Zambia’s 2024 national budget has come under fire from President Silavwe Jackson of the Golden Party Zambia (GPZ).
President Silavwe, in his recent assessment, criticized the budget for correctly identifying economic challenges but falling short in providing effective solutions, comparing the proposed measures to expired medication for the nation’s economic woes.
The GPZ, having previously issued statements in November 2023, commending positive aspects and raising alarms about specific issues, now paints a pessimistic picture of the economic outlook for Zambia in 2024.
President Silavwe argues that the economic policies and interventions, themed as “unlocking economic potential,” do not meet expectations.
He predicts an increase in the cost of living in 2024, with essentials like mealie meal, cooking oil, and rentals becoming more expensive.
Local small and medium businesses are expected to face higher operating costs, potentially leading to downsizing and increased unemployment.
The availability of the local currency, Kwacha, is anticipated to remain scarce, particularly affecting businesses and individuals in the informal sector.
While some stability is expected in the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2024 after the dismantling of domestic debt, the mining sector’s contribution to the local economy is predicted to remain uncertain.
President Silavwe suggests that while a complete economic transformation is unlikely under the 2024 budget, there might be a slight positive difference.
Criticism is directed at the budget for favoring foreign entities and multinational corporations over local businesses and citizens.
He concludes that the budget, instead of addressing the root causes of economic issues, worsens the hardships faced by locals while seemingly benefiting foreign entities.
In his closing remarks, President Silavwe Jackson expresses disappointment at the missed opportunity for genuine economic transformation and prosperity for the citizens of Zambia.
The budget, in his view, not only fails to provide effective solutions to identified economic problems but exacerbates the challenges faced by locals, leaving them at a disadvantage compared to foreign entities in the nation’s economic landscape.