Saturday, February 05, 2011

MMD is to blame for poverty levels - CSPR

MMD is to blame for poverty levels - CSPR
By Kombe Chimpinde
Sat 05 Feb. 2011, 04:00 CAT

CSPR says Zambians should not forget that MMD is to blame for the high poverty levels the country is experiencing as they choose leaders this year.

Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR) chairman Partner Siabutuba warned in an interview that Zambians should not buy the MMD’s failed manifesto ahead of this year’s general elections as it had greatly contributed to the country’s underdevelopment.

He said the MMD had a tendency to make economic adjustments when the country drew to elections for its advantage.

“As CSPR we are concerned about the high poverty levels. Given that people have experienced poverty for a long time now they must seriously reflect on the 20 years rule of MMD. MMD has introduced a number of programmes in the name of reducing poverty like the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), youth empowerment fund policy,” Siabutuba said.

“We have seen initiatives like the national development plans, the Fifth National Development Plan for instance and many others which have all been a mess. We have had a lot of money put in all the initiatives but very little has come out.”

Siabutuba said the MMD’s manifesto was merely policies on a piece of paper, which were used as a ticket for misapplication of funds.

He said many policies that had been embarked on with so much vigor had seen little or no meaningful implementation.

“Zambians must demand for better and new ideas. Don’t let political parties sell you ideas that are old and have failed. What the country needs right now is new workable ideas in the agriculture sector, new strategies of marketing products, a proper road network, decent employment for all,” he said.

Siabutuba said the MMD must refrain from asking for a fresh mandate from Zambians during its campaigns because it had enough time to prove its worth.

He said in the event that the MMD remained in power, it needed to give Zambians a good reason as to why it should be entrusted to run the country’s affairs after having lamentably failed.

“Zambians should demand for a clear explanation from President Banda’s government about the much talked about economic improvement which was not benefiting the majority Zambians. Economic improvement that has so much been talked about does not reflect what is happening on the ground. Diseases like malnutrition are still recorded at most health cares in both rural and urban areas,” he said.

“Their policies have failed to improve the livelihood of Zambians. They have had all the time to adopt and work on new strategies that will have to reduce poverty levels in the country. But it seems like it lacks both the political will and a vision for this country. Even in their campaigns it is clear that they have nothing new to offer to this country.”

He said there was nothing new and inspiring in the MMD’s political statements.

Siabutuba called on the electorate to critically analyse all the parties’ manifestos for new policies and ideas that would further the country’s national and economic development.

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