Fuel hike will affect poorest

The removal of oil import subsidies by government was clearly not helpful to many households as many people will slide deep into poverty, says the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR).
JCTR director Father Leonard Chiti said despite experiencing some growth in the national economy, more and more people have continued to live in poverty due to the high cost of living owing to unfavourable conditions such as high fuel prices.
“It’s a sad development because we are going to see more people sliding back into poverty situation when in actual fact given the good performance of the economy the opposite should be happening,” Fr Chiti said.
He said it was imperative that some measures be introduced to remedy the effects of the action taken in an effort to mitigate the obvious negative impact that would come out of such developments.
Fr Chiti explained that without addressing the effects of some decisions, government continues to shrink people’s hopes of improving their living standards in their claims of fighting poverty.
“Clearly this is not very helpful for ordinary households. We can predict that the cost of living will go up, that a lot of households will continue to face real pressures in terms of accessing basic services needed to live a descent lifestyle,”
He said in the long term, the whole essence of pro-fighting poverty would be compromised at the very least at the standard of living continues rising.
“We shall continue to experience high poverty levels as long as the conditions of people’s incomes do not correspond with the daily food basket and commodities remained very high,” he said.