Democratic Party President Harry Kalaba says Zambia’s economy is on the brink of total collapse.
Mr Kalaba says with the rising cost of staple food and the total lack of access by the common man, this has placed Zambia under a severe form of food insecurity with mealie meal costing K150 to K200.
He said while the government continues to deny the food insecurity of the country with millions going without food, the same government seems to acknowledge food
insecurity of an area which is having a bye election, and taking relief food in exchange for votes.
Mr Kalaba says the debt burden continues to rise reaching $11.2 Billion dollars as of December 2019 and said the reckless borrowing by the leadership while
disregarding the constitutional requirement of having parliament approve debt has put the country’s economy in jeopardy, with borrowings that are motivated by self-interests and corruption.
He has regretted that Zambia’s bonds are the worst performing on the international market, even worse than countries recovering from wars and conflicts.
Mr Kalaba said as at 15th December, 2019, Zambia found itself listed on the African Development Bank’s Sanctions list for failing to honor $1.4 million Loan obligation while Diplomats in Zambian missions are going for months without salaries.
“Unemployment continues to rise with almost half the people being unemployed. The Youth our most prized asset of development continue to languish in the streets with no possibility of a job anywhere. While we continue to create employment for other countries, there is an
ever increasing number of graduates being churned out and entering the employment market with a lot of anxiety and yet the PF government under President Lungu does not seem to be providing them, with any hope at all”, he said.
Mr Kalaba has also noted with regret that the energy crisis continuesto persist with Zesco increasing tariffs by 200% in the last 2 months, for power which it doesn’t even have.
He said Load sheddingof more than 4 hours for any responsible government is catastrophic.
Mr Kalaba, the former foreign Affairs Minister said the impact of the increase in the energy price and the shortage of power has had significant inflationary pressure on the Zambian economy with reduced operational effectiveness of the industries.
“In addition, Fuel prices have hit sky high with ripple effects on food and every other industry including increased bus and taxi fares. Mr. Edgar Lungu, Mr. President, Food insecurity and power insecurity
border on national security. Please work on correcting the situation urgently, and engage and reassure your people with strategies of how you are working to correct the situation”, He added.
Mr Kalaba advised President Edgar Lungu to talk his people directly and not through his press assistants Isaac Chipampe.