Pres. Lungu Takes on Mwanakatwe Critics

President Edgar Lungu has sprung to the defence of newly appointed Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe that her detractors will thank him for that decision later. He said that even his ascendancy to the Presidency had people bent on scandalizing him … Continued

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President Edgar Lungu has sprung to the defence of newly appointed Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe that her detractors will thank him for that decision later. He said that even his ascendancy to the Presidency had people bent on scandalizing him as a drunkard but has since proved his critics wrong. President Lungu said he was shocked some critics had gone as far as creating turbulences in the market just to prove that Mwanakatwe was not the right choice for the position of Finance Minister. “Before I became President there were people who said that Lungu is a drunkard he can’t do anything. So I would encourage her to just work hard,†he said. “When you reshuffle cabinet the way I did, there is bound to be turbulences, politically, economically. I feel sorry for her because people are saying so many poor things about her. I can only encourage her to work hard, she is equal to the task, and I have no doubt.†President Lungu relinquished Felix Mutati of the finance portfolio and appointed Mwanakatwe with some forces resisting her appointment. The post Pres. Lungu Takes on Mwanakatwe Critics appeared first on Zambia Reports.

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Barclays Bank Gives Employees 9% Salary Increment

Barclays Bank PLC has awarded its employees a 9 percent salary increment across the board effective April 2018. The increment follows successful and concluded negotiations between the bank and the Zambia Union of Financial Institutions and Allied Workers on increased … Continued

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Barclays Bank PLC has awarded its employees a 9 percent salary increment across the board effective April 2018. The increment follows successful and concluded negotiations between the bank and the Zambia Union of Financial Institutions and Allied Workers on increased salaries and improved conditions for workers for 2018. Speaking during the signing of the agreement, Barclays bank PLC Managing Director Mzinga Melu said this year’s negotiations have been the quickest in the history of Barclays Bank Zambia as they were concluded and agreed within two sittings only. Melu says the 9 percent increment will apply to all the over 860 Barclays Bank Zambia workers across the country. She says the bank did not delay in concluding the negotiations as it believes in putting the people and the interest of its workers first. She has since commended union leadership at ZUFIAW for creating an enabling environment that allowed for smooth and quick negotiations. And ZUFIAW president Chingati Msiska has commended the bank for its dedication and commitment in improving the welfare of workers. Msiska says Barclays becomes the third financial institution to conclude negotiations for its workers this year. He also used the occasion to remind other financial institutions and employers who have continued to delay negotiations to quicken their processes so that workers can quickly begin enjoying the fruits of their labor. The post Barclays Bank Gives Employees 9% Salary Increment appeared first on Zambia Reports.

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Right To Reply: Airtel Responds To Industrial Unrest Letter

Following publication of a letter that Airtel employees contracted through NSN were planning industrial unrest, the mobile communication firm has responded stating the company’s business model took a different turn in 2001 when it started outsourcing labour. Airtel has since … Continued

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Following publication of a letter that Airtel employees contracted through NSN were planning industrial unrest, the mobile communication firm has responded stating the company’s business model took a different turn in 2001 when it started outsourcing labour. Airtel has since distanced its business connection with NSN saying the company is solely responsible for its workers. SEE BELOW IS THE RESPONSE FROM AIRTEL COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE PRESS STATEMENT Lusaka, January 21st, 2018 Airtel Networks Zambia Plc wishes to clarify and correct misleading news reports regarding an alleged impending “Industrial Unrest at Airtelâ€. Airtel’s business model since 2011 has been that of ‘outsourcing’ as this has over the years improved the company focus on our core business and enabled the company to access expertise in various areas. It is with this background, that Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) is one of our many partners that we have outsourced to do work with. Nokia Siemens Networks are therefore better positioned to comment on any matters relating to any alleged work stoppage. Issued by: The Corporate Communications Office Email: pr.ccgc@zm.airtel.com About Bharti Airtel Limited Bharti Airtel Limited is a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 16 countries across Asia and Africa. Headquartered in New Delhi, India, the company ranks amongst the top 3 mobile service providers globally in terms of subscribers. In India, the company’s product offerings include 2G, 3G and 4G wireless services, mobile commerce, fixed line services, high speed home broadband, DTH, enterprise services including national & international long distance services to carriers. In the rest of the geographies, it offers 2G, 3G, 4G wireless services and mobile commerce. Bharti Airtel had over 394 million customers across its operations at the end of December 2017. To know more please visit, www.airtel.com. The post Right To Reply: Airtel Responds To Industrial Unrest Letter appeared first on Zambia Reports.

