GOVERNMENT must immediately intervene and stop traders who have continued to hike prices of essential commodities without realising the difficulties they are posing to a common Zambian, says Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR) cordinator in Luapula Province, Hope Mwelaisho.
Ms Mwelaisho said although the country was affected by the depreciation of the Kwacha and the low copper prices on the international market, it was also important to ensure that the people must live.
She said the cost of living was rising on a daily basis, saying traders should be fair with consumers when pricing essential commodities.
Ms Mwelaisho appealed to Government to quickly intervene to slow down the cost of living which was impacting terribly on ordinary Zambians even as it was also working on measures to strengthen the economy.
She said the cost of living in Zambia was highly unstable because of abrupt increases in prices of essential commodities, saying the prices were not well calculated as the majority that were affected by this increase were mainly the poor.
“We undersatnd the crisis we are going through, but this should not leave room for traders to hike essential commodities abnormally but they should be reasonable and fair with the common Zambian, especially in rural areas,” she said.
She said Government should deliberately put in place policies to protect the common man.
Ms Mwelaisho said Zambia was rich in natural resources that could be used as an alternative to the power deficit.
Agriculture should be one of the sectors to be developed to help reduce prices of essential commodities.
“The rich people can manage high mealie meal prices, high electricity tariffs and high fuel prices; even if the currency is at its weakest they will still manage, but what about a poor person in rural areas?” she said.