Sunday, May 26, 2013

People in rural areas should be thankful for removal of subsidies - Mabumba

By Godfrey Chikumbi in Kawambwa
Sat 25 May 2013, 14:00 CAT

PEOPLE in rural areas should be grateful to government for removing the fuel and maize subsidies because they never benefitted from them, says education deputy minister David Mabumba.

Speaking when he addressed teachers and parents at the newly opened Kanengo, Kawambwa Central Day and Kawambwa Boys Secondary Schools in Kawambwa, Mabumba said people in rural areas should thank the government for taking an initiative of removing subsidies from fuel and maize as it was aimed at bettering their lives.

Mabumba's tour follows President Michael Sata's directive for Cabinet and deputy ministers to explain to people about the removal of the subsidies.

He said very few people, especially those from towns who owned cars, were benefitting from the subsidies at the expense of the majority poor.

Mabumba explained that the government decided to remove the subsidies to broaden the revenue base in order to develop rural areas.
He said those who were opposed to the government's decision to remove the subsidies were selfish and never wanted the poor people in rural areas to see development.

Mabumba said rural areas needed more infrastructure development than urban areas because very little had been done in the previous regimes.

"Most of you our people in rural areas do not own cars and you don't benefit from the subsidies on fuel yet you have seen little or no development. Here in Kawambwa, what can the MMD point at which they did? Nothing. Our second Republican president (the late Dr. Frederick Chiluba) came from Mwense where I am MP but there is nothing to show for it. That's why we decided to remove these subsidies in order to broaden the revenue base for us to be able to construct roads, build schools and hospitals," he said.

Mabumba observed that the government was fully aware of the short-term negative effects that would be experienced as a result of the removal of the subsidies but that the long term benefits would be massive, hence the need to sacrifice

"The money we are going to raise from the removal of the subsidies would help us build universities where your children will have to go without fighting for a place at the University of Zambia," he noted.

Mabumba has since appealed to the rural communities not to allow politicians to mislead them over the removal of the subsidies.



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