The opposition FDD says the increment in the cost of fuel has nothing to do with The removal of subsidies from the commodity as that was done in 2013.
In a statement, FDD Spokesperson Antonio Mwanza said Government should stop being dishonest to its people as telling lies will catch up with them in the long run.
Mr Mwanza said the increment of fuel has everything to do with the country being broke as opposed to the lies government is telling people.
Below is the statement as issued by Mr Mwanza.
WHY CAN’T THEY BE HONEST ENOUGH AND TELL THE PEOPLE THE TRUTH?
Lies have very short legs; on the other hand the truth is very stubborn, no matter how hard you may try to conceal it, you can’t hide it forever. It is extremely vital for any Government to maintain honest and open dialogue with its people. Serious Governments the world over systematically give honest and regular updates to their people on important issues that directly affect the people’s lives. This helps the people to have a clear understanding of what is at stake thus helping them to plan, adjust and adapt to the new realities at hand.
I’m May, 2013 the Government announced that they had removed subsidies on fuel. They told the people that the removal of subsidies on fuel will result in Government saving 1 billion dollars every year. About two weeks ago this same Government announced the removal of subsidies on fuel. Really? Which subsidies did they remove? Were subsidies on fuel not already removed in 2013?
Where is the 4 billion dollars that supposedly has been raised from subsidy removal since 2013? Has it been embezzled or it has never been there after all?
During campaigns the Government promised cheap fuel from Saudi Arabia. Today we are told that that fuel is insignificant, how? What happened? Was the Saudi Arabia deal real or it was just a political gimmick to hoodwink voters?
Today we are told that Government has not even had detailed discussions with the IMF concerning the IMF loan. Really? Who doesn’t know that Government and IMF have had several high-powered detailed discussions on the IMF loan and the truth is that IMF was supposed to start administering it’s bitter quinine dosage to Zambia as way back as last year but that the PF Government deferred this dosage due to their fear of losing popularity during elections. We ourselves held serious discussions with the World Bank over this same issue late last year and early this year.
Why can’t Government be honest enough and tell the Zambians the truth that the increase of fuel prices has nothing to do with the purported removal of subsidies (which actually were already removed in 2013, neither has it got anything to do with the so called volatility of the Kwacha, because even at a time that the Kwacha had depreciated to as much as 14 kwacha to a dollar and the price of crude at the international market was as high as 120 dollars per barrel the pump prices were not adjusted upwards.
Today the Kwacha has “stabilised” at around 9 kwacha to a dollar and the price of crude at the international market has fallen to as low as 52 dollars per barrel). The upward adjustment of fuel has nothing to do with what ERB/Government is saying; it has everything to do with the fact that Government is broke and is desperately trying to raise revenue to meet its daily costs plus the IMF’s preconditions demands such actions.
Even the Bank of Zambia has introduced more monetary regulations to banks with regards to caps on cheques and deposits in a bid to squeeze some money and tighten monetary policy.
In conclusion, Government must stop masking the truth; let them tell the people the truth about how deeply the fundamentals of the economy have collapsed. It will help individuals and businesses to plan, adjust and adapt. Trying to mask the truth is just worsening the situation.