NJALA: UPND’s Struggling Agenda for Economic Stability-Daimone Siulapwa


NJALA: UPND’s Struggling Agenda for Economic Stability

By Daimone Siulapwa
In the aftermath of the 2021 elections, the United Party for National Development (UPND) ascended to power with promises of tribal unity, inclusiveness, sound financial management policies, economic prosperity, and a commitment to upholding the rule of law.

However, the stark disparity between these assurances and the harsh reality on the ground is impossible to ignore. To mention just a few, the cost of living has skyrocketed, infrastructure projects are at a standstill, and important economic sectors have been left to wither.

While the UPND champions an improved international image and strict financial controls, the consequences of their actions have been felt by the average Zambian. The surge in the price of essential commodities like fuel, electricity, mealie meal and cooking oil has created a burden that many citizens find increasingly difficult to bear. NJALA (hunger) is now an everyday common word people are tossing around.

With no adequate cash flow in the economy and now the prostituting kwacha, the result has been massive job loses and closure of SMEs as they fail to sustain themselves. The bulk of the trickle dawn economic challenges, affect the end dawn of the poorest in our society, who in effect are the majority voters.

The rejection of the Patriotic Front government in 2021 was not only as a result of foreign economic and trade policies or caderism, it stemmed from the perceived misuse of power and resources.

The PF lost touch with the majority of citizens, taking them for granted and subjecting them to daily abuse, including opposition leaders like HH, with blatant impunity and a disregard for the rule of law. They let loose their cadres and the police on innocent citizens and caused irreparable damage in the lives of many, including death. UPND can’t surely forget that this early.

Recent rumors indicate a troubling trend—suggesting that the UPND may be weaponizing the national treasury by obstructing contracts and payments associated with the previous regime. While this political maneuvering might offer short-term satisfaction, it carries dire implications for the Zambian economy and has bad consequences for the future.

The shutdown of numerous government-funded infrastructure projects initiated by the PF regime has left the once-thriving construction industry idle. This has not only impacted a substantial portion of the labour force but has also trickled down to affect businesses supplying materials and service consultants.

Agriculture, a vital sector for our nation’s food security, has not been spared from this upheaval. The non-payment of maize farmers and rural transporters, coupled with the collapse of the Farmer Input Support Program (FISP), has contributed to soaring food prices.

The failure of fertilizer distribution further worsens the situation, pushing essential commodities out of reach for many of our impoverished farmers. Early this week, farmers in Senanga took to peaceful protests to air their grievances, emphasizing that, “We are not politicians but farmers.” This should indeed be a serious wake up call, for the powers that be and as it could be the beginning of a revolt if not contained.

Furthermore, the absence of a clear strategy for the Copperbelt, despite the nation’s wealth in copper and emeralds, raises concerns about the sustainability of these resources for the benefit of the local population.

The mining sector, a cornerstone of our economy, appears to favour foreign interests, leaving once-vibrant cities like Ndola, Mufulira, Kitwe, Luanshya, and Chingola resembling ghost towns, what a tragedy.

The lucrative emerald and copper mines contribute billions of dollars to foreign cartels, with minimal reinvestment in local infrastructure or the well-being of communities. Even major public-private partnership projects (PPP), such as the Ndola-Lusaka Dual Carriageway, offer no tangible financial benefit for local companies and citizens.

As the economic pillars sustaining Zambian livelihoods crumble, the UPND must urgently reassess its approach. Allowing businesses to operate without undue political interference is cardinal for economic rejuvenation, after all, we are all one people.

The current trajectory of economic decline contradicts the core UPND message of revitalizing the economy. It is imperative that the government addresses these pressing issues, fostering an environment where businesses can thrive, infrastructure projects can resume, and the well-being of the Zambian people takes precedence.

The people’s mandate for change should translate into tangible improvements rather than exacerbating the challenges faced by the nation.

We must always remember that, there was UNIP, MMD and PF before UPND. It is now the responsibility of UPND as per their campaign promise, to ensure that the national cake is shared fairly among all citizens of this country, regardless of the behaviour of previous governments. The one million extra vote they got, must surely stand for something.

Theirs, is to be the bigger government that unified Zambia, we can no longer afford to have future vengeful governments in waiting whether it is tomorrow, three or ten years from now. UPND must help bury the hatches, once and for all.


Daimone Siulapwa is the Editor-in-Chief of The Voice Newspaper. He is also a political analyst, an advocate for tribal unity and Citizen Economic Empowerment. Send your comments to dsiulapwa@gmail.com


  1. Very accurate analysis.

    As I said yesterday, even his cousins the Lozi people are fed up with him. He is a liar and an oppressive conman. Impotent economist.

    By the way, how is the Kwacha doing today?

    Meanwhile the praise singers have their heads shoved deep up their arses. Their numbers have decreased a lot though.


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