Former Commerce Minister, Felix Mutati has observed that President Edgar Lungu’s speech during the opening of the 5th session of the 11th National Assembly lacked inspiration on how government will address Zambia’s current economic challenges in the short term. This was Lungu’s first and last address to parliament before it is dissolved ahead of elections next year.
And the Zambia National Women’s Lobby says Lungu failed to explain how government will in the interim manage the free fall of the kwacha which has resulted in the increased cost of living as prices of essential commodities have spiralled out of control. This is a concern for women in Zambia who are already financially disadvantaged hence will be affected by the economic crisis much more.
ZNWL chairperson Beauty Katebe said Lungu did not also adequately address the impending job losses which are of immediate concern to those are affected.
Ms Katebe said ‘it is our considered view that the President should have highlighted more immediate and practical solutions to the urgent challenges facing the nation while focusing on realistic and long term solutions.’
Mr. Mutati said that the ‘solutions’ President Lungu articulated in his speech are for the medium and long term.
He told Qfm radio that the country cannot get to the medium term without solving the problems that are drawing it back presently.
Mr. Mutati said that issues around the Exchange Rate are issues of sentiments and therefore what was expected of the President was to articulate what actions government was going to take in the immediate term in dealing with the challenges in the country’s economy.
He says this would have in turn given inspired confidence in the Foreign Exchange Rate.