ActionAid Zambia Country Director Nalucha Nganga says government’s decision to review fuel prices every 60 days denotes instability in the country’s economy.
In an interview, Nganga observed that frequent price adjustments affected people’s planning.
“We would rather they find a long lasting solution other than just putting in a temporal measure because for us, that sounds more of a temporal measure but what is it in terms of the long term for Zambia? We need to know, we need to have stability when it comes to our country’s economy because this really has an effect on how we do our planning, it affects all sectors of the country. You will look at things of education costs going up, for children who commute to schools, bus fares will go up, it changes the incomes at household level and at the same time increasing the number of Zambians getting into the poverty trap,” Nanga said.
She said the recently announced fuel hike would increase the cost of living.
“The fuel price increment has come as a shocker to many Zambians, I think looking at the current economic challenges that the country is facing, a number of Zambians were really not anticipating this fuel hike, the reasons advanced so far are around depreciation of the kwacha as well as the increment in the local prices for fuel are not really holding water,” said Nganga.
“There have been times when we have seen the price of fuel drop in the world market but we don’t see government reciprocating with the prices of fuel dropping in Zambia so what this will do is that it will contribute to the cost of living for most Zambians, it will also contribute to the cost of commodities going up. So it will really have a spiral effect on most commodities in the country.”