31st July 2015
The Southern African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of disputes (SACCORD) would like to share its views on the state of affairs in the country which we believe that if not urgently addressed with competence and respect for human dignity have the potential to not only derail development but also erase the hope that the people have for their improved economic status. We have sadly noted that there is a lot that is not going well in the country and the need to redress these failures and regressions is now. Zambia is now faced with possibilities of great increase in poverty, unemployment, joblessness and indignity.
As the country moves ahead, we would like to urge the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) government to urgently address the following issues which we believe the government has either failed to address or has not acted due to perceived lack of competence or the greed and corruption;
- Increase in prices of basic commodities such as food and transport.
- The continued threats to learning institutions including the unnecessary closure of universities such as Copperbelt and Mulungushi Universities.
- The growing levels of political violence largely associated with cadres from the PF who have made it near impossible for those from other political parties to access places such as markets, bus stops and other public and trading places.
- The lack of respect for political stakeholders such as can be seen from comments from people senior members of the ruling party like against other political parties including traditional leaders.
- Government’s failure to address increasing levels of joblessness among the youths of this country.
- Poverty levels in Zambia have continued to rise and the government has not proposed any plans on how they wish to address it other than the continued narration to the people of how the economy was statistically growing with no corresponding impact on the people.
- There has been continued growth in the country’s indebtedness which risks future economic growth.
- The constitution making process is virtually in disarray with those in the government largely trying to use it for political survival.
We therefore would like to urge the government to ensure that a clear plan is shared with the people of this country on how best it intends to address the above issues including several others that we left out. The people of this country are suffering and there is need to ensure that their suffering is alleviated through deliberate government efforts. We urge President Lungu to develop clear and attainable plans on how to reduce poverty, create jobs, stop political violence, reopen closed universities, finalise the constitution making process and provide room for Zambians to hope again.