A consortium of civil society organisations have expressed concern over the social and economic challenges that Zambia facing.

The consortium comprises ActionAid Zambia (AAZ), Centre for Trade and Policy Development (CTPD), Zambia Council for Social Development (ZCSD) and Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) and the Platform for Social Protection (PSP).

The CSOs said they are just short of calling what is happening in Zambia today a catastrophe saying it is difficult to appropriately label the sudden and rapid path of decay that the country is now treading.

They say this is a difficult and desperate time for Zambia that calls for a sense of urgency in those that govern to quickly address the challenges that the country is facing.

The CSOs said in the recent past, they have continued to raise red flags on the state of Zambia’s economic, social and political governance and have expressed the need for more prudent decision making in order to improve the country’s state of affairs.

“Civil society notes that whilst these red flags continue to be raised by various stakeholders, government has remained unresponsive to the call to action on pertinent, contentious issues that continue to raise public outcry. It is therefore imperative for civil society organizations such as,” the CSOs said.

They noted with grave concern that policy decisions have been undertaken in the recent past without due attention being paid to the current economic challenges and the state of play particularly in relation to the social impacts on poverty and inequality.

“Zambia is faced with a huge fiscal deficit currently standing at 6.5% of its GDP (K 20 billion). This means that our projected expenditure is much higher than our capacity to generate revenue in the 2015 fiscal budget. Added to this, the country is also facing a very sharp and sudden trade deficit which currently stands at K1.2 billion. This means that the country’s imports continue to outstrip the total exports, leaving Zambia in a continued position as a net importer and consumer of imported products,” they stated.

They added, “In turn, this has affected the strength of the Kwacha against foreign currencies, and our external debt stock continues to increase amidst government assurances that the country is still within sustainable debt stock levels.”

“However, the current borrowing is fast approaching unsustainable levels and may plunge the country into another debt trap, a concern that many stakeholders continue to raise with government. Further, the country may also be plunged into a vicious borrowing cycle as the loans have been secured at very high interest rates and significant sums of money will thus be needed to repay them.”

The CSOs said at the social level, Zambia’s poverty levels remain high particularly in the rural areas where extreme poverty is still at 57.7% while stunting remains one of Zambia’s challenges with 40% of Zambian children being stunted.

They said there is need for prudence in the management of the economy as well as in decision making processes to ensure that dividends of economic activities can create the kind of social impacts that will result in uplifting the living standards of citizens.

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20 COMMENTS

  1. This is the work of the CIA who are trying to turn the people against the government. This is how they operate. Zambians are better off now, that they were 10 years ago. Nutrition/education/health/industry are all better off now. There is democracy and transparency. The political system shows how everyone has an opportunity. Take Hon Kambwili, he has moved up to be where he is, from a menial small-scale businessman in Mpatamatu township. Bana Dalitso is in state house, from a tomato seller. Think guys, please think!

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    • I have had a long time of thinking and have come to the conclusion that you are either a beneficiary of this mayhem or just plain stupid.

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    • Guys what do you expect from a country run by a President with no vision? Yesterday, the guy was surprised Zambia is importing fish from China! really and the man has been in govt since 2011. Today one needed K7.91 for a dollar.

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    • Prof. Kasonso,
      with all due respect, the perennial blaming of other people for our problems is precisely why we cannot seem to find traction and we keep spinning our wheels in this vicious cycle of poverty.

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    • Kasonso you must be serious when you comment on national issues! Everything at the moment is worth off than it was ten years ago do not mock the people of Zambia because God almighty will hear their prayer and liberate them. Amen

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    • Kasonso don’t mock Zambians every thing is worth off than 10 years ago if you have nothing to say please you keep your mouth shut.

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  2. Advice of the CSO fallibg on deaf ears as usual! In Zambia, I think we have lost hope of holistic development; and now, we practice belly development only – if I can get something for myself today, that is it, each one for himself……! Whatever you say, CSO, fintu ni….! Surprising that none of the ruling elite can today, for example, accept that Sata was such a bad President for whom they sung praises, even compared to Lungu – they just sing the next praise and move on. Oh, cry my beloved country!

