Kapeya urges civil servants to explain subsidies to public

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Government has urged civil servants to explain its policies such as the recent removal of subsidies meant to facilitate equal distributing of resources to all citizens countrywide.

Deputy Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Mwansa Kapeya said government removed subsidies because they were not benefiting the majority poor Zambians in rural areas.

Mr. Kapeya said subsidies were only benefiting rich people who already had more than enough instead of the poor who needed development in terms of road infrastructure, education and many others.

He said civil servants had a duty to explain to people in their various localities what government meant by removing subsidies on maize and fuel.

Mr. Kapeya said people in rural areas had no cars to benefit from fuel subsidies and that the fertilizer that government used to subsidize used to end up in the hands of a few people who were representing co-operatives.

He further called on members of the public to establish community radio stations in order to supplement the efforts of the national broadcaster in disseminating information to people in rural areas.

He said people in rural areas should also be abreast with the rest of the country in terms of information so that they were not deceived by the opposition political parties on critical issues such as the benefits of removing subsidies.

Meanwhile, Mr. Kapeya said government will equip the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) with all the necessary equipment countrywide and beef up the staffing levels in order to make it more efficient in disseminating information to the public.

He said apart from ZANIS, government intended to install 25 transmitters in areas where FM radio was inaccessible so that people can be better informed and make informed decisions.

He said this when he paid a courtesy call on Samfya District Commissioner Royd Chakaba at his office where he also addressed heads of government departments.

And both outgoing Samfya District Commissioner Royd Chakaba and ZANIS District Information Officer David Ndovi told the Minister that the operations of the information department in the district have been hindered by erratic funding, low staffing levels and lack of equipment.

Mr. Chakaba said information is very critical to the development of the country hence the need for government to hastily ensure that ZANIS is revamped in order for it to inform people on government’s developmental projects.

Mr. Kapeya, who is in Luapula Province to familiarize himself with the operations of the media organizations, later toured the construction site of the Bangweulu FM radio which is almost completed.