Monday, July 08, 2013

Opposition has no moral right to criticise govt - Sata
By Kabanda Chulu
Fri 28 June 2013, 14:00 CAT

PRESIDENT Michael Sata says opposition parties, especially the MMD, have no moral right to criticise the government which is fulfilling its promises of service delivery.

And Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia chief executive officer Zuze Banda says the company has produced 37,000 tonnes of basal fertiliser out of the 70,000 tonnes earmarked under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP).

Meanwhile, Kafue PF member of parliament Obvious Mwaliteta has accused opposition parties of allegedly funding Petersen's song Bufi which is aimed at tarnishing the image of the government.

During the flagging-off of fertiliser distribution at the NCZ plant in Kafue on Wednesday, President Sata, in a speech read for him by agriculture minister Robert Sichinga, said the government had chosen not to import fertiliser but to rehabilitate the company in order to create jobs and improve security of input supply.

"Life in Kafue is intrinsically connected to operations of this plant which the previous government declared obsolete and wanted to sell as scrap metal but we didn't think so when we took over office since we believe NCZ is important to the entire economy of this country and this is why KR70.1 million has been provided for rehabilitation of the plant and KR34 million has been paid to retirees," he said.

President Sata said the government would continue working to bring services to the people while the opposition remains politicking.

"It may seem dark this time but in future people will definitely see the benefits of what the PF government is doing. You can't correct wrongs done in 20 years within a short period of time but we shall deliver and in two years we have done positive things such as selling houses to former workers of Kafue Textiles, payment of terminal benefits to NCZ workers and rehabilitation of the plant which has started production and will now produce 150,000 tonnes from the previous installed capacity of 100,000 tonnes," President Sata said.

"If this is not delivering services to people, what is it? We should be asking why it took long to pay retirees, some even died without seeing their money, so the opposition, especially the MMD, has no moral right to criticise the PF government which is fulfilling its promises of service delivery."

He said the government would rehabilitate the entire NCZ plant.
"We shall not stop at revamping the fertiliser plant but we shall also rehabilitate the ammonium plant and once completed, NCZ will also be contracted to produce and supply Urea fertiliser and ammonium solutions can be sold to the mines," said President Sata.

"What else can a government do to prove that it is performing? This fertiliser will be taken to all corners of the country including Namwala where we have no MP and let us hear what the UPND will say about this. This is the first time inputs are being distributed in June, and this shows how the PF is committed to work for the people."
NCZ workers' representative Sylvester Daka commended the government for resuscitating the plant which the MMD government failed to support.

"The previous government allowed the mushrooming of briefcase traders to supply cheap and low quality fertiliser, thus completely cutting off NCZ," said Daka.

And Banda said NCZ was producing 750 tonnes per day from the previous capacity of 200 tonnes per day.

"President Sata should be commended for showing political will to revamp this company. We have been given enough money to kick-start production and we shall produce 150,000 tonnes of basal fertiliser of which 70,000 tonnes will go to FISP while the remainder will be offloaded onto the open market," he said.

And Mwaliteta, who is also Western Province Minister, said what was impossible under MMD was now possible.

"Kafue is alive due to the wise policies of the PF which aims at uplifting the livelihoods of people. The Chirundu-Leopards Hill Road, Chiawa Bridge and many other projects have created jobs for people, so where is 'Bufi' (lies)?" asked Mwaliteta.

"We know he (Petersen) has been paid by opposition to tarnish our image but with these positive projects, let him go back to the studio and compose what is reflecting on the ground."

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