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Alba Iulia
Monday, May 23, 2022

Government failing to win hearts and minds of Zambians on Fuel & Electricity Tariffs because of what they promised

Columns Government failing to win hearts and minds of Zambians on Fuel &...

By Dr. Lubinda Haabazoka

You see the reason why the government of today is failing to win the hearts of people over the increase in electricity tariffs and fuel prices is what they said when they were in the opposition.

The reason why people like me are finding it difficult to defend the government on this one is that when we defended the then PF government over the same thing, we were castigated, insulted and the public was made to believe that we had no moral standing in society.

The role of an academician is to unpack information and help citizens understand or make decisions on certain issues in the country.

Some academicians move with the wind and say what people want to hear but others will say it the way it is regardless of what the public court of opinion will say. This lesson was learned from the school where the majority were not always right! When the majority in class think an answer is correct, in most cases it’s a minority that is correct because the truth is always hard to find.

Albert Einstein was considered a lunatic until after some time. The Wright brothers were laughed at until now when we were not on the fly because of their innovations but we also peacefully sleep on planes they discovered.

Back to Zambia, what hinders democracy in Zambia is the inability of the majority to decipher data. Therefore, popularist slogans easily go and people believe. But as people come into power, it becomes difficult to sing popularism because now the real issues are faced and the true narrative has to come out.

In July 2021, I wrote an article explaining that fuel prices and even prices of other commodities were cheaper in Zambia than other countries and that’s why we saw motorists coming to shop in Zambia. I have never been ridiculed like that in my life. People brought in purchasing power parity arguments and even the top leadership of the opposition was very upset with me.

Now, all I was saying was the truth. Fast forward today, the minister of finance announces that fuel prices and electricity tariffs are cheap because of subsidies. The economic wing of government further says prices have increased on the international market but in Zambia they are stable. What has happened to the purchasing power parity theory?

If fuel in Zambia was not cheap as they alleged then, then why all of a sudden it has become expensive?

There are a lot of things I said and I was castigated for being a carder and a fake economist. That’s not the case. I just had the courage to tell the nation the truth regardless of whether the nation wanted to hear it or not!!!!

Today economists who wrote articles debunking my articles are in the forefront saying the same things I was saying! What has changed within 100 days? I really wanted to put in a word for the government on issues to do with fuel and electricity tariffs but I can’t because I was convinced in July that we can’t increase fuel prices before increasing salaries.

When I gave examples to explain the happenings in the country, even formulae were given to prove how just by a stroke of a pen, fuel prices would fall in Zambia. Of course, people in Zambia believed. Why is that not happening now? Sometimes we have to learn to apologize to others.

To the youths, you see job creation is not as easy as you think. You need to force it. Don’t make mistakes that were made by the youths of the 1990s who saw over 245 companies privatized and up to today, the country has not recovered. Work together with this government and pressure them to come up with job opportunities. Work with the government so that new factories are created! Work with the government to ensure that INDENI is not closed. Work with the government to ensure that Mopani and KCM are Zambian-owned and that they operate efficiently to help solve our economic challenges.

Don’t sleep youths of this country and don’t support things blindly. Work with the government so that government does what is in your best interest.

The elders also should not just sit down and let fate be decided by the youths. You have more experience so take a leading role. Solutions for our problems are in Zambia and nowhere else in the world.

There are a lot of ideas we should be discussing like building factories, mining industry development, 24-hour economy, green economy creation but today it’s a task force on corruption and IMF.

I will be writing these articles one by one to remind people of what they ridiculed me on but they are saying the same things. I am doing so because this country should start speaking only the truth and people should not be malicious against other people. Only the truth shall set us free be it in politics or in national development!!!

20 COMMENTS

  1. Dr Musokotwane tells the youth not to worry about the fuel price increase because they don’t drive. It’s either he’s out touch with reality or simply callous. Fuel price increase will affect everyone and everything whether you drive or not. Are the services the youth use going to be delivered by water driven trucks, mini buses etc.

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  2. This indeed is a government of liars, by liars and for liars. They are the same people who used to condemn PF when fuel prices were marginally increased. They would even cheat that Zambia had the highest fuel prices in the region. I will wait and see if Zambian fuel will be the cheapest in the region when subsidies are removed. Our children should from now on know that they voted for liars. Anyway Kambwili said it but people could not listen to him and ended up voting with their hands only.

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  3. Don’t speak for Zambians. Us as Zambians are very comfortable with the direction UPND are taking us,though I am not even UPND, I speak for many Zambians unlike you Habazoka who is speaking for PF. We stayed for ten years without PF fulfilling their more money in our pockets promise

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  4. flag Jigga Kayama Simangulungwa (formerly Corruption scandals: 48 Houses Social Security Cash Luxury Presidential Jet Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans Honeybee)

    Please sir, shut the funk up and sit down!
    Yupping and criticizing without offering viable alternative solutions. Zambians are a fun lot. So you want cheap fuel and electricity that is heavily subsidised, where do you think the govt will get the money to continue paying for those subsidies; while at the same time creating jobs and reducing poverty? You can’t have it both ways.
    The massive debt that the corrupt PF govt left behind had to be refinanced. With refinancing comes conditions and your ability to pay back the loan.
    Please don’t use emotions to analyze issues of national significance. So what if the UPND promised Paradise and heaven while in opposition? Reality is what matters. So long as they are not doing this to steal and enrich themselves, I’m OK. Get real people!

