Former government chief whip in the Patriotic Front (PF) regime Steve Chungu has said praise singers are misleading the New Dawn government by claiming that all was well under its administration.
Mr. Chungu, the immediate past Luanshya Member of Parliament, said it was a fallacy to claim that things have improved in the first nine months of the UPND in government.
He said the cost of living has continued to rise owing to unstable fuel prices and high prices of essential commodities.
Mr. Chungu said the high cost of living has negatively affected the livelihood of all citizens including supporters of the New Dawn Government.
He said the people of Zambia should rise and demand improved living conditions they deserve.
“Even these so-called praise singers, they will be beneficiaries of what we are saying today. At some point we heard praise singers saying even if the government increases fuel to K500 per litre they were going to buy. How? Is his grandfather, grandmother or uncle going to afford fuel at K500 per litre? And some of these praise singers are dependants being kept in homes by others and they are misleading everyone that it is Okay because the PF was thrown out. Yes the people decided to boot out the PF out of government because of the wrong things they felt the PF was doing,” Mr. Chungu said.
“Let us continue participating in the administration of this country. It is our country. It is our Zambia. This country belongs to all of us regardless of our political affiliation. Let us participate so that the government starts doing it right. Doing things on our behalf and they are in those offices to provide services to us Zambians. Goods and services that would be affordable to every household to every Zambian. Every household is entitled to full meals but now what is happening is something very sad. Even those that are praise singers come out and say it the way you feel it. Not just how you say it. The way you feel it deep down. When you go home you are told you have to buy 5 litres of cooking oil at K300 before you were using K140, before you were paying 14 per litre of fuel now you are paying K26 for a litre of fuel. It affects you, it affects me. It affects your mother, it affects your brother, your grandfather and grandmother so let’s all have one word that the government is going to listen to,” he said.
Mr. Chungu advocated the re-introduction of subsidies on fuel as a way of bringing down the cost of living.
“All countries are now subsidizing fuel. Why don’t we do that? Why should we choose to subsidise copper production at the expense of taxing the Zambian heavily. The already heavily taxed Zambian is being meant to pay more for the management of this country. This country is not broke, let’s not be cheated. Had it been broke, they could not have paid the civil servants when they came into office in August, in September, in October, in November, in December 2021. They are still paying salaries without getting support from the outside world,” he said.
Mr. Chungu continued:”We had 14 Billion nkongole (debt) and now we have shot up to beyond 20 Billion just in the last eight months. So Zambians let us stand up and make sure that we hear that we want to live in a better country. We will support the government of the day but let them do the right thing and they should not ask for more time. They said when they come in at 10:00 hours, 14:00 hours things will change so what more time do they need? We will not give them more time. We want to see them work for us. It is our country we have the rights.”