Party of National Unity leader Highvie Hamududu says he expects more poverty among citizen who depend on agriculture because the government has killed the sector by failing to distribute farming inputs on time.

And Hamududu says 2021 is too far for Zambians to continue suffering at the hands of the Patriotic Front.

Giving a 2017 year-end analysis, Hamududu who is former UPND Bweengwa member of parliament urged the ruling party and government officials to reflect and see where they went wrong.

He described 2017 as a lost year “in many areas”.

“The year coming to an end is a lost year. And I hope the different [political] players in our country have learnt lessons from what has happened this year. The areas that qualify this year as a lost year is one; chaotic agriculture. Agriculture, especially peasant agriculture, is not only a business but a social fitness. The majority of the Zambian people are engaged in agriculture. And if you have to deal with poverty in this country, food security, employment creation and addressing inequalities, one of the biggest leverage is agriculture. So when agriculture is not performing, you are worsening the poverty situation and you are creating a situation where there will be more people that are poor. Therefore, we must not proceed on this path that we have traded on in 2017. So agriculture is one area that qualifies this year as a lost year,” Hamududu said.

“The other one is the issue of fiscal consolidation. The budget that Parliament approved is very shocking. The budget has continued with business as usual and there has been no significant consolidation or expenditure reform so that we begin to put resources where it matters most. But we see resources paid thinly and I can tell you [that] there will be a serious ripple impact.”

He said the PF needed to reflect on bringing the country on the right path.

“I hope that in this one week, the people in government can actually go on recess and reflect so that the country can come back to the right course. The buck of all these problems stops at the PF administration because the opposition are not in power. The blame for all this fiasco in the country lies on those who have been given the mandate to govern. Therefore the PF administration must reflect very seriously and see how this country can be brought back on course. I can tell you that 2021 is too far for the Zambian people to continue suffering like this so as quickly as possible the country should be brought back on course,” Hamududu said.

He observed that if the ruling party continued to run affairs in 2018 the same way they did in 2017 then the country would be in for a sad hysteria.

“The other issue is politics and I think we can do better as politicians. Zambian people are looking for issue based politics. What we have seen now, the acrimony and so on, going forward we must find a way to focus on issues. Otherwise in this country we are involved in very unproductive politics generally and a country with this kind of politics cannot advance. So we look forward to next year as a year that addresses these issues. It will be very shocking if government continues to run the affairs the way they have done in 2017. And if that continues in 2018 then we are in for a very sad hysteria as a country,” said Hamududu.