Real issues for voters

Everyone is affected in one way or another. Let us not reduce this election to songs, slogans and tribal difference. It’s not Edger vs. HH. It’s status core or progress.
1. BUSINESSMEN – Why should this government continue when they don’t know that you can’t start or grow a business with 30 – 40% loan interest, high fuel prices, unreliable ministry of fiance and flip-flopping economic policies?
2. WORKERS – Government’s has been irresponsible with debt acquisition and now they have no room to reduce PAYE for workers and on top of that, the cost of living has gone up. Is this the financial stability we need?
3. UNEMPLOYED – Why should a government that failed to create jobs and killed job opportunities by their bad policies continue? PF just promise job numbers, and put money in projects that could not create sustainable jobs. Clearly agriculture is our best bet for long-term jobs, but to PF is just rhetoric.
4. CIVIL SERVANTS – Civil servants need a resourceful government and career opportunities. We don’t need our professionals to be frustrated by unqualified PS or Ministers.
5. SENIOR CITIZENS AND RETIREES – All previous government have failed this group, the debt reduced under MMD gave them hope, until the PF came along.
6. PARENTS – Why should they vote a government which puts their children in US$ 7 billion debts with no related jobs in the horizon? The argument that all government borrow is undisputed but smart government don’t borrow at 5% – 6% (and that’s in dollars). If you borrow to invest you don’t end up with less exports, high lending rate, slow growth and job losses. Something is definitely wrong
7. FARMERS – Why is a government that has failed to develop local agriculture be even allowed to boast about foreign farmers coming? What is it that these foreigners will do, that our farmers can’t? Bring money. But where did you take the eurobonds?
8. COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY STUDENTS – The Education Minister told the UNZA and CBU students that the bursary was a privilege. He told them to be on their knees in order to be readmitted and put them on CCTV surveillance. Why should we believe that such government can prioritise education? Does Dr. Kaingu even know that Education is a right?
9. WOMEN – Inonge a former Minister of Gender witnessed a woman get stripped in plain sight of the police on youth day. She couldn’t get justice for her because of political interests. Her president even pardoned a convicted GBV offender. Can this government convince us that they have the political will to fight GBV?
10. POLICEMEN – The police have been overpowered by state sponsored cadres. Is that a path to peace and unity? Is our safety only going to be guaranteed by political affiliation? Why should the police see their jobs as redundant and at the mercy of lawless Kaponyas?
11. TRADERS – As an import dependent country, should we consider a government that can’t control our currency as competent. Their solution is prayer but the actions are financial recklessness?
12. ECONOMISTS –the economist in this country need to rise above politics and provide professional guidance. Our economists watched Chikwanda run down our economy with flip-flopping policies and did little. The reality PF is sweeping under the carpet not a global thing. These numbers relate to Zambia and numbers don’t lie. Compared to 2011, things have dwindled throughout the PF rule, not only at the global slowdown. The cost of living has doubled, GDP growth has halved (2011:5.6% to 2015:3.6%), Exports are now going down (2013:US$10.6b to 2015:US$7.8b) and so are imports (2013:USD10.5b to US$8.5b), external debt has doubled to US$7b, domestic debts is up, credit rating is down (S&P, Fitch and Moody), foreign currency is weak (2011:K4.87 to 2015: K10), bank lending rates have doubled (2011:20% to 2016:40%). The sneaky excuse that it’s because they concentrated on infrastructure is flawed, because a well implemented infrastructure projects boost growth, not suffocates it. These statistics give us a hint about the future and why the economy is an issue and infrastructure is a sub-issue.

Richard W.

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