UPND spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa says the escalating cost of living cannot be attributed to the change of government.

In an interview Mweetwa said the cost of living had been escalating over years because of the poor state of the economy.

“First of all on the cost of living, the cost of living has not escalated because of having a new government, the cost of living has been escalating if you check over the years. The cost of living represents the state of the economy, when the economy is in such a bad state, where there is no liquidity, there is no money in circulation, where salaries of worker cannot be increased or improved reasonably, you will find that the income that people have cannot much up with the commodity pricing on the market. What has caused that is an economy which we inherited which is dead, an economy which everyone knows where we were failing as a country to meet international debt obligations, huge debt mountains that we are grappling with. These are huge responsibilities that this government is having to undertake. So when you inherit such an economy really, what do you expect to happen?” he said.

He said the country was receiving an increased level of goodwill from the international community.

“I can tell you now that this government has made a bit of some savings here and there. For instance when it comes to do with issues to do with COVID vaccines and COVID related items that were budgeted that there were supposed to be bought using taxpayers money, lately the government of the republic of Zambia is not spending that money because it is receiving a lot of free vaccines or should I say donations arising out of money international good will, that has been instigated by having a credible leader and a new government that can be trusted. So you are seeing the international community coming back to look at Zambia with a favourable eye beginning to give this country grants,” Mweetwa said.

And Mweetwa said it was unfortunate that the Ukraine and Russia conflict had affected the country’s economic projections.

“We are just very unfortunate as a nation that the war which is raging in Ukraine has also come at a very wrong time especially for us the country. When we were making projections that we sort would help the economy to resuscitate quickly, when were expecting quite some favorable attention and funding from various cooperating partners and nations, that war has escalated the price of oil on the international market which has a trickle down effect on us who are 100 percent dependent on imports. That is the state of affairs, we can’t run away from that,” said Mweetwa.