The Black Friday Campaigners have called on Zambians to begin wearing black every Friday in protest against the continued astronomical increases of petrol and diesel pump prices which is likely to trigger corresponding price increases of all basic needs.
Black Friday Campaign chairperson MacDonald Chipenzi said Zambians have for a long time been taken for granted and that time had come for citizens to be bold and start demanding that the Patriotic Front (PF) government quickly resolves the economic crisis they have created through their reckless policy implementation.
Mr Chipenzi said the increase in the pump price of petrol and diesel was an excruciating sentence on the majority Zambians already living in abject poverty as the resultant effect would be increases in transport fares leading to high costs of all basic needs.
“We feel for the poor, the more than 60 percent of Zambians who are going to suffer the brunt of the economic hardships the PF has created in their last two and half years. We feel for the people of North Western and Western Provinces whose source of electricity is thermo. Zambians have been docile for a long time. They have been slapped in the face by this government with the increase of fuel during the Easter period. As Black Friday Campaigners, we are calling on Zambians across the country to start wearing black every Friday to mourn and protest the fuel increase,” Mr Chipenzi said.
Mr Chipenzi said when the Black Friday Campaign protested the removal of subsidies on maize and fuel, the PF government with its allies rose and condemned the protests.
He said the reality of removing subsidies on maize and fuel had now dawned and the prices of mealie meal and fuel had continued to sky-rocket forcing many families into starvation.
He said the PF government claimed that it was pro-poor yet it had completely abandoned the very people it claimed to have been serving by punishing them with high cost of living.
“Where are the savings from the removal of subsidies on maize and fuel? We are appealing to the pro-poor government to quickly resolve the economic crisis. Most of the poor Zambians have been sentenced to perpetual suffering and it is sad that President Michael Sata, the man we were told was an action man has now resorted to interacting with citizens through face book,” Chipenzi said.