Wednesday, June 12, 2013

'Demand to know how money from subsidies will be used'
By Brina Siwale in Livingstone
Fri 07 June 2013, 14:01 CAT

TOURISM and arts minister Sylvia Masebo says Zambians should be patient with the government's decision to remove subsidies because the benefits cannot been seen immediately.

And Masebo says Zambians should now start demanding to know how the money saved from subsidies will be used to develop the country and not benefit those in government.

Speaking when she addressed Livingstone residents, Masebo said the government understood that the impact of the removal of subsidies was harsh at the moment but this would soon change and the poor would greatly benefit.

"Yes, there is pain but after some time you will begin to see the benefits behind the decision. The government will work out mechanisms to ensure that those who are very weak and vulnerable are cushioned so that the impact is not massive," Masebo said.

She said President Michael Sata did not want to harm the people of Zambia with the policies that government was putting in place.

"Be patient and support your government. President Sata also wants to ensure that by the end the five years you will see that he meant well.

"That is why we have a five-year term. At end of the term then you can say but government removed the subsidies then why haven't things changed. Then it will be time to change government. So just help him and give him support and let's wait and see. You can't have results immediately but they are there because we will have extra money from the savings," she said.

"What you as citizens should be saying is that you want to see where this money is going; and that you don't want this money to be misused by ministers, civil servants or any one in government. You should monitor us and begin to ask for the differences to be made."

And Masebo urged Zambians not to be used by politicians who wanted to use the removal of subsidies for political mileage.

She said the people of Livingstone should expect a lot of development with the removal of subsidies.

"Here in Livingstone we will see more roads and infrastructure development with the savings. We will be able to give money to SWASCO to improve on the water supply and Zesco to improve on the supply of electricity. And with better infrastructure, we will be able to increase the number of tourists and with that increase, you the local people will benefit," said Masebo.

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