Calls for national economic Indaba backed

ZAMBIANS must demonstrate unity of purpose in finding solutions to the challenges the nation was facing, says Copperbelt University lecturer Shem Sikombe.

Mr Sikonmbe called  for a stop to the blame game over the economic challenges the country was facing by joining those calling for a national indaba to help Government resolve the crisis.

In a statement made available to the Daily Nation yesterday, Mr. Sikombe said it was sad that instead of the opposition offering alternatives to the problems the country was experiencing, it was busy and proud hipping blame on Government.

“Amidst all these challenges there has been too much blame game, instead of soberly seeking for short, medium to long term solutions. The opposition has squarely and without shame heaped blame on Government,

“The government on the other hand has attributed the challenges to nature and international forces. In all these, there has not been any demonstration of unity of purpose by key stakeholders in finding solutions to the economic woes we are in,” he said

He said what was evident was the effects of the challenges such as increased cost of living, poor quality of life due to power outages, increased prices of basic foods such as bread, cooking oil and others,” said Mr. Sikombe.

Mr. Sikombe  who is a lecturer in the school of business. said that the acute power shortage which has spiral effects such as down-scaled production and generally dwindling national productivity had triggered another vicious circle.

“This includes indiscriminate cutting of trees for charcoal burning, which in turn will affect the climatic condition hence poor rainfall and therefore more and more load shedding,

“These challenges have been compounded by plummeting commodity prices on international market which in turn has adversely affected the performance of our currency and job security,” he said.

Mr. Sikombe, however said, during the opening of parliament, President Edgar Lungu outlined Government’s interventions through short to long -term measures which inspired many Zambians.

He said Zambia was blessed with highly competent technocrats in the line ministries, the opposition, the civil society, private practice, in academia both local and international who were supposed to offer solutions rather than lining up for blame games.

“The question is why can’t we sit down on a round table, share and brainstorm on progressive ideas to find solutions for our own problems? I would like to urge the government to seriously consider calling for an indaba so that all key stakeholders can share ideas and map ways of tackling our economic challenges. I would propose that this is done immediately after the 18th of October national day of prayers and reconciliation,” Mr. Sikombe said.