Mumbi Phiri lambasts Kabimba

RAINBOW Party leader Wynter Kabimba is a hypocritical leader and should be the last person to criticize the Patriotic Front (PF) Government over the latest Euro Bond Government has acquired because he was part of the system when the first Euro Bond was acquired, party deputy secretary general Mumbi Phiri has said.
But Mr Kabimba has alleged that the PF was viewing the US$1.2 billion Eurobond window as a potential cash cow to fund its 2016 election campaigns.
Ms Phiri said Mr Kabimba was PF secretary general and Justice Minister and did not see anything wrong with the Government’s borrowing and it was surprising that barely months after he was rejected by the party, the ruling party had become bad and corrupt.
Ms Phiri said Mr Kabimba was the architect of most of the unpopular programmes in the PF and that the ruling party was working hard to repair the damage caused by the Rainbow leader.
She said the US$1.2 million latest Euro Bond was meant for economic infrastructure development and not to fund the PF’s campaign programmes for the 2016 general elections.
Ms Phiri said President Lungu was focused on uplifting the living standards of all Zambians and was therefore not going to be distracted by politically slanted criticism from Mr Kabimba and other opposition leaders.
“Mr Kabimba was in the PF government as Justice Minister and did not see anything wrong with the first Euro Bond we acquired. Why did he not criticize Government when he was part of the system. According to Mr Kabimba, the PF has only become a bad party because he was rejected and fired. The latest Euro Bond is strictly meant for economic infrastructure development and not to fund our campaigns,” Ms Phiri said.
She said Mr Kabimba’s comments should be ignored because he was demonising the PF out of bitterness after he failed to actualize his ambitions while in the ruling party.
Addressing a press conference at Tick School Lilayi campus along Kasama Road yesterday, Mr Kabimba said PF under President Edgar Lungu was desperate to show that it had made progress on the infrastructure projects initiated by late President Michael Sata.
Mr Kabimba said the PF was looking for fresh money to cover up for its misuse and squander of the public resources that were previously mobilized.
He said over borrowing was an act of desperation that would ultimately bring Zambia to the verge of bankruptcy.
Commenting on the issuance of U$S1.25 billion Eurobond, Mr Kabimba said it would push the economy to a total external debt of U$S6.05 billion.
Mr Kabimba said U$S6.05 billion external debt would not be manageable given the weakness of the kwacha.
He said U$S750 million which was acquired in 2012 yielded 5.625 percent and the second issuance of U$S 1 billion was, in retrospect, a gamble.
“Despite the high cost to be incurred through the second Eurobond issuance, the PF government still went ahead to issue a third Eurobond. This amounts to crime against the Zambian people.
Mr Kabimba observed that the third Eurobond was coming at a time when the copper commodity prices were still low and with no prospects of a quick rebound. He said the Kwacha had drastically depreciated and was at its lowest level in decades, adding that it had pushed the currency risk to unprecedented levels.
Mr Kabimba said fiscal discipline was at its lowest in Zambian history with rampant levels of unprioritized spending and corruption.
“Next year’s pending election is adding to the budgetary pressures and reducing the proportions of the Eurobond that will go into infrastructure spending. PF has no capacity and discipline to quickly and efficiently utilize the funding and let alone adhere to the programmed use of the resources,” Mr Kabimba said.

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