr Sata is saying that currently the reserves are at $ 2.4 billion. What has happened to the $200 million if their budget is intact? Where have they taken the money?
“It is an indication definitely that there is an over expenditure in the country but we don’t know whether it is the people over spending or government. Government should explain to us why the reserves were now declining instead of increasing,” Musokotwane said.
Dr Musokotwane explained that the creation of districts had resulted into an increase in the number of civil servants and that there was also a salary increment for the civil servants.
The former minister insisted that Mr Sata should produce the figures for the budget breakdown if Zambians were to believe that there was no budget overrun.
And Mr Syakalima said it was now evident that the PF leadership was stealing from the Zambian people in the name of introducing new projects.
Mr Syakalima said Mr Sata should give a detailed explanation about the whereabouts of the money in the reserves as it was clear that someone had tampered with the money that was left by the former government.
“Mr Sata should not divert people’s attention from real issues. We want him to tell us why six months down the line, there is an overrun on the budget. This is going to lead to a situation where 80 per cent of the budget will be in emoluments and 20 per cent in capital projects.
“This denial by Mr Sata is not good for the economy of the country and Mr Sata must just admit that he has failed to drive the economy of this country,” Syakalima said.