The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has said that Republican President Edgar Lungu is using COVID-19 as an opportunistic scapegoat to hide the ruling Patriotic Front(PF)’s failure to manage the economy leading to Zambia’s current economic collapse.
In a statement released to the media by the party’s Chairman for Economy and National Development, Mr. Franklin Membe, the party said that listed a number of benchmarks, stating that Zambia’s economy started taking a steep dive in 2016 and that, during President Lungu’s tenure, the value of the Kwacha had fallen by more than 100% from K8 to a dollar to K19.50, with inflation shooting up 100% from single digit 6% to 16% today, before adding that even locally produced food items have had their prices rise by more than 100%
The Party further said that Zambia’s real poverty levels have been largely hidden in Salaula and the socio-economic life of the poor which is managed by the informal sector and that it is the informal sector that has saved PF from experiencing extreme poverty-related deaths.
The party said that when leaders begin to share state coffers to go around handing out cash to the starving population is by itself an admission by the government that they have failed to raise people’s standard of living.
“It is also an admission by PF that the 8 months left for them is not enough to develop the economy and, therefore, the decision to dish out cash and leave an empty treasury. The sharing of loot is extremely irresponsible and a clear demonstration of the PF government’s desire to destroy Zambia’s economy,” the statement read.
Over the years, the party said, Zambia has not benefited from its minerals, because as a country we have no control over what mining companies do with our minerals. Mineral proceeds never see their way back into the country and tax paid does not reflect the true value of the minerals exported outside Zambia.