Socialist Party (SP) Copperbelt spokesperson Joseph Kangwa has questioned whether the New Dawn government has shown potential to address hunger, poverty and economic challenges facing the nation in its first nine months.
Mr. Kangwa said President Hakainde Hichilema and the United Party for National Development (UPND) were ushered into office to save Zambians from poverty, hunger and free them from the economic quagmire.
He said even though poverty, hunger and economic challenges cannot be solved overnight the economic situation under UPND has worsened more than ever.
Mr. Kangwa observed that the cost of living is rising every day and millions of citizens are moaning due to skyrocketing prices of essential commodities.
He charged that poor citizens, who depend on government health services, are still dying every-day because public hospitals have continued lacking essential medicines despite the new dawn administration bragging about addressing such issues.
“Nine months ago the people of Zambia went to the polls and did what they thought was right by voting out the Patriotic Front (PF) regime. President Hakainde Hichilema and the United Party for National Development (UPND) were ushered into office so they could save Zambians from poverty and hunger, and free them from the economic quagmire which had run deeper.I am fully aware that the subject matter cannot be solved overnight, but the question is; are there any symptoms showcasing the hope to address these critical issues in these nine months of the UPND government? I am not bound by my point of view but the fact is that the economic situation has worsened more than ever,” Mr. Kangwa said.
“The cost of living is shooting up every day and millions of citizens in this country are moaning due to skyrocketing prices of commodities essential for living. The poor citizens who depend on government health services are still dying every-day, because public hospitals have continued lacking essential medicines despite the new dawn administration bragging about addressing such,” he said.
Mr. Kangwa added that President Hichilema has not kept his promise of reducing the cost of living.
He said the UPND has abandoned the promises it made to the people of Zambia before elections.
“It is probably too early to insinuate that President Hakainde Hichilema’s administration has failed to address the said social and economic challenges but the thesis here is that it indicts the failure of the government to address, let alone resolve, these problems.President Hichilema who had promised the Zambian people to reduce fuel pump price by K4 per litre has for the most part not kept his word. For example the price of petrol which was K17.62 and diesel K17.82 respectively, according to his promise, could have been selling at an average of K13.72 once they were voted into government. Howbeit, the same pump prices have soared more than three times, selling at an average of K24.89 from K17.72 per litre which gives us an average of K7.17 increment in nine months of UPND being in government. This has had a ripple effect on the already high prices of goods and services such as mealie meal, cooking oil, sugar, salt inter alia. This state of affairs has exacerbated the suffering of the poor people. The silence we have observed and abandonment of the promises made to the people of Zambia by the UPND before they were elected is too immense to ignore,” Mr. Kangwa said.
He said there is a need for urgent action against social and economic situation by the government.
“That said, an urgent action to the current devastated social and economic situation by the government cannot be overemphasized. The chronicle shortages of essential medicines in public hospitals should be treated as an emergency as millions of people depend on those life-saving services and medications. As such, no economy the world over can recover without prioritizing the health and human development of its people and Zambia is no exception, period! The people have the power,” Mr. Kangwa concluded.