Zambians will be entertained in more political dramas in the days ahead as debate about the standard of living of citizens rages between the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) and United Party for National Development (UPND).
A few days ago, the leader of UPND Mr. Hakainde Hichilema declared the prevailing hunger situation in the country a national disaster.
The ruling PF said HH usurped powers of President Edgar Lungu, describing his audacious declaration as an “embarrassment to the government.”
But in another twist, Olipa Phiri, the Minister in the Office of the Vice President, on Thursday admitted that the hunger situation in Zambia is a national disaster, reported tumfweko.com, an online news platform in the country.
The Minister in the Office of the Vice President stated this in parliament.
The position of the Phiri contradicted remarks by Lungu, his Vice, and spokesperson to the government. The trio unanimously submitted that the current situation is not a disaster.
Recall HH was quoted by the Zambia Observer as saying, “It is wrong for Lungu to refuse to declare the hunger situation in the country a national disaster when the majority of our people have resorted to eating unripe wild fruits. Just in Chibombo and Rufunsa districts, our people don’t have access to clean drinking water, health services and food.”
With the new declaration by Olipa Phiri that there is indeed a hunger disaster, is the Lungu’s led government agreeing to the position of HH?
HH had called for the assistance of the international community, but for the international community to move in, the ruling party must first acknowledge the situation by declaring hunger as a national disaster.
The drama continues.
UK responds to hunger disaster in Zambia
Meanwhile, the United Kingdom (UK) through its development agency DFID has issued a humanitarian emergency fund to support Civil Society organisations and Church to distribute relief food to the more than 1.7 million Zambians currently threatened with hunger.
Zambia’s government was yet to react to the UK’s support at the time of this report.