PEOPLE ARE STARVING, THINGS ARE BAD IN ZAMBIA – DP PRESIDENT
we were expecting that our colleagues in government (UPND) will stabilize the economy, but this have become bad
THE Democratic Party (DP) president Judith Kabemba has described the economic status of Zambia as bad and unattractive.
Kabemba said Zambians were expecting much more than what they have been made to experience by the UPND government.
“| must be very very frank and very honest that the economic status of this country at the moment is quite very bad. It is quite challenging for the people of Zambia. We were expecting that by now our colleagues in the UPND could have started stabilizing the economy. Yes, we understand and appreciate that they inherited an economy that had a lot of challenges, that had a lot of debt and all these and all that. But by and large by now we were expecting that they should have given us a direction to show us where we are going,” she said.
Kabemba observed that with failure to give a direction on where the country should go, the UPND are now subjecting Zambians to pain and poverty.
She reminded the UPND that most Zambians were finding it difficult to survive under the leadership of President Hakainde Hichilema as most essential goods are way beyond reach of any poor Zambian.
“On average most Zambians can literally afford three meals in a day. People are starving and people are sleeping on empty stomachs, the cost of fuel has kept on going up and we all know that when fuel increases, a lot of things go up, production goes up, everything go up even the Chinese vegetables which we were buying at K3 has now gone up to K5. A bag of mealie is now expensive, we saw the other day, the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) increased the price of fuel, and we are looking at that and we are saying come on, this is not good for a developing country, this is not good for our people and this is not good for a staggering economy like Zambia,” she said.
Kabemba who has been a supporter of President Hichilema and UPND leadership style noted with sadness at how pressed the economy has become under the New Dawn administration.
She said the UPND should realise that when an economy is pressed, there was also a need to come up with solution that will help relieve the situation.
“When the economy is already pressed you need to come up with measures that should help relieve the situation, but we are not seeing so much on the party of the UPND. We saw the reason they gave of the depreciation of the Kwacha and the high cost of fuel at the international market and when we looking at all those things, we are saying look, the global challenges in fuel prices have always been there and they will continue to be there, the fact that we don’t have our own oil in the country but dependent on other countries, it means that these external factors will continue affecting us. But as a country we need to move in a direction where even if these external factors come as a flood, we still have a way of cushioning the situation,” Kabemba said.
And Kabemba has also revealed that the high cost of fuel the people of Zambia were experiencing was one of the conditionalities the International Monitory Fund (IMF) imposed on Zambia.
“We know for a fact that one of the reasons why fuel prices are going up is because of the IMF conditions. It is because of IMF conditions and that is why the people of Zambia have been asking tell us what is it that is contained in the IMF conditions for Zambia. How much do we need to sacrifice, how much are we expecting at the end of the day the price of fuel and other essential commodities will to go at. And answers to these questions have not been given. How | wish and pray that the UPND government will be a little bit open on the conditions in the IMF agreement so that we know as we progress that between now and that time this is what we shall go through. So that we know that this is the suffering and the pain we shall go through,” Kabemba said when she featured on Red Hot breakfast on Hot fm this morning.