THE price of bread in Lusaka has been increased from an average K5 to K7.50 following the continued free falling of the kwacha. Some Lusaka bread traders spoken to complained that the hike in the price of the commodity had negatively impacted them as their businesses were recording unprecedented losses. Grace Mulenga, who was caught up making bread orders at Lusaka Spar at Levy Mall complained that she had been forced to reduce the number of loaves she usually orders from 150 to 70, because Spar had increased the order price from about K4.50 to K6. “Business has become so difficult for many of us in the bread trading business. I can tell you that this poor performance of the kwacha has forced me to increase the price of bread to K7.50 so that I can make minimal profits out of my small business but still, I feel like I am just wasting my time because my business is no longer yielding any positive result. Most of our friends whom we used to come with here to make bread orders have even closed up their businesses. I used to order about 150 loaves of bread per day but I reduced to 70 loaves because I have no money,” said Mulenga. And Matrina Hateya said her business was going down because the hiked bread prices had become too much for her to manage. “The profits I am making are useless; they can’t take me anywhere. I’m even failing to provide enough for my family and sending children to school is becoming an issue now because the business I depend on is not performing well,” she said. “We don’t even know what to say to this government because people have spoken but things don’t seem to change. We don’t know where this country is going and for me, this is the first time I have experienced such kind of thing in my business. Things were never like this in the past.” Nicolas Mwansa, a Lusaka resident, said the hike in bread price had forced him to order his wife to be preparing porridge for breakfast until the situation changed. “Bread has become too expensive and most of us with big families can’t afford to buy bread anymore, so we have resorted to eating porridge and other cheap foods; it’s much cheaper,” said Mwansa. Meanwhile, prices of most commodities have been hiked on account of load-shedding and the falling kwacha. Some shops in Lusaka’s Kalingalinga Township are selling big candles at K1.50 from K1 while fritters which used to be sold at 50n now cost K1. Meanwhile, Francis Nyambose, a liquor trader at COMESA Market, asked the government not to ignore the advice it was receiving from stakeholders on the need to improve Zambia’s economic challenges as the lives of the people had become unbearable. “We are not seeing anything positive from this government; they don’t seem to be committed in improving our livelihood. Most of the government officials are saying the economic problem is everywhere but we have never been everywhere, all we know is Zambia, so they should do something about these problems,” said Nyambose. Charles Sakala, another Lusaka resident, said the current crop of government leaders was too selfish and not ready to heed to advice. “They must take time to pay attention and listen especially to us the people on the grassroot, we understand most of these things better than them,” said Sakala.