EMPLOYERS, are you aware of this? After next week’s general elections, you will forfeit the right to deduct Pay As You Earn (PAYE) from your employees if you pay their salaries late!
Indeed, if Zambia United for Sustainable Development (ZUSD) presidential candidate, Lazarus Chisela and his running mate, Rosemary Chivumba are elected next Thursday, directors/owners of such businesses should brace themselves to undertake 100 hours of community work.
This is according to the ZUSD manifesto on which, today, we focus, a week before this year’s general elections.
This is in line with the series of articles embarked on as early as April this year highlighting economic provisions of manifestos of parties participating in the elections.
Out of the 16 presidential candidates vying for presidency we have so far looked at manifestos for a number of them.
The ZUSD’s 26-page blueprint states that to solve the non-payment of salaries in Zambia forever it pledges to implement “Late salary payment, no PAYE deduction” policy.
If an employer fails to pay its employees for more than a month, then the employer forfeits the right to deduct PAYE for that month.
It further promises to amend the current Employment Code Act by introducing a clause on protection of wages and criminalising the withholding of an employee’s wage by any employer past fifth day of each month.
Additionally, such employers will be required to make public apologies to their employees via radio, television or print media ‘of wide coverage’.
On the other hand, government’s failure to pay civil servants’ salaries for at least three months will result in its loss of the right to rule while the private employers’ failure to do so will lead to the loss of operating licences.
Directors/owners of such businesses will be required to do at least 100 hours of community services while their personal properties will be seized and sold to pay off salary arrears for workers.
The manifesto opens with a note that the document is an invitation to treaty, declaration of willingness by ZUSD to enter into negotiations with Zambians to form the next government.
It presents what the party stands for with the letters ‘SEA-CCD’ with ‘S’ standing for speaking for the disadvantaged and under-served while ‘E’ stands for educating the disempowered and ‘A’ stands for acting for them.
Further, ‘C’ stands for creating systems, and strong corrupt-free institutions to distribute power, another ‘C’ stands for collective articulation, delivery and implementation and ‘D’ driving mindset change for the victims.
Delving the economic provisions, ZUSD pledges to introduce the transparency-and-accountability-first-and-always policy backed by innovative, knowledgeable, skilled and experienced team, if elected.
It will establish strong financial culture and discipline within five years of office.
On national public debt, the party states that it will not contract new debt in its first five years of office but will accept donations from well-wishers, including in kind, without strings attached.
After five years ZUSD intends to strictly uphold Article 63 of Constitution of Zambia on the need for Parliament to approve public debt before it is contracted.
ZUSD notes that Zambia has increased its debts in last 10 years to about US$11.2 billion, but poverty levels have allegedly not reduced.
ZUSD states that foreign aid does not guarantee sustainable development and that chronic dependency on foreign aid should stop.
“We must live within our means. Foreign aid, even with its best intentions, tends to subsidise the political inefficiencies of irresponsible governments,” partly reads the manifesto.
Interestingly, the party states that it will implement strategic compulsory saving systems and promote free market economy with strong corrupt-free institutions.
For those who know how to produce, ZUSD promises to provide a conducive environment for them to produce better, through technology transfer and capacity building.
In terms of some specific economic targets, the ZUSD projects to reduce the current commercial bank average lending rate of above 30 per cent to five per cent within the first five years.
This will reduce the cost of borrowing.
ZUSD targets to reduce inflation rate to single digit – five per cent or lower – from the current rate of above 20 per cent while it will reduce the unemployment rate from 41.2 per cent to nine per cent.
From the one million jobs promised by the Patriotic Front in 2011, ZUDS has come down to the minimum of 900,000 in five years.
It envisages increased export earnings from about $4 billion to above $10 billion in five years.
As already alluded to, it targets to reduce Zambia’s external debt from more than $10.23 billion through diligent debt restructuring and suspension of borrowing.
To eradicate corruption, the ZUSD promises to implement Artificial Intelligence (AI) and advanced automated reporting systems linking police, Zambia Revenue Authority, Bank of Zambia, commercial banks, Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) and other similar entities.
This is to monitor movement of funds above a certain threshold to stop money laundering and other scams.
ZUSD pledges to implement competitive salaries at all levels of government to reward qualified, competent and performing civil servants.
For the performance appraisal for the civil servants and other public workers it will use the PEEJE where ‘P’ denotes the poverty reduction or eradication effort an officer as made in the period under review while ‘E’ is economic and social development contribution the officer has made in the reporting period.
The other ‘E’ is environment protection effort made by the involved office holders while ‘J’ is for jobs created by the officeholder in the period under review and the last ‘E’ denotes entrepreneurship – to what extent has the minister/civil servant contributed towards entrepreneurship.
Another unique but bold move is the provision of 13 presidential Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) with deliverables for the president within specific timeframes.
Failure by Mr Chisela as president to meet at least 75 per cent of the KPIs for any given year will lead to his impeachment, subject to providing Parliament evidence.
Next week look out for the 17th manifesto by yours truly as promised right from the start of this series.
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