ZAMBIANS must forget their political differences and join forces in the fight against poverty and economic emancipation for the greater good of all Zambians, says Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR) executive director Kryticous Nshindano.
Mr Shindano said poverty remained one of Zambia’s biggest challenges with over 54 percent of Zambians living in poverty mainly in rural areas and characterised by increasing inequality levels.
“As elections come to a close, we call on all Zambians to celebrate our differences and to rally behind the President and join forces in the fight against poverty and economic emancipation for the greater good of mother Zambia. “We are aware that the country is headed for hard times as we undertake reforms to stimulate growth and economic recovery programmes following the fall in copper prices, which has led to a drop in the nation’s production by almost 50 percent,” he said.
Mr Shindano observed the need to ensure that there was equity in the delivery of essential public services and that development was taken to all parts of Zambia including in areas that did not vote for the ruling party.
“As the Government undertakes this, we call on them to not only ensure that they ring-fence resources for poverty reduction but also put in place adequate sustainable compensatory measures to protect the most vulnerable from the effects of the reforms such as increases in the cost of living,” he said.
He therefore called on the new government to prioritise poverty reduction interventions as they assume office for the next five years. “We further call on the President to ensure that there is equity in the delivery of essential public services and that development is taken to all parts of the country even in areas that did not vote for the ruling party.
“The 11th August elections were characterised by regional voting and the President should ensure that he unites the country and not segregate based on voting patterns but also use the opportunity to integrate views and deserving individuals from other regions in his government in the spirit of One Zambia, One Nation,” he said. The CSPR congratulated President-elect Edgar Lungu and his running mate Inonge Wina for their re-election to the office of President and Vice President of Zambia respectively.