—Stakeholders in Solwezi district have welcomed government’s decision to remove fuel and maize subsidies but appealed that the money realized should be channelled towards development needs of the province.
This came to light during a stakeholders meeting addressed by Youth and Sports Deputy Minister, Stephen Masumba, held in the Boma conference hall in Solwezi today.
The stakeholders that attended the meeting said the stance taken by government to remove fuel and maize subsidies is welcome but cautioned government to ensure that the money to be realized from the move is channelled towards the rightful cause.
The stakeholders, who bemoaned lack of meaningful development in North-western province, challenged government to assure them that the money realized from the subsidies will be channelled towards improving infrastructure in different sectors of the economy in the province.
Addressing, the meeting Mr Masumba, who is also Patriotic Front (PF) Mufumbwe Member of Parliament, assured people in the province that government means well by removing fuel and maize subsidies and that it will ensure that the money realized is used on projects that are going to benefit ordinary citizens.
Mr Masumba said government is very much committed to uplifting the living standards of the people both in urban and rural areas and appealed to people in the province to support policies that are aimed at achieving this rather than politicking.
He observed that subsidies were only benefiting the already well-to-do people at the expense of the general poor populace.
He urged people in the province to unite and speak with one voice if the region is to attain meaningful social and economic development rather than becoming confrontational with government.
The meeting was attended by district commissioners from the province, provincial heads of government departments, political party officials from PF, and some members of the general public.
Recently, the PF government removed subsidies on fuel and maize and President Michael Sata directed Cabinet and deputy ministers to go flat out and explain the move to the general citizenry and hear their concerns.
Speaking during the same meeting, former Solwezi district commissioner, Frobisher Fulayi, said some business community members and transporters have taken advantage of the removal of subsidies by exploiting members of the public.