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High cost of living has increased levels of poverty, squalor – Tembo

THE Patriots for Economic Progress says the ever-increasing cost of living has inevitably resulted in increased levels of poverty and squalor among Zambians.

PeP leader Sean Tembo, in a statement, noted that the situation had left citizens in a condition where it was now a luxury to eat three square meals a day.

However, Tembo said it would be unfair to put the entire blame for the high cost of living on the government.

“Inasmuch as we are in an election year whereby various political leaders are busy electioneering, it is important that we should be truthful with ourselves and identify the real causes for the increase in the prices of goods and services in the past few months,” he said. “As Patriots for Economic Progress, our view is that about 60 per cent of the current increase in the cost of living can be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic and the disruption that it has caused to global supply chain systems, whereas about 30 per cent can be attributed to poor economic policies by government and its response to the pandemic, while the balance of 10 per cent can be attributed to other unknown variables.”

Tembo said it was important for all political leaders to accurately diagnose the real causes of the current high cost of living so as to avoid proposing simplistic solutions to the country’s economic problems.

He added that it was only when a problem had been accurately and sincerely diagnosed that an appropriate solution could be formulated.

“On this basis, we wish to appeal to our fellow political leaders to desist from misleading Zambians that they somehow possess a magic wand which will make our national economic problems to disappear overnight should they be elected into office,” Tembo said. “Such lack of sincerity is deceitful and Zambians should get worried and not excited with such people. As Patriots for Economic Progress, we have no doubt that every Zambian citizen desires a robust economy in which jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities are in abundance.”

He warned citizens against becoming gullible to the extent of believing those who prophesy heaven-on-earth once elected.

Tembo said there was no politician that can create heaven-on-earth for them.

“Only you can create your own heaven-on-earth through hard work, discipline, focus and determination,” said Tembo.

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