Chibamba Kanyama Schools Sean Tembo On IMF and Social Cash Transfer


Chibamba Kanyama wrote....
My young brother Sean Tembo, the PEP leader, is on record stating that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will scrap the Social Cash Transfer(SCT) in the event Zambia acquires the Extended Credit Facility (programme).

That is far from the truth. The truth is that the IMF is one of those organizations championing the establishment of the SCT. It has been very consistent in its communication about the need for Zambia to have effective mechanisms to administer the SCT. This can easily be confirmed in ALL of its statements issued after Article IV consultations. The Communications Department of the IMF to which I was Advisor, has a Division that ensures that all IMF outreach activities embed this component.

In the event Zambia gets the Programme, the SCT will definitely, and without compromise, be one of the conditionalities. This means the IMF will push for enlarging funds allocated towards the vulnerable people, old people and children. as a way of mitigating the impact of economic reforms. It will ensure the SCT is administered transparently, efficiently and effectively.

The same applies to Farmer Input Supoort Programme (FISP). I have not read in any of the IMF documents where it proposes to scrap it. What I have read is the proposal to rationalize FISP. The IMF found that the sourcing of inputs was exaggerated. It also knows that the bulk of beneficiaries are wrong people; the rich people and civil servants. The IMF will clean up the system to remove corruption and ensure FISP is administered for the benefit of the vulnerable and targeted individuals.

There are many other presumptions Mr Tembo has communicated about the IMF. It is important to note that IMF conditionalities are not written on a casting stone, they are negotiated, variable and civil society now plays a key role in the process.

I advise that as we discuss the pros and cons of an IMF programme, we should do so on the basis of knowledge. This is very important for the people of Zambia as we seek best options to restructure the economy and bring it back to a position of sustained growth and job creation.