-Villagers urged to support subsidy removal

These women in a local Zambian village do all the daily work that needs to be done, yet they remain second-class citizens in many ways

The deputy minister of Labour has appealed to the community in luwingu district in the northern province to support the removal of subsidies on fuel and maize.

Ronald Chitotela said while move was painful, it will help improve the well being of the poor people.

Mr Chitotela said the removal of subsidies on maize and fuel is meant to channel the resources towards infrastructure development which includes the construction of roads, hospitals, schools and universities.

“yes, although it is a very difficult decision made by the PF government we need to accept it because it will benefit the poor people who did not benefit anything from fuel and maize subsidies,” he added.

Mr Chitotela said government has started infrastructure development which includes the 8000 kilometre link Zambia project under roads development agency, the construction of hospitals, schools and universities.

 He said that these projects are vital especially in remote areas such as Luwingu, Mporokoso, Kaputa and other districts whose development is almost non-existent.

He said Michael Sata ’government is in top gear and wants to leave a mark because all the resources saved from fuel and maize subsidies will be channeled towards infrastructure development that will benefit the ordinary citizens.

Mr Chitotela said the removal of subsidies will result in an equitable distribution of national wealth .

The deputy minister appealed to the farmers to remain calm as government has continued to subsidize fertilizers and seed to enable them grow enough food for their own consumption.

Luwingu district has received over five deputy minister and government official to sensitize government heads of department on the removal of fuel and maize subsidies.

  And Luwingu district commissioner Mambwe Katontoka said the Luwingu residents have welcome the removal of subsidies saying the move will see much needed development in the area such the construction of roads to connect the district to the rest of the districts in Northern and Luapula.

She said the district will benefit from the money reserved from the subsidies saying development will take place in districts such as the construction of luwingu Nsombo road, luwingu Samfya road, luwingu Kaputa road, luwingu Kawambwa road and luwingu Mansa road.

She said that the roads will bring major developments and prices for transportation of goods and services will reduce compared to now.

Meanwhile, district AIDS  co-ordinator , Father Nathan Kabwe condemned the university students who demonstrated against removal subsidies from maize and fuel  two weeks ago saying their behavior.

Fr. Kabwe said the students should have first analysed the situation and debated fully other than going into the streets.

He said people in rural areas have not benefited from the subsidies adding that the measure only  benefitted people along the line of rail such as Lusaka, central and copperbelt provinces while the rest have been struggling for survival.

Fr. Kabwe said Zambia is not Lusaka alone where people are buying cheap and subsidized  commodities such as mealie meal and fuel.

He lamented that in luwingu motorists were buying diesel at K11 per litre and petrol K15, 000 (Kr15) per litre while mealie meal is k75, 000 (kR75) per 25 kg bag of breakfast meal and k65, 000 (kr65) per 25 kg of roller meal.