Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) has urged the government to immediately address the escalating cost of living as it hits K9,555.53 for a family of five per month.
JCTR Executive Director, Alex Muyebe, said a majority of citizen’s monthly income ranges from K1, 000 to K3, 000 which was not enough to cover their monthly needs.
Muyebe made these remarks when he addressed the media in Lusaka on Tuesday.
Muyebe pointed out that the cost of living had been highly affected by the escalating cost of energy and foreign exchange risks due to the country’s dependency on imports.
He pointed out that the Energy Regulatory Board (ERB) should consider establishing long-term policy stability in the energy sector.
“Frequent reviews of fuel pump prices, for instance, can contribute to uncertainty,” Muyebe warned.
He called on the government to ensure the control of currency value by implementing policies and strategies for managing the exchange rate.
“By efficiently managing pressures and stabilizing the value of the Kwacha against convertible currencies, we can create an environment that supports sustainable development while also protecting the dignity of individuals,” he noted.
Furthermore, he projected that the cost of living was likely to further increase due to the rainfall pattern experienced in the country.
“The unpredictable rainfall patterns witnessed in recent months pose a threat to an already dire situation, which might result in increased food prices,” he added.
To address these issues arising from the cost of living, such as pandemics, epidemics and the mentioned rainfall pattern, Muyebe emphasized the need for collaborative efforts involving both state and non-state actors through honest and open dialogues and consultations.
He also urged the government to consider support programmes aimed at alleviating hardships faced by low-income households.
Moreover, he proposed implementing ethical price control measures.
“To prevent individuals from being exploited through frequent commodity price adjustments, it is imperative for the government to enforce price control measures,” he urged.
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