Respected Academic Sishuwa Sishuwa has charged that Zambia is facing a major crisis.
Dr Sishuwa said the country has 60% unemployment with 70% of its population living in poverty.
He said the crisis in Zambia is also demonstrated by the extreme and generally uneven distribution of resources.
Dr Sishuwa who was trained at Oxford University in the U.K and now teaches at the University of Zambia said the high borrowing trends by government are signs of crisis.
He was speaking on Tuesday during a public discussion in Lusaka organised by the Oasis Forum at Kapingila House on the topic; Is Zambia In a Crisis?
Dr Sishuwa also charged that Zambia has an impoverished and useless middle only fit for hire by those with money.
The Academic observed that the nature of Zambian crisis started in 1980s but that it is the degree at which the country is degenerating that is worrying.
He stated that the social divisions emerging from the 2016 elections are a consequence of ineffective and inept government.
He observed that Zambia is in a crisis because most public institutions are deteriorating rapidly.
Dr Sishuwa expressed concern that key institutions of governance have weakened and that the civil society has being bought by the ruling elite.
He said the country has political party cadres who are beating policemen which is a sign of lawlessness.
At the same event, political commentator Laura Miti charged that says Zambia’s main crisis is accountability.
She said public accountability is almost nonexistent in Zambia.
Ms. Miti said those in power are preoccupied with clinging to power and that they think they do not have to account to their electorates.
She said Zambians are not angry enough to demand what rightfully theirs arguing that Zambians need a critical mass movement.
Ms. Miti said Zambians must be angry not with those in power but with that they are doing with that power.
Ms. Miti said Zambians today know more about 2021 than the real issues affecting them.
And Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection Director Fr. Emmanuel Mumba said the failure to correct the mismanagement of public resources year after year is a sign that Zambia is in a crisis.
Fr Mumba said the Basic Needs Basket has for the first time hit K5, 000 for a family of six which is also a sign that Zambia is in a crisis.
And ruling PF Deputy Media Director Antonio Mwanza said the fact that citizens are able to meet and discuss in that manner means that Zambia is not in a crisis.
Mr Mwanza said for the first time, Zambia has a minimum wage to help poor labourers live a decent life.
Mr. Mwanza said government is committed to improving agriculture by improving the performance of the E-voucher programme.
He said the country has 88 operational private and commercial radio stations adding that people are free to call in and say anything.
Mr Mwanza charged that the civil Society thrives on crisis which they use to write proposals.
At this point, the PF Deputy Media Director was booed off the podium by an audience which comprised mainly civil society actors and ordinary citizens.
Mostly those in attendance said they do not agree with Mr. Mwanza’s arguments that Zambia is not in a crisis.
The audience also had prominent personalities such State House Spokesperson Amos Chanda, PF Media Director Sunday Chanda, NGOCC Executive Director Engwase Mwale and Water Aid Country Manager Pamela Chisanga.
At the same function, Law Association of Zambia President Linda Kasonde launched a new logo for the Oasis Forum and declared that “Watch Out” in closing the public panel discussion.
Ms. Kasonde said the consensus was that Zambia has a crisis of public accountability, a lack of citizen participation and poverty of leadership and that there is need to do something about it.