Budget alignment in focus as Hichilema announces measures to tackle ailing economy


President Hakainde Hichilema has announced that the Cabinet will be taking the 2024 budget for review to address the debt and climate-induced economic crisis.

Finance and National Planning Minister, Situmbeko Musokotwane, also emphasized that measures were being implemented to provide economic relief through various interventions.

“Cabinet has agreed to take the 2024 budget amendment bill to parliament next week for realignment to tackle the current economic environment,” President Hichilema told journalists during a press conference in Lusaka on Wednesday.

He noted that the government was looking forward to making budget changes to respond to the economic crisis caused by climate change, among other factors.

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While President Hichilema did not provide specific details of the expected amendments, he clarified that realigning the budget does not imply poor initial planning.

He called for the prudent use of public resources, aiming to balance the situation without harming the economy.

The Head of State highlighted the necessity of these changes, adding that residents in about 84 districts affected by drought have been provided with food packs.

On energy, he assured that the government was exploring all options to ensure alternative sources were implemented, starting with open access to electricity to encourage rooftop solar energy generation that would feed into the grid.

“Even government buildings will have solar rooftops to generate more power,” President Hichilema said.

He then invited Minister Musokotwane to elaborate on the government’s efforts to alleviate the situation.

Musokotwane stated, “The government allowed for an increase in maize buying price to encourage farmers to grow more, but the dry spell had impacted this.

“However, we will not relent in ensuring that no one goes hungry.”

He also announced that the government was considering providing public piecework, such as sweeping towns, to help vulnerable youths survive the economic crisis.

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