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  5. ” in July 2021 I wrote an article……blah blah blah” why didn’t you tell your cohorts in PF to remove subsidies then? Double standards.

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  6. The Upnd supporters should not mistake the criticism as ill feeling against the new government. Personally I am concious to the fact that turning the economy around requires a lot of sacrifice. But the Upnd and especially its president brought this upon themselves. They promised a lot of things and delivery as soon as they were sworn in. I remember one official on the radio Icengelo telling us how the Zesco tariffs would be lowered and his explanation was: OUR PRESIDENT IS A RICH MAN AND THEREFORE OUR PARTY WILL NOT BE GETTING MONEY FROM ZESCO LIKE THE PF. WITH THAT IT MEANS ZESCO WILL HAVE ENOUGH MONEY FOR ITS OPERATIONS AND THIS WILL TRICKLE DOWN TO OUR PEOPLE. So let’s see that trickle down work.

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  7. I miss the economic analysis from Mebelo Mutukwa (Pangea Securites), Elias Chipimo Jr, Ronald Penza and Paul Tembo. Paul Tembo was nicknamed as a text book of Zambian economics. Not this fake economist from Russia.

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  8. Why isn’t the media reminding HH over his low fuel pump price promises.

    Was HH lying or he simply had no clue.

    Either way HH must apologize for misleading the nation with regards to fuel prices.

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  9. The rot from the PF was too deep, so we have to go through some pain to recover, cadres like Habazooka should not sway the thinking of Zambians to rise against the UPND. Non partisan Zambians like ourselves are very happy with the new dawn government, we know things will be tough after electricity and fuel hikes, but all the hikes are necessary because of reckless and excessive borrowing by PF of which borrowing was even without parliament over sight

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  10. Let’s be wary of economist whose only game plan for the economic liberation of Zambia lies with legacy companies like Indeni, KCM, Mopani etc. Einstein and the Wright brothers were involved in entirely original pursuits; things never done before. Truly revolution cutting edge stuff it is understandable that people scoffed.

    You Sir, are in no danger of anyone in Zambia laughing at you because of revolutionary thinking—people laugh because your ideas are the epitome of fossilized thinking. Locked in past glories and unable to see past other people historical original ideas.

  11. And building factories, the green economy creation, 24-hour economy are rather vague conceptions when discussed here. Be specific as to what part of the green economy Zambia can focus on because of some natural advantage over other nations. What widgets should our factories produce?

  12. Once again, you speak the truth, nothing but the truth so help you God.

    Good call to the youth and oh yes keep writing these articles LH.
    The 90s were trick years when MMD’s Government got swindled by the IMF in broad daylight and ripped this country apart economically in the name of sorting out our economy. H² seized the opportunity to help himself. We ended up miserable. Today, some chaps are saying that the IMF is more reasonable. Really? Can the LEOPARD change its spots? The onus is on the youths really to demand what h² promised, nothing else.

  13. Instead of subsidizing rich people in Kabulonga and new Kasama, we can try tax credits for buses and taxis that way we the poor will still be able to travel.

  14. When you read the blogs from upnd supporters, you really wonder whether they care about the common man in the streets.
    You can insult all you want, but it doesn’t change the fact that when you increase the cost of living for zambians, they will react. It’s that simple.
    We have been down this IMF route before and it simply doesn’t work. So ba HH, please seek home grown solutions to our problems and not IMF.
    Anyway, nizanu.

  15. If the kwacha rate to the US dollar was 10, none of these impending increase in the price of fuel and electricity tariffs would have been unnecessary. The Government is addressing symptoms not the cause of the problem. This strategy has been tried before and the consequences have been disastrous. Arrest the depreciation of the Kwacha against foreign currencies to levels the brings stability in the economy and consequently lower prices of imports to corresponds to income levels in the Country. Otherwise the Government will be chasing wind; increase price of fuel and electricity tariffs, kwacha loses value again you increase………… Disappointed with the Government I elected to power. Officially am no longer a 2.8million.

  16. Its unfortunate some pipo commenting and reacting to the matter at hand are being emotional or are party oriented. The fact still remains.
    Pipo of Zambia need cheap fuel, cheap electricity, cheap goods and services. we need to pay less for transport. is it a sin when Zambians question why we should increase our fuel even further when we already complained of expensive fuel? the increase in fuel will definitely increase cost of production and increase even costs of daily consumables for ordinary Zambians.

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