Alliance for Community Action (ACA) executive director Laura Miti says those enjoying the good life in government should stop insulting the suffering of Zambians by suggesting that the way they live their lives is how everybody else does.

Recently, Lusaka Province Minister Bowman Lusambo said Zambia’s economy was doing well judging by the number of citizens who were sending their children to private schools.

But Miti wondered how the Minister could use such a parameter to determine the performance of the economy.

Miti said Lusambo should not mock Zambians and disrespect their suffering by suggesting that the way those in government were leading their lives was the same way that even ordinary Zambians were.

“In responding to Mr Lusambo, one has to take into account that all our ministers in government have shown an ability to live in alternative space. So, they live in their own space in which they have such huge amounts of money. It is very true that a certain group of people, to which Mr Lusambo belongs…the same way Dora Siliya, the Minister of Information belongs when she says that: ‘you just have to look at the car.’ So, it’s the same narrative. While it’s shocking for those of us who are outside and are struggling to make ends meet, we need to understand where they are coming from. They are coming from positions in which they have access to huge amounts of money, they live in a world in which when they are unwell, they are evacuated outside the country, their children go to the American schools, they can go to functions where they can buy tickets at K30,000 just to sit at a table! What is tragic is that they’ve begun to project this situation on the majority Zambians who are really battling,” Miti said.

She urged Lusambo and other government leaders to stop insulting the suffering of Zambians and just enjoy their good life silently.

“Right now, I am part of a project that is trying to identify young people who are achievers, but cannot manage to pay their school fees. It’s shocking and just heartbreaking to see the number of people who are at home right after they got over 700 marks at grade seven; children who are well beyond 400 marks at grade nine and yet cannot afford to pay K800 per year! So, the truth is that life is extremely hard for Zambians. Those in power need to enjoy their good life in silence, the least they can do is respect the struggle of the ordinary Zambians. They should respect the struggle of the street vendors, respect the struggle of even the employed Zambians who are finding it very difficult [to survive]. So, Mr Lusambo and Ms Siliya need to stop insulting the suffering of the people by suggesting that their lives are the lives that everybody else is living,” said Miti.