Where are we headed as a country? First it was removal of fuel subsidy, now it’s the maize subsidy and soon ZESCO tariffs will be going up…
As NAREP we have noted with deep concern the continuous negative developments in our nation. Every day we wake up to the news of increases in prices of essential commodities due to government’s decision to stop subsidising its own citizens. We are deeply saddened that government has continued to make decisions without any regard on the impact these decisions will have on the people of this country. These changes may be necessary but the rate at which they are being implemented is simply unbearable for the majority of Zambians.
We cannot understand why the PF administration has decided to inflict more suffering on its citizens who are already struggling to make ends meet. It is worrying to see a government that is willing to donate 2million litres of fuel to another country yet refuse to better manage the removal of subsidies in order to cushion the impact on its own citizens. It is worrying to have a government which is ready to spend colossal sums of money on by-elections and yet refuses to better manage the subsidy on the staple food for its citizens. Is this what they meant by pro-poor government? Is this what they meant when they spoke about putting more money in people’s pockets? The PF administration claims that it is spending too much on subsidizing citizens yet itis prepared to spend colossal amounts on "engineered" by-elections and a bloated cabinet. They are ready to increase salaries for ministers, and subsidise their personal fuel allocations yet they refuse to be concerned about the poor woman in Kanyama compound who cannot make ends meet.
Maize is a staple food in this nation and government must never play games with this commodity because doing so means playing with people’s lives. The PF administration must hasten to remember that it was voted in power by the Zambian people on grounds that it would change things for the better. It is clear today that the Zambian people were cheated. We should not remain mute whilst the people we put in power destroy this nation.
NAREP will not stand by and watch the government inflict misery and suffering on the people of Zambia. We are aware that foreign investors are being subsidised and given tax concessions whilst our people pay high taxes on their small businesses.
Instead of increasing ZESCO tariffs the government must reduce the size of cabinet and stop unnecessary "engineered"by-elections. We advise the government to concentrate on policies that will better the lives of the Zambian people and not bow down to pressure from international institutions which have no heart for the poor. Even a good policy can cause destruction if not properly implemented. Government must engage the people and help them understand and transform before making decisions that have a negative impact on their wellbeing.Zambia is a democracy and Government should not use intimidation to implement change.
Rev. Jevan Kamanga