Deputy Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Mwansa Kapeya has observed that the removal of subsidies on maize and petroleum products was being sensationalized and politicized by enemies of the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) government.
Speaking today when he featured on ‘Good Governance’ radio Programme on Radio Yangeni in Mansa district of Luapula province, Mr. Kapeya said the removal of subsidies is aimed at yielding long term benefits to the country.
He said this aim has however been demonized by some opposition political parties who are bent on criticizing every developmental stride which government makes.
The Deputy Minister has noted that other opposition political parties have however seen and understood the rationale of removing subsidies in spite of those intending to gain political mileage on the issue.
Mr. Kapeya charged that the opponents of the PF were busy deceiving people that government does not care for its people.
He underscored that the PF government realized that subsidies were not benefiting the intended beneficiaries who are the poor citizens of Zambia.
He said subsidies were instead benefitting the already rich people who took advantage of the scheme even though they were the minority in the country.
Mr. Kapeya reiterated that government wants to use the savings from subsidies to develop agricultural enterprises such as the livestock development and production in Southern and Western provinces and enhancing cassava production and fish farming in Luapula among other farm products.
He said the savings will further be used to construct roads, schools, health centres and many other social amenities in the country.
He noted that many Zambians, especially in rural areas, do not own cars while they have been used to subsidize fuel for the few rich people in town.
Mr. Kapeya said the removal of subsidies was enshrined in the PF manifesto noting that government will not keep on allowing poor people to reduce the cost of living for the rich.
Meanwhile, the people of Mansa have expressed mixed feelings on the removal of subsidies.
Some residents have since commended government for the brave decision it has taken while others spoke against the removal of subsidies.
Contributing to the radio programme via text messages, some people felt the decision would bring about high cost of living while others hoped the savings from subsidies will not be used on salaries for civil servants but on alleviating poverty.
Mr. Kapeya is on a familiarization tour of media houses in Luapula and Northern provinces but has taken advantage of the visit to explain government policies and programmes on radio during his tour.