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MTN, State House In Potential Clash Over Buffaloes, Eagles Match

MTN has filed an appeal against the directive by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission that compelled FAZ to allow City of Lusaka continue using Woodlands Stadium but the process throws one of the season ending deciding fixtures which President … Continued

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MTN has filed an appeal against the directive by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission that compelled FAZ to allow City of Lusaka continue using Woodlands Stadium but the process throws one of the season ending deciding fixtures which President Edgar Lungu is expected to watch on Saturday into jeopardy. According to ex-parte summons date stamped November 13, 2017 before the Tribunal responsible for Competition and Consumer Protection, MTN demands that the court quashes the CCPC directive granting City of Lusaka interim relief to access Woodlands Stadium until the appeal is disposed. MTN contend that the continued use of Woodlands Stadium by City of Lusaka, a club sponsored by a rival company Vodafone, violates the its rights based on the sponsorship agreement it enjoys with FAZ. President Lungu is expected to watch the FAZ Super Division concluding double header at Woodlands stadium on Saturday. The matches involve title contenders Green Buffaloes and Green Eagles while City of Lusaka hosts Red Arrows. The highly anticipated match between Buffaloes and Eagles is one of the four crucial fixtures set to decide the 2017 FAZ Super Division championship. However, a decision by the court will throw plans for the big clash on Saturday into chaos and potentially ridicule the Office of the President. MTN submits that CPCC issued the directive to FAZ without giving the firm an opportunity to be heard, a position they claim abrogates section 62 of the CPCC Act No. 24 of 2010. “… while the appellant [MTN] was given an opportunity to be heard on the Notice, the Respondent [CPCC] did not give the appellant [MTN] an opportunity to make representations regarding the interim measure or directive,†Bumi Kalala, the MTN corporate legal affairs assistant, argues. MTN contends that the company, in its agreement with FAZ, enjoys exclusive rights to both the league and national team match advertising as it is the main sponsor. The company argues it has the following rights; “(a) Stadium branding rights which allow it to place its intellectual property on a specific number of advertising boards with specified dimensions at all Super League matches; “(b) Exclusive branding rights with respect to the stadium where Super League matches are due to be played which rights are subject to prior approval of the stadium owner; “(c) The first right of negotiation with other Super League football clubs with regards to the purchasing of additional advertising space at the club’s stadia; and “(d) The right not to have any presence of its competitors within the stadium and for a radius of 200m around the stadium during Zambia National Soccer Team games.†According to the MTN legal team, the agreement with FAZ allows for other forms of advertisement in the stadia where Super League matches were concerned, but not national team matches. In a direct challenge to Vodafone who after pumping money into City of Lusaka have assumed the naming rights for Woodlands stadium, MTN aver that, “…any competitor of the Appellant [MTN] is free to offer FAZ a better sponsorship deal which becomes contractual when consummated.†As for now, MTN demand their exclusive rights because they pay FAZ for the sponsorship and that it is the common practice to enjoy the “fruit of their laborâ€. MTN argue that based on the circumstances of the case, the CPCC directive compelling FAZ to allow City of Lusaka use Woodlands Stadium with its sponsor Vodafone enjoying acres of space for advertising was illegal. “It is desirable and in the interest of justice that the decision of the Respondent [CPCC] be quashed pending appeal to the Tribunal because the Appellant’s [MTN] rights under the Agreement will be violated and rendered nugatory,†Kalala submits. If the tribunal grants the ex-parte summons before the first hearing of the appeal on December 6, City will lose the right to use Woodlands stadium and must make last minute arrangements to fulfill the next fixture due in 72 hours. Buffaloes, Zesco United, Zanaco and Nkana all have the chance to be crowned champions depending on the result of the weekend fixtures. MTN/FAZ FIXTURES FOR SUPER DIVISION WEEK 38 TO BE PLAYED ON SATURDAY 2ND DECEMBER, 2017 15:00 Lusaka Dynamos Vs NAPSA Stars (National Heroes Stadium) 15:00 Nchanga Rangers Vs Nakambala Leopards (Nchanga Stadium) 15:00 Kabwe Warriors Vs Power Dynamos (Godfrey Chitalu Stadium) 15:00 Nkana Vs Konkola Blades (Nkana Stadium-Live on SuperSport) 13:00 Real Nakonde Vs Nkwazi (New Stadium) Nakonde 15:00 Zesco United Vs Mufulira Wanderers (Levy Mwanawasa Stadium-Live on SuperSport) 15:00 Lumwana Radiants Vs Buildcon (Lumwana Stadium) 15:00 Zanaco Vs Forest Rangers (Sunset Stadium-Live on SuperSport) 13:00 City of Lusaka Vs Red Arrows (Woodlands Stadium) 15:00 Green Buffaloes Vs Green Eagles (Woodlands Stadium)   The post MTN, State House In Potential Clash Over Buffaloes, Eagles Match appeared first on Zambia Reports.

