STATEMENT BY BLACK FRIDAY CAMPAIGNERS ON THE RISING COMMODITY PRICES AND DEPRECIATION OF THE LOCAL CURRENCY
Members of the press,
We welcome you to this briefing aimed at updating you on the current socio-economic environment in
BENEFITS FROM THE REMOVAL OF SUBSIDIES
The last time we met was last year when we were talking about the unilateral removal of subsidies on maize products and fuel by the government and the envisaged ripple effects on such a decision on the 68% poor and 61% rural people in
You may recall that our advocacy on the need for government to put remedial measures to cushion the chilling impact of the removal of subsidies on the poor and the rural citizens has fallen on deaf government ears. Instead, all sorts of bad adjectives were prefixed on our campaign leading to us being beaten at BIGOCA in Matero on
Ladies and Gentlemen, today
Though government has failed to resolve the high cost of living, the revelation by the government that there were no savings from the removal of subsidies exposed the lies behind the action. Many of you were made to believe that the savings from subsidies were to be used for the construction of schools and other social amenities. Have those things been done? Has government come back to apologize for cheating you? The answer is no. Where is the accountability from our elected leaders?
Ladies and Gentlemen, as we are gathered here, the prices of essential commodities such as mealie-meal, kapenta, beans, transport costs etc have continued to skyrocket at an alarming trend This upward trend of costs is a threat to the survival of majority Zambians who are living below
DEPRECIATION OF THE KWACHA
Ladies and Gentlemen, the depreciation of the kwacha is something that is of great concern to us members of the Black Friday demanding for a just society and fair distribution of wealth to all Zambians. This depreciation has spurred an increase in commodity prices across the country. It is important that government quickly arrests the situation before it harms the economy any further. This is the first time local currency is hitting a record K11.00 per pound and the relevant authorities seem to have no clue on how to contain the problem. We challenge the
The rate at which
It is surprising that now
Our observation is that the current Minister of Finance has again, for the second time, led the country to the contraction of debt which will later be unsustainable. We feel that the argument that the borrowing is within international threshold is unconvincing. To us, it doesn't matter whether it is sustainable because it is within the threshold or not but the fact that at time of repayment, Hon.
In this vein, we call on Hon.
We also want to know where K44.2 million for the constitution which was allocated in the 2014 estimates of expenditure is, for the government to say that it does not have money for the referendum. Has it diverted it to support the bloated Cabinet?
Finally, ladies and gentlemen, we want to request government to tell us where the subsidies are. Can government tell us how many schools, hospitals and clinics have been built out of the subsidy savings? If none, can we then say this was another set of lies from the ministers involved which was aimed at hoodwinking the public? Black Campaigners are still waiting for the benefits from subsidy removal.
Thank you and God Bless Zambia
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