Saturday, June 15, 2024

Where are we headed as a country?- NAREP

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NAREP STATEMENT ON THE REMOVAL OF SUBSIDY ON MAIZE

Where are we headed as a country? First it was removal of fuel subsidy, now it’s the maize subsidy and soon ZESCO tariffs will be going up…
As NAREP we have noted with deep concern the continuous negative developments in our nation. Every day we wake up to the news of increases in prices of essential commodities due to government’s decision to stop subsidising its own citizens. We are deeply saddened that government has continued to make decisions without any regard on the impact these decisions will have on the people of this country. These changes may be necessary but the rate at which they are being implemented is simply unbearable for the majority of Zambians.

We cannot understand why the PF administration has decided to inflict more suffering on its citizens who are already struggling to make ends meet. It is worrying to see a government that is willing to donate 2million litres of fuel to another country yet refuse to better manage the removal of subsidies in order to cushion the impact on its own citizens. It is worrying to have a government which is ready to spend colossal sums of money on by-elections and yet refuses to better manage the subsidy on the staple food for its citizens. Is this what they meant by pro-poor government? Is this what they meant when they spoke about putting more money in people’s pockets? The PF administration claims that it is spending too much on subsidizing citizens yet it is prepared to spend colossal amounts on “engineered” by-elections and a bloated cabinet. They are ready to increase salaries for ministers, and subsidise their personal fuel allocations yet they refuse to be concerned about the poor woman in Kanyama compound who cannot make ends meet.

[pullquote]It is worrying to have a government which is ready to spend colossal sums of money on by-elections and yet refuses to better manage the subsidy on the staple food for its citizens[/pullquote]

Maize is a staple food in this nation and government must never play games with this commodity because doing so means playing with people’s lives. The PF administration must hasten to remember that it was voted in power by the Zambian people on grounds that it would change things for the better. It is clear today that the Zambian people were cheated. We should not remain mute whilst the people we put in power destroy this nation.

NAREP will not stand by and watch the government inflict misery and suffering on the people of Zambia. We are aware that foreign investors are being subsidised and given tax concessions whilst our people pay high taxes on their small businesses.

Instead of increasing ZESCO tariffs the government must reduce the size of cabinet and stop unnecessary “engineered”by-elections. We advise the government to concentrate on policies that will better the lives of the Zambian people and not bow down to pressure from international institutions which have no heart for the poor. Even a good policy can cause destruction if not properly implemented. Government must engage the people and help them understand and transform before making decisions that have a negative impact on their wellbeing.Zambia is a democracy and Government should not use intimidation to implement change.

Rev. Jevan Kamanga
NATIONAL SECRETARY

30 COMMENTS

  1. Bravo! Narep!..this is pragmatism..it is no longer possible in this country to “make ends meet”..we just struggle to make “ends approach”..

    • Congratulations Chipimo that you now have a general secretary. Ka Kabimba is jealous that his fellow is a Rev.

  2. Please NAREP profer more elaborate solutions and ask your friends to stop expelling the MPs that has decided to work with Govt.

  3. NAREP you just might have a chance come 2016.why doesnt MMD,UPND NAREP all team up in 2016 so there is no vote spliting? We need a good team ..this thing of I want to be president won’t work.One man can not lead this country out of poverty but a good team will

  4. WHERE ARE WE HEADED TO? Well, I too have been asking myself this question for a very long time. The Zambia that I knew when I was born in 1970 up to 1991, the Zambia that I knew through MMD and the Zambia that I see now under PF are all different Zambia. Without doubt, there was a clear vision and a desire to build Zambia for posterity under UNIP. But you can’t build a nation at the cost of freedom and so UNIP died. The Zambia of MMD did acknowledge the rapid desire for freedom but the leaders had no desire for Zambia other than for themselves. MMD is basically dead. Zambia today under PF is like “This is your captain speaking. I ‘ve good news & bad news. The good news is that we’re right on time. The bad news is that we seem to be lost” I’m afraid, Zambia will soon leave PF…

  5. This is what makes the so-called learned politicians of no effect in this countery. Chipimo should reflect seriously on this issue and make reasoned pronouncements. This issue of Subsidy has being mis-understood even by the so-called learned chipimo included. The government can not continue subsidising commodities that are not benefiting the majority. Why should the government subsidise chipimos Nshima? the answer is NO. Most of the rural people do not even buy this mealie meal but it is consumed by the urban dwellers who are capable of paying for this commodity. The rural population takes care of themselve through the maize they grow and take it KU CHINGAYO. It is better to have targeted subsidies tha benefit the people in needy and not chipimo and the congolese.