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Opinion: Austerity Measures Without Fiscal Discipline Will Cause Unnecessary Suffering On Zambians

The irregularities that have been highlighted in the Auditor General’s report for 2017 are a clear indication of lack of fiscal discipline in Public institutions. This is despite the several pronouncements by honourable minister of finance, Felix Mutati, on government’s … Continued

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The irregularities that have been highlighted in the Auditor General’s report for 2017 are a clear indication of lack of fiscal discipline in Public institutions. This is despite the several pronouncements by honourable minister of finance, Felix Mutati, on government’s intention of promoting a solid public finance management system to support fiscal prudence and address structural challenges to stimulate economic growth. One of the pillars of the “Zambia Plus Economic Recovery Programmeâ€, which government launched in 2016, focused on improving economic and fiscal governance by raising the levels of accountability and transparency in the allocation and use of public finances. It aimed at ensuring that financial misappropriation, irregularities, fraud and corruption are curbed. However, after the successful launch and implementation of this programme, the amount of misapplication of funds has increased by about 500%, Unaccounted for funds have increased by 100%, unretired imprest has increased by about 40% as evidenced by the 2017 Auditor general’s report. The raft of austerity measures that have been put in place by government are necessary to resolve most of the economic challenges that Zambia is currently facing such as the high unemployment levels, more than 50% of the population living below the poverty line, the weak kwacha against other major tradeable currencies, high interest rates, high cost of living, persistent budget deficits and a high and unsustainable sovereign debt position of $12.5 billion representing more than 50% of our GDP. Austerity measures such as the removal of subsidies on maize, electricity and fuel should lead to a reduction in government expenditure. This should increase the availability of funds to be channeled to other more productive sectors. The marginal increase in domestic taxes such as PAYE, turnover tax, excise duty etc are supposed to help increase the amount of revenue being generated locally and address these challenges. These measures if properly implemented are also supposed to help in reducing the government appetite to borrow funds both domestically and externally and put as on trajectory towards attaining fiscal consolidation. However, this is almost impossible to achieve because of the lack of fiscal discipline in government ministries and State owned enterprises. The cost of living has increased in the last 24 months as a result of the implementation of the Zambia Plus Economic Recovery Plan. However, the revenue gains and savings that have been realized from this programme are clearly not being prudently utilized. Unless the irregularities that have been highlighted in the Auditor General’s report are resolved, these austerity measures will not help in the attainment the targets set out in the Economic Stabilization and Growth Programme. The target set out in the 2018 National Budget of “accelerating fiscal fitness for sustained inclusive growth, without leaving anyone behind†will be difficult to achieve. Instead, these measures will just cause unnecessary suffering on Zambians. Written by Blessings Kafwanka The post Opinion: Austerity Measures Without Fiscal Discipline Will Cause Unnecessary Suffering On Zambians appeared first on Zambia Reports.

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Pres. Lungu Launches $50 Million Fish Project

President Edgar Lungu has launched a $50 Million fish project under the Zambia Aquaculture Enterprise Development Project. The project is themed “Zambia Aquaculture on the path of Sustainable growth. President Lungu says 1,200 fish farmers and entrepreneurs comprising 50 percent … Continued

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President Edgar Lungu has launched a $50 Million fish project under the Zambia Aquaculture Enterprise Development Project. The project is themed “Zambia Aquaculture on the path of Sustainable growth. President Lungu says 1,200 fish farmers and entrepreneurs comprising 50 percent women and youth will benefit from the project. The Head of state says approximately 50,000 indirect beneficiaries will also enjoy the benefits of the projects which includes entrepreneurs in the aquaculture value chain such as fish processors, fish traders, fish transporters and employees. “I am glad that the efforts made by my Government to proactively promote aquaculture have impressively delivered results by increasing the yields from 12, 988 metric tonnes in 2012 to 30, 285 metric tonnes in 2016. “This is a pure demonstration that the country is on the right track to boost fish production which should enable the country to cut fish imports and instead promote local production for export. “Let me reaffirm my governments commitment to continue supporting fish farmers and improve the quality of production through technical support and empowering them with the necessary management skills,” he said. The post Pres. Lungu Launches $50 Million Fish Project appeared first on Zambia Reports.

