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.

source: Zambia Reports

Flashback: Fathers of Democracy & Security Detail

A few days ago, MMD co-founder, Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika, commonly known as AKA, shared a photo on his Facebook page from the archives. In the photo, AKA is seen speaking at a campaign rally. Standing next to him is the late … Continued

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A few days ago, MMD co-founder, Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika, commonly known as AKA, shared a photo on his Facebook page from the archives. In the photo, AKA is seen speaking at a campaign rally. Standing next to him is the late Baldwin Nkumbula while Frederick Chiluba and Mufaya Mumbuna (both long gone, I guess) are seated listening. This was in Mongu, Western province in 1990 as the wind of change that would dislodge Kenneth Kaunda from power and usher in Chiluba continued to blow countrywide. There’s something particularly interesting about this picture that has drawn my undivided attention and I’d encourage others to equally do the same as well. Now contrast this with the security detail seen crowding and not surrounding the leadership of two of our foremost political parties, the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) and opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) especially during the previous elections. What do we make of this? We see muscle men – nay, menacing images of hulking individuals with barrel-chests and well developed muscles in berets, hiding behind dark glasses! According to Wikipedia, a muscle man can best be described as a henchman employed by a gangster to intimidate or use violence upon victims. Why should our political leaders allow these goons near them? Isn’t for a purpose of reigning terror and violence? In 1990s as our country braced herself for the new beginning in our political dispensation, many of us were still in school. However, we chose to be part of this revolution by sneaking out of school to attend political rallies and listen to this new crop of leaders poised to bring about total liberation and economic prosperity! Although there was always the risk of being lifted “by air†by a few uncouth and misguided UNIP vigilantes, it cannot be compared to the scale of violence the country is witnessing today. During the run up to elections, it has now become common practice to hear or read spine-chilling stories of cadres hacking limbs, gorging out eyes, setting houses ablaze and in certain instances killing opponents. Where’s all this violence……..Satanic behavior emanating from? Why should politics be a matter of life and death today? Although politics is generally said to be a dirty game; in our country unfortunately, we’ve taken a step further and made it a violent activity! Politics is supposed to be a battle of wits……….contestation of ideas and not the other way round! Our modern day politicians have continued to SIN before God by fraternizing with individuals who are better off in the gym growing their muscles or in the ring belting it out with their peers. Without mincing our words, these are the individuals blemishing the image of what should otherwise be a noble profession. Bill M. Kapinga Freelance Writer The post Flashback: Fathers of Democracy & Security Detail appeared first on Zambia Reports.

source: Zambia Reports

President Koroma Receives Annual Reports From Financial Intelligence Unit

[Sierra Leone Government] President Ernest Bai Koroma on Tuesday 8 August received the 2013 and 2014 Annual Reports from the Financial Intelligence Unit at State House in Freetown.

[Sierra Leone Government] President Ernest Bai Koroma on Tuesday 8 August received the 2013 and 2014 Annual Reports from the Financial Intelligence Unit at State House in Freetown.

source: AllAfrica News: Sierra Leone

Annual Internal Audit Conference Opens in Accra

[Ghana Govt.] The conference aims to provide a platform for discussions by managers of public institutions and other stakeholders to help craft a roadmap towards addressing the challenges of internal auditors in their quest to safeguard national resour…

[Ghana Govt.] The conference aims to provide a platform for discussions by managers of public institutions and other stakeholders to help craft a roadmap towards addressing the challenges of internal auditors in their quest to safeguard national resources.

source: AllAfrica News: Ghana

Senate Moves to Reduce Political Parties

[The Capitol Times] A bill that seeks to bar political parties that attain 5% of the votes cast in any elections from participation for eight years was yesterday submitted and endorsed by the Plenary of the Liberian Senate by Grand Cape Mount County Se…

[The Capitol Times] A bill that seeks to bar political parties that attain 5% of the votes cast in any elections from participation for eight years was yesterday submitted and endorsed by the Plenary of the Liberian Senate by Grand Cape Mount County Senator Varney G. N. Sherman.

source: AllAfrica News: Liberia

LNP Train in Electoral Security

[The Capitol Times] Ahead of the October 10 2017 general elections, security personnel are participating in a series of training sessions in electoral security with support of the multi-donor basket fund in cooperation with the Liberia National Police …

[The Capitol Times] Ahead of the October 10 2017 general elections, security personnel are participating in a series of training sessions in electoral security with support of the multi-donor basket fund in cooperation with the Liberia National Police and the National Elections Commission.

source: AllAfrica News: Liberia

Judicial Impeachment Halted Featured

[The Capitol Times] The Honorable Supreme Court of the Republic of Liberia has initiated judicial proceedings to determine the constitutionality and legality of the actions by the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives, seeking to impeach …

[The Capitol Times] The Honorable Supreme Court of the Republic of Liberia has initiated judicial proceedings to determine the constitutionality and legality of the actions by the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives, seeking to impeach three members of the Supreme Court on account of opinions rendered by the Court.

source: AllAfrica News: Liberia

34 COC Cases On NEC Docket

[The Capitol Times] The National Elections Commissions (NEC) Chairman has revealed to press men that the Commission received 34 cases bordering on the Code of Conduct since the end of nomination.

[The Capitol Times] The National Elections Commissions (NEC) Chairman has revealed to press men that the Commission received 34 cases bordering on the Code of Conduct since the end of nomination.

source: AllAfrica News: Liberia