3 April 2014

Zambia: Sata, Chikwanda Give Conflicting Job Data

Acting President Alexander Chikwanda has given a new figure of 300,000 as to the jobs the Patriotic Front (PF) contradicting his boss President Michael Sata's claim that about 650, 000 jobs had been created under his leadership.

Both figures are in contrast to the Central Statistic Office's compilation suggesting only 66, 000 jobs have been created since the Patriotic Front came into office.

Chikwanda is quoted urging Zambians to have faith in the Government's ability to deliver.

He was speaking in Lusaka yesterday when he launched the 'Zambia Development Effectiveness Review Report' which will provide an overview of Zambia's development progress.

"It is, however, important that our people have faith in Government's ability to deliver. Zambia is on the move and we should all ensure we are a role model in development in the same way we have been as a united and peaceful country that revolves on tolerance and accommodation," Mr Chikwanda said.

He said the backlog of development that had unavoidably accumulated overtime could not be wiped out overnight and called for a resolve to work extra hard.

He reiterated that Government had prioritised job creation, especially in view of efforts to boost investment in agriculture and forestry.

Chikwanda, who is Finance Minister, said Government would engage the expertise of farmers through the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU).

Government will explore the possibility of a sizeable kwacha-dominated bond targeted at Agriculture and Forestry.

"Agriculture is improving and there are big corporate agricultural investments which will have a very salutary impact on the economy," he said.

This is the first time that the report was done for the country covering data up to the end of 2012.

Chikwanda said the launch of the 2013 report needed to be a platform for even more determined endeavours to extend the frontiers of our country's development with the objective of banishing poverty.

African Development Bank (AfDB) resident representative Freddie Kwesiga said the Bank would continue working with Zambia in order to move the development agenda forward.

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