-Residents of Namulilo ward in Kalabo district have unanimously agreed to throw their weight behind government’s decision to remove subsidies on fuel and maize.
This came to light when Kalabo Central UPND area Member of Parliament (MP), Chinga Miyutu, addressed two successful public meetings in Mbalala and Litooma areas.
Mr Miyutu, who is also deputy Minister of Youth and Sport, told the gathering in Litooma that the removal of subsidise is not meant to punish ordinary Zambians but a measure aimed at saving government resources to be used on other demanding sectors.
He disclosed that government was losing huge sums of money paying fuel suppliers yet the pump price of fuel kept going up despite government subsidising the commodity.
Mr Miyutu questioned the locals in Litooma how they have benefited from fuel subsidies and unanimously the gathering refuted of having benefited from the subsidised petroleum products.
It is at this moment that the gathering took turns chanting slogans in support of the remove of subsidies.
Mr Miyutu told the crowd that funds saved from the removal of subsidies will be used to improve the road network in rural areas such as Kalabo.
The crowd cheered when the deputy minister openly said the fuel subsidise favoured the rich living in towns and not common Zambians residing in rural areas.
He insisted that only the rich are against the decision the President made to remove fuel and maize subsidise.
Mr Miyutu said the removal of subsidies will in the long run favour the poor through the construction of new roads, schools and rural health centres.
He questioned why government should continue to subsidise maize when the price of the staple food kept going up.
Mr Miyutu said President Michael Sata made the bold decision because of the heart he has for people living in rural areas.
And addressing another well attend public meeting in Mbalala, Mr Miyutu said with savings from subsidies government will not have to borrow loans but instead use the resources saved from the same subsidies for developing infrastructure in rural communities.
He said past presidents did very little to uplift the plight of people living in rural communities as compared to President Sata.
Mr Miyutu noted that the Head of State has shown real statesmanship by advocating for development for people living rural areas.
The deputy minister cited the construction of the Mongu/Kalabo road as one of the projects President Sata is committed to seeing that it is completed.
Mr Miyutu said Kalabo was not cursed for the district to have impassable roads hence his decision to side with President Sata to save money that will go towards improving roads in rural areas.
And speaking on behalf of the people of Namulilo ward, UPND Namulilo ward councillor, Samuel Mutondo, said the people in the ward want development and will support any measure taken by government to bring development in rural communities.
Mr Mutondo said Namulilo ward faces a lot of challenges that need adequate resources to address them.
He cited lack of piped water, schools, clinics and poor road infrastructure as some of the challenges that required adequate resources.
The councillor said the decision by government to remove subsidise was long overdue, adding that Namulilo ward needs the funds so as to improve the social well-being of the people.