Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR) Kryticous Nshindano says government must do more to ensure that all Zambians benefit from political freedom.
In a statement reflecting on Africa Freedom Day, Nshindano regretted that 53 years after independence, the gap between the rich and the poor was at its widest.
“CSPR therefore, calls upon government to do more in reforming policies and laws so as to create an environment where all Zambians progressively realise the benefits of our political freedom. Measures such as reducing income and gender inequality, promoting wealth redistribution through effective social revenue and expenditure mechanisms, such as taxation, social protection, public services, citizens’ empowerment, land reforms and deliberate economic empowerment programmes, for vulnerable but potentially productive segments of the population, will be critical for social & economic emancipation as a true reflection of the freedom struggle for Africa’s independence,” Nshindano stated.
“As Zambia unites with the rest of Africa to celebrate and reflect on the 59th Anniversary of Africa Freedom Day, this 25th May 2017, CSPR remains concerned that the greatest struggle for our citizens is that of economic liberation. Whilst our Republic of Zambia turns 53 years old this year, 54.4 percent of our people continue to engage a daily struggle against poverty and exclusion, with little opportunity to participate and enjoy in economic growth of our country as inequalities continue to raise, with a larger than ever gap between the rich and the poor. Our Social Protection programmes remain inadequate to even guarantee well-being of the brave Veterans that directly fought for our liberation.”
He stated that he was disheartened that the 2063 Pan African Agenda had not received political will.
“The picture is no different for mother Africa, CSPR is disheartened that our pan African Agenda 2063, in its infancy has not received the much-deserved political will, compared to other global development agendas. Zambia has equally not sensitized its Citizens on the Agenda 2063 in which the continent and its countries pursues among other aspirations; good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law, inclusive and sustainable economic development and an Africa with a strong cultural identity, common heritage, values and ethics. The extent to which the Agenda 2063 will come alive in the pages of our soon-to-be-launched 7th National Development Plan will be used to measure how committed our country is to pan-Africanism,” stated Nshindano.
“In this vein, we call upon Politicians not to betray the past veterans and our future leaders and should refocus our national energy and resources to fulfilling the vision that lay in a young Zambia of October 1964, one where all its people are free from the bondage of poverty. The price of our Freedom was not paid by one political party, a single tribe, race, or age group, and therefore no one should be left behind in the transformation agenda. Zambians are anxious for politics that translate into their well being; that puts their children in school and also guarantees the participation & safety of our women as well as economic prosperity and an end to poverty in all its forms.”