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Opinion: First Step To Solving Zambia’s Quagmire Of Financial Indebtedness

Blessings Kafwanka (Business & Financial Analyst) Acceptance is the starting point to finding a solution to any problem you may encounter in life. If you refuse to accept that a problem exists, it becomes virtually impossible to find a solution. … Continued

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Blessings Kafwanka (Business & Financial Analyst) Acceptance is the starting point to finding a solution to any problem you may encounter in life. If you refuse to accept that a problem exists, it becomes virtually impossible to find a solution. The next step is generating or identifying possible solutions. More often than not, there’s always someone who has gone through the challenges you are going through right now. They say “a problem shared is a problem half solved” You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Learning from the experiences of others will save you the trouble of spending time, energy and resources before you can figure out how to get out of that predicament. After that, you need to take decisive action to address that problem and bear the pain (side effects) that might arise. That said, it takes a lot of courage for political leaders to accept the consequences of their actions. In the last 6 years, Zambia’s debt has ‘ballooned’ by well over 1,000% from about US$500 million in 2011 to US$12.5 billion in 2017 representing 47% of GDP. The worst in the history of our Zambia. Additionally, there’s no clear strategy of how this debt will be dismantled, especially the Eurobonds that will fall due starting from 2022 onwards. It’s great that Hon. Felix Mutati has finally accepted that Zambia’s debt risk has moved from moderate to high. But does this government have the tenacity to take decisive action to correct this position? There are a lot of lessons that can be taken from our history. Not so long ago, late president Levy Patrick Mwanawasa’s government was faced with a quagmire of financial indebtedness similar to the one we are experiencing now. The intensity of the problem may differ, but surely, we can learn something from the way he engaged the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and endured side effects of the conditions given such as wage freeze, employment freeze, zero tolerance to corruption, prosecuting erring officers in public institutions, both past & incumbent office bearers regardless of political affiliation. Late president Patrick Mwanawasa was uncompromising in his fight against corruption to an extent of allowing the prosecution of the man that played a major role in his ascendance to political power. During his tenure, we witnessed several corrupt leaders that were prosecuted and convicted without fear or favor. Today, our leaders have chosen to embrace and work with the very leaders they accused of being corrupt and mismanaging the country’s resources when they were in the opposition. The international Monetary Fund (IMF) only makes loans if deflationary policies are followed. From the inception of the current talks between the IMF and the Zambian government, a number of deflationary policies were proposed by the IMF which include: • Ban on unnecessary travel. This should be restricted to essential travel only • Reduction in government expenditure • Plans to start a new national airline should be will be differed • New infrastructure projects should be halted. The old projects may continue • Review the subsidies on agriculture and electricity tariffs – gradually shift to higher and cost reflective tariffs If receiving the US$1.3 billion concessionary loan from the IMF depends on government’s adherence to the above pre-conditions, what are the chances that the loan will be granted? How have we fared in terms of restricting unnecessary travel, reduction in government expenditure and halting new infrastructure projects? How have we fared in terms of promoting fiscal discipline in public institutions and genuinely fighting corruption? Today, the prospect of clinching a deal with the IMF looks bleak due to the high and unsustainable debt position were are in. Hon. Felix Mutati is right to accept that Zambia’s debt risk is high. But, in as much as acceptance could be the starting point to getting out of this quandary, decisive action must be taken. This might involve political leaders making tough decisions that might not resonate well with the electorate in the short term. But in the long-term, the benefits will certainly be overwhelming. ‘Long-term perspective’ is what differentiates good leaders from bad ones. “Politicians think of the next election, leaders think of the next generationâ€. The post Opinion: First Step To Solving Zambia’s Quagmire Of Financial Indebtedness appeared first on Zambia Reports.

