President Lungu promised 500,000 jobs; Zero jobs have been created

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On 12th August President Edgar Lungu promised to create 500,000 jobs by the end of 2016. This was during the launch of the 2015 Youth Policy and Action Plan for Youth Empowerment. He said this should be achieved through the national apprenticeship and internship schemes which should create employment for the unskilled youths within the participating companies, as well as the expansion of low interest credit facilities targeting new and growing youth-led enterprises among other interventions. This was an absolute lie and to illustrate this point, since 2011 the PF has created 96,836 jobs meaning they created a paltry 19,367 jobs per year. This is in a country where over 200,000 graduates leave tertiary education every year.

On 26th September 2015, Tourism and Arts Minister, Jean Kapata announced that the tourism sector in Zambia would create 300,000 by the year 2016. This was at the official launch of the United Nations World Tourism Day commemoration in Livingstone.

We want to be conservative and assume the 300,000 jobs Jean Kapata was talking about are a subset of the 500,000 jobs announced by the President. Whatever the case, as far as we are concerned none of the jobs have been created going by the LFS that Shamenda launched two weeks ago. To meet this target this government would need to create about 2,272 jobs for each working day for the remaining working days for 2016.

In a statement published on 7th October 2015, we questioned how the PF would attain this and as usual they responded with insults. https://www.lusakatimes.com/2015/10/07/hh-challenges-pf-to-explain-creation-of-500000-jobs-when-so-many-are-now-being-lost/

The question to ask is, did President Lungu and Jean Kapata choose to deliberately mislead the Zambian people? Both Edgar and Jean knew that the PF had no capacity to create so many jobs. If anything, what we have seen is massive job redundancies.

President Lungu has no vision. It is only possible to create 500,000 jobs in a year if one has a plan. We have consistently advised the PF to invest the money they have borrowed, such as the Eurobonds, in the productive sector but they decided to use the money for consumption. Agriculture alone would create over 200,000 jobs if we invested in agribusiness and value addition.

Percy Chanda
UPND Chairman for Labour

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