-The community in Buleya Ward of Kalabo district in Western Province have welcomed government’s move to remove fuel and maize subsidies.
Speaking on behalf of the local residents during a public meeting addressed by UPND Kalabo Central area Member of Parliament, Chinga Mituyu, Buleya UPND councillor, Oliver Mukonda, said the people in the ward have not benefited fully from the subsidies on fuel and maize.
He explained that residents in Buleya community are subjected to walking due to poor state of roads in the ward resulting in locals spending long hours on foot to get to Mongu.
Mr Mukonda questioned why government should continue to subsidise fuel when in some parts of the country people still walk on foot and use dug-out canoes as the mode of transport.
The civic leader said the impact of fuel subsidies had not been felt by locals in Buyela community.
On maize, Mr Mukonda revealed that residents have been buying mealie meal at exorbitant prices despite government subsidising the commodity.
The councillor said the removal of subsidies has been timely and cautioned government to direct the resources saved to develope rural communities.
He said Buleya community is faced with numerous challenges that require adequate resources to address.
The councillor stated that channelling subsidy resources to road development will benefit everyone including rural communities as locals will be able to buy bicycles and vehicles.
He noted that the agricultural sector in Buleya has failed to tick due to poor road infrastructure as farmers fail to transport their yields to the market.
And speaking earlier, Mr Miyutu, who is also deputy minister for Youth and Sports, said government wants to save resources and use the funds in addressing under-development in rural areas.
Mr Muyutu told the audience that President Michael Sata does not want to borrow loans but wants to use locally saved resources to develop the country.
Mr Miyutu said fuel and maize subsidies favoured mostly people living in urban areas, hence the decision by the President to suspended subsidies.
He disclosed that already government has invited bids for Kalabo roads which will require billions of Kwacha to put up standard roads.
Mr Miyutu said funds for road works will come from money saved from subsidies.
He said President Sata has shown willingness to solve rural areas that are under development and he should be supported in his quest to develop districts.