UPND STATEMENT : Price rises under PF unacceptable

HH, GBM at Luanshya's Mikomfwa township
HH, GBM at Luanshya's Mikomfwa township

Under President Lungu the rate of inflation has almost tripled. Standing at 7.7% in January when he entered State House, the Central Statistical Office has confirmed that the year 2015 ended with a rate of inflation of 21.1% for December. A rate we have not seen in many years. This figure puts in economic terms what Zambians across the country are struggling with on a daily basis, as the price of food and other essentials rise higher and higher and more Zambians are dragged into poverty.

Lack of vision and bad leadership are to blame. How else are we to explain why shops are now taking measures such as selling half loaves of bread in this land of plenty because Zambians can no longer afford to buy the full loaf?

The PF must take responsibility, yet their lack of understanding is shocking and shows how little hope there is for improvements under their watch. As recently as October 2015 the Minister of Finance predicted in his budget that Zambia would be able to maintain single digit inflation (inflation of under 10%), a figure many questioned at the time. If the Minister of Finance who is charged with the management of the economy is so far off the mark what hope is there for good planning and foresight under the PF, and what credibility can we have to inspire confidence in business and investors?

We cannot afford to let the PF continue to bury their head in the sand and make decisions with no reference to a greater vision and plan, and in the absence of consultation or understanding. While President Lungu and his ministers continue to deny the problems and stir up unrelated discussions, our people are paying the price of their carelessness.

Hakainde Hichilema
UPND President