  6. On subsidies I am well supporting the move. Subsidies are very regressive in Zambia. The people whom they are intended for do not benefit as much as the well to do people. Its good that now the mines will not enjoy fuel subsidy , the millers will not have a double mark up on their profits as they were receiving free money meant for subsidizing the Ubunga and yet they did not do so. Thus want is needed is to use the freed money well so that the poor people can benefit more. I propose that this freed money should be channeled to cash transfers for the poor people. This will increase progressive income distribution in Zambia.

    Warning to PF…..if you steal this freed money in the manner MMD stole, count yourselves out for 2016 elections…we gona flush out.

    Peace and Prosperity to…

  7. Fundamental human rights demand that the citizens of a country have the freedom of movement/travel, sufficient food of nutritional value, shelter, education and decent medical care. However, despite the relative poverty of Zambia compared with other countries, I believe that the resources/ability to achieve these basic human rights/needs exists within Zambia. During my visits to Zambia I always see a great energy and drive by the ordinary people that I meet to succeed in whatever enterprise in which they may be involved. Indeed I often remark that Zambians actually work far harder than their counterparts within Europe and America. Governments of all political persuasions now need to support the natural energy and enterprise of the people and release their natural potential!

    • You obviously have not worked for a Zambian company to say that they work harder than Europeans or Americans. We have some of the laziest people on the planet. Some work ethics are pathetic. There is a big difference between working hard and doing things the harder way. If what you mean is that we do things the harder way than Europeans and Americans then yes otherwise you are dealing with a place that will take you an entire day just change you address on your bank statement. Hard workers don’t depend of foreigners to build roads and hospitals for them.

  8. What are the cost implications in comparative terms between the subsidies and government MPs/Ministers’ costs? I say this because this speculative politicking is a tired trick in Zambia… At one stage we were told Zambia Airways is taking a HUGE chunk of the budget and MOST of it is being paid to employees who actually just FLY around FREE!!! Alas, the details therein made sad revelation, hence the recent talk of bringing back a national airline. In short, NAREP should demonstrate some economic model that brings out at least some figures – even if they cook them to begin with. Talking on emotions is a yester-year strategy.

    • Eh data, very clear and important points you’ve raised. Politicking is now the order of the day without facts

    • But you guys demanding facts and figures from opposition leaders, what facts or figures is this government giving when making their reckless decisions? what fact does this PF president use when he wakes up and points his finger at what he wants done? are you too scared to interrogate or question his decision making?

  9. WHAT IS DIFFERENT FROM WHAT MMD,UPND AND OTHERS HAVE BEEN ADVOCATING!ALL BECAUSE YOU BEMBAS ARE TRIBALISTS.NAREP AT THE MOMENT HAS NO RPRESENTATION EXCEPT SMALL BOYS PICKING UP LITTER IN LUSAKA.IT HAS NOT EVEN SOLD IT’S SELF TO THE MASSES AND YOU THINK IN YOUR WARPED SMALL BRAINS THAT NAREP CAN RULE COME 2016.ATASE!YOU HAVE DIVIDED THIS NATION THAT WAS BELT ON ONE ZAMBIA ONE NATION AND NOW THE MOTTO IS WAKO NI WAKO.BA KOLWE

  10. ifibatonga na Tribalism, fyapena. I we chi Stranger than fiction. You must be Tonga and in your small brain of tongaland, you think hh will rule. Forget it. Tongas cannot rule Zambia because tribalism is rife among them.

  11. I am personally happy that we are going thru this episode.It is very important for our young democracy.Next time let us not vote for leaders because of the passion they argue their case but let us consider their ability to deliver.