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  3. Is this true?. Stunting in children could results in poor cognitive development?. Resulting in low IQ for 40% of young people?. What is the implication of this on Zambian society and the future development of the country?. I pray this is not true!. Please correct me.

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    • This makes sad reading. Under nurishment causes less brain activity, and stunted growth. Most of Zambia’s youth ranging from age 14-25 in most poor areas have suffered stunted growth and weak brain function

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  4. What these C.S.O.’s are saying is ‘common sense’. But is common sense really ‘common’ in our society?

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  5. The quality and caliber of our current leaders does not heed to advise. And we have a bad tendency as a nation to first wait until there is a complete mess that’s when we wake up from the slumber. so we are doomed for now and just keep on singing songs of praise …. ifintu ni Luuuuu….

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  6. Prudent management of Zambian economy to benefit the majority poor in the nation can only be effectively implemented by economically enlightened leadership with credible complex management skills.
    Poor management decisions made since PF came into power 4 years ago without due consequencies of social impact is the NOW catastrophe Zambians are grupling with. Common economic concept is decisions made now will impact on livelihhod tomorrow.
    Having said this, we ask; where has this so called consortium CSOs been when Sata was creating districts without budgeting for such huge decisions. Now we hear these districs are operating under tree offices. Where was CSOs when a plathora of by-elections where being politically induced spending huge sums of money meant for development in the nastion?

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  7. continued..
    PF believed by-elections alone can develop Zambia that reflects type and calibre of leadership in government.
    Where is eceonomic prudence in all this kind of governance?. CSOs must come out aggressively to defend the poor in the nation who feel the impact of poor economic governance in the nation. Elections will be held next year, however, CSOs have not began to openly declare that they will support a party with clear workable economic strategies, clear shadow government in place and clear election playing environment. Only then would Zambians know your concerns are real and genuine. Running commetries as a way of changing matters is not enough. Bold decesions to educate masses on how,why, who to vote for need to be said clearly to save Zambia from further catastrophe.

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  8. Aguilla do you want the CSO to influence support towards your party? No just sell your manifesto if it is good people will give you the vote but if you will be hallucinating Lungu this Lungu that like Nawakwi and GBM it will not work. See how most people have stopped reading the Post Newspaper because the paper has lost track and has turned its self into a political party. They are busy preaching that Lungu will be defeated next year but by who? HH will not manage because he lost when he was supposed to win . Kabimba is nothing but just a foolish joker full of pride and arrogance which the voters detest. Nawakwi is just a confused woman busy insulting Lungu no solution,Chipimo is still a baby, Miyanda is a coward, Mulongoti is just a vuvuzela who is always looking for a job. So who?

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  9. People like Kasonso dont deserve the name Kasonso who can not see that the country is drifting into high levels of poverty so sudenly and the leadership is quiet.Its really frightening.Things are changing for the worse and no talk about it.God save mother Zambia.We miss late president, things could have been alot better.

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  10. Fish imported from the Far East and the government is “shocked”? Who issues import licences?

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  11. Its a sheer waste of time & energy advising this govt. What they will hear is people standing up to them & seriously protesting this misgovernance.
    As far as these leaders are concerned they own this country.
    So you CSOs instead of issuing statements from your air-conditioned offices, come out in the streets & mobilize people.
    ECL has just issued an instruction to arrest GBM & this will mark the beginning of the “tonne of bricks” falling on dissenting voices.

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  12. The Zambian people deserve the PF government, they deserve the mediocrity and shallow economic policies. This is what they voted for. They made their own bed so let the lie in it. No sympathy at all.

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  13. I think we have a problem with ourselves as voters.We have no interest in knowing how the country or nation should fair in all areas.Thats why even when theres nothing to be happy about we become so,because these so called lawmakers know that we are so dull to understand the affairs of the nation.Thats why come 2016 some one will still be singing the same song ,ni lungu 2016.Am really sad for this nation.

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