PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu’s political opponents may not admit it, but economic statistics do not lie.
In the first one year of the Patriotic Front winning the 2016 general elections, the economic indicators all point to one thing, that things are moving in the right direction.
The Kwacha has held on against world major currencies, inflation is still in the single digit, the banking sector has responded by reducing the lending rates and the mealie meal prices have continued to drop.
To the person in the street, the street vendor and an ordinary family in the compounds, the reduction of mealie meal prices is a good move, though people may say that farmers are losing out because the maize price is low.
We cannot also ignore what has turned out to be a major positive development for consumers.
Prior to elections, the price of mealie meal had gone up steadily, in some areas, we understand the price had gone up to more than K100 per 25-kilogramme bag.
This was clearly out of reach of the pocket power of many ordinary Zambians, it is no wonder that poverty levels were believed to be around 70 percent in the rural areas.
With fortunes changing, these figures obviously need to be revised, and we are seeing this happen under the PF watch.
The PF, under the leadership President Edgar Lungu is more determined than ever to enhance the aspirations of all citizens for a better life, particularly of the most vulnerable.
It is delightful to note how the prices of most essential commodities has been reducing in the last one year that the PF has been in government.
Reports from various parts of the country bear testimony to the fact that mealie meal is becoming more and more affordable.
The country at large should celebrate the good policies that have seen a reduction in the shelf price of mealie meal.
The PF government must also be appreciated for the timely reduction in the pump price of fuel, as everyone is alive to the fact that the wheels of production, service delivery and distribution of goods and services is largely dependent on fuel.
We therefore join the PF to celebrate the reduction in the prices of diesel, petrol and kerosene.
We agree with PF secretary-general Davis Mwila that “it would be a misnomer for the price of fuel to remain the same while one of the fundamental factors that affects the price of the commodity, the currency exchange rate, has hugely stabilised.”
We also commend the reduction in both the policy rate and the reserve ratios by the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) as the measure is in tandem with the expectations of the business sector.
The two measures will bolster economic growth and create an environment where small-scale entrepreneurs will participate in job creation.
We alsp agree that the reduced policy rate will increase commercial banks’ liquidity and who will in turn lend more to small and medium enterprises at reduced lending rates which in turn will increase their economic activities.
The PF government is justified at being elated with the many achievements it has recorded within a year of being in office.
While we congratulate the PF over its achievements, we can only advise that there is still a lot of hard work ahead that calls for discipline so that its economic programmes are not derailed.
The obvious expectations of the people is that the reduction in prices of essential commodities would continue.
With commitment and hard work, this can be done.