Zambia Reports (Lusaka)

2 February 2014

Zambia: Chikwanda's Subsidy Statement Shocks Black Friday

The Black Friday consortium of civil society organizations has described as shocking Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda's statement that there are no funds being saved from the removal of subsidies on fuel and maize.

Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda had recently clarified that there are no funds being saved from the removal of subsidies on fuel and maize but that government is merely cutting expenditure on subsidies by increasing expenditure to other developmental projects.

But the Black Friday consortium is of the view that such statements from the government are what is making people in the country to think that the tax players' money is not being utilized in a transparent manner under the Patriotic Front (PF) government.

Consortium spokesperson Guess Nyirenda says there is no way the Minister of Agriculture, the Minister of Commerce, the Vice President and the Finance Minister who all sit in the same Cabinet could issue different statements on how the funds removed on subsidies are being utilized.

Nyirenda says such conflicting statements on how the funds saved from the removal of subsidies are being utilized is also the reason why people in the country are allegedly losing trust and faith in the Patriotic Front (PF) government.

He says this is because the removal of subsidies on fuel and maize has allegedly done more harm than good to the country as such a move by the government was actually a litmus test.

He says in view of such a situation the people in the country should now think of taking charge of their destiny.

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