High Cost of Living, Electricity Load shedding, Unstable Fuel Prices among Concerns Caritas Zambia Wants Addressed

Directors of Caritas drawn from Zambia’s Catholic Episcopal Sees have highlighted the high cost of living, electricity load shedding, and unstable fuel prices among issues of concern that the government of the Southern African nation needs to address.

In a statement following a three-day meeting that concluded on July 6, the Caritas Directors fault President Hakainde Hichilema government for inaction amid multiple challenges. 

While “cognizant of the fact that we are in a critical economic situation as a country” they say, “we have observed that the basic commodity prices in the nation are very high.”

“Our concern is that many people are suffering, and the Government seems not to acknowledge the high prevalent poverty levels,” the officials of Caritas Zambia say in the statement following their meeting at Kapingila House in the Catholic Archdiocese of Lusaka.

They fault the government’s engagement in blame games and politicking and challenge it “to find real and pragmatic solutions to the prevailing dire economic situation which has plunged many families in untold misery and suffering.”


“We heard how much power is exported at the expense of the economic activities of the citizens,” they lament in their five-page statement, and add, “Improving our neighbors’ economic activities over our own is unacceptable.”

They call upon the Zambian government to promptly halt the export of electricity to prioritize the needs of Zambians, whose businesses they say rely on uninterrupted power supply.

“We ask the government to consider expediting the planning and installation of solar power plants in many districts across the country,” they add.

The officials of Caritas drawn from the three Metropolitan Sees and the eight Dioceses of Zambia note with concern the “unstable fuel prices coupled with the practice of monthly pricing adjustments”, which they say “militates against the stability of the business environment in Zambia.”

They say that businesses in the country are facing challenges “with medium- and long-term planning on account of the flux in the fuel pricing mechanism.”

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“We are also concerned that the ever-increasing cost of fuel, will continue to cause the cost of living to be high taking into consideration the rise in transportation and production costs,” they say.

In their statement, the officials of Caritas Zambia also express concern about the erosion of national values. They recall, “Our constitution in the preamble speaks of our country as a Christian nation and calls us ‘to uphold the national values, principles, and economic policies”’.

They bemoan the “culture of disrespect from the citizens be it youth or adult, especially to all those who seem to have divergent views on matters of public concern.”

“Social media has been used as a tool to intimidate and attack all those who are not in agreement with the current policies of the government,” the officials of Caritas Zambia lament, and appeal, “We ask the authorities to stop all the carders who have gone to the media to insult with impunity those who hold dissenting and opposing views.”  

They also say they are about Zambia’s “shrinking democratic space” and blame the government for deliberate measures to “suppress dissenting and opposing voices.”


The government’s efforts to deny the opposition political parties the opportunity to hold their political rallies through the misapplication of the Public Order Act is a violation of democracy, the officials of Caritas in Zambia say.

“We appeal to the Government to welcome and accommodate divergent views from citizens and to open up space for dissenting voices in the public media,” they say.

Police brutality is another cause for concern. The officials of Caritas say, “We have further observed with dissatisfaction the growing trend of police brutality in the nation at the pretext of maintaining law and order.”

“The arbitrary arrests of citizens with dissenting and opposing voices is solely intended to intimidate citizens who stand against the Government,” they say, adding, “This abuse by the Police should not be entertained”.

They find it unfortunate that police brutality has extended even to the ecclesiastical institutions, saying, “Never before has the Zambia Police in post-independence Zambia been used to disrupt church services or Church meetings.”

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They call upon members of the Zambia Police Service to uphold professionalism and refrain from political influences in carrying out their duties.

In addition, the officials of Caritas in Zambia want the government to be democratic and apply the law with impartiality on all citizens regardless of their political, religious, social, and/or ethnic affiliations.

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.