PRESS RELEASE: Zambia needs to focus on economic development, not 2021 general elections : ZUFIAW.

The Zambia Union of Financial Institutions and Allied Workers- ZUFIAW President, Mr. Ackim Mweemba has stressed that the country needs to focus on economic development and poverty alleviation and not the 2021 general elections. “It is very worrying to see the country debating on the eligibility of presidential candidates in 2021 general elections instead of addressing immediate pressing needs of the general populace. Our country is faced with various challenges of food security, economic stability and the diversification of our asset and resource base. Many people in the country are in danger of facing food insecurity this year as a result of the infestation of the destructive army worms and the mismanaged fertilizer input support programme for this farming season.” He observed.

“It is imperative that we transform our mindset as a country and focus on issues that bring development and alleviate poverty amongst the Zambian people. It is very premature for us as Zambians to start debating the eligibility of the president in the next general elections given that we have a judicial system in place which is mandated to guide the nation on the eligibility of all aspiring candidates for 2021 elections. All citizens have the right to express their intention to stand and those with issues should seek legal redress from the courts of law at the right time and guidance shall be given on who is eligible to contest.” He advised.

“The country has been grappling with the agenda of economic diversification for more than fifty (50) years without success and it is important for the Patriotic Front (PF) government this time around to ensure that the country identifies and implements tangible policies which shall bring success in our renewed diversification programme. It should be a source of concern to note that the agricultural sector, which has been seen as the pioneer sector for diversification, is currently facing a crisis which threatens to compromise the efforts and hard work of Zambians in the 2016 farming season. We must therefore, also explore means of safeguarding these sector based activities from natural and man caused disasters, even as we endeavor to diversify our economy.” He noted.

“2015 and 2016 were very challenging times for Zambians given that the country recorded an increase in commodity prices and the cost of living rose significantly. Zambians are currently looking forward to some relief from these pressures and many citizens would like to see a relatively improved business environment in the country. Many traders, employing thousands in the informal sector, were forced to downsize or even shut down operations given the fact that the cost of doing business in the country had increased and it was therefore not in their best interest to either invest or continue with their operations. We must not lose our focus on the real issues by dwelling on the 2021 general elections. Let us first address the immediate challenges the people of Zambia are facing and then we can focus on other issues at the right time.” He observed.

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Ackim Mweemba

President (16th January 2017)

 

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