9 October 2012

Zambia: MMD Sorry for Under-Performance

THE MMD has confessed and taken the blame for the misery that it brought on the Zambians during its 20-year reign.

MMD president Nevers Mumba said yesterday that the MMD had not solved all the people's problems and that the party took full responsibility of the short comings.

Dr Mumba said during a public address at Radisson Blu Hotel in Lusaka yesterday that it was true and undeniable that by the time his party left office, it had not created enough jobs, it had not provided adequate social services and poverty was still prevalent in the nation and certain undesirable governance behaviour had emerged.

"I am not going to sit here and claim, or lie or even pretend that the MMD had solved all the people's problems, that social service delivery was satisfactorily achieved and that our economy had become an industrialised one," he said.

He said the party on the other hand, for 12 years in a row and back to back, three successive MMD governments were able to deepen and expand the size of the economy significantly.

He said the party put in place consistent, predictable and clear foreign investment policies which led to large inflows of foreign investments into our country and B+ credit ratings from three different world renowned rating agencies.

"Our vision, effective strategic planning and a clear policy direction was able to facilitate for the expansion and transformation of the middle class as it exists today. We were able to move this country from a sluggish low income country into a vibrant middle-income nation," he said.

He said in social delivery in the last five years five years of the party governance, MMD embarked and succeeded in building hundreds of new class room blocks and new schools, hundreds of health centres, clinics and dozens of new hospitals and a decent number of new houses for both the police service and the military.

He said the party succeeded in improving the quality of the road sector, the rehabilitation and construction of new roads and bridges which was visible by all who wished to be honest about the effort.

He said it was the MMD's desire that the PF Government should succeed in honouring the many promises that they made to the people of Zambia.

He said success by the PF or any other party was good for the country and meant a better life for everyone.

"A disastrous failure by the PFGovernment will mean a disaster for our country and for us all. We, therefore, all have a stake in ensuring that this disastrous failure does not occur," he said.

He said it was unfortunate that when the PF Government came into power a year ago last month, embarked on a journey of definitive promises and undertook to convince the people of Zambia that they had quick-fix solutions to all their problems and a time frame given.

He said the only promise that the PF Government fulfilled was reintroduction of the Abuse of Office Clause.

Dr Mumba said though the PF had doubled the exempt threshold for PAYE from

K1, 000,000 in 2011 to K2, 000,000 in 2012 and the measure was commendable, six months after their taking office, this was subsequently overridden by adjustments to transport and other allowances in both the teaching and health services.

"The net effect of this, in fact, has been to reduce take home pay and not to increase it. Similar adjustments to take away this gain have been implemented in the core civil service. In addition, the adjustment in the Minimum Wage, particularly as it regards domestic workers, has also taken away this advantage with this group of employees," he said.

He said prices of basic food items such as bread, mealie meal, cooking oil and meat products have all gone up completely wiping out what ever gains that may have been obtained.

He said after a year the Constitution had still not been put in place and that there was just a chaoticand unclear process with no legal framework and one which had been forced on the Zambian people.

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