ZAMBIA Union of Financial Institutions and Allied Workers president Ackim Mweemba says Zambia needs to focus on economic development and poverty alleviation instead of the 2021 elections.

In a statement issued today, Mweemba observed that many people were in danger of having poor harvests as a result of army worm inversion.

“It is very worrying to see the country debating 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 assets and resource base,” Mweemba said.

Mweemba stated that there was need to focus on issues that would result in development.

“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 to contest,” he stated.

Mweemba advised government to implement tangible policies that would push the country forward in their current five-year term.

“This country has been grappling with the agenda of economic diversification for more than five years without success and it is important for the Patriotic Front government this time around to ensure that the country identifies and implements tangible policies which shall bring success in our new 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,” Mweemba stated.

“We must therefore, also explore means of safeguarding these sectors based on activities from natural and man caused disasters, even as we endeavor to diversify our economy.”

He also noted that Zambians were more interested in better living standards than debating the 2021 elections.

“2015 and 2016 were very challenging for Zambians given that the country recorded an increase in commodity prices and the cost of living rose significantly. Zambians were looking forward to some relief from these pressures and many citizens would like to see relatively improved business environments in the country. Many traders employing thousands in the ZAMBIA Union of Financial Institutions and Allied Workers president Ackim Mweemba says Zambia needs to focus on economic development and poverty alleviation and not the 2021 elections.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,” stated Mweemba.

“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.”