  12. People, I do not think that the size of our Cabinet and 15 bye-elections is what has made necessary the removal of fuel and Maize subsides. The Figures of money that go to subsidize these two items are so huge that even if all the 150 MPs were made ministers, their combined salaries and allowances would, in comparison, be nothing. If we want development, then subsides must go. we have to pay for our development. the alternative is to borrow billions of dollars. Yes, the US, UK have subsidies, but these countries are developed and they even send us aid. We are not developed, so, we must use own resources to dig ourselves out of this huge hole called underdevelopment. No one will build roads and bridges and hospitals and universities for us.

    • I wish I could agree with your attempt but hey man its 50 years since independence the copper mines are flourishing, we have all it takes c’mon, this is no time for a Zambian to tighten their belts. Its time to relax. Take your austerity measures elsewhere not in Zambia my friend. We have all it takes to live well here. Otherwise leave the work for those who can do it if you have failed to make money for Zambian people to live well.

    • You are totally missing the point Christopher! PF removed the subsidies for poor Zambians, right? PF must show the way by cutting down on the size of their Government. You can’t remove subsidies for the people on one hand but continue subsidizing a huge top heavy Government on the other. No ways! Its not about how much in comparative terms, its how much Government should prioritize on important and necessary areas. Every coin no matter the amount must be saved from every direction. No cushioning for rich politicians while running violent incursions on the poor’s dwindling financial power. BUFI! All must share this burden! That’s as it should be, that’s the right principle, that’s action in the right direction.

  13. Continued
    NAREP and other characters are just capitalizing on people’s ignorance. We know that even in our own home, we make sacrifices for the future. We deny ourselves certain things in order to educate our children etc. It is the same thing that the government is doing- denying us subsidised fuel and maize for a better tomorrow. Ba Chipimo, I am sure you know that Bemba saying- “Uwakwensha ubushiku bamutasha ilyo bwaca”. That applies here. Let me just say this: with subsidies- there is no moving forward, no development.

    • Today we all say Mwanawasa was the best President in Zambia, but lets look back and talk of the HIPC period where taxes rose above 60%. that just proves you bemba saying correct “Uwakwensha ubushiku bamutasha ilyo bwaca”. We will appreciate this move in the next 3-5years, unfortunately ignorance is our major problem hence politicians and the so called NGOs ride on that very problem. Budgeting and planning is another problem in Zed, people spend way more than they earn. Don’t tell me of people in the Komboni suffering, most of those youths are drinking everyday and impregnating the girls, then cry the loudest when government stops funding their irresponsibility.

  14. Well said NAREP, let who has ears hear… But I doubt if pompous pipo like NAREP can listen to these wise words

  15. Christopher Mulenga you are wrong, nawa explained it well, it’s high time
    we also enjoy. besides what is development without food , study shows people are
    more productive when well feed. starve yourself you will be the laughing stock of the world

  16. Removal of subsidy on maize and fuel, increase tarifs and collect more money and PAY BACK TO PF donars. I bet it would have made sense if reduction was done in tandame with reduction of cabinet and as well as reduction of BYE elections. Imagine all those funds spent on bye elections how many schools and clinics could be built?. Imagine one minister with 800 L fuel free plus huge allowances and multiply by over 50 cabinet miniters, not to mention full cabinet minister plus over 150 MPS. this is insane./eis rediculous.
    If we had a small cabinet with huge savings we should have been progressing but the proble is it is PAY BACK for those FUNDS they gave PF The chaps are stealing on these savings mwamona

  17. This is what happens when a party has no representation is parliament, it keeps shouting in the wind and its words are lost. A few months ago NAREP president wrote articles criticising the government over maize subsidies and saying that it was not sustainable and should be removed. What has changed in two months for NAREP to condemn the removal of maize subsidy? It is this lack of consistency which puts people off !
    Politics of appeasement will not develop the country, we have to take drastic measures like this to move forward in terms of development. We had a serious shortage of housing units in the country, instead of building new units they sold the old units to the tenants and claimed that they have solved the housing crisis but the population keep on increasing and no new units!

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