UPND President Hakainde Hichilema has expressed his concern that the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) is weaponizing hunger in Zambia.

“We are very concerned by the weaponizing of hunger by the Patriotic Front through the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit,” writes the opposition leader.

“If the DMMU’s role is to combat hunger for all Zambians regardless of political affiliations and other artificial barriers, let them publicly identify areas that are affected by hunger now, so that they display the same generosity, that they showed in areas of the recent by elections,” he continues.

Hichilema warned that hunger is not only a problem at election time and that it should not be used by politicians to push their own agenda.

“Hunger shouldn’t only be hunger during by elections. PF shouldn’t use hunger to manipulate citizens for political purposes. It’s inhuman and impinges on the dignity of our people,” Hichilema states.

Hichilema instead pledges to empower people with the means to grow their own food for consumption and surplus for sell.

His comments come ahead of the budget for 2021, which will be delivered by Finance Minister Bwalya Ng’andu on Friday 25th September.

Civil society has called for the budget to be pro-poor in response to the rising cost of living.

According to the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) the cost of the Basic Needs and Nutrition Basket (BNNB) in August remained over K,7000 at K7,178.22.

High levels of inflation have featured throughout 2020, with the annual rate of inflation standing at 15.5% in August. The rate is double the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) target of between 6% and 8%.


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