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FQM: High Taxes A Big Challenge To Mining In Zambia

First Quantum Minerals Country Manager General Kingsley Chinkuli has observed that Zambia’s mining industry is failing to compete favourably in production due to high taxes. And Gen. Chinkuli has appealed to government to quickly realise the economic diversification program to … Continued

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First Quantum Minerals Country Manager General Kingsley Chinkuli has observed that Zambia’s mining industry is failing to compete favourably in production due to high taxes. And Gen. Chinkuli has appealed to government to quickly realise the economic diversification program to reduce pressure on the mining industry. Speaking on the sidelines of the seminar organized by the Chamber of Mines with the Chilean government, Gen. Chinkuli said Chile has managed to grow production in the mining industry due to stable and low tax regimes. He said there is need for government to realise that mining has great opportunities on offer as opposed to taxes only. Gen. Chinkuli said the Mining industry in Zambia has highly been taxed but can as well be used for job creation as well as enhancing economic development in different communities of operation. “Currently the taxes are too high and this is affecting production in the mining industry, we need to get to a round table and see how best we can help one another of these issues, Zambia needs a stable tax regime to help improve production in the mining industry” he said. “There is a lot we can learn from Chile, we have to continue with such engagements, I was once Minister of Mines and we had a lot of interactions to see how best we can help one another in this sector” he added Gen. Chinkuli however said the mining industry I’m Zambia is under serious pressure due to its contribution to the country’s economic growth. “You see Chile only has about 6% of its export earnings from mining that is copper but here in Zambia we are talking about over 70%, this has contributed to so much pressure on copper production”. He said government needs to take advantage of the mining industry’s contribution to help grow other sectors through its diversification program. Gen. Chinkuli said there is need to see the agriculture sector taking centre stage in sustaining economic growth and also help reduce pressure on the mining industry in the country. “We cannot always depend on copper production for our export earnings, we need to look at other potential sector of the economy like our friends are doing in Chile,” he stated. The post FQM: High Taxes A Big Challenge To Mining In Zambia appeared first on Zambia Reports.

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Govt Should Stop BabySitting Mining Companies By Reintroducing Windfall Tax – Prince Ndoyi

Former ZANASU vice-president Prince Ndoyi has taken a swipe at government for treating mining companies with kids gloves. Ndoyi says the government was baby sitting mining companies at the expense of the majority poor Zambians The political commentator has challenged … Continued

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Former ZANASU vice-president Prince Ndoyi has taken a swipe at government for treating mining companies with kids gloves. Ndoyi says the government was baby sitting mining companies at the expense of the majority poor Zambians The political commentator has challenged government to reintroduce windfall tax as an alternative for Zambians to benefit from their vast mineral wealth. Ndoyi says the refusal by Mopani Mines to pay the revised electricity tariffs was unacceptable and immoral especially that poor Zambians are paying without protesting. He said the crisis at Mopani is the first true test of Copperbelt Minister Bowman Lusambo’s leadership abilities. “Government including some governments in the past have been babysitting these mining companies, treating them with kids gloves for far too long than we can no longer take. ITS TIME FOR WINDFALL TAX, the Copper prices are booming, conditions are ripe. “We must never forget that, anywhere in the world, the wealth in the ground belongs to its citizen. Now that’s a bit mushy for a hard-nosed businessman, but that’s the reality and that’s where the expectations arise. If you may recall prior to the 2011 Election, late PF President Michael Sata a day before elections said that, “after tomorrow, you must say no to poverty, after tomorrow you must say no to unemployment, what we want is Zambia for Zambians, people are making money over our heads.” If these words remain true to the Patriotic Front government then we must strike while the rod is red hot.” He noted that the mines have been abusing the relationship between them and government. “Our relationship with the mines have proven to be abusive as it is a one sided friendship hell bent on exploiting us, even refusing to pay for electricity at competitive tariffs. “These same mines were adequately consulted and now want to embarrass the government, a govt which has upwardly adjusted electricity tarrifs for an ordinary Zambian business owner. My view is as the prices of copper and other metals continue to boom on the world market, the country needs to benefit as well.” He said. Ndoyi adds that the PF was put in office for the poor people and promised to deport abusive foreign investors. “The Patriotic Front (PF) we all know, must put an end to this, they promised during elections to deport foreign investors that exploit their workforce, increasing corporate taxes and limiting foreign ownership of mines, and Zambians spoke clearly and loudly through the elections and they must reflect seriously on our concerns. “Whilst we have made important macroeconomic gains, admittedly the standard of living of the majority of Zambians remains poor, hence we can’t entertain any job losses from the mines. Prior to privatisation of the mines, World Bank and IMF continued to preach to the Zambian Government that, in order to bring in investment, the country would have to make itself more attractive than its neighbours and competitors by developing an ‘investor-friendly’ regulatory regime.” He accused the World Bank and the IMF of using the country’s dependence on the two institutions to pass laws that have weakened government control on the mines “The World Bank and International Monetary Fund have used Zambia’s dependence on them for aid and debt relief to pass laws– principally the Investment Act and the Mining and Minerals Act, withdrawing many of the controls the state had previously established on the behaviour of companies. “While significant investments have poured in since, it is far from clear that all investors have chosen to take note of those of the country’s laws that do still apply to them – or indeed to honour the commitments they make in the Development Agreements. “Some investors have taken advantage of the fact that Zambian state institutions are too weak to effectively regulate their behaviour. The state itself also seems to have developed political relationships with certain mining houses that mean health and safety, labour, immigration and environmental regulations can be ignored with impunity, causing significant resentment for foreign investors.” The post Govt Should Stop BabySitting Mining Companies By Reintroducing Windfall Tax – Prince Ndoyi appeared first on Zambia Reports.

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Opinion: Is The Reduction In Fuel Prices Sustainable?

Zambians have every right to express their dissatisfaction with the reduction of fuel prices that has been made by the Energy Regulation Board (ERB). Petrol has been reduced from K12.5 to K11.67; Diesel reduced from K10.72 to K9.87 and Kerosene … Continued

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Zambians have every right to express their dissatisfaction with the reduction of fuel prices that has been made by the Energy Regulation Board (ERB). Petrol has been reduced from K12.5 to K11.67; Diesel reduced from K10.72 to K9.87 and Kerosene reduced from K6.81 to K6.50. The impact that this will have on reducing the cost of doing business is very negligible. From the sentiments that have been expressed from a cross section of society, Zambians expect an adjustment that will lead to a reduction in the cost of living which has risen sharply in the last few years. For a motorist who spends an average of K1,000 per month on petrol, the total saving that will arise as a result of this reduction is only about K66. This is clearly not enough to compensate the sharp increases in the prices of basic food items and electricity that occurred in the first half of 2017. I have no reason to doubt that Minibus & Taxi operators will not even entertain the thought of reducing their fares. However, we should appreciate the fact that this reduction is proportional to the appreciation of the kwacha in the last few weeks against other major currencies. In as much as the reduction is insignificant, it’s only fair that ERB should pass on this little benefit that has arisen. It is common practice by most traders to quickly increase the prices of their products and services when the Kwacha depreciates. However, when there’s an appreciation, they are usually reluctant to adjust their prices downwards. We appreciate the fact that Zambia is a free market economy and government cannot interfere in the pricing of most products. Traders are free to sell their merchandise at any price as long as buyers are willing to pay. The laws of demand and supply influence the prices of most products on the market. However, it’s good business practice to pass on the benefits that might arise whenever there’s a reduction in the cost of inputs. ERB has simply passed on the benefit has arisen as a result of the appreciation of the Kwacha. Any adjustment in the pump price of fuel has a ripple effect that affects almost every aspect of our economy. Therefore, our primary focus as a nation should be finding sustainable ways of strengthening the Kwacha. It is therefore imperative, that government continues implementing policies that will lead to further strengthening of the kwacha. There are several reasons that led to the appreciation of the Kwacha in the last few weeks. The reduced rate of inflation, monetary policy changes by the bank of Zambia and increase in lending rates that have attracted foreign investment have clearly had a role to play. However, this appreciation is mainly driven by the increase in copper prices on the international market. Our government has absolutely no control over metal prices on the international market. This makes our economy vulnerable to depressed metal prices in the future. The government should therefore strive to implement policies that will lead to gains that are backed by increased productivity not just in mining but in other key subsectors such as Agriculture and tourism. This is the only way they can guarantee a sustainable appreciation of the kwacha against other major currencies and a meaningful reduction in the pump price of fuel in the long run. Meanwhile, today, 8th August, 2017, OPEC and non-OPEC officials were holding a second day of meetings in Abu Dhabi to discuss ways to boost compliance with their oil output-cutting pact. The primary objective of these meetings is to boost oil prices that have been falling in the recent past. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and other producers are cutting production by about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) until March 2018 to get rid of a glut and support prices. I remain hopeful that the relevant offices here in Zambia are following these developments and making plans on how to mitigate the imminent increase in oil prices in the near future. I ‘am also hopeful that our “able leadership†will not just fold their arms and say “The increase is globalâ€. They will certainly devise mechanisms now, to mitigate the effects of this imminent increase in the not so distant future. Blessings Kafwanka Business & Financial Analyst The post Opinion: Is The Reduction In Fuel Prices Sustainable? appeared first on Zambia